Squelch Settings

Squelch Settings

 By Kenton Andersen

“Squelch Level” is a feature of every radio – it silences your speaker until a strong signal is received. Note: “Squelch Codes” are an extension; they silence the speaker until someone transmits a strong signal combined with a code you’ve selected. See our other tech tip, “Privacy Codes & Sub-channels”.

CB users will be familiar with the “squelch knob”. Basically, the knob defines how strong the signal must be before it turns on the speaker. When set correctly, distant static is blocked but nearby voices are heard. The biggest problem with CB is that strong, nearby interference will overcome the squelch setting and blast thru the speaker.

Guess what? FRS and GMRS radios also have squelch settings. Less-expensive radios will be set at the factory and you can’t change them. Most GMRS radios do allow the squelch level to be set, but with a menu instead of knob.

The good news is that these squelch settings are “set-and-forget”. When you are hooked up to an antenna, open the setting menu, pick the lowest number, then go up until you no longer hear static. Lock in the setting. What about the problem of strong, nearby interference when you are out driving? The CB radio uses AM, which amplifies the static.  FRS-GMRS radios receive FM, which suppresses the static.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here belong to the author and not the Windy City Miata Club, Inc. or its officers. The Windy City Miata Club, Inc., assumes no liability for possible damages.