Troubleshooting Your Radio Communication Needs

Posted by Two Way Direct on 2nd Mar 2023

Our team has recently been receiving calls from customers asking questions about some reception and transmission issues regarding their two-way radio communications. We have listed common questions we get on my phone calls and given a detailed list of some beneficial tips and tricks we like to give all our customers to ensure their communications systems work effectively and efficiently longer.

Why is my radio not transmitting properly? Why can’t my team hear me without static? 

If you are having trouble with your radio transmission, this sounds like a reception issue. The quality of the received and produced sound results from the signal strength of your radio - and there is a chance you are experiencing some interference when trying to communicate with your team! Here are some recommendations we like to suggest for better reception: 

Location: Radio transmission waves can penetrate, however, they may have some interference issues when it comes to your location. Things like trees, and thick office/business walls can potentially interfere with your radio transmission. We suggest you find a radio that has a strong enough wavelength to penetrate the obstacles and give you clear and concise sound. If you’re having issues reaching far distances, consider getting a repeater to help amplify the signal and reach further distances. 

Antenna: The antenna is essential for radio transmission, the antenna helps transmit sound from one radio to another. Not only does the frequency effectiveness come into play when dealing with transmission issues, but helps avoid any damage to the antenna. It is essential to avoid bending the antenna. There is a small coil underneath the rubber that, if manipulated, will diminish the quality of transmissions. You can also check for antenna damage by unscrewing and removing the antenna and verifying the connector is undamaged as well.

Why does my radio/battery die so quickly? 

If your radio seems to die quickly, or doesn’t seem to hold a charge, possibly even the charger is blinking when trying to charge your devices - this can likely be an old or damaged battery. Batteries do have a shelf life, located in the DATA code sticker on the battery - and it is important to ensure the best care to keep the battery lasting longer. Our team has created a YouTube video that helps distinguish the charger/battery diagnostics of your battery. Here are a few more tips to utilize to keep your battery’s life cycle lasting longer: 

Turn off your radio before charging. Similar to cellular devices or tablets - radio batteries both draw current while charging at the same time, which shortens the life of the battery overall over time. We recommend that you turn off your devices before charging to try and help maintain the battery’s shelf life and your two-way radio’s usage. 

Replace Batteries every 12-18 months. This is a must! Most people do not know that most batteries have a shelf life. The best way to review the life cycle of your battery is to check the data code. As referenced in a Two Way Direct blog, you want to remove the battery from your radio and check the sticker. There will usually be a 4-digit number to help decipher the true age of the battery life. For example, 1325. The “13” represents the year, so 2013, and the “25” represents the week of the year, so it is best recommended to replace your batteries 12-18 months after the 25th week of 2013. Understanding the ‘age’ of your battery will help you gauge when the best time to replace your battery is to ensure there is no long-lasting damage to your radio/devices overall. 

Do NOT overcharge your battery. Overcharging your battery while not in use can impact the overall life of your battery. Overcharging can decrease the battery life in the long run by gradually eating away at the top end of the battery capacity. You also shouldn't fully deplete your battery either - this can have the same damaging effect. It is best recommended to only charge your batteries after entirely using the radio if possible. To avoid overcharging - try not to charge overnight, but instead charge the batteries and two-way radios when you can keep your eyes on them and remove/unplug them when fully charged.

Multi-Unit Chargers. Multi-Unit Chargers are beneficial and we recommend one to every team with two-way radios. Not only are you able to charge 6 batteries/radios at once on one device with a limited power source solution, but they can provide a secure and organized location for your teams’ two-way radios. Easily label the charger with your teams’ identification as a cheaper alternative to having the radios engraved for each member. Over time, your chargers lose their power, just like the batteries - so it is essential to change out the pods in your charger to ensure your radio is getting the best power output (tutorial). All pods are customizable to your radios. Be sure to adjust your battery pods accordingly (tutorial) so that in case you need a pod for an extended battery (i.e Motorola CP200 batteries), Two Way Direct has what you need.

Is there something I can use to help protect the radios from potential damage? 

It is completely understandable to drop your radio - accidents happen all the time! In many different jobs and industries, there are different requirements and necessities for quick accessibility when time is of the essence. Or even require hands-free options if possible. Two Way Direct has a vast variety of protection options for your two-way radios. As a radio manufacturer, we completely understand the importance of protecting company equipment to ensure long-time usage. Below we have listed some of our best suggestions for protection: 

Handling Your Two-Way Radio Properly. Two-way radios are high-quality equipment that can last a long while if properly handled. There is very sensitive and delicate technology on your radio that can heavily impact the use of your radio over time. Simple how you hold it can be a start! If your two-way radio doesn't have a case/clip, it is so easy to grab your radio from places like the antenna when in a hurry; however, not only is this affecting the antenna itself, but over time the pull from this delicate area will begin to strip the antenna port. Resulting in the radio not being able to properly receive transmission due to the damage. It is best practice to hold the radio from the body when in use. 

