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Unlike a phone, you do NOT have the person’s attention. Always wait for them to confirm they heard you, or say it again. 

2-way Radio Etiquette
  • Only one person can speak at once
  • Demos are loud , use headset or keep radio near shoulder.
  • Speak slowly, clearly, and twice.
  • Never assume you were heard, always confirm when you hear others. (“got it!”)
  • Don’t try to interrupt– it isn’t possible. Wait for a gap.
  • The first half-second of what you say is cut off! Always press-hold-wait, speak.

If your message is for one person
  1. Hold button, Wait a beat, speak
  2. Say who you need twice, then who you are.
  3. Await response before saying your message
  4. Say your message (twice if it is critical)
  5. Await confirmation that it was heard/understood

If your message is for everyone
  1. Hold button, Wait a beat, speak
  2. Say “All call” or “Everyone” twice
  3. Say your message twice or three times
  • Walkie Talkies convos are not private unless truly encryped! (FRS privacy codes are a sham)
  • For security, you can say things like: “urgent message, check our Signal Chat now”
  • Avoid last names

Details on choosing walkies to buy

Ignore this if you aren’t shopping :-) 
  • FRS is the common system most walkies use, and doesn’t require a permit.
    • Channels 1-7 are high power and have good range, but may be more likely to be in use.
    • Channels 8-14 are low power and will have worse range.
    • Channels 15-22 are high power and may be less popular, a good thing.
    • Privacy codes will not keep your conversation private, and may make it impossible to notice if you are on a shared channel, casuing failed messages. Either keep them off, or be sure to make some noise on the channel and then use the monitor function to see if theres other on the channel that you normally cannot hear because of “privacy codes”

    Cheap radios work ok, the BF-888s are ~$15 each and high power and can be USB programmed to custom channels, including some that are always vacant because of licening rules. They also don’t have buttons so it is harder for someone to land on a channel alone. Email us for more info on this.
    If $80/ radio is possible, there are some digital radios like the rt81 with better range and that offer encryption. In protest environments, headsets or shouldermics or keeping the whole radio on your shoulder is critical, or else no one will hear anyones messages.