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Old 23 September 2018, 12:29   #1
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Water in VHF Microphone - Cannot transmit

Seems that the microphone on my built in VHF radio doesn't like the rain, as when transmitting, I could not be heard.

Its a dash mounted Icom 323 VHF radio, 2 yrs old, and had from new. Fault free to date.

Yesterday, tapping it, grate down, seemed to clear the problem by knocking the water out.

However today, tapping the mic didn't make any difference and I could not be heard at all. This was after a night of heavy rain and also during heavy rain.

Weird that an IPx7 rated device doesn't like water, and as a result I've lost confidence in it.

Weird that the speaker has an "AquaQuake" function but the mic doesn't.

Could my microphone be faulty? Or is it just that these microphones simply don't like water?

(I carry a waterproof handheld with me as a backup in an aquapac so was able to get by with that.)

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Old 23 September 2018, 13:27   #2
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The tapping may have damaged the capsule in the handset, you might be lucky with icom warranty..... the “quake” sends signal to the speaker a sine wave to dislodge water, cant send a signal to a mic in the same way.
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:02   #3
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Fit for purpose is 6 years in England for electronics, send icom an email and they should do something if no signs of damage.

Up here it is 5 years but I've used it a few times, once on a chartplotter and once for a tv that went phut in year 3....bother were replaced.
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:25   #4
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Yes of course will try claiming on warranty....but need to understand the effect of water on the microphones. Is it normal to have issues with rain / sea water on mic or does this simple seem a case of premature failure?
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:26   #5
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Fit for purpose is 6 years in England for electronics, send icom an email and they should do something if no signs of damage.

Up here it is 5 years but I've used it a few times, once on a chartplotter and once for a tv that went phut in year 3....bother were replaced.
Not that simple https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rig...faulty-product

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Six months or more

If a fault develops after the first six months, the burden is on you to prove that the product was faulty at the time you took ownership of it.

In practice, this may require some form of expert report, opinion or evidence of similar problems across the product range.

Find out more about how to return a faulty item and claim a refund, repair or replacement from a retailer.

You have six years to take a claim to the small claims court for faulty goods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five years in Scotland.

This doesn't mean that a product has to last six years - just that you have this length of time in which to make a claim if a retailer refuses to repair or replace a faulty product.
Smacking the water out has effectively made it damage not defect.........

Icom are pretty good and will likely replace handset...

Note consumer law is with retailer nowt to do with manufacturer....
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:32   #6
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It isnt complex but is possible....been there...Done that own the new TV, chartplotter on old boat, 30" monitor and a dyson as proof if it.

Does it always work, ofcourse not but what you got to lose, it is knackered anyway.

You need to "write" to the maker, not the retailer but the retailer can handle it for you....That is why a lot of electrical places say you have a 5 or 6 year warranty these days....you had it anyway! They can deduct fair usage from it which is based upon how many hours are on the unit by far and large. I had that with my TV, I think there was about 8000 hours on it and the TV was only rated to 10000 hours (LG 55" LCD) They gave me about half my money back but as it was 3, nearly 4 years old I bought a better tv for the money I got back.
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:42   #7
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Can we get back on topic pls (as opposed to turning this into a legal thread) ?
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:47   #8
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That is gratitude for you, offer a way out and get that.....hope it never works again now.

Throw it out and buy another one, that better?
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:50   #9
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Interested in root cause of failure....and whether this is a common issue.

Also, I have never liked the fact that the mic is hard wired to the unit. The mic is vulnerable and exposed.

Garmin does radios with removeable mics, which makes replacement easy in the field, but pricey though !
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Old 23 September 2018, 14:53   #10
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The root cause is probably a seal of some kind failed if it hasn't been submerged or banged about for long periods.

My last VHF and chartplotter failed with..oh sorry, that is off topic so I'll keep the knowledge in the piggy bank.

VHF failures are not unheard of, although I have never had one break in a non rib, I assume the bouncing about doesn't help a whole lot to longevity or being outside 24/7 Although my last icom broke after about 8 years on a console so fair play to it I think.
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Old 23 September 2018, 15:10   #11
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...........

Garmin does radios with removeable mics, which makes replacement easy in the field, but pricey though !
So does Cobra and not pricey. Used them for around thirteen years and never had a fault.
Give some thought to the install to try and give the radio a bit of protection.

In theory they can be left exposed to the elements but they survive better if they're given a bit of shelter particularly the connectors on the back.
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Old 24 September 2018, 04:51   #12
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I checked with ICOM this morning, and they provide a 3 yr warranty so no dramas there.

So need to remove the unit and return for repair - a 2 week turnaround.

Really annoying that the microphone is hard wired and only removable with careful disassembly. This sucks. Very poor design IMHO.

I think what I'll do is buy a new VHF and sell the 323 once it is repaired, which will allow me to do a remove / install as a single job, as opposed to two separate jobs with downtime.
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Old 24 September 2018, 05:25   #13
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A removable mic is just another set of connections to get corroded & fail. Never had an Icom fail on me, but then I don’t go banging them on the console
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Old 24 September 2018, 05:32   #14
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A removable mic is just another set of connections to get corroded & fail. Never had an Icom fail on me, but then I don’t go banging them on the console
I never said I banged it on the console. I tapped it grill down onto palm of my hand, which of note, was considered standard practice according to ICOM tech support.
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Old 24 September 2018, 05:57   #15
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I never said I banged it on the console. I tapped it grill down onto palm of my hand, which of note, was considered standard practice according to ICOM tech support.


I never said “you” did either, I said I hadn’t
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Old 24 September 2018, 06:00   #16
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I never said “you” did either, I said I hadn’t
Bravo sir, well played
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Old 24 September 2018, 11:51   #17
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......
So need to remove the unit and return for repair - a 2 week turnaround.

Really annoying that the microphone is hard wired and only removable with careful disassembly. This sucks. Very poor design IMHO.
Internally the microphone is a very simple device. The actual microphone will be a simple electret device costing not much more than pennies and the PTT will be a couple of contacts which make the circuit - often a slide switch is used and the external button simply slides the contacts across.

If it's not corroded to buggery inside and you're handy with a soldering iron, you might sort it in 20mins or so. Pop the screws out and take a look inside.
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Old 24 September 2018, 12:20   #18
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Why would you break out a soldering iron and potentially knacker what they are replacing for free?
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Old 24 September 2018, 13:20   #19
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Why would you break out a soldering iron and potentially knacker what they are replacing for free?
Because it's a two week turn around and the OP is considering buying a new replacement radio. And, you potentially might knacker it but I certainly wouldn't.
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Old 24 September 2018, 13:38   #20
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Given you don't understand the difference with a long and ultra long shaft outboard perhaps you should stick to soldering, although maybe something hot isn't a good idea.

However, if you need something soldered properly then give me a shout, I'll show you the ropes
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