Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

A/C & D/C Wiring, GPS, Radios, etc.
Ryan
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Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby Ryan » Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:35 am

I'm looking for some suggestions! I have a Uniden VHF radio mounted above my lower helm in my 32 Sedan and I can not get it to transmit. I have replaced the antenna, tried to hard wire it directly to the battery, and checked all the grounds. I even purchased a new radio and wired it in to the power supply and new antenna and it did not work. I'm unable to receive or send out on it. I'm thinking it could be the interference from the boat being aluminum??? Let me know if you guys have an ideas this has been driving me nuts for the last year and I'm thinking it is something very basic that I'm missing.
1986 32' Sedan
Chrysler 360's
Cleveland, Ohio

ddependo
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Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby ddependo » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:26 am

Did you check your cable. Could broken or grounded?
1973 32 express fly bridge
Chattanooga
"Southern Lady"

barkleydave
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Location: Kentucky

Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby barkleydave » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:24 am

Your antenna is mounted externally. Aluminum boats make great ground planes for VHF performance.
1. Do you have 12 Volts at the radio?
2. Do NOT attempt to transmit if your antenna is not properly connected to the radio. (can damage radio)
3. If radio turns on, most likely a broken center connector in the coax or the shield is not making a solid ground to on your connectors.

Disconnect the coax at the antenna if you able to and at the radio. You then can check for continuity. Now if your coax is sealed at the antenna then you cannot check for continuity since your antenna is a shunt type.

Also be careful never to reverse polarity of the 12 DC. It will damage the radio instantly! Some of the new radios have protections to prevent damage but most do not.

safe harbors,
dave
1987 Marinette 29 FB Sedan
Retired Boat Accident UL and USCG trained investigator
Retired USCG Captain

jralbert
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Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby jralbert » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:31 pm

Reinforcing everything Dave said. It isn't the aluminum on the boat. I'll bet if you quick key the transmit (just a click) and have a handheld unit nearby, you'll hear the attempt to xmit with just enough of a signal to make it the short distance. But don't hold the xmit button down as Dave urged.
With a new antenna in place, it sounds like it's just a bad connector. However, if it's a factory connector, I'm stumped.
Another question is whether it will receive OK

Also...check out the video from West Marine at this link: http://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/S ... HF-Antenna
-joel-
former owner 1988 '32 FB Sedan
Chesapeake Bay
twin 318 / 240 hp
Potomac MD

Ryan
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Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby Ryan » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:30 pm

I purchased a new antenna and hooked it up. I had my wife on the fly bridge hold the antenna up in the air and nothing...
1986 32' Sedan
Chrysler 360's
Cleveland, Ohio

GB49
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Location: Catawba Island, OH.

Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby GB49 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:10 pm

The VHF antenna uses a PL-259 connector. I have found most of the time the connector is installed improperly.

Find someone with a Watt meter that can check forward power and reflected power. This test will tell how much power is leaving (forward) the antenna and how much is coming back (reflected) into the radio.

You should at least be able to receive NOAA weather with a screw driver/coat hangar stuck into the back of the radio antenna connector. Just don't transmit without antenna properly connected.

-Karl
1986 Sedan 32'. Twin Chrysler 360in^3, 275hp, with K&N flame arrestors

jralbert
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Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby jralbert » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:00 am

Sorry I missed in your first post that it appears the radio can neither receive nor xmit. That's pointing to either a bad connector or a lack of power - you didn't say specifically whether it's getting power. Another question that must be asked here is whether you were messing with something when radio #1 went out?? Wiring, connections, fuses - something in that subject area?
-joel-
former owner 1988 '32 FB Sedan
Chesapeake Bay
twin 318 / 240 hp
Potomac MD

MetalHead
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Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby MetalHead » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:19 am

If radio and antenna are new. Cable is all that's left. I'd pull them both off the boat and hook them up with a new section of cable to test.
1959 Family Cruiser - Sold - Gary Dick - 12/05/14
1963 Express 31x10 - Sold - Joe & Ginger Tabor - 01/21/2017
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balthaus
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Location: Southern Indiana / Louisville

Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby balthaus » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:02 pm

If antenna and cable are new then check your solder connections/joints.
I installed 2 radio / antennas, soldered the connectors and had no issues.
Double, double check solder joints for straggler wires and or cold joints.
1984 32' Sedan FB
Twin Chrysler 360's
1.52:1 Velvet Drives
Raw water cooled
Ohio River

newendeavor
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Re: Sleepless nights over my VHF Radio

Postby newendeavor » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:24 am

Yeah, this one makes me nuts. Does the radio receive Wx radio transmission's ? Do you receive more than one Station, even with static ? Then it receives OK. Switch to Ch 16 and turn Volume to 50% and and adjust Squelch until you hear loud static. if all that happens then the receive side is working. To test your transmitter side you need another boater with radio to coordinate with you on the same channel. Assume you read your manual. The most sure fire way is fine someone with a Watt Meter also known as a VSWR Meter which measure performance of both radio transmitter, antenna cable and the antenna. The comments above are spot on, if you have never soldered a PL-259 connector you will probably have trouble doing it right. YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR RADIO. Can you find local help ?
New Endeavor
1991 41ft Aft Cabin
Louisville,Ohio River