Motorola TALKABOUT T38 - Two-Way Radio Manual

Motorola TALKABOUT T38 - Two-Way Radio Manual


Motorola TALKABOUT T38 - Two-Way Radio Manual

Getting to Know Your Radio

Getting to Know Your Radio - Part 1

Getting to Know Your Radio - Part 2

  1. High or Low Power
  2. Transmit or Receive
  3. Mute
  4. Easy Pairing
  5. VOX/iVOX
  6. Call Tone
  7. Battery
  8. Scan
  9. Roger Tone
  10. Monitor
  11. Code
  12. Channel
Buttons Descriptions
  • Press to enter Menu and scroll through the menu screen.
  • Press and hold for two seconds to turn on or off the radio.
  • Press to adjust the volume level.
  • Press to change the settings or trigger action in the menu
  • Press and hold to talk, release to stop transmission.
  • Press to exit menu screen and return to home screen.
EZ-Pairing Copy channel and code settings from radio A to radio B.
  1. Radio B–Hold the button until you hear a beep. The radio is ready to be paired. Multiple radios can be paired simultaneously
  2. Radio A–Hold the button until you hear a double beep. The radio broadcasts channel and code settings for other radios to pair.

Additional Information

Internal Voice Operated Transmission (iVOX)/Voice Operated Transmission (VOX)
The microphone detects if you are talking when using VOX. If you are talking, the radio triggers transmission automatically.

  • When iVOX is displayed, the radio uses the built-in microphone to detect your voice.
  • When a VOX headset is connected to the radio, VOX is displayed and the headset microphone is used to detect your voice.

You can turn off or select the following settings to select the sensitivity level.

L3 High Sensitivity for quiet environments. Speaking softly is enough to trigger VOX transmission.
L2 Medium Sensitivity for most environments
L1 Low Sensitivity for noisy environments. You must speak up to trigger VOX transmission.

Note: Pressing the PTT button cancels the VOX transmission.

Setting up Your Radio

Installing and Charging the Battery

  1. Observe the polarity before installing the battery.
  2. Charge the battery using the desktop charger or USB. Charging is completed when the battery icon on the radio stops blinking. Charging takes up to 8 hours.

Note: Connect the USB charger to a nearby and easily accessible wall power outlet.

Inserting and Removing Belt Clip
Inserting and Removing Belt Clip

Turning your Radio On and Off
To turn the radio on or off, hold the Power/Menu button until the display turns on or off.

Channel and Codes

  • Set your radios with the same channel and code setting to enable communication with other radios.
  • The H/L (High/Low) icon is part of the Channel Number. Ensure all radios in your group show the same H/L icon.
  • The channel setting controls the radio frequency. To avoid jamming, select a channel that is not used by others in your area. See table in Section 3, "Scan" for more information on selecting unused channel.
  • The code setting on the transmitting and receiving radios need to match, otherwise the receiving radio blocks the received signal. This feature helps you to mute unwanted voices from other radio users transmitting on your channel.
  • When code is set to zero, radio does not block any signal and everything that is picked up on the channel is sent to the speaker. Motorola Solutions recommends setting your code to zero when using T38 with radios that do not support the code feature. See Section 3, "Navigating the Menu Pages" for detailed instructions on how to change settings.
  • Channel and code settings can be copied from one radio to multiple radios simultaneously with a shortcut feature called Easy-Pairing. See table in Section 1, "EZ-Pairing" for instruction on how to copy channel and code settings.

Transmission Power

  • In some countries different powers are allowed for different channels. The H/L icon indicates if the current channel is a High or Low power channel. Motorola Solutions recommends you to use high power channels for more reliable communications. Select low power channels only when your radios are not far from each other and you want to maximize the battery life.

Call Tone
When you send a Call Tone, the receiving radio sounds a tone similar to phone ringing tone.

Radio scans for voice activity by cycling through the channels. When signals are detected, the signal is sent to the speaker. This feature allows you to find which channel is being used by other groups and have heavy traffic. This helps you to avoid the busy channels when deciding which channel to use for your group.

