Motorola MH230 Won't Transmit

Hi! A few years ago I bought my son a pair of Motorola Talkabouts MH230 (r?). They’ve always worked wonderfully for his needs (biking in the woods with friends.) Yesterday he brought to my attention that only one will transmit. They are charged, on the same channels, etc. The ‘broken’ one can receive from the other one. When you press the PTT on the ‘broken’ one, it quickly flashes to a red screen with all of the indication icons showing, then beeps as if the transmission has ended. This happens whether you hold down the PTT button or release it immediately. Is there a way to fix this issue? Thanks so much for your time!

Welcome to the forum!
This can indicate insufficient power to transmit. Are you using the original rechargeable battery packs in these radios?

Rechargeable battery packs typically have a life cycle of 3 to 5 years. As they age, the battery indicator can recognize them as fully charged, but the batteries may not have sufficient power to transmit.

If you are using the rechargeable NiMH battery packs, try replacing the battery pack in the “broken” unit with fresh alkaline batteries. The MH230R should take three AAA batteries. If the alkalines resolve the issue, your battery pack has reached its End of Life and will need to be replaced. You could choose to stick with alkaline batteries, but that can get expensive if your son uses the radios a lot. If you choose to replace them, we do carry replacement battery packs for the Motorola Talkabout MH230R.

If swapping the battery pack with fresh alkaline batteries does not resolve the issue, it is possible something may be shorted in the radio. The MH230R was discontinued several years ago, and isn’t user serviceable, so if the radio is damaged, you may need to replace it. Fortunately, FRS radios sold in the US are compatible with one another, so you should be able to replace your “broken” Talkabout with an FCC approved FRS radio from either Motorola or another manufacturer without ditching the working one.

Here are some helpful troubleshooting steps if your radio may be damaged.

Uncertain if it applies here, but because the control logic in modern radios is designed to inhibit TX under critical fault condition (a lack of available DC current from a Duff battery can fall into that scope), it could be anything from a sick battery through a PLL being unable to lock due to voltage instability (which a sick battery can cause) or even a PA module fault can on some radios cause a TX inhibit.

Some do that if there’s a short or severe mismatch of SWR.

But either way, unless a sick battery is replaceable by being removable without cracking open that radio itself - it’s not user serviceable and in that case requires certified personnel to install/replace internal batteries to keep the unit’s TA intact.

But Rick has noted it’s not User Serviceable, so his advice stands over what you can do - my input was more to highlight lesser known potential causes.