Two-Way Radio Etiquette

Two-Way Radio Etiquette

Over the years certain rules of etiquette, have been established to make radio communication go more smoothly. Here is the basic etiquette a radio user need to understand as it will help improve your overall experience when using your two-way radio.

Basic Two-Way Radio Etiquette Rules:

  • The international radio language is English, except in cases where you are licensed to speak in some other language.
  • When using a two-way radio you cannot speak and listen at the same time, as you can with a phone.
  • Don’t interrupt if you hear other people talking. Wait until their conversation is finished unless it is an emergency. If it is an emergency, inform the other parties that you have a urgent emergency message
  • Do not respond if you aren’t sure the call is for you. Wait until you hear your call sign
    to respond.
  • Assume your conversations can be heard by others.
  • Perform radio checks to ensure your radio is in good working condition.
    • Ensure the battery is charged and the power is on.
    • Keep the volume high enough to be able to hear calls.
    • Regularly make radio checks to make sure everything is working and that you are still inrange to receive signals.
  • Memorize call signs of persons you communicate with or have a list and or roster.
    • In radio communication you are not called by your name. Everybody has their ownunique call sign.
    • o A roster is available via the team’s Group.IO website.
  • Think before you speak.
    • Decide what you are going say and to whom it is meant for.
    • Make your conversations as concise, precise, and clear as possible.
    • Avoid long and complicated sentences. If your message is long, divide it into separate.
    • shorter messages.
    • Do not use abbreviations unless they are well understood by your group.

3 Golden Rules for Radio Communication

1. Clarity
Your voice should be clear. Speak a little slower than normal. Speak in a normal tone, do not shout.

2. Simplicity
Keep your message simple enough for intended listeners to understand.

3. Brevity
Be precise and to the point.

Speak the Language
General Terms Meaning

Radio Check – What is my signal strength? Can you hear me?
Go Ahead – You are ready to receive transmission.
Stand-by You acknowledge the other party, but I am unable to respond immediately.
Roger – Message received and understood.
Negative – Same as “No”.
Affirmative – Same as “Yes”. Avoid “yup” or “nope” as they are difficult to hear.
Say Again – Re-transmit your message.
Over – Your message is finished.
Out – All conversation is finished, the channel is clear for others to use.
Break, Break, Break – You are interrupting in the middle of communication because you have an emergency.
Read You Loud & Clear – Response to “Radio Check”. Means your transmission signal is good. Also use” Read you 5-by-5′′.
Come in – You are asking the other party to acknowledge they hear you.
Copy – You understand what was said
Wilco – Means “I will comply”.

Repeat – Used before you repeat something. Example: “I require 9-5,

Phonetic Alphabet

It is almost certain that you will have to use the phonetic alphabet in your conversations over a two-way radio. Many letters and words sound alike so in order to make sure you are communicating clearly you can use the phonetic equivalents of letters that are often confused such as ‘F’ and ‘S’, ‘T’ and ‘C’, or ‘M’ and ‘N’.