Using Two Way Radio in Australia

How to Use a Two-Way Radio

A two-way radio can transmit and receive a message with similar radios operating on the same radio frequency (channel). Even though they may seem like a thing from the past, two-way radio in Australia is exceedingly used as a reliable form of communication during emergencies like forest fires or floods. 

Getting Started with a Two-way radio

The first thing you need to ensure is that the battery is ultimately charged. Next, switch on the radio either through the volume button or through the on/off button. Finally, make sure you are on the correct channel and adjust the volume to a comfortable, audible level.

To change the channel, you will see a smaller dial on the side of the radio. The channels are consecutively marked 1 ° 3 ° 5 with only odd numerals as indicators of the channels. The dot between the odd numerals represents the consecutive even numbers. Besides the channel indicator, you will find an LED indicator light. This light is a battery indicator, shows whether the radio is on, remains on when someone else is speaking on the radio and keeps on flashing if the radio is scanning for other channels.

Communicating on a Two-way radio 

If you wish to communicate with someone, you have to wait for the channel to clear. After it clears, you push and hold the PTT button. Keep the microphone 10 to 15 centimetres away and speak at a normal voice level. Release the PTT button to hear the voice from the other end. 

Keep your message ready before pushing the PTT button because nobody can speak or be heard while you press the PTT. Do not keep pushing the button because you will be forbidding someone else from speaking during an emergency. 

Using the Headset in a Two-Way Radio 

Make sure that your radio is off when you attach your headset. Attach the headset to the connector until you hear a pop and test with another radio to see if you can listen to the audio. Keep your mic 1 to 2 inches away from your mouth for better transmission but do not remove the foam over the mic. Press the headset button to the cord to talk and release to receive the message. 

Troubleshooting a Two-way radio

If you are having some problems with your radio, there are certain tricks you can follow.

  • If there is a problem with hearing while others are speaking, ensure that your volume is up. 
  • Check if your radio is on scanning mode to hear others, but others cannot hear you. 
  • Hold the radio above your head with the antenna on top to improve the audio. 
  • Move to an open or higher area if you are in a basement and having trouble connecting. 

Two-way radio Etiquettes

Always keep your messages brief as others are waiting in line with their emergency messages. You also have to wait for a couple of seconds after pushing the headset button before talking so that your initial words are not cut off and release the button immediately after finishing. 

Communication on a two-way radio often relies on common short-cut phrases. It helps when everyone on a team understands and follows these etiquettes efficiently. Following these essential tips improve your confidence and efficacy of the radio scheme. 

Watch our easy tutorial:


Even though it might look a little complicated, you can quickly get used to a Two-way radio in Australia. Following the right tips will ensure that your communication goes smoothly.