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Old 09-10-2009, 09:48 AM
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Default VHF receives but now won't transmit

1st post...thanks in advance for the help.

I have a 1996 Wellcraft 190CCF with a 115Hp outboard.

I had an old radio that came with the boat that worked great until last year.

Bought an new VHF radio for around $150 from West Marine and it worked great for about 3 months. Realized that I was receiving but not transmitting.

Bought another new VHF from West Marine and it worked perfectly until about 4 hours into my trip. Then receive only...no transmit. I had been having, and still have great reception. I just cannot transmit.

I was transmitting very well (in excess of 15 miles). Went for a radio check before I headed another 15 miles offshore and didn't get anything. When I gave good numbers for busting fish and didn't get a reply I knew something wasn't good. So I checked for squelch break with my back up hand held VHF. The hand held transmitted fine, the main did not break squelch at all on the hand held. I keep the handheld off...it's just a backup and I hadn't turned it on until I suspected something with the main. I checked at the ramp with a fellow boater and no joy transmitting but received fine (channel 72).

I feel like I am blowing the transmitter on the radios and this is where I need help.

The antenna is mounted about 18" from the radio on the side of the center console. Could this be frying the radio? It is the original installation mount from the factory...doesn't mean it's right. It is also not above the center console metal railing that goes around the windscreen. Issue?

If I need to move it, do you have any recommendations on where to mount it? Can I just put a 3' metal extender on the base of the antenna mount so it is farther away or do I need to re-route the coax?

I also have an FM antenna that I secured parallel to the VHF antenna for my FM radio. Could that be an issue causing the transmission circuit to fry?

I have 2 batteries for power hooked up through a Perko 1 - all - 2 - off switch. I intend to rewire the switch so the electronics go to the deep cycle off of 2 and the engine start goes off of 1. I point that out because as my battery voltage dropped and I went to start the engine towards the end of the day it dropped all my electronics off line. Could that cause enough of a load or spike or whatever to fry the transmitter?

I have a constant load on the electronics for the bait tank so by the end of the day the battery is usually too low to crank the engine and I switch to the other battery for the last hours of the day. If all goes south I can put the switch in both for extra push to crank the engine. Never had to do that but liked the ALL function of the switch for that and charging back at the house. Am I gooned up with my plan to rewire the Perko?

The radio is under warranty, but I wanted to find the cause before I fry another unit.

Thanks again for the help.

Phil
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:11 PM
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you may simply have a shorted antenna connector or a bad antenna. You need at least a VHF SWR meter (cheap) or better than that an "antenna analyzer" (expensive) to test an antenna. THe radio may be fine -- modern radios protect themselves and won't transmit into a high SWR.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:38 PM
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sounds like an antenna issue ie. bad antenna connector or bad antenna You could use an 8' antenna anyway
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:36 PM
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The meter would cost more than my radio....not an option. Can you borrow them from somewhere? The antenna is an 8'....anyone else got an idea?

Thanks,

Philip
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:42 PM
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I had a Raymarine Ray 52, that would shut down on transmit if the radio was too close to the antenna. Minimum distance had to be > 36".

Problems like yours are almost always antenna (and connector) related, but you might want to investigate the proximity issue, and get rid of the FM splitter...
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:19 PM
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Also possibly bad mic PTT switch or cable connector.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:13 PM
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I just got done with the same problem . Here what mine was the connector that your antenna wire is connected to that plugs in your vhf , When you splice it u must make sur it is connected correct if not from use of your boat it will move all tose little wires move and if they touch the core wire in any way that will happen the best thing you can do is soldier the shielded part the way i do it now is to splice the wire pull the shield back up the wire and then push the connector on i have not had a problem yet



and old freind whi has been around a long time with eletronics told me to use and ohm meter and to resplice the wire check the continunity been the two if there is a change in the numbers u have a short thats the only way i can tell u to check without buying any speciel tools
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative561 View Post

and old freind whi has been around a long time with eletronics told me to use and ohm meter and to resplice the wire check the continunity been the two if there is a change in the numbers u have a short thats the only way i can tell u to check without buying any speciel tools
You cannot check an antenna with an ohmmeter. Many, if not most antennas will display a "short" on an ohmmeter. You need to check the SWR with either a VHF SWR meter or an antenna analyzer.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:08 AM
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both times i have had this problem it was the antennas...
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:57 PM
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Probably the mic switch...if your reception is good.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:52 AM
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Are you using low octane fuel?

Edd
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:40 PM
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Hull Truth Crew,

I'm going to reconnect the coax cable and try that using a solder connection vice the screw on kind that came with the antenna.

