VHF Radio won't transmit - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2007
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Chris-
Absolutely not. If your antenna is faulty, or the antenna connection is faulty, or there's a bad connection to the antenna--you'll just have the same problems with a new radio, and perhaps fry it as well.

See if you can test out your radio, in a radio shop or chandlery or with someone else's boat where you know the antenna is good. Or try the $44 emergency antenna, it's something you can always keep on the boat since antennas up the mast often fail anyhow.

Some radio shops might even check the radio out for you (to see if it is transmitting at all) for nothing if you come in when things are slow, it only takes a couple of minutes.
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Old 07-12-2007
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I second the motion to check the antenna with an SWR meter. If you end up replacing your radio, I'd suggest Icom. While Uniden is also a good name, Icom's been around a while and I've had the best luck with their products of the ones I've owned. They make ham gear as well as marine radios, and hams can be a fussy bunch.

Mark
Lake St. Clair, MI
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Old 07-13-2007
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Scurvy,

Agree w/what SD said: Re: Hand-held vs. mounted radio wrt range. I'd maybe have a hand-held as a backup, but never as my primary.

To all suggesting he check his antenna with an SWR meter: That'll only work if his transmitter is actually transmitting anything . If the antenna system is at fault, it sounds like it's so bad either his transmitter is immediately shutting-down to protect itself or its fried.

Scurvy, you might also check the thread entitled "VHF Problem," in this sub-forum. (I tried to post a link, but the posting software wouldn't render it properly.) It was about a disfunctional antenna.

Good luck!

Jim

Last edited by SEMIJim; 07-13-2007 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 07-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Scurvy-

I'd seriously reconsider getting just a handheld unit. The handheld units, while very convenient, do have the problem that they are much more limited in range and power. Also, most of the handhelds, excepting a few by SH and Uniden, don't support DSC, and the ones that do only support the emergency features of DSC.
Thanks Sailingdog! Already considered that. For the next few years, we will be doing daysails and overnights coastal cruising....no more than 4-5 miles out. We have three children, two under the age of 3, so it will more than likely be limited to day trips in the bay. I will save the pennies in the meantime and get a better Built-in VHF unit that does support DSC, etc...

Just need a quick and inexpensive fix to get us through the season.
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Old 07-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim
Scurvy,

Agree w/what SD said: Re: Hand-held vs. mounted radio wrt range. I'd maybe have a hand-held as a backup, but never as my primary.

To all suggesting he check his antenna with an SWR meter: That'll only work if his transmitter is actually transmitting anything . If the antenna system is at fault, it sounds like it's so bad either his transmitter is immediately shutting-down to protect itself or its fried. Good luck! Jim
Thanks Jim,
Just purchased a new antenna and will run up the mast this weekend. The antenna may have been damaged when the mast was stepped? Everything seemed to be working fine before she went into the water???

Thanks
Chris
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Old 07-13-2007
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Glad to help Scurvy... have a couple of oranges on me...
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antenna can not be faulty, if anything, its the wiring, the first thing i would do, is hookup (or just hold it there) an automotive bulb 12v 20w(?) where the plug from the antenna goes on your radio, and pres transmit (TX) on your radio, see if the bulb lights up, that should not be done over longer period of times that a fraction of the second. If it does, it will tell you that your radio is transmitting. Get a coat hanger just like somebody suggested here, and see if you can talk to someone using that Check the wiring, plugs, solder points etc on the cable. Sometimes its also possible for the radio to get missaligned, but i doubt that it would get that bad, and your buddy wouldnt hear you at all.
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Old 07-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Everlong
antenna can not be faulty, if anything, its the wiring, the first thing i would do, is hookup (or just hold it there) an automotive bulb 12v 20w(?) where the plug from the antenna goes on your radio, and pres transmit (TX) on your radio, see if the bulb lights up, that should not be done over longer period of times that a fraction of the second.
Hi Everlong!

WOW...really??? I have never heard of this method. I will back check all the connections, though they all seemed to be pretty good, but I will take them apart and readjust to make sure. How can you be so sure that it isn't the antenna? Just curoius...?

Chris
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Old 07-14-2007
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Antennas almost never go "bad" what goes bd is the connection between them and your radio...at the ends or through moisture leaching in under the cable cover over time and destroying the electrical conductivity of the cable. Do NOT install your new antenna until you have checked out the other stuff I and others have advised. You will more than likely want to get your $$ back.
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Old 07-14-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Antennas almost never go "bad" what goes bd is the connection between them and your radio...at the ends or through moisture leaching in under the cable cover over time and destroying the electrical conductivity of the cable.
The only section that was not replaced was the bit of coax that runs
from the radio to the connection at the mast. Perhaps this has gone bad, or the
connectors are not compatible (too old or corroded) though I visually inspected them earlier and they seemed fine? I can always replace the coax that connects the antenna to the unit.

I need to find someone at the club that will let me test out on their system to see if in fact it is either the connection(s) on my end, or that the radio is shot. Will take it from there. I will hold off on the antenna, but will hold on to it for the future (got a sweet deal on it, so no biggy!)

Chris
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