Q. Why is CTCSS/DCS a Distributor programming function?
A. CTCSS/DCS is very rarely used by the average operator, and its use is generally specific, more often in the commercial sector. Also it doesn’t give true privacy, as some think. Over the years we have just seen too many people accidentally activate this function, not be aware or understand what it does, and then think that their radio is broken because no one will talk to them – so we thought it best to remove this from keypad access, making these radio easier to use. CTCSS/DCS can be programmed in by the Distributors or Approved Agents for those that require it.
Q. You mention a Battery Save Feature available, what is that?
A. This is also another Distributor programming function for those that require it. The Battery Save Feature on FDP Radios extends battery life greatly, even up to several days of receive. Radios (not just FDP) with battery save can have a ‘receive lag’ or delay of 1/2 second or so on receiving a signal when in standby mode. This can be an issue in some industries, which is why we turned the battery save off as default, and because our high capacity 1500mAh Li-ion Battery should still give you a full days typical use.
We do supply several organisations with the battery save active, as they may require extended days usage away from the grid (Rescue Organisations) or have very heavy transmit usage (typically intensive Traffic Control operations). Often these particular organisations train their operators in correct (old school) radio protocol ie, press the PTT (push to talk), pause then talk. When using correct radio proceedures, the battery save feature, when activated, is not an issue. Correct radio proceedure also includes talking in a normal voice across the microphone, not directly into the microphone.
Q. When working with some traffic controllers, they say my radio is low in volume on their radios or they cant hear me, what can I do?
A. The fault is not with your radio. You will find that the other operator is using an older 40CH wideband radio or using an illegal import, programmed in wideband. Any of the newer 80CH narrowband Type Approved radios will sound lower in volume on an older 40CH wideband radio. One adjusts the volume for best clarity. This will become less and less of an problem as 80CH becomes the norm. The ACMA requires this issue to be mentioned in all new radios manuals as part of type approval to Australian Standards. The ACMA intends to make the use of 40CH wideband illegal in the next few years. Some of the older 40CH radios – particularly cheap low wattage types, are simply deaf, when it comes to receiving narrowband transmissions.