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Old 01-15-2016, 11:27 AM   #1
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VHF Antenna(s) Bad?

Hi Folks,

My new-to-me boat has two stand alone VHF radios, each with its own antenna. Both radios have excessive squelch issues, which I have never experienced on other boats. WIs it possible that the interference is caused by the inverter, which is almost always on? All the antenna and radio connections that I can access look clean. I was wondering if the problem might be a bad antenna, but I've never heard of that before.

I'm sure this is something basic, but my radios on sailboats have always worked with no problems. All ideas and solutions are welcome.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:38 AM   #2
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You're going to have to provide a lot more detail on the "squelch issues" but if you suspect the inverter is causing issues, turn it off and see if the issues go away.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:42 AM   #3
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LED's or halogen lights could be a source of noise. Try shutting everything off and going around and turning things on 1 at a time.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:17 PM   #4
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Since it effects both radios it is likely something besides the radios themselves. If it is only on one channel it could be someone's stuck mike. If it is on all channels it is probably some interference source on your boat. Take Larry's advice and start turning things off. Florescent lights, LEDs, inverter, fans, brush motors are all possible culprits.

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Old 01-15-2016, 09:53 PM   #5
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Agree with the above.

Is it on one freq or all of them? Is it constant or is it intermittent? Does it go away when the antenna is disconnected? Find a way to isolate the cause by controlling the potential interference one at a time.

If if it's intermittent and you have a handheld with adjustable squelch, set it to the most offending frequency with systems powered up and place it where the squelch is just barely broken. I'd go one notch above static. Then turn off systems to see if the issue resolves itself.
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:54 PM   #6
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I recall a rule of thumb on having 8 feet of distance separating antennas from the unit itself. Maybe they are hammering the rf amps in the units?
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
I recall a rule of thumb on having 8 feet of distance separating antennas from the unit itself. Maybe they are hammering the rf amps in the units?
Good rule for installs but often broken with little or no real operational effect.

Often see 4-5 feet with no real issues. Especially when different db antennas.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, folks.

I just read in Nigel Calder's book that to isolate a possible interference source, turn everything on and monitor the interference as each breaker is switched off. If there is an onboard electrical interference source, this should find it easily. I'll give it a try next time I am at the boat.

Cheers, Bill
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