While it’s mainly a local VHF/UHF communications issue, stuck microphones can be a real problem.
A stuck mic situation is when a radio operator inadvertently transmits for an extended time because they have unintentionally triggered the push to talk or transmit switch on their radio. Consequences of a stuck mic range from being a nuisance to a life-threatening disruption. At best a stuck mic ties up a repeater or simplex frequency with dead air or noise. At worst it blocks urgent communication during a disaster net or public service event.
One common stuck mic situation involves a mobile unit with the hand-held mic loose in the vehicle where it might get wedged into the seat to trigger the PTT button. Best practice here is to keep the mic clipped into a hanger when not being used to minimize inadvertent transmission.
Another common situation involves mic accessories with HTs during a public service event or emergency deployment. When using a speaker-mic or headset, ensure that the PTT button is protected from accidental triggering. Also, the Yaesu FT-60 is a wonderful handheld radio and many hams have them, but they (and others like them) have a squirrely speaker/mic jack that is prone to false triggers when the connector is not seated completely. So make sure your accessory is connected securely and not prone to pulling out when the radio is clipped to your belt or in a pocket or something like that.
In any case, awareness is our first line of defense. Be aware that a stuck mic is a problem and that you might be the culprit.
Keep an eye on your transmit light to make sure it’s not on when Continue reading