I'm also going to put a 3' extender on the antenna base for the 3' min distance (maybe 8' if I can figure a good way to do that and keep it out of the way when down or towing...any ideas?).

The FM antenna is just mounted next to the antenna (not using a splitter) but I'll move that to the other side just in case.

Finally, I am using low octane fuel and the engine has seemed fine. Why do you ask? Now I am curious.

Lastly and it should have been first. Thanks for all the replies and help. Unfortunately I have not been able to do much on her as work has been work lately. But will get a chance here soon.

Thanks again.

Phil
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:22 PM
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Phil

Yeah, try some of those and let us know how it goes. (About the octane, Edd is one of our jokers and he was...joking. Not sure if he was aiming at you, but think it was more at some of us with maybe off the wall suggestions for what could be a simple problem. Who knows? Anyway, don't worry about it. Shows the problem with vague humor. )
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:51 AM
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not to overstate the obvious, but your VHF transmits 25 watts, but receives very weak signals. So the antenna can handle the low power, but has trouble with the high power. The ohmeter checks the antenna OK but doesn't really check for corroded connectors that may pass low power but can't pass high power, for instance. Also, you mention power supply. That has the ability to power the radio in receive mode, but maybe it can't power it when transmitting and it draws a few amps.
Also, frequencies can play tricks and that's why SWR and stuff figures into it.
The reason you want to reconnect the PL259 is that it is the most common cause of your symptom and it is easy and inexpensive to do. Then try a temporary antenna. Then double check your power supply to be sure it can handle the higher currrent draw. You can rig temporary supplies to check that out.
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnminet View Post
... The ohmeter checks the antenna OK but doesn't really check for corroded connectors that may pass low power but can't pass high power, for instance..
Repeat after me... You CANNOT test an antenna with an ohmmeter. You CANNOT test an antenna with an ohmmeter. You CANNOT test an antenna with an ohmmeter. You CANNOT test an antenna with an ohmmeter. You CANNOT test an antenna with an ohmmeter. You CANNOT test an antenna with an ohmmeter.

Well, you can put an ohmmeter across the PL-259 but it won't tell you anything meaningful. Most antennas will show a short (continuity) across the terminals. A few will show an open condition. It all depends on the antenna's design.

IF you find that the cable shielding appears corroded, you should remove a enough cable until the shielding appears clean and shiny, before you try to solder on a new connector. Of course, you should also know HOW to attach a new PL-259 properly and use a soldering iron of adequate size. Most people use too small of an iron and end up with a new, but still bad, connection.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyPineSavage View Post
Phil

(About the octane, Edd is one of our jokers and he was...joking. Not sure if he was aiming at you, but think it was more at some of us with maybe off the wall suggestions for what could be a simple problem. Who knows? Anyway, don't worry about it. Shows the problem with vague humor. )
Really? I seem to get much better range when using high octain fuel. But in all sincerity, things were getting a bit repetitive so I figured a 'change-up' was in order.

Not targeting anybody except maybe, my own sick self.

I really hope the OP gets this problem fixed.

Edd
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:36 AM
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Default Same Problem, How To Solder & Shouldn't I Check Connector on Back of VHF Too?

Title says it all, really.

My VHF will receive but won't transmit. Heck, it wouldn't even receive at the beginning of the season until I put corrosion X on the connector on the antenna cable.

Can someone point me in the right direction for soldering the connector to the cable?

Couple of related questions:

1) Shouldn't I also check out the connection on the back of VHF? If so, what should I expect to see and what should I do to best clean up any corrosion there?

2) If the connectors can be soldered to the cable, why can't the cable just be soldered to the VHF, instead.

Maybe that's crazy as I've never opened the VHF to see what's in there. But I'm just wondering is a soldered connection to the VHF wouldn't be the end-all solution to these problems.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longfisher View Post

Can someone point me in the right direction for soldering the connector to the cable?
http://www.mgs4u.com/Connector-PL-259-guide.htm

Instructions #2, with the "UG" adapter/reducer.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:16 PM
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Hull Truth Crew,
Sorry for the delay but work got in the way of work on the boat.
Finally got a chance to start from scratch...long way to get to the problem.

***Antenna connection*** ***antenna connection*** yeah it was the antenna connection.

Start there if you are having a problem, even if you think it is a shorted RT. I would have sworn that my RT was blown...wrong.

The good news for me is I now have 2 extra radios now that work 4.0 and always have....

I now also keep a replacement antenna connection jack just in case.

Thanks for the help.

Phil
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