Radio Doc -- Diagnosis Steps
Free professional diagnosis on 2-way radio problems.
Submit your question(s) to the Radio Doc by following these 2 simple steps:
- Contact our Diagnostic Staff by email with the subject line of your email being "Radio Doc".
Include the following information:
- Radio Brand
- Model Name
- Model Number
- Battery Date Code
- Description of problem or symptoms
We do our best to give you an immediate suggestion as to your particular radio problem. Remember that we help many customers monthly with their radio problems. It may take us 48 hours to reply.
You may ask yourself why or how we offer this service for free. The reasons are simple. eradiostore.com Radio Doc was created to save you money by allowing you to troubleshoot your own radios. Some radio problems are simple to diagnose and easy to fix. We just give you the information that you need to make an intelligent decision. We hope that you have found our service helpful. And in the future if you need radios, accessories or repair, we hope you will choose eradiostore.com .
A FEW COMMON SOLUTIONS:
CP100, XTN, SP21 (or Spirit M series) radio will not talk to other radios as it once did
Your radio is possibly off frequency or off code. Find a working radio of the same type and call us at 800-872-2627. We will walk you through reprogramming your radio over the phone.
Radio beeps then shuts off
Your battery is dead or installed incorrectly. Check for correct placement then charge the radio overnight again. (Be certain the radio is always turned off when on the charger.)
If the problem persists you have a problem with your battery, radio or charger. Below are several troubleshooting tips to help determine which one is the culprit.
Charger: Check your charger for debris. If using a wall charger check to see if the tip is broken. Does the light on the charger come on when the turned-off radio is attached? If the light does not work on the charger, it needs replaced. (Chargers are like light bulbs, they burn out over time.) Flashing light: on a wall charger, it is bad, replace it; on a desktop charger there is an error possibly with the battery you are trying to charge.
Battery: Check your battery contacts for dirt or debris. Clean contacts with a pencil eraser if needed.
Check your battery date code. Motorola battery date codes are a 3 or 4-digit number followed by 2 letters, usually in a white box on the back of the radio. 3-digit example 812 MK, first digit is the year, example "8" is 2008, the next 2 digits are the week of the year, example "12" is the 12th week. 4-digit codes read similarly with the first two digits being the year, next two the week of the year. You may need to replace the battery. NiCd, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries typically last around 2 years before needing replaced (with some types being less). Date codes from differ between manufacturers, call if you need assistance.
Try another battery from a working radio in the problem radio. If this corrects the problem you may need a new battery.
Radio: Check your battery contacts inside the radio. Do they fit snuggly against the battery? If not, you can carefully adjust them. (Remember to always put the top of the battery in first, then push in the bottom. This will avoid pushing the contacts too far up into the radio.)
If you still have a problem, your radio is in need of repair. Use the PDF repair form at www.eradiostore.com to send your radio for repair.
Radios have various reasons for beeping. Please refer to your owners manual for more information. It will most likely ask you what tone of beep (low, medium or high) and how many beeps. Every radio is different when it comes to beeps.
Battery does not go all day, or as long as it used to
Using the 5/5/90 rule, your radio should last approx. 8-10 hours on a charge (exceptions do exist). 5/5/90 = 5% of the time transmit, 5% of the time receiving, 90% of the time standby. If you use your radio more often, your battery will run down quicker.
You may have a bad battery or poor charging habits. When you get a new battery you should charge it on a standard rate charger for 12-16 hours to fully activate the chemical in the battery. Once you have done this each subsequent charge should be after you have used your radio 8-10 hours or ran the battery down. Do not get in the habit of putting the battery on the charger when coming in for lunch or after using the radio only a few hours. This will cause air bubbles in the chemical, also known as "memory".
If your battery is more than 18-24 months old, you need to replace it.
Radio is noisy around computers and electronic equipment
Unfortunately this is a growing issue. Computers are supposed to have filters to keep them from interfering with radios. If your computer is new, contact the dealer and ask for them to correct the problem. Otherwise use the following tips: Coil and secure all excess cabling. This cabling can act as an antenna and transmit noise. Move your radios away from the culprit. Try not to have cabling ran overhead in the ceiling of your office. Remember height and placement of the antenna on your radio determines range. If your computer cabling is ran up high it will transmit noise a greater distance.
Radio will transmit and not receive
Private Line (toneboard) not working, or set incorrectly.
In older crystal type radios, you may have a defective receive crystal. If so your radio is in need of repair.
If neither of the above are true, your radio is in need of repair.
Radio will receive and not transmit
Low or defective battery. (It takes more power to transmit than to receive)
Private Line (aka PL, quiet call, tone code, toneboard) missing, not working, or set incorrectly.
In older crystal type radios, you may have a defective transmit crystal. If so your radio is in need of repair.
If none of the above are true, your radio is in need of repair.
Radio range has changed, will not talk very far
Check your antenna for visible damage. Replace if necessary. (Side note: make certain you are using the correct antenna, VHF and UHF are not interchangeable. Stubby antennas will reduce range.)
If a programmable radio, check your frequency. You may have accidentally changed the radio to a nearby freq.
How are you holding the radio? Hold the radio upright with the antenna perpendicular to the ground will give you the most range. (Tilting the radio will reduce your range up to 30%)