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    VHF Radio-gctid381341

    I am in the process of mounting a VHF radio and antenna. Picked out a good location and wanted to test it. So I mounted the radio, connected the coax cable to the adapter, and screwed it on to the radio. Turn on radio and nothing.

    Now, the antenna is not yet mounted because I wanted to check its position before I begin drilling in the fiberglass.

    Question is...how hard can this be? I'm not very handy but I was able to properly wire the radio so it turns on but I can't even get the antenna connected. I have an 8' Shakespeare 5200. Previous boat had a small 3' whip and I didn't even need to ratchet the mount to an upright position to get a weather signal even in my driveway.

    Any thoughts from all you experienced folks out there?

    #2
    Maybe you have the squelch setting too high suppressing all incoming signals.

    Is the volume turned up?
    Jim McNeely
    New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
    Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
    Brighton, Michigan USA
    MMSI # 367393410

    Comment


      #3
      Yes. Fooled with the squelch and all. Wondering if I have a bad antenna (the box was a little beat up) or I'm just that bad with these types of things.

      How difficult is connecting a coax connector?

      Comment


        #4
        Regarding the connector. You must be very carefull none of the external shield wires make contact with the center wire.

        Did you use a soldered or solderless connector?

        Did you read and follow the directions for the connector ? Sorry but I must ask.
        Jim McNeely
        New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
        Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
        Brighton, Michigan USA
        MMSI # 367393410

        Comment


          #5
          the solderless connectors are for those who desperately need problems. I have never seen one which didn't corrode after a while. This changes the antenna impedance and RX and TX go South.

          As mentioned, connecting the connector is simple but you can make a lot of mistakes if you don't know how. Fortunately google will be able to find a lot of how-to's for this....

          Comment


            #6
            I don't think I am understanding the nature of your problem.

            When you say you "got nothing", are you referring to the box being dead ... in other words, no sound at all coming from it?

            -or-

            Are you referring to no incoming signal ... i.e. just static?

            Depending on where you are at, you will not exactly hear a lot of transmissions on your VHF. Off the top of my head, an 8' tall antenna out in the open with no obstructions has an effective range somewhere between 6-8 miles.
            Mocoondo
            2002 Bayliner 195 Capri
            Mercruiser 5.0L V8 / Alpha I Gen II
            MMSI: 338091755

            Comment


              #7
              It is a solderless connection as I have no experience in (or know anyone) who could solder it for me. I used the one from Shakespeare and then I bought a solderless on from West Marine.

              Good question on whether I read the directions. I did. But, my wife will tell you sometimes I don't read them. Trust me, I read, and re-read, and re-read, and tried to even draw it again based on the illustrations. Yes, I may be that inept.

              The radio does turn on and I can change channels but no reception.

              My concern is that I don't want to mount the racthet and then have the antenna less than 3 feet away from the radio. I am right at that threshold now. Radio is under steering wheel and antenna is just outside of the windshield on the starboard side (next to the helm). I would like to avoid putting the antenna on port as that is where my wife and kid sits. Keeping it away from them is a priority.

              All that said on my previous boat I could turn on the radio and get a weather report no problem. Even in my neighborhood.

              Comment


                #8
                Fruffy42 wrote:


                The radio does turn on and I can change channels but no reception.
                Are you sure you are in a location where you would receive a VHF signal? Do you have another VHF radio to compare it to?

                Everything could be just fine and you may just be out of reception range.
                Mocoondo
                2002 Bayliner 195 Capri
                Mercruiser 5.0L V8 / Alpha I Gen II
                MMSI: 338091755

                Comment


                  #9
                  if you turn the squelch fully CCW do your hear noise? That would be a good start....

                  I had days on the water when I didn't hear one single transmission on VHF and this could be the case why you don't hear anything. 25W radios have a range of at least 20mi but if no one transmit you hear nothing. The only way to test it is with a signal generator or someone who has a radio too. This is not a car stereo where you have entertainment all the time...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    He should get weather broadcast virtually everywhere. He is in Delaware not Montana
                    Jim McNeely
                    New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                    Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                    Brighton, Michigan USA
                    MMSI # 367393410

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ok, got the weather. Don't ask, because I'm not telling how.ops

                      Now, I took the boat, radio, antenna etc all down near our port - big commercial port where I thought I'd get something on channel 16 but I got nothing. I guess bad timing as someone said it's sometimes dead.

                      Short question is: is it safe to assume ill get VHF transmissions and be able to send if I'm hearing NOAA weather reports?

                      Also, radio to antenna base is 28". Is that too close?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The NOAA RX is separate from the marine unit in most radios. With your preliminary setup just do a radio check with the Coast Guard on Ch16. If your radio works and you get a response you know that transmitter and receiver work. Even if your antenna may not be perfectly matched you won't hurt the radio unless it's one of the really crappy ones.

                        Caution, you need a real battery to do this! In transmit the radio will draw at least 5A.

                        If I recall correctly there's also a way to do a radio check for DSC.....

                        28" is a bit close but it depends whether it's horizontal or vertical distance. The antenna radiates a lot less downwards (no reason to waste energy into the water). I have my ham radio antenna (VHF) on a 50W radio only 10" away from the radio and zero problems. That's a bit of a gamble. Can you just "glue" the antenna to the place you would like to have it and try out the radio? If it works fine drill the hole(s).

                        ("glue" can also mean to hang it at a tree or whatever with some fishing line to just touch the boat with the base. Don't have someone hold it at the tip! They will throw it far away as soon as you hit the PTT)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Switch to 9 or 72 and ask for a radio check. Listen to 14 for commercial or police traffic.
                          Jim McNeely
                          New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                          Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                          Brighton, Michigan USA
                          MMSI # 367393410

                          Comment


                            #14
                            kjs wrote:
                            The NOAA RX is separate from the marine unit in most radios. With your preliminary setup just do a radio check with the Coast Guard on Ch16. If your radio works and you get a response you know that transmitter and receiver work. Even if your antenna may not be perfectly matched you won't hurt the radio unless it's one of the really crappy ones.

                            Caution, you need a real battery to do this! In transmit the radio will draw at least 5A.

                            If I recall correctly there's also a way to do a radio check for DSC.....

                            28" is a bit close but it depends whether it's horizontal or vertical distance. The antenna radiates a lot less downwards (no reason to waste energy into the water). I have my ham radio antenna (VHF) on a 50W radio only 10" away from the radio and zero problems. That's a bit of a gamble. Can you just "glue" the antenna to the place you would like to have it and try out the radio? If it works fine drill the hole(s).

                            ("glue" can also mean to hang it at a tree or whatever with some fishing line to just touch the boat with the base. Don't have someone hold it at the tip! They will throw it far away as soon as you hit the PTT)
                            Coast Guard OS (Operations Specialist, AKA Radio watchstander) here . Please do not do a radio check with the USCG. We do not conduct radio checks, and it clutters ch16. My advice would be to hail sea tow or TowBoat US (they do the majority of the radio checks in Florida). I spend 12 hours a day behind the radio of a Coast Guard communications unit in SW Florida and cannot stress to you how much something so small can kill someone. We actually can miss calls becuase people are calling in for radio checks and stepping on others who legitimatley need help.

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