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Old 11 April 2010, 17:44   #1
RJH
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VHF Checking

I think I have a problem with my fixed VHF. Having had a broken aerial I connected a new one last year and everything was fine getting good reception and transmission. Now my handheld is receiving better than than the fixed despite the connection looking fine.

Is it pssible to be able to check its performance? Is there such a thing as a meter to show how well the arial is connected? The next this to say is that I could write everything I know about electronics on the back of a stamp so am now stumped!

Thanks
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Old 11 April 2010, 18:06   #2
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which aerial make and model do you have?
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Old 11 April 2010, 18:20   #3
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There is a thing called an "SWR meter" which checks SWR (standing wave ratio) as a measure of how well the aerial is working.

If you broke it off and didn't replace it immediately, a strong possibility is that you have got water in the coax cable, which will bugger it up immediately. Also worth doing a basic continuity test on the coax to make sure it is connected but apart from physical damage, 90% of problems are due to water ingress in the coax, and that's on vehicles, on boats it is probably even worse! Water ingress can be due to poor sealing at either end or physical damage to the coax outer e.g. if it runs across the deck and has been pinched or stomped on.
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Old 12 April 2010, 02:29   #4
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Stephen is spot on.

I'd also make sure the center pin of the PL-259 is making good contact with the mating socket. You can do that my tweaking the "leaves" of the center socket closed a bit (use something like a jewelers screwdriver to move 2 opposing leaves towards each other just a bit. A mm or so each should do it.)

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Old 12 April 2010, 15:24   #5
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Thanks to all. (sorry have been out of contact all day)

Chris, the aerial is a V tronix rib raider mated to an Icom VHF and has worked perfectly in the past.

You're absolutely right Stephen, there is a good chance water did get in as can't remember how long it was broken before I spotted it but it did work well after replacing the aerial.

Jyasaki, I'll have another play but if that fails, I may need to call for some help. Anyone know of someone in the Southampton area worth talking to?

Rgds
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Old 12 April 2010, 15:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJH View Post
Thanks to all. (sorry have been out of contact all day)

Chris, the aerial is a V tronix rib raider.
Chuck it and get a GRP whip.

The amount of trouble that guys have had with Rib Raider aerials is beyond funny. I had next to zero getting through on mine, I binned it for a 1.2m whip and now get excellent coverage.
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Old 12 April 2010, 15:35   #7
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Thanks to all. (sorry have been out of contact all day)
Chris, the aerial is a V tronix rib raider mated to an Icom VHF and has worked perfectly in the past.
That will be your problem then, I have had several and when they worked they were OK however they never lasted long and tended to fail where the wire fitted into the aerial.

I dont rate them at all.

I spent about 20 less than I did on the Vtronix on one of the pacific aerials and it has yet to let me down.
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Old 12 April 2010, 17:41   #8
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Just to buck the trend, I had a Rib Raider for a while and mine worked quite well...

Tin hat on

On a more serious note if you take the plug off the back of the radio and it's green and furry inside, you may as well bin everything except the radio and fit a complete new coax and antenna.
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Old 15 April 2010, 06:07   #9
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never had a problem with vtronix personally.

its all about the bodge job
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Old 15 April 2010, 17:06   #10
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Never had a problem over the years with my Rib raider.
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