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VHF Receiving Issue

Old 07-15-2012, 07:55 PM
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Default VHF Receiving Issue

I tried hailing a buddy on my VHF today. I was at my dock and he was 10 miles offshore. After several attempts he called me on my cell phone to tell me he heard me fine and was replying. I never heard him but he said he heard me "loud and clear". I did an automatic radio check with the local Sea Tow system and heard that fine but that is only 3 miles from where I am docked. Could the fact that I was at the dock surrounded by boats and buildings and he was in open ocean be the cause? Just odd to me that I would transmit so well but not receive. Looking for some experts before I go buy a new radio.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:32 PM
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There are some cases where you may have some attenuation of signals. One would be multiple sailboats or antennas around your boat. Another would be a source of interference which overloads the front end of the receiver--welders, and some other mechanical devices can do this.

Best to take your boat offshore and see how the reception is there.

I have certainly found that HF is attenuated in marinas. No reason that VHF should not be.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:57 PM
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With a bad antenna it's much easier to receive others than to be heard by them at same range when transmitting from the bad one. Does your buddy by any chance keep his antenna at that wow cool raked angle?Perhaps to clear a bridge?

A poor antenna connection can greatly increase WSWR that can be checked with the Shakespeare ART-3.

Perhaps your antenna midpoint is higher and/or his mic is bad or he has laryngitis?(Have you had your hearing checked recently? )

Could one boat have been engines -running for alternator level voltage output, and the other not?

Or... may be either he just has a more sensitive VHF receiver, or your squelch was set a scosh too high and his was not?

Or one was set to INTL channel set and the other to USA?

FWIW-Long ago, PowerBoat Reports tested numerous VHFs with same externals and found a large discrepency between transitting power outputs as well as difference in sensitivity from the factory. Some very few were at or even a hair higher than mfgrs' specs for each model ( almost universally claimed at 25 watts ouput) and most were well below the claims. There was noticeable difference in the max range they could be received by a separate desgnated receiving VHF.

Similar results when testing different same -size antennas.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:03 PM
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I'm betting that the issue was his transmitting, rather than your receiving.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MTS Sportfishing View Post
I tried hailing a buddy on my VHF today. I was at my dock and he was 10 miles offshore. After several attempts he called me on my cell phone to tell me he heard me fine and was replying. I never heard him but he said he heard me "loud and clear". I did an automatic radio check with the local Sea Tow system and heard that fine but that is only 3 miles from where I am docked. Could the fact that I was at the dock surrounded by boats and buildings and he was in open ocean be the cause? Just odd to me that I would transmit so well but not receive. Looking for some experts before I go buy a new radio.
Perhaps I'm oversimplifying, but did you have your squelch adjusted correctly? (Just enough to avoid the background static)....
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Jus Teasin View Post
I'm betting that the issue was his transmitting, rather than your receiving.
The most likely scenario.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:58 AM
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Make sure it is set for US and not Canada or international. That happened to me once
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:20 PM
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Your buddy may have bumped his radio into to LOW (1 Watt) vs. HIGH (25W). I've done it by mistake a few times.

Todd
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:21 PM
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I agree that it is most likely his transmitting that is the problem. Check your radio operator manual for an attenuation setting. Many radio's have this. It reduces the receiver sensitivity of your radio to prevent receiving distant interfering signals. If your radio has this feature, make sure it's off except when necessary.

Eric
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:35 PM
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Default VHF Receiving Issues

Thank you all for the timely and educating responses. I am sure the squelch was adjusted correctly and it may be the fact that I was in a marina with all of the antenn's and sailboats. I'll check this Friday when a few miles offshore. If still no reception, turn around and buy a new radio as a back up.
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