Knowledge Base
Answers to Your Questions about Radio and Wireless Voice Communications

Good Radio Procedure

10 November 2015

In a Nutshell

  1. Radio-Check before you start work.
  2. Keep transmissions brief.
  3. Speak Slowly and Clearly directly INTO the Mic.
  4. Acknowledge, Acknowledge and Acknowledge.

Using your radios for the first time.

Make sure all radio users know which channel to use. Make sure all radio users are familiar with this document;

Before you start work:

  1. Turn on your radio and adjust the volume and earpiece for comfort.
  2. Make a radio check.- Call another person and check they can hear you clearly and you can hear them clearly. Do a radio check to a distant radio where possible. (Checking with a close-by radio check may not show a radio fault).

Sharing the radio system.
On most radio systems only one person can call at a time so it is important you keep your calls brief and to the point. Wait for the channel to become free before you transmit. If your call goes unanswered wait at least 10 seconds for the other person to respond before you call them again. This will give them time to answer if they are otherwise busy and it will allow others to make a call should they need to.

Mic Placement
Make sure the Mic is close to your lips 2cm (1 inch) maximum. The radio will transmit the loudest sounds the Mic picks up and cannot differentiate noise from speech. So ff the Mic is too far away background and wind noise will dominate your voice.

Think exactly what you are going to say before pressing the transmit button. Less is More. Keep it brief. Keep it simple. Repeat or spell words that could be misheard.

Speak in normal speech rhythms. As you would normally.

Speak at a natural speed, slowly is better than quickly.

Speak at a normal volume level. Try not to shout even in noisy areas.

Difficult this one, but if you naturally have a very deep voice try and raise the pitch. Avoid droping the pitch for the last syllable.

After releasing the transmit button, pause for at least five seconds so others can reply.

Call signs
Give everyone a unique sounding call sign, ideally use their first name but if there is a Bob Smith and a Rob Jones then don't use Rob and Bob as call signs because they are easily confused. Use Bob and Jones which clearly sound different.

Multi-syllable call-signs are even clearer. Smithy and Jonesey for example.

New Messages.
Call the person before announcing yourself. eg: "Bob this is Jones."
The first part of a new message (call) should be the call sign of the person you are calling FOLLOWED by your own call sign: 'Bob this is Jones'. (Note the phrase 'This Is'. It is much clear than 'From').

As with call signs you might name key locations or objects in unique sounding ways. Did you say Bar or Car? Bar and Vehicle would be a better alternative.

A simple "OK" or "Understood" will make it clear you have received and understood the message.

It is good practice to indicate you have finished speaking and are waiting for a reply by saying "OVER" as the last utterance. Finish with "OUT" to indicate you are leaving the conversation or signing off.

After finishing work.

  1. Sign off the radio system so everyone knows you are no longer available.
  2. Turn off the radio and place back in the charger.
  3. Check the red charging light has come on.
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