Notices

I need VHF help!!!

Old 06-23-2009, 05:58 PM
  #1  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 150
Default I need VHF help!!!

I'm hooking up a VHF in my boat and it works great unless you screw it in. I've tried two plugs and two VHF units with the same results. It works best when barely touching the tip of the plug. Anyone know what this could be? Only thing I haven't tried two of is the antenna.
rhettrules is offline  
Old 06-23-2009, 06:01 PM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Charleston, SC USA
Posts: 22,073
Default

Originally Posted by rhettrules View Post
I'm hooking up a VHF in my boat and it works great unless you screw it in. I've tried two plugs and two VHF units with the same results. It works best when barely touching the tip of the plug. Anyone know what this could be? Only thing I haven't tried two of is the antenna.
OK, for starters, unless you screw what in?
rwidman is offline  
Old 06-23-2009, 06:05 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,679
Default

Originally Posted by rhettrules View Post
I'm hooking up a VHF in my boat and it works great unless you screw it in. I've tried two plugs and two VHF units with the same results. It works best when barely touching the tip of the plug. Anyone know what this could be? Only thing I haven't tried two of is the antenna.
Me thinks you are talking about the antenna connection. First of all, never transmit with no amtenna connected. You may fry your radio.

Si if it doesn't work when the antenna is connected, try a different antenna. It sounds like your antenna or antenna cable may be bad.
lostsinker is offline  
Old 06-23-2009, 06:37 PM
  #4  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Guam
Posts: 47
Default

check out your connection on your antenna might be a short from the tip to ground, if you screw it in then it completes the short circuit and then it stops to work...just my thoughts might be wrong but worth a look.
peskadot is offline  
Old 06-23-2009, 09:08 PM
  #5  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 150
Default

Sorry if my request wasn't clear(was typing on a cell phone).


rwidman, thanks for the help. I'm talking about the only thing I can screw into the back of the vhf. (Who would have known the first response would be a smart a$$ one?)


lostsinker, I'm thinking you're on the right track. We've only been listening to the weather channel(not trying to transmit). An antenna is the only thing I dont have two of, so I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to make a useless $100 investment. Thanks for the useful info.

peskadot, how would I check the connection on the antenna. Also, what does it mean when I pull it almost out and it works great?

I'm thinking I need a new antenna......
rhettrules is offline  
Old 06-23-2009, 10:19 PM
  #6  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Venice, Florida
Posts: 16,865
Default

Maybe just a new connector.
Mr. Demeanor is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 08:10 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,705
Default

is the connector soldered? it needs to be if youre connecting it yourself.
BlackRose617 is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 08:15 AM
  #8  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lynchburg VA
Posts: 26
Default

Check the connector before anything else. I just fixed my CB yesterday. The connector shorted when screwed into the radio. New connector and it is fixed.
fellswoop is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 08:18 AM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 527
Default

You have a short from the center pin of the connector to the shielded ground of the cable. A new connector should do it, if not a new cable.
dengle is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 08:24 AM
  #10  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Heathsville, VA
Posts: 26
Default

Take an ohmmeter (something that measures continuity). Put one lead on the outside of the connector which is hooked to the antenna cable shield and touch the other one to the center connector which is connected to the antenna itself. I'm guessing you will get continuity (a short circuit). The problem is in the cable somewhere, either at the connector end or the antenna end.
Captain Charlie is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 11:35 AM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 150
Default

Originally Posted by Captain Charlie View Post
Take an ohmmeter (something that measures continuity). Put one lead on the outside of the connector which is hooked to the antenna cable shield and touch the other one to the center connector which is connected to the antenna itself. I'm guessing you will get continuity (a short circuit). The problem is in the cable somewhere, either at the connector end or the antenna end.

That's exactly what I was looking for. Didn't even think of using an ohm meter. Going to test it right now. I'm thinking I have a short in the line because I used a brand new connector and the old one. Looks like I'm probably going to need a new antenna.

What would yall recomend for a replacement. I think it has a Shakespeare Mariner 5500 or 5300 on it. The boat is a 30 Scarab Sport that will be used primarily offshore. Is the Mariner a good choice, or should I go with something more expensive. Thanks.
rhettrules is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 12:14 PM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central, New Jersey
Posts: 2,559
Default

Originally Posted by rhettrules View Post
That's exactly what I was looking for. Didn't even think of using an ohm meter. Going to test it right now. I'm thinking I have a short in the line because I used a brand new connector and the old one. Looks like I'm probably going to need a new antenna.

