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Old 25 March 2012, 08:29   #1
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Help my VHF isn't working

When I last took the boat out (wednesday) I noticed my VHF (icom ic-m411) wasn't picking anything up (channel 16 and tried scan). I should have tried to transmit but didn't think of that. It has power.

I had a look at the connections both ends (I've got a Metz aerial) and they seem sound.

Does anyone have an ideas of what else might be wrong and/or what I should check?

The boat is on my drive in Brockenhurst so I'm assuming I won't be able to check if it works till i get a bit closer to the sea?

Any advice gratefully received.

thanks
Neil
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Old 25 March 2012, 09:15   #2
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I had exactly same issue with not receiving anything last year. Turned out my aerial wasn't strong or tall enough. I could hear the boat next to me but not the cg. Changed aerial and perfect reception from all. Although your not allowed to transmit on land if its for safety before you launch im sure they want throw the book at you. Try a working channel between your boat set and a handheld.

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Old 25 March 2012, 09:19   #3
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Originally Posted by NeilH View Post
Does anyone have an ideas of what else might be wrong and/or what I should check?
Two very common causes of "no RX" are Volume off and Squelch too high.

If it's neither of these - I'd be with actions and suspect the antenna. Be careful not to TX on a damaged antenna - it could damage the VHF set. A damaged speaker in the VHF is another possibility - if the buttons beep then it's probably OK but you can test but plugging another into the EXT socket...
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Old 25 March 2012, 09:39   #4
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Thanks Both
The aerial worked well before - certainly better than my previous rib raider so it seems strange that it would completely fail.
volume was on high and the squelch just past the crackling point - everything beeps nice and loudly so speaker seems okay.
Need to find someone with a portable VHF to try it in action.
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Old 25 March 2012, 10:07   #5
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Hhhmmmm. If you've checked and double checked all the connections see if you can borrow an aerial from another boat before buying one. Or go to whoever services your engine and are if they have one you can try.

Failing that icom are very good for repairs if needed.

As you say strange that speaker works. I take it the aerial lead hasn't been caught anywhere and snapped or creased etc

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Old 25 March 2012, 13:01   #6
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It's unlikely to be the antenna. You should disconnect the cable at the radio and at the antenna. Then check with a multimeter that there is continuity from centre pin to centre pin and from shell to shell. This is difficult to do if radio and antenna are very far apart, but try if you can. Most importantly check that there is no short circuit between centre pin and shell. Note that you must disconnect the cable. The antenna is internally grounded and will look like a short to a multimeter. I'm guessing it's a cable based problem.
Note that your Metz has a lifetime warranty so in the extremely unlikely even it has developed a fault we'll give you another one.
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Old 25 March 2012, 13:17   #7
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Thanks
I don't actually own a multimeter but I'll get one. The radio and aerial are very close together so should be able to reach both.
thanks again I'll let you know what it shows.
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Old 31 March 2012, 03:42   #8
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Better still, borrow an SWR meter to test the setup. It's the only certain way to check radio/cable/antenna.

Make sure it's one that covers marine VHF frequencies though.
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Old 31 March 2012, 04:20   #9
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Thanks I bought a multimeter from maplins and it looks like there might have been a short between the centre wire and outer. I've replaced the cable and hopefully taking the boat down to Lymington on Tuesday so will see if it works!
Thanks for the advice - much appreciated.
Neil
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