Two-Way Radio Operational misidentification: squelch and volume control
When using a two-way radio operationally, one of the most important features that one would locate on its display, that will determine the audio strength of each transmission, is that *transceivers volume control.
Transceiver: A radio that has the capability of both transmitting and receiving digital signals
To manage the radio's volume control, turn this knob clockwise in order to turn on and increase the volume, while turning it counterclockwise will reduce the volume. To turn the radio off, continue turning this knob counterclockwise until you meet resistance – (there should be a small `click` sound to indicate when the radio is shut off).
Another important feature located on the radio`s display is the Squelch selection. Unlike the Audio switch, the squelch switch, (which is found on most two-way transceivers), suppresses the output of a radio transceiver if the signal strength falls below a certain level. So, in other words, Squelch eliminates the sound of noise distribution when the radio is not receiving a desired transmitter. It is designed to suppress the audio output of the receiver in the absence of a sufficiently strong desired input signal.
NOTE: The squelch feature is not an automated function, and it is managed by the Operator who will select their desired setting.
With the squelch level correctly set, you will only hear sound when you are receiving a signal. Backing off the squelch control, (i.e. deselecting this feature), will result in the operator hearing white noise, (also referred to as clutter), while there is no signal present.
Two-way radios usually have several levels for squelch adjustment. You ideally want to select a level at which the background noise is just eliminated when no signal is present.
The Volume Control switch manages the intensity of the sound output, however what is important to note is that this feature works independently from the Squelch feature. A common error made by the Operator when encountering `white noise` as feedback on their radio, is to instinctively turn the volume control switch down until reaching a desired selection which has effectively removed this `irritating sound`. The problem unfortunately with this action, is that it has now also removed what audible sound you previously had before you adjusted the setting, resulting in your radio strength being unnecessarily weaker than what it should be. This then in turn affects the overall performance of your radio. Remember you ideally want your radios transmission strength to have a minimum scoring of a Level 4 when measured against the Radio Strength Table. It is thus beneficial that the Operator is made aware of the functions for both these mentioned switches prior to setting their radio for operational purposes.
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Until next time Stay Safe!