What would yall recomend for a replacement. I think it has a Shakespeare Mariner 5500 or 5300 on it. The boat is a 30 Scarab Sport that will be used primarily offshore. Is the Mariner a good choice, or should I go with something more expensive. Thanks.
You are going to get tons of opinions here. I put a Digital (branded) antenna on my boat a few months ago and it's working very well. If you go for a Shakespeare, I would shy away from the lower priced antennas if you are planning to go offshore.
Justin_NJ is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 12:23 PM
  #13  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lynchburg VA
Posts: 26
Default

The advice about the ohm meter is right on the mark. Just be sure to wiggle the connector, push the cable in and out before you just accept the readings. The slightest strand of wire from the coax shield can short out the connector. I have had brand new cables and connectors fail the way you describe. Good luck.
fellswoop is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 03:10 PM
  #14  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: MS Gulf Coast
Posts: 1,116
Default

Ya know...I am pretty mechanically inclined, adept with tools, I can weld, run 110V, 220V 12 & 24V wiring, framed my own garage, have sweated copper, glued PVC, even replaced a couple of pistions in a 140 Evinrude.

But for the life of me...I have the hardest time getting those damn (what are they called UG58? PL259?) WHATEVER those damn VHF antenna connectors are. I can read the directions, skin it back 1/8" and leave a 3/16" center conductor... NO matter what, I usually have to try (and screw up) 2 or 3 connectors before I get it right.

I empathize with you Rhett... I hate those suckers..and yours is messed up I promise.
CapnDean is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 03:31 PM
  #15  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 74
Default

I agree with the connector idea. That is the first thing I would check if it were me. Even if it is a brand new antena you may have put the connector on wrong or it could have been a faulty connector. Either way, connectors are very cheep. Just cut your old one off and read the directions that come with the connector and it will tell you how to install it. It's very easy and cheeper than buying a new antena. If that doesn't work then I would say get a new antena.

I also agree with BlackRose617. Soldering the antena is always the best way to go.
spearfisher3122 is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 04:13 PM
  #16  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 17
Default

Well the ohm meter idea worked. Went and picked up a new Shakespeare Mariner 8700 and it works great.

Thanks for all the great input guys!!!!!!!!!!!
JustBilling is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 04:27 PM
  #17  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Florida Keys
Posts: 5,979
Default

rhett

The connecter replies are right, as being the first thing to do. Yes, solder is better, but not necessary, especially when the antenna might not be good. But the Shakespeare gold plated crimp connecters are about $12 at West. Go buy the right size for your cable, whack off the old one with cutters, crimp the new one on and see what happens.

Unless you have visible damage to the glass of the antenna or visible fraying of the cable at the antenna end (where it enters the antenna) there is about a 95% chance this will take care of the problem.....for under $15, and quickly. If it is then OK, and if the lack of solder really bothers you, at your leisure get a solder connecter and spend an afternoon learning to solder it on (JK, it's not that bad, but I personally believe it is overkill.)

P.S. Pay little attention to the ohmmeter test here. Some models of antenna will always show an apparent short from conducter pin to shield, even when they are brand new. They are built that way, so this is not a reliable test unless you KNOW from a spec sheet that your particular model should NOT show this.
KeyPineSavage is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 04:30 PM
  #18  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NJ
Posts: 39
Default

most antennas even when working properly will show a short when tested with an ohm meter. To properly check an antenna you would have to use a megger, or a power meter that checks VSWR which is how much power is being reflected back from the antenna. When working properly this should be very low. Most likely there was an issuw with the connector.
RustyC is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 04:31 PM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Florida Keys
Posts: 5,979
Default

RustyC

Hey, great minds think alike, eh? And post at the same time.
KeyPineSavage is offline  
Old 06-24-2009, 05:01 PM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Central Jersey
Posts: 7,961
Default

Please remember that some antennas have a built-in matching system which will always show a "short" on an ohmmeter. That proves nothing. Go buy a vhf SWR meter and you'll always know.

In this case, I'll agree that the connector itself was likely shorted. A new PL-259, properly soldered, should always be the first thing to try if you think the antenna's acting up.
t3rockhall is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread