Battery on a VHF radio? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By MarkSF
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 03-03-2012
L124C's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,388
Thanks: 48
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 8
L124C is on a distinguished road
Battery on a VHF radio?

I have a West Marine 500dsc VHF (hard wired) radio. When I key the mic, a message has started to appear on the screen "Battery Low". I looked in the manual, and found nothing about a battery. I called WM and the "tech" said it might have something to do with memory, but he didn't know anything about a battery. He referred me to Uniden (the manufacturer) customer service. The automated service asked me to leave my number so they could contact me. They never did. I went to a WM store, told the clerk the story. He was clueless. I told him that Uniden never contacted me. He laughed and said "they never do" (just what I wanted to hear!). I've taken the radio and mic apart and don't see a battery.
Another issue the radio has (I know...time for a new radio!) is that the on/off switch is defective. If I turn it off, it may take a while (sometimes hours) to turn on. If I turn it off by unplugging the power supply, it turns on instantly. The volume (same switch) works perfectly.

Last edited by L124C; 03-03-2012 at 12:32 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 03-03-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 2
Thanked 45 Times in 45 Posts
Rep Power: 4
MarkSF is on a distinguished road
Your radio is telling you that it is getting a low voltage from the 12V battery IN THE BOAT. This could be because it is flat, or because the wiring has an issue.

The fact that this warning appears when you key the mike, which is the only time the radio uses any real power, suggests that you have an issue with a voltage drop in the wiring. Got an inline fuse holder? Check for corrosion in the connections.

Do you have a voltmeter?

PS, got a 9-month-old Standard Horizon Eclipse DSC+, GX1150, here in a box. It just got back from SH, where it was having the MMSI no. deleted. Make me an offer!

PPS, Standard Horizon's customer service has been outstanding.
L124C likes this.
__________________
1984 Bristol 31.1
Alameda, California, USA

Last edited by MarkSF; 03-03-2012 at 01:53 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 03-03-2012
JimsCAL's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Glen Cove, NY
Posts: 2,497
Thanks: 2
Thanked 46 Times in 42 Posts
Rep Power: 8
JimsCAL is on a distinguished road
I agree with Mark. Voltage drop in the power supply wiring somewhere. Check all the connections. Same thing happened to me on my previous boat.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 03-03-2012
L124C's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,388
Thanks: 48
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 8
L124C is on a distinguished road
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Your radio is telling you that it is getting a low voltage from the 12V battery IN THE BOAT. This could be because it is flat, or because the wiring has an issue.
The fact that this warning appears when you key the mike, which is the only time the radio uses any real power, suggests that you have an issue with a voltage drop in the wiring. Got an inline fuse holder? Check for corrosion in the connections.
Do you have a voltmeter?
PS, got a 9-month-old Standard Horizon Eclipse DSC+, GX1150, here in a box. It just got back from SH, where it was having the MMSI no. deleted. Make me an offer!
PPS, Standard Horizon's customer service has been outstanding.
I asked the on line WM guy if that could be the issue. He ruled it out. Should have been in the trouble shooting section, or at least mentioned in the manual anyway! Here I was pulling the radio apart looking for a battery!
Even funnier...when I took the radio into WM, the clerk asked: "Do you want to exchange it?" I said "sure!" (it's probably 8 years old). He offered me a Standard Horizons that would have worked nicely. Even the mounting bracket looked the same, but I wasn't sure, so I asked: "They don't make this model anymore?". He went to check, came back and said "sorry...they discontinued this model, so I can't exchange it." Kicked myself all the way home! Thanks for the info, gotta love this forum!

Last edited by L124C; 03-03-2012 at 12:11 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 03-08-2012
L124C's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,388
Thanks: 48
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 8
L124C is on a distinguished road
Found it!

Traced the wires and found a bad connection at the pos. battery bus. Took me about an hour to trace because I automatically ruled out the wires that in fact, connected the radio to the bus. Both pos and neg were blue, and about 4 times larger than they needed to be. They traveled much farther than they needed to, in order to connect to the factory VHF wires. Another mess I need to clean up. Better now than when I need the radio! I have most of the wiring cleaned up and identified, but if I did it all at once, it would have taken me a week! However, in retrospect, I guess blue wires should have drawn my attention!
Interestingly, the factory wires are red and black, and are not tinned.
Anyway...thanks again Marksf!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 03-08-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 2
Thanked 45 Times in 45 Posts
Rep Power: 4
MarkSF is on a distinguished road
Re: Battery on a VHF radio?

Splendid news!

Now I keep about 50ft of 2 core, red and yellow, with a white sheath, tinned boat cable on board. So if I ever need to do some wiring I can do it properly and won't be tempted to use something that came to hand.
__________________
1984 Bristol 31.1
Alameda, California, USA
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Radio battery backup FastbackFill Gear & Maintenance 13 12-17-2011 04:12 PM
Getting AM radio stations on VHF Radio L124C Electronics 20 07-01-2010 03:23 PM
Battery Chargers for Multiple Battery Banks btrayfors Electrical Systems 5 11-15-2009 12:57 PM
New Battery charger (unplugged) causes spark on battery post!! Northeaster Gear & Maintenance 15 11-17-2008 09:30 PM
Sizing a Battery Charger for Windlass Battery btrayfors Gear & Maintenance 9 04-11-2007 01:43 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:58 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.