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VHF help & diagnosis

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Old 06-25-2013, 05:11 AM
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Morning Guys,
I have an 8 year old ICOM M-45 vhf that was paired with a Shakespeare 4400 3' console antenna. Last season the antenna connection went south (did not realize til I finally needed it) (I boat mainly in Bogue sound and am never too far from shore but to warn Wildlife of a sizable Bull Shark feeding near a popular area, my radio did not work)
Anyway, I just installed a 3' Pacific Aerial P6035 and the radio does not work. It turns on, the backlight for the face comes on, it will change channels, but no sound out of the internal speaker. Run the squelch up and it indicates "busy". Try to transmit and I get the lower case "b" in the bottom right corner. Low Battery/Power indicator. My battery reads 12.54 volts (tested at the battery), my connection to the radio reads 12.32 volts, it drops to 9.74 volts when the mic is keyed. The battery turns the motor over as normal.
Could I have possibly ruined my radio trying to transmit over the old corroded antenna connections? Overton's has the Uniden DSC radio on sale for 109, just thinking about gettiing new, but thought I would check here first so I don't have the same issue with the new radio.
Thanks,
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:24 AM
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You must turn the squelch counterclockwise, to the minimum position. Then you should hear noise. If you don't, there is a different issue. If you turn the squelch "up" you will hear less and less the higher you set it. If you plug headphones or an external speaker into the jack on the back, do you hear anything? Do you have an external speaker plugged in? Is it only partway in? Using that jack will cut the internal speaker. Transmitting into a bad or no antenna may damage the transmitter section, but the receiver should be unaffected. If you set the radio to LOW power, and transmit, the low voltage light shouldn't go on. But yes, it may be time to replace the radio.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:24 AM
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No turning the squelch til you (should) hear the static burst does nothing on my unit. I get no sound what so ever. I do not have an external speaker for the unit, but I will try your suggestion for headphones into that jack when I get home today. Thanks for the feedback! I am just trying to reassure myself for spending more money. I would always prefer to fix it. But the unit is around 8 years old, though nicely mounted inside the console out of the weather. It probably is time to buy a new one. Sometimes I feel my wallet is just a trampoline for money; bounces in and bounces right back out!

Stay Safe!
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:52 AM
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t3rockhall,

No sound by plugging into the external speaker jack?? I just think my unit is ready for the glue factory. Off to buy a new one, at least it's on sale this month. Something's working out!
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:06 AM
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When was the last time you requested a radio check and got no response? Sounds like quite some time ago! No response to a radio check every trip should have raised questions long before this?
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:55 AM
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Kerry,

You are correct, I should have at least turned it on and done a radio check. But mainly my time on the boat these last few years has been in the sound finding an isolated sandbar so the kids can skimboard. Our sound is no more than 1.5 miles wide and mainly 4 feet deep (if you are out of the channels). So the last few years I have not used my radio. We usually have 2 cell phones on the boat. I know better now! I let safety lapse.
Hopefully by this weekend I will have the new Uniden DSC unit installed.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:47 PM
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I don't know if you are near enough, but there is a ch.27 SeaTow automated radio check response tower at the NE end of Bogue Sound. This records your hail and plays it back to you so you can judge how others may hear you, but keep in mind the antennas used are generally a lot higher than other boaters'.
It also keeps radio checks on the channels this system uses away from stepping on normal or distress hailing transmission traffic on 16 or other channels.

http://www.seatow.com/map/arcs/?zip=Bogue+Sound+

http://www.seatow.com/boating-safety...d-radio-checks
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:49 AM
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Hey TTaxi,

Yes my neighbor told me about that Ch 27 Service. Just used my new unit last night from my yard (ICW marker 17 in Bogue Sound) and got back a clear response. Not sure what may have caused the old unit to fail other than age?? Oh well.
Now if we can get this weather pattern to change so I can enjoy the boat on the water. But if all else fails I may have to crack one this afternoon just sitting on it in the yard???????

Thanks for all the help guys. This site is great.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:40 PM
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109 for a DSC unit might be worth it regardless of the condition or your old unit. It's a nice feature to have, just in case.

Edit: Whoops, guess you had the same thought! Glad the new one is working!
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:38 AM
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Yeah Overtons.com The Uniden Solara 380 DSC for 109 with free shipping.
I can tell a difference in just feel and weight between the Uniden and my old ICOM. The mic is twice as heavy on the ICOM but also it was nearly twice the price. 109 vs 199. I do like the screen feature on the Uniden, that as I am changing channels it lets me know what that channel is for like Ch 12 Port Operations or 68 Non Commercial. I did not have that before, pretty much stuck to 16/9 and 68/72.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bogue View Post
... I do like the screen feature on the Uniden, that as I am changing channels it lets me know what that channel is for like Ch 12 Port Operations or 68 Non Commercial....
That's a great feature. All radios should have that.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:02 PM
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Good luck with the Uniden. I have 2 of the handhelds. Don't forget to enter your MMSI number (if you don't have one, they are available at no charge from BoatUS). And, if you have a GPS that you can connect to your radio, your DSC digital distress calls will not only include your MMSI, but your exact location as well.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sws01 View Post
Don't forget to enter your MMSI number .
Just saw that feature on the Sea Tow site, I will register today. I have not yet hooked up the NMEA feature yet to my Garmin, but plan on doing so after the 4th. Just happy to have my boat back. The boys want to run their boat (14' McKee Classic) and I would like to visit a sandbar and get re-aquianted with my butt in a beach chair.

Y'all have a Happy & Safe 4th!
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bogue View Post
Hey TTaxi,

Yes my neighbor told me about that Ch 27 Service. Just used my new unit last night from my yard (ICW marker 17 in Bogue Sound) and got back a clear response. Not sure what may have caused the old unit to fail other than age?? Oh well.
Now if we can get this weather pattern to change so I can enjoy the boat on the water. But if all else fails I may have to crack one this afternoon just sitting on it in the yard???????

Thanks for all the help guys. This site is great.
Congrats on getting squared away with a new VHF you like. May you have fair wx soon , otherwise it sounds like your plan B will be refreshing as well.
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