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The most common problem with the two way communication device radios appears to be that after traveling more than two miles, in typical terrain, it becomes increasing difficult to maintain contact. If someone is injured, exhausted or hungry there can be significant delays in getting the information through.
This informative article provides helpful hints and tips to improving two way communication device performance. Consider the following:
- Most radios operate on batteries that last about 4 hours of average use. Always test your radio before you leave and take a spare battery. The best units can use the AA alkaline batteries, so take along an extra set.
- A valuable piece of battery saving advice: think about what you want to say before pressing the talk (PTT) button, to save time, power, and so as not to hog the channel.
- Remember, when you are more than a mile from the Command Post, try to keep the antenna vertical to obtain the best reception. Also turning so your body does not come between the antenna and the Command Post (or other point communicating to) should help improve performance. Where possible, try to stand clear of large trees in the direction of communication. Get out of the ravine, gully or dip in land if possible.
- Consider using a repeater. This feature is typically used in a search to assist in distant communication. A simplex repeater records an incoming transmission (up to 30 seconds) and then rebroadcasts it. It will sound like an echo to the person sending it and will appear to have a delay to a person you may be talking to in the distance.
These tips can help substantially increase your two way communication device’s battery life, improving your chances of surviving in the great outdoors. Act today and prepare yourself before a disaster strikes! You do not want to be stranded with a poorly performing two way communication device.
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