Installing radio - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2012
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Installing radio

I am trying to install radio and while it seems like a simple task (just connect the power and the antenna) it doesn't seem to be transmitting.
I can hear people talking on different channels, but when I try to transmit no-one seems to hear me.
What would be the best way to test and what could be the reason I don't transmit the signal?

I got the radio from previous owner, it was in open box, but looked like new.
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Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Installing radio

With a bad antenna or cable or bad cable connection you could get the symptoms you describe. The best way to prove or disprove this is an SWR check. A local Ham radio person or club can do it. It is a quick and easy test.

For the time being, I would stop transmitting. A bad antenna or cable could potentially harm the transmitter in the radio. It is ok to receive.
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Re: Installing radio

Is there something I can make and antenna? Also - how about grounding, is it very important? I connected the radio to the engine as a ground.
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Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Installing radio

What is the brand and model of the radio and antenna you wish to install? Are you grounding the frame of the radio to the engine? The ground through the negative (black lead) should be sufficient. If you are grounding the frame, try disconnecting it, then do your transmission test and report back.
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Re: Installing radio

STANDARD HORIZON GX1150 Eclipse DSC+

At first I just connected the black and red wires, then when it didn't work I also grounded the frame. Both didn't work.
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Old 07-12-2012
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Re: Installing radio

You should be able to get the wiring instructions and some trouble shooting instruction on line from Sandard Horizon's website.
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Re: Installing radio

I have a suggestion : the radio is transmitting and they didn't reply. The people you could hear could be out of range of your transmissions, especially if you selected 1W power. From your wording it also sounds like you tried transmitting on frequencies other than 16, which is inappropriate - conversations should normally be established on 16 and then switch to 68, 69, 71, or 72.

Radio checks on 16 are illegal so that might be another reason they didn't answer.

The best ways to check the radio are to use SeaTow's automatic radio check :

Locations & Coverage | Sea Tow

or to find someone else in your marina and arrange to call them, firstly in the marina and then when one or both of you are out.

NB, I had an Eclipse 1150 and I just connected + and - to the battery, and the antenna. That's all you need.

I have heard of bad wiring / connections causing the issue you describe - the radio works fine in receive, but then you go to transmit, the radio uses a lot more current and the voltage drops.
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Last edited by MarkSF; 07-12-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 07-12-2012
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Re: Installing radio

Hey,

As mentioned, you need to make three connections: Power, Ground, and Antenna.

If you try to transmit with out an antenna connected you can damage the radio. So, before you do anything else, make sure you have an antenna connected. Note that you can receive (hear) strong signals without an antenna connected, but you can't transmit AT ALL without one.

good luck,
Barry
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Re: Installing radio

I used different channels to do radio test - the sea tow, the local channel for pumping sewage (they should have heard me since they are really close, etc.) and they all didn't answer.

I don't think using channel 16 is illegal (it is not advisable, but not prohibited) and I heard someone making radio check end people answered on 16. I actually read about using channel 16 in Sailing for Dummies book:

Quote:
Radio check: Once or twice a year and before a major trip, check your
radio by tuning to Channel 16 and calling ďAny vessel, any vessel. This is
the yacht Babbalubba, calling for a radio check. Over.Ē Donít waste the
USCGís time with a radio-check request.
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Re: Installing radio

I was taught to never make a radio check on 16, and in my area, the Coast Guard will chastise you if you try. And calling any vessel is also frowned on. Channel 16 is for hailing vessels only, and emergencies. You can make a radio check on 16 by hailing a vessel you hear on 16 by name, request another channel and moving to that channel to ask for a radio check. The best bet is the Seatow automated service is there is one in your area.

If your radio is receiving but not transmitting, either the radio has a transmit problem, or the antenna has an issue. Check your connectors. The radio was an open box, so maybe it was damaged before you got it.

There was one more issue that a friend did and thought his radio was broken. He had the radio on low power (1 watt) and couldn't get anyone at a distance to call him back.
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