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1981 Endeavour 32
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey friends - I have discovered my VHF radio has developed some bad static when I transmit......I did a radio check today using the SeaTow automated radio check here and although the programmed message from SeaTow came through crystal clear the recording of my outgoing message came back sounding really statickey (is that a word?). I scanned through the channels and can hear traffic at the cruise port very clearly, so I'm guesing it isn't the antenna. The unit is a Standard Horizon Explorer GX1600 that's about two years old and it has never had a problem until now. Any ideas on what could be causing the outgoing message to have this problem?
 

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Sailor
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929 Posts
Engine running? Sounds like interference. Does it occur when engine is off? Test a number of variables to test for interference.

Tod
 

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It could be the mike or mike cord. Try a repeat with the mike and cord held against something so there is no relative movement between the mike, cord and radio.
 

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1981 Endeavour 32
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies, guys.....last night I tried turning off the shore power and still got the static, and plugged in the ram mic at the helm and got the same thing. This morning I checked the antenna connections at the radio and at the base of the mast where it is spliced in but no luck there either. I checked all the grounding and that all seems secure, too. Puzzling. I'm starting to worry that the radio itself is on it's way out. Reception is still really strong but the transmit has a lot of static.

It looks like a bird has been camping out at the top of the mast judging from the mess on the mainsail cover, so maybe the connection at the masthead has come loose......not sure how I could be getting good reception if that's the case, but that's the only other thing I know to check. Guess I'll check SH customer service and see if they have any tips before I go aloft.
 

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bird guano, etc. could be corrosive up there but I'd try to get a real person to listen to your transmission, to make sure the "static" is in your signal and not an artifact of the way SeaTow's recording is being made. Before you go nuts trying to chase down the gremlin, make sure it IS your gremlin, not theirs.

It can also be worth making, or picking up, an "emergency antenna" that plugs directly into the back of your VHF. As a troubleshooting tool, that will also tell you right away if a problem is in the cable and antenna, or in the radio.

Standard Horizon has outstanding customer support, it might be worth calling them and asking if they have any ideas on this. And if the radio is UNDER two years old? Maybe it had a 1-year warranty (some of them are 3) with a second year free warranty from your credit card company? It pays to check and if you've got some warranty, just send it in to SH for a tuneup and checkout if all else fails.
 

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1981 Endeavour 32
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1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks HelloSailor......the problem seems to have resolved itself - whether it was with my gear or Seatow's I'm not sure. I did a radio check a little while ago with a friend who lives about 3 miles away and the transmit and receive were both crystal clear, and now I'm getting the same from the SeaTow automated service. I had taken the antenna connections and ground connections loose and cleaned them, and when I put them back together everything seems to be working. Problem solved, I guess, until the next time the gremlin decides to have some fun.....

Thanks for everyone's input on this. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!
 

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Thanks HelloSailor......the problem seems to have resolved itself - whether it was with my gear or Seatow's I'm not sure. I did a radio check a little while ago with a friend who lives about 3 miles away and the transmit and receive were both crystal clear, and now I'm getting the same from the SeaTow automated service. I had taken the antenna connections and ground connections loose and cleaned them, and when I put them back together everything seems to be working. Problem solved, I guess, until the next time the gremlin decides to have some fun.....

Thanks for everyone's input on this. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!
Do you have any inline connections that would benefit from sealing with self-amalgamating tape?
 

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Wilhelm, I confess that I do not understand half of that article. It seems to be written for a specific audience who will know what it does not bother to say.

In the US, as far as I know DSC functions (and is monitored) only on VHF. At least, that's all that is used for small pleasure craft, or all that is publicized for out use.

And again AFAIK the use of 2187 for anything was obsoleted and formally discontinued perhaps five years ago, by the ITU as well as the USCG. Why anyone would be monitoring it, let alone why anyone would have equipment set to broadcast on it, totally baffles me. But then again, I'm easily baffled and definitely not an expert on these things.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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In the US, as far as I know DSC functions (and is monitored) only on VHF. At least, that's all that is used for small pleasure craft, or all that is publicized for out use.
The USCG monitors all marine HF bands on published frequencies for DSC calls. MF frequencies (2182 and 2187) were dropped from monitoring last year. Other RCCs continue to monitor MF.

If you push the little read button on an Icom M802 it will transmit your distress on 4 MHz. There is a procedure for rotating through all the HF bands. John Macdougall KA4WJA has written it up better than I can so I'll track down the links and post them here.

GMDSS in Sea Areas A2, A3, and A4 includes capabilities on HF (and INMARSAT) and UHF (EPIRBs). Both play a role and both are available to recreational sailors.
 
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