Handheld two-way radio devices operate on battery power so it is important to make sure their batteries last as long as possible. Most radio transmissions take on an average of 5 seconds. A transmission of a single long duration may indicate there is something faulty with the device, or perhaps the Talk button has been pressed for a long time. This will exhaust the battery and also tie up the channel frequency. To avoid this situation, the Timeout Timer feature of a two-way radio comes into play.

This feature will stop the transmission of the two-way radio if the radio is transmitting for a long duration. In some models, if the Push-To-Talk button is pressed for 60 continuous seconds, the radio device emits a warning tone and stops transmitting.

Some radios may also have a Penalty Timer which starts after the Time-Out Timer is over. The Penalty Timer keeps the unit from transmitting for an additional length of time.

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