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Proper Radio Use
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CONSIDERATIONS FOR EFFECTIVENESS IN COMMUNICATIONS AT COMMUNITY EVENTS
  1. HAVE AN EXTRA BATTERY!  You might also carry an empty battery case and enough AA alkaline batteries to fill it.  There is absolutely nothing worse than to travel all the way to an event, where others are depending on you, only to tell your fellow team members -- as well as event sponsor AND any other Communicaters -- that you came without being prepared!!!
  2. MAINTAIN YOUR EQUIPMENT!  Make sure your radio is in good operating condition.  Small problems such as loose antenna connections, bad microphones, and intermittent operation can spoil your day.  Pay attention to minor problems during low use before they turn into monsters under high use.
  3. PROPER HANDHELD OPERATIONS!  Operating your handheld while it hangs former belt is both good and bad.  The good news is by using your speaker-mic, you don't have the constant -- pick it up -- put it back.  There is less wear on your belt, pants, belt clip, etc.  The bad news is when the antenna is next to your body, there is a MAJOR decrease in radio performance.  Best to take the speaker-mic and use it only if you don't need to talk/listen very far.  Also, consider using a headset instead of a speaker-mic. 
  4. USE THE "BEST" ANTENNA!  The decrease in performance has to do with the antenna next to your body.  Don't make matters worse by using a "stubby duck" antenna rather than the specified ones.  
  5. USE THE "RIGHT" POWER!  Keep the radio on low or medium power unless high power is really needed.  
  6. SPEAK SLOWLY AND CLEARLY!  By taking your time, speaking slowly and clearly enough, you'll be understood the first time.  This is mentioned in the RUG Manual, but still the message doesn't get through all the time ( in both senses! ).  
  7. CHECK THE CHANNEL!!  Listen when you unkey to see if the repeater came up when you thought you were on simplex.  Check radio controls frequently, as accidental changes occur surprisingly often.   
  8. KNOW THE PLAN FOR THE EVENT!  Communications may or may not go through a control.  Is simplex to be used when arriving at , departing from, and communication during the event?  Has a special frequency been assigned to be used during the event?  Again, know the plan for the event.  
  9. ADVISE OTHERS IN ADVANCE!  Let others know your intentions BEFORE YOU ACT.  Your other team members are depending on you to "maintain your post" and keep the communications flowing smoothly and efficiently.  If you have to leave your area or become unavailable for a short time -- let others know in advance!!  
  10. PROJECT A PROPER IMAGE!  Wear proper Communications identification.   This includes grooming and attitude.  The event coordinators depend on us for our professionalism -- not only in our communications -- but in our demeanor, dress and attitude. 
This information appeared on Page 7,
CREST Communicationsivities,
Issue No. 9, Jul-Aug-Sep, 1998.
 


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