vhf question

Old 08-09-2004, 07:41 PM
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Default vhf question

I have a JRC 200 vhf radio with a shakespeare 8 ft. antenna. I don't use it much but it seems to receive transmissions fine. The only time I have tried to transmit has been when I've been boating nearby a friend of mine. He can hear me transmitting only when we're right along side each other. I've tried to radio him at the dock when we're about 50 ft. apart and he says he can't hear me. i've tried radio checks and have never received a reply. iI've only transmitted using low power but I would think the radio would have a better range than 5 feet. Should I try broadcasting using high power? Should I get a new VHF?
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:48 PM
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Default RE: vhf question

check you antenna connection where it enters the radio. It may be corroded or loose. Even on low power you should be able to transmit a couple of miles.
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:53 PM
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Default RE: vhf question

Thanks ahfahvoot, I'll check. if there is a problem with the connection wouldn't i have a problem receiving transmissions also?
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:34 PM
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Default RE: vhf question

Not necessairly. The cable that goes into the connector has two parts, a center conductor and an outer shielding. If only one of those has a good connection you will still be able to receive pretty well but you will barely be able to transmit at all. So the very first thing I would suggest to you is to not even check the old one, just cut it off and replace it with one of the new "Centerpin" PL-259 connectors that is sold by Shakespeare. They should cost about $5~$6 at any West Marine or Boat US store. You don't solder these, just cut back the cable as shown on the package and stick it on. My guess is that if you do your radio's performance is going to improve dramatically.

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Old 08-10-2004, 08:32 AM
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Default RE: vhf question

The reason your radio reception works better than transmit is very likely that the transmit process uses much more current than does reception. A connection with some corrosion built up on it will act just the way you describe. Sort of like a car battery terminal with corrosion may power your radio, but fail to start the car. I also recommend the Shakespeare gold-plated no-solder connectors. They are very easy to use. The only way I know to screw them up is to squeeze them too hard with pliers, which will puncture through the outer braid and short out the antenna. It will be immediately obvious if you have done this because you won't even be able to pick up weather stations. You just cut it off, pry the connector loose and try again.
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