A Simple Guide to: How to Use Motorola Walkie Talkie

Do you copy, over? Loud and clear, over. If you have never experienced such transmissions, you are missing out on the fun and simplicity associated with the two-way radios. In the market, you will find Motorola as one of the most trustable brands featuring reliable and robust walkie talkies. However, if you have bought one, you can enjoy its features only if you know the answer to “how to use Motorola walkie talkie skillfully?”

Finding an answer to this burning question involves researching the various components built-in to the radio. One should know about the working and modulation of each feature associated. This requires spending hours reading user manuals and searching on the internet. Nevertheless, to save you from biting the bullet, we have done the legwork to explain the working of walkie talkie in the simplest manner. Take a closer look at the article to find a solution to all your confusions related to operating radios.

What a Walkie Talkie Comprises?

Prior understanding of the basic components of a walkie talkie can lend a hand in grasping the functioning of it. Generally, be it Motorola, Midland, Baofeng or any other walkie talkie, you will find the following constituents integrated into it:

  • Antenna: Integrated on the top of the radio, the antenna plays a key role in sending or receiving RF signals. Also, the antennas are mostly detachable allowing the user to remove them when not in need.
  • PTT button: The push-to-talk button is generally located on the side of the radio. For transmitting, the user is required to push the PTT button and record their message.
  • LCD display: Updates the user about the current status of the radio like battery level, signal strength, current channel etc.
  • Accessory port: Used to connect extra accessories like earphones or wireless earpiece.
  • Speaker and Microphone: Installed on the front, the microphone records the transmissions while the speaker works for better reception.
  • Volume Knob/On-Off Button: Integrated on the top of the radio. The knob is multipurpose, as it can switch the radio on/off or can adjust the volume as well.
  • Belt clip: Located on the backside of the walkie talkie. This enables carrying the walkie talkie easily by attaching it to the belt.
  • Channel selector: A tall knob found on the top of the radio. Used to dial in the active bands.
  • Battery: The radio may work on either the rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries, or both. You can locate the battery port on the backside.  

A Step by Step Guide to Use Motorola Walkie Talkie

Step 1: Power on the Radio

To switch on the radio, turn the dedicated knob in a clockwise direction. Once the radio turns on, it will beep a signal to update you. On further rotating the knob in a clockwise direction, the volume of your walkie talkie increases.

In contrast, if you want to switch off the radio, turn the knob in the counterclockwise direction. As you move in the opposite direction the volume will decrease and consequently at the endpoint, the radio will shut-off.

Step 2: Switch to the Right Channel

Rotate the channel selector on top to change the channel number. Decide a channel with your mates, and tune it using this selector. You can also verify the channel number by checking the display containing information.

Sometimes, your radio comes with different zone options. This means the channels are distributed into different groups called zones. This division secures clear transmission by restricting the access of those operating in other zones. You can decide and transmit at a particular zone by pressing the P1 button on the keypad. The available zones will appear on the display, click the directional arrow to change the zone. Press OK to secure the desired zone and you are all set to start transmitting.

Step 3: Start Transmitting

On pressing and holding the PTT button, you will hear a talk permit tone. This means your radio is ready to record a message. While recording, you should speak in a clear voice and a normal tone. Shouting on the microphone or speaking quickly will make the comprehension of the message difficult at the receiving end. 

Also, deliver the message in a concise and simplistic language. If you want to transmit a long note, divide it into short sentences and deliver them one by one. Calling the name of the receiver and transmitter ensures that your message is heard by the right person. In an emergency, mentioning your name and exact location multiple times can make rapid rescuing possible.

However, since the band you are transmitting through is used by multiple users, sharing confidential information is not recommended unless you secure your transmission by several CTCSS or DTS tones.

Step 4: Listen to the Receptions

Release the PTT button and wait for the radio to receive and play the messages. Holding the radio vertical and higher in the air can result in smooth receptions. The same rule applies for transmissions, by doing so the transmitted signals scatter in all directions with equal strength.

Nonetheless, make sure you hold the radio at least 1 inch away from your lips and nose to reduce RF exposure. Not using the radio more than 50% of the day and wearing it using the Motorola provided clip, holster or case will also help in reducing your exposure to RF signals.

Step 5: Changing the Battery (Optional)

Your radio might not deliver the message efficiently in case of a low battery, keep a continuous check on the battery to ensure your transmission is delivered in full-strength signals. Generally, a rechargeable battery lasts for around 6 to 8 hours after fully charged. For battery replacement, you will find a battery latch integrated onto the bottom. By pushing it, you can remove and replace the battery with the fresh one.

Step 6: Connect Accessories (Optional)

A built-in accessory port is sited on the side of the radio. This assists the user to communicate in hands-free mode. You can connect a speaker microphone, a surveillance kit or a headset to the walkie talkie by using this port. Once the accessory has been rightly attached, the radio will beep a tone through it.

Operating the Extra Features

The following features are not necessarily a part of every Motorola walkie talkie. However, if yours contain any of them, here is how you can activate them:

Weather Channels

The walkie talkie might have access to the weather channels. This allows the user to listen to weather forecasts or other updates from NOAA and Environment Canada. To activate a weather band, enter the weather mode by pressing the mode button. Afterwards, by pressing the menu button, weather channels will start appearing on the display. Scroll through the channels and secure the one having the strongest reception by holding on the PTT button. 

Keypad Lock

This feature prevents unintended changes in the radio by locking the keypad. To activate the feature, press and hold on to the menu button until the lock symbol appears on the display. Now you can continue monitoring and transmitting through the channels or switch the radio on/off. Other than that, all features are seized until the keypad lock function is deactivated. To deactivate, press and hold the menu button again until the lock symbol disappears from the display.

Scanning Channels

This feature helps the user in switching the most active band swiftly without manual searching. To activate it, press the dedicated button for long until the scanning symbol appears on the LCD. The radio will start scanning through the available channels and stops when a channel combination similar to your radio is found. 

If you want to stick to the scanned channel, press the PTT button to send a message within 5 seconds or the walkie talkie will start scanning again. For disabling the function, press and hold the dedicated button again until the symbol disappears.


Although the cellphones have taken the responsibility of rendering smooth communications, they have not succeeded in departing the walkie talkies from the market. The reason is simplicity, durability and reliability associated with the two-way radios. Moreover, where the cellphone fails, the old-school walkie talkies appear as a blessing in disguise.

Notwithstanding the simplicity of two-way radios, learning to operate them is required to start enjoying clear transmissions. Hope the guide has assisted you in understanding what the walkie talkie comprises and how it can function smoothly.