Monday, April 1, 2013

Radio Voice Quality

I've been challenged this week to improve my radio quality, and it's been somewhat of a challenge. There are several key things which can improve/degrade quality, which I will cover.

The most important thing to your quality is to set the gain on the microphone correctly. Perhaps you've heard distorted signals, where the voice is too high, and it just sounds terrible. This comes from people who have their gain turned up too high. The reasons vary slightly, but the bottom line is that voice is a wave, and if your gain is too high, it chops off the peaks of your signal. This causes the sound to sound terrible. The solution in this case is to either turn the gain down, or at least speak further from the microphone, and softer.

Another common problem is a voice that is too soft. In this case, the solution is to turn up the microphone gain, while being careful to not turn it up too high. This will usually take care of this problem quite quickly.

Other problems are more complex. A common problem is that the antenna is too close to the transmitter. When this happens, RF noise can get into the microphone, and cause some distortion. The solution is to either turn down the power, or better yet, get the transmitter and the antenna further away from each other.

Often, a user doesn't have quite enough power to communicate easily. The only real solution in that case is to increase the power. It is generally speaking polite to mention this to a user politely, and if they can do something, they will.

Bottom line, have fun. Getting your signal to improve will increase your enjoyment of the hobby, and make it easier to talk to others. Good luck!

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