TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 19.32 DATE: August 11, 2019
SUBJECT: WATCH THOSE MICROPHONES, ETC.
Do you know where your microphone is? Fire, Police, Rescue, and Ambulance personal are the people who are most likely to forget to hang their radio microphone back up after they use them. What's the reason they are most likely to forget where their microphone is? Their minds are on the emergency at hand. While they are in route to an emergency, they will more than likely hang the microphone back up where it belongs. But, after they arrive at the scene of the emergency, their minds are on suppressing the emergency. From time to time they may go back to their vehicle to talk on the radio, and when finished, they just leave the microphone laying in the seat or on the floor of the vehicle. With the microphone laying on the seat or floor, it's easily keyed by either sitting on it, or having something placed on top of it. In either case the radio gets keyed and ties up the frequency until they need the microphone, move themselves or the item keying the microphone, or notice the problem.
Another problem is Walkie-Talkies (Handheld radio's) that are carried in the back pocket. They to have a good chance of being keyed accidently, especially when you sit down with the radio in your back pocket. Some radios have a built-in timer that will only allow the radio to stay keyed for some period, and then stop transmitting. While the radio or Walkie-Talkie is keyed up, the radio system may be unusable and could cause delays of important transmissions.
There's one thing to remember in any of the previous cases. While the radio system is keyed up, the person with the radio that has it keyed up won't be able to hear his radio, so there's no need to get on the air and ask everyone to check their microphone. You must wait until it unkeys and then attempt to notify all monitors to check the microphones. It's possible the person who had the keyed microphone may hear the transmission and correct the problem before it happens again.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV