Hearing interference on your two-way radio?

Hearing interference on a two-way radio (walkie talkie) solution is a common complaint which people come to us for help and which, happily, we can find a solution to.

But to understand the solutions, you need to understand the issues that are causing the walkie talkie interference in the first place.

The first is background noise. The audio on your radio (walkie talkie) is fine in theory but it is being drowned out by activities in the background. This is particularly pertinent in a work environment where heavy machinery and vehicles are in use. The radio (walkie talkie) user ends up having to shout to try to make themselves heard. Fortunately, modern two-way digital radios have background noise cancelling capabilities built in, so that conversations can be clearly heard.

Losing coverage is the second issue, whereby conversations are lost, cut short, or sound like a strained whisper. Sometimes this can be down to batteries in that they are not charged up properly or have not been replaced at the recommended time. In our experience, it is more likely that your site does not have enough coverage and requires a repeater to boost the signal. We have designed many replacement solutions where this has been the case, especially in challenging topographical areas.

Overhearing other conversations is number three on the irritants’ list. It also means that other people can probably hear you too. This occurs when you have unlicensed radios as they share their frequencies with others. If you want to avoid this, you need a licence from Ofcom so you can enjoy your own private network. At PCE, we handle the licencing process for our customers to remove the hassle of this administrative task.

Number four – lack of discretion. With the most basic walkie-talkies, it is clear that everyone around you can hear your conversation. The simplest solution is to purchase one of a range of ear-pieces. You can also use text messaging on most models of digital two-way radios for true one-to-one communication when privacy is really needed.

The last issue is the location you use your radio in within your workplace. Similar to the coverage issue, interference can occur when you use two-way radios in the basement or in a lift. These are known as black spots and these can be potentially dangerous in an emergency. We were faced with this very issue when installing a solution for an aquarium. We used a bespoke antenna system to boost the signal throughout the multi-floored building which is largely underground. Similar solutions would be required for businesses with multiple floors and lifts


So here are your five main issues, but they all have solutions. There is no reason why your business should suffer any interference on your two-way radio solution (walkie talkie) .

Marius Coetzee Senior Engineer