You can hear everything including noise on your current radio channel. This feature allows you to monitor a channel for weak signals.

Roger Tone
This feature adds a beep to mark the end of a transmission when you release the PTT button. When the receiver hears the roger tone, it is a confirmation that complete message has been received.

This radio is weatherproof to IP54 standards. The radio is resistant to occasional splash of water only when the battery and connector covers are sealed. Do not expose the radio to water for extended period of time. Do not submerge the radio in water.

Navigating the Menu Pages
Use the Menu button to scroll through the menu screen. Press PTT to exit any screen and return to home screen.

Menu Screen Use the or button to perform the following actions:
Call Tone
Start or stop Call Tone transmission.
Start or stop monitoring the air-wave. You can hear signals transmitted on the channel setting of your radio. If there is no signal, you can hear static.
Press or button to monitor and release to stop. After a few seconds of monitoring, you hear a beep sound. After the beep sound, radio continues to monitor even if you release the button.
To stop monitoring, press or again.
Start or stop scanning the air-wave. Radio scans all the channels one after another. When a signal is detected, you hear the signal on the speaker and the radio displays the channel of the detected signal.
Adjust VOX
To change the Voice Operated Transmission (VOX) setting, select OFF or L1 to L3. L3 being the most sensitive, use it in quiet environments.
Adjust Roger Tone
Enable or disable the roger tone. Roger tone is a beep tone that you hear when PTT is released.
Adjust Channel (Channel number blinks) Change the radio channel setting.
Adjust Code (Code number blinks) Change the radio code setting.

Battery Information
The rated battery life is measured under industrial standard 5-5-90 duty cycle under lab conditions. (5% of the time transmitting, 5% receiving with speaker on, 90% waiting for incoming call.) Turn off the radio while charging.

Battery Capacity Maintenance
The T38 radio comes equipped with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery should be fully charged before initial use to ensure optimum capacity and performance. Battery life is determined by several factors. Among the more critical are the regular overcharge of batteries and the average depth of discharge with each cycle. Typically, the greater the overcharge and the deeper the average discharge, the fewer cycles a battery will last. For example, a battery which is overcharged and discharged 100% several times a day, lasts fewer cycles than a battery that receives less of an overcharge and is discharged to 50% per day. Further, a battery which receives minimal overcharging and averages only 25% discharge, lasts even longer.

Push-to-Talk Time-out Timer
To avoid air-wave traffic congestion, transmission ends after one minute even if the PTT button is still pressed. To reset the timer, release the PTT button briefly.

Using Your Radio


  1. Press and hold the PTT button, then start talking into the microphone.
  2. Release the PTT button to stop transmission.

Note: Do not press the PTT button when others are talking. When more than one radio transmits on the same channel, the air-wave is jammed and all transmissions are lost.


  • The radio speaker receives signal automatically if radio is set to the same channel and code as the transmitting radio.
  • Ensure the speaker volume is set to an appropriate level.

Adjusting Speaker Volume

  1. Press or from the home screen.

Using Headsets

  • When a headset is connected to the radio, radio speaker is disabled. You need to wear headset to monitor and receive messages.
  • If your headset has PTT button, you can use the button to make a transmission with the microphone on the headset.
  • You can still use the PTT button on the radio to make a transmission with the microphone on the radio.

Channel and Frequencies

Channel Frequency (MHz) Channel Frequency (MHz)
1 409.75000 11 409.87500
2 409.76250 12 409.88750
3 409.77500 13 409.90000
4 409.78750 14 409.91250
5 409.80000 15 409.92500
6 409.81250 16 409.93750
7 409.82500 17 409.95000
8 409.83750 18 409.96250
9 409.85000 19 409.97500
10 409.86250 20 409.98750

MOTOROLA, MOTO, MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS and the Stylized M logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC and are used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2020 and 2021 Motorola Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Documents / Resources


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Download Motorola TALKABOUT T38 - Two-Way Radio Manual


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