Eight Etiquette Tips for Two Way Radios

Every means of communication has its own specific language and rules, and two way radio communication is no exception.

Learning some of the basic rules concerning walkie talkie etiquette will help your organization make the best use of this helpful communications medium.

Walkie talkies are used in a variety of enterprises, including warehouses and distribution centers, schools, entertainment facilities, and more. Two way radios have a number of advantages that make them useful in these environments, including strong battery life and lack of reliance on cell towers.

New users of walkie talkie radios should observe the following rules to best employ these helpful devices:

  • Identify yourself when beginning a transmission. You can use your name or a call sign.
  • Keep your communications brief and to the point. Long-winded communications can block the channel for others who may need to relay a message. If you have a lot to say, it’s considered polite to divide up your points and say “break” at the end of each point, then wait a few seconds before continuing.
  • When you finish a message and want a reply from other parties, say “over” to indicate this.
  • Know the NATO phonetic alphabet. When spelling out names, use this phonetic alphabet that corresponds with each letter of the traditional alphabet to avoid confusion: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
  • When terminating a call, say “out.” This indicates the end of the conversation.
  • Remember that walkie talkie communications are on a radio frequency, and that more than just your intended audience may be listening. Avoid saying anything via walkie talkie that you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in front of your boss, spouse, or kids.
  • Make sure that your radio has been adjusted to avoid squealing noises and crackling. These noises aren’t just annoying; they can also impair other users’ ability to understand what you’re saying.
  • By mastering two way radio etiquette, you can ensure effective communications and avoid embarrassing yourself or annoying others.

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