walkie-talkie etiquette

Walkie-talkie etiquette

Before the transmission starts

At the beginning of a conversation on the radio, you need to name the person you are contacting and introduce yourself. Also, at the end of your phrase, you must mark its end. For this, use the word: "Over". Here's an example of a simple and clear conversation start:

Mike to Daisy. Do you copy?

This example contains all the required transfer elements. Usually, this is where the exchange of messages begins. When Mike wants to convey some information to Daisy, he needs to make sure Daisy hears him. This short phrase also suggests that other participants using the same radio frequency do not need to listen to the conversation. They can go about their deals, quietly waiting for the end of the transmission. When Daisy hears this phrase, she must respond to it, indicating that she hears Mike and is ready to exchange messages.

Daisy to Mike, Roger. I hear you loud and clear. Over.

Now Mike knows that Daisy can hear him and that he can start a conversation.

Pause before starting transmission

Once you have made sure that the other person hears you clearly and clearly, you are ready to transmit your information. Press the PTT button and wait about 3 seconds before speaking. Otherwise, the beginning of your message will be cut off and the other person will not hear it. Why is that, you can read in our article How to talk on a walkie talkie.

Keep it short and to the point

As noted earlier, phrases should be short and clear. The exchange of messages should be as fast as possible so that the frequency is freed up for possible use by others. Also, knowing that firefights usually take place very quickly, it is necessary to transmit the information as soon as possible to increase the response time. A bad message would be one with a lot of pauses, a lot of confusing statements. The best way to get your message across is to think about your phrases first and give a quick, clear conclusion. For example:

Daisy, this is Mike. Attention. Directly in front of you, 40 meters away, 5 to 10 probable guys are walking towards you. Move 10 meters to my flank and we can cover you. Over.

The term "Attention" is used to let Daisy know that information that is important to him is about to be transmitted. The answer might sound like this:

Daisy, to Mike. Roger that 5-10 opponents, 40 meters in front of me. Retreat to your flank Wilco. Over.

Daisy also noted that she received important information. Mike has already figured out the situation beforehand, and all Daisy does is let him know that she got it right. The phrase "Roger that" marks this. She says "the next thing I say is what you gave me before". Now Mike has heard everything he needs to let Daisy know that he has received the correct information. He can answer:

Mike to Daisy. Everything is correct. Over.

Here Mike reduced his calls even further by dropping his callsign. Then he said: "Everything is correct", which means: "You understood me correctly." He ended the conversation with another term – "Over". By this, he made it clear that the radio channel is free and the others can start a conversation because Mike and Daisy have finished theirs.

Radio check

One of the most common special cases is Radio check. This can be done by any participant using a given frequency to ensure that their walkie-talkie is working correctly and tuned to the correct frequency. They start it without any introductions. Mike to everybody. Radio check. Over.

His message and presentation are the same. Mike wants confirmation that he can hear everyone else and that everyone else can hear him. With the phrase "Checking the connection," he says that it will be a short transmission and that he doubts the quality of his connection. Someone has to answer:

This is Daisy. Read you loud and clear. Over.

In this case, Daisy notes that he heard Mike and that the transmission quality was confident (loud) and intelligible (clear).

This is Mike. Roger. Over and out.

Conversation with multiple departments

Sometimes one department needs to talk to several at once. This usually happens when commanders need to give orders to many subordinates at once. The beginning of such a conversation might sound like this:

SWD to everybody. Stop and prepare to meet 5 to 10 enemies for 11 hours. Over.

In this broadcast, SWD tells what needs to be done as a subordinate and what to be ready soon. Naturally, to confirm that all fighters have heard the instructions, they must respond.

SWD Alpha. Roger, wilco. Over.

Alpha confirms that he accepted the order and is following it.

Different squads may have a different order of responses to mass transmissions, but, for simplicity, the usual numerical order is most often used.

SWD Betta. Roger, wilco. Over.

Don't interrupt the transmission

Do not start transmission while the broadcast is busy. Start speaking only when the previous speaker has finished the phrase and said over. Interrupting is allowed only in case of emergency.

Don't share personal information

Remember that radio communication is built on a different principle than cellular communication. When you transmit a message, all participants on the air can hear you – that is, all owners of walkie-talkies tuned to the same frequency with you, who are in the reception area. Remember: there are different legal walkie-talkie frequencies in Europe, USA, other countries. Do not transfer confidential information. In extreme cases, you can use the Scrambler mode if your radio has one. But this is not a panacea either: if desired, such a transmission can be decrypted.

Use special language

The quality of radio communications is often not ideal. Your speech may be accompanied by noises, dropouts, echoes. This can lead to confusion and the other person may misinterpret your message. To avoid this, use the walkie-talkie lingo made specifically for this. This is a universal code language, knowing which you will be able to communicate on the walkie-talkie more efficiently. Here are some basic phrases to remember:

  • Affirmative: Yes
  • Negative: No
  • Eyes on: When something or someone is spotted
  • What’s your 20: What is your location
  • Roger that or Roger: Message has been understood
  • Disregard: Ignore the previous message
  • Stand by: I am busy right now, I will call you as soon as possible
  • On it: I am doing what you asked
  • Go for “name”: Acknowledge “name” wants to contact me and I am listening
  • Loud and clear: Your radio is working properly
  • Go again or say again: Transmit your message again
  • Radio check or mic check: Is my radio working properly?
  • Do you copy: Can you hear me properly?
  • Over and out: Finished transmission and waiting for your reply

More about walkie-talkie lingo codes read in our other article.

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