Radio Carry Cases + LanyardsCarry cases for your two-way radios ensure that your device is easily accessible when time is of the essence. Fast communication is essential for many industries. Not only do our cases provide easy access for your team, but they also protect your radios from basic everyday damage. With options for radio coverage ranging from drop protection, easy access, and water-proof protection - your team will be able to safely and quickly communicate amongst the team without the risk of damage to their devices. Check out our vast variety of carry cases and drop protection options on our website and learn more about what could be the best for your team. Also, check out our Youtube channel as well to watch great tutorial videos to learn more about products such as our Rugged Transport Case or watch tutorial videos on how to attach a wrist lanyard to any of your devices for simple drop protection. 

Belt Clips. Belt clips are one of our first recommendations for drop protection. Belt clips keep your radio securely fastened to your uniform/belt so you never lose track of your radio again. Two Way Direct provides durable, dependable, and easily attachable clips for your two-way radios so you can focus on working on the task at hand. We also like to recommend other accessories to pair with belt clips such as earpieces and remote speaker microphones to enhance your communication to be hands-free! Check out our vast variety of belt clips online for all brands to find the perfect fit for your two-way radios. 

Audio Accessories. As previously mentioned - pairing your two-way radio with a good audio accessory can be beneficial for providing an extra layer of protection from damage to your radio. Along with belt clips - audio accessories provide easy access to quick communication amongst the team when time is of the essence. Remote Speaker Microphones for two-way radios free up your hands and facilitate quick communication access. Attach to your belt, shirt, or any piece of clothing when not in use to continue handling business operations and easily communicate when needed. 

If you're looking for discretion with your team without the public hearing your communications from your two-way radio or remote speaker microphone attachments, consider pairing your device with an earpiece. Two Way Direct provides a range of devices that can give your team the best options for easily accessible earpieces - from D-Shells, G-Hooks, 2Wire Surveillance Kits, and more. If you want to learn more about which earpiece device may best fit your needs, be sure to check out our website, or watch some of our YouTube videos describing some of our customer favorites like our Two Way Direct D-Shells and G-Hooks as well as Two Way Direct 2Wire Surveillance Kits

Warranties. Two Way Direct understands that accidents happen. Whether a two-way radio has been damaged from long-standing use in rugged conditions, or simply the devices have been having connection/technical issues - our team is here to provide whatever assistance you need. We provide a step-by-step warranty process to follow in case your team needs to send in an item for repairs or replacements to your devices. If you still have questions after following the warranty process, or are not sure what your two-way radio’s coverage is, our representatives will be happy to speak with you on the phone to ensure the process will be as easy and accessible as possible. 

Step-By Step-Warranty Process (Video):

Step-By-Step Warranty Process (Blog):

How do I clean my two-way radios/accessories if they are not waterproof?

When sharing two-way radios and accessories with a team, it is best practice to clean your radios after your use, and cleaning your radios is easier than ever. Understandably, with high-quality equipment, we want to take the best care of our two-way radios and Two Way Direct has the solutions to help. All you need to clean your two-way devices is to use a disinfectant wipe. It is essential to remove any excess moisture from your wipe to avoid any water damage to your two-way radios - even if they are waterproof! Make sure all openings on your radios are closed - this includes the battery latch, any audio accessory or antenna ports, etc. If you are unable to cover these openings, try to avoid wiping down these areas to avoid leakage from your wet wipe. 

Audio accessory cleaning is also just as important! Disinfectant Wipes are still the best practice for cleaning your devices, but there are other ways to ensure proper sanitation for your team. If your team does share earpieces, we recommend you limit the number of users on one device. This will prevent cross-contamination throughout the team. Consider stocking up on replacement coils with a plethora of backup mushroom ear tips. These ear tips are removable and can be a good way to simulate a ‘one-time’ use with your communication devices. It is still best practice to disinfect after each use, even with removable/disposable tips. If you still have issues, check out the following tutorials on our YouTube channel.

Clean Your Two-Way Radios (Video):

Clean Your Accessories (Video):

We hope some of this information has been helpful to any questions you may have been having, or maybe they are just some tips to save for another day. These are some of the more common questions our team receives when on phone calls with customers. If you have any further questions about your radios, accessories, or services - please feel free to reach out and give us a call!