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Old 11-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
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VHF- can hear but can't talk!

I am going to be troubleshooting this problem either later this week or this weekend when I get back up to the boat. *However, this weekend we discovered that the VHF radio is getting power and speaker works as we can hear transmissions fine but it will not let us talk and be heard when we hit the mic. *We tested it briefly on a non-used channel and our handheld and sure enough- no transmission going through at either the lower helm or the upper helm. *We have only one main unit, which is mounted in the salon @ the lower helm, and a "remote" mike wired in up @ the bridge which is basically just another mic with switches on the side to change channel, squelch, or volume. *Since I am not Mr. Electronics, maybe you all can give me intelligent direction on what I should check first for the common problem that would keep both mics from working. *If it were that the antenna was not set up i would think I would not be receiving transmissions- some of which have come through loud and clear from about 4 miles away down the river (people calling the lockmaster to lock through and that lock is about 4 miles down the river.
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:

I am going to be troubleshooting this problem either later this week or this weekend when I get back up to the boat. *However, this weekend we discovered that the VHF radio is getting power and speaker works as we can hear transmissions fine but it will not let us talk and be heard when we hit the mic. *We tested it briefly on a non-used channel and our handheld and sure enough- no transmission going through at either the lower helm or the upper helm. *We have only one main unit, which is mounted in the salon @ the lower helm, and a "remote" mike wired in up @ the bridge which is basically just another mic with switches on the side to change channel, squelch, or volume. *Since I am not Mr. Electronics, maybe you all can give me intelligent direction on what I should check first for the common problem that would keep both mics from working. *If it were that the antenna was not set up i would think I would not be receiving transmissions- some of which have come through loud and clear from about 4 miles away down the river (people calling the lockmaster to lock through and that lock is about 4 miles down the river.



*
The first thing to check is your power source. You may have a loose connection, giving you enough power to receive, but not transmit. Transmitting requires far more power.*

*
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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VHF- can hear but can't talk!

We've had this problem with the VHF in our 17' Arima fishing boat. Granted, the radio was some 30 years old but it worked fine until one day it would transmit on low power but not high. First suggestion from the marine electronics shop we use was to check the power connections to the radio for the reason stated by Carey--- perhaps corrosion or a bad connection was not letting the radio get sufficent power to transmit on high.

It's a good and correct theory but in this case no cigar. The radio was shot so we replaced it. But I would suggest you do as Carey suggests first and check ALL the power connections between the connection to the 12vdc power bus the radio is is connected to through the fuse connections all the way to the radio's power leads. If still no joy then you may be looking at a new radio unless you want to try to get yours fixed which generally costs almost as much as simply buying a new one.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 16th of November 2010 07:44:20 PM
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

The radio is not that old so I will start with checking power lines and hope that is it! Since all the vent line fittings for water tanks, fuel tanks, etc. were clogged with mud dobber nests, maybe I should check for mud dobbers in the radio too!
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:02 AM   #5
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Not that it makes any difference but I did the math wrong. I installed the original VHF radio in our Arima riht after we bought the boat new in 1987 or 88. So the radio was only 20 years old when it crapped out.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:41 AM   #6
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Check all your connections especially where the remote from the bridge plugs in.
With mine if the mike on either station is not sitting in its bracket the other station looses a lot of its functions and transmitting is one of them and will not work unless the other station is in its cradle

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #7
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Last time that happened to me it was the antenna. New antenna solved the problem.

(Then I had remembered that 2 years earlier I had just touched the tip on a bridge in the Hudson (or champlain canal I forget) that was lower than reported....and that must have started the damage)
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Quote:
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Last time that happened to me it was the antenna. New antenna solved the problem.
Same here. Check and see if the unit is getting too hot to touch on the cooling fins. Both of our antennas were toast.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:42 AM   #9
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Nine times out of ten this is a problem with the connector for the antenna at the back of the radio or at the antenna end if it connects separately to the antenna. Without the equipment to test the antenna cable you will not be able to "see" anything. Unless you want to go out and purchase a Shakespeare ART-3 or find someone that has one, another method would be to borrow a known working cable and test the radio using it. Chuck
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:05 AM   #10
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Hiya,
** A friend has an arial signal strenth meter he got at Radio Shack (I think).* Similar to this:
http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?...y=2m2#overview
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:13 PM   #11
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Firefly, That particular type of meter will pretty much tell you nothing that will help in determining what the problem might be and how to fix it. Chuck
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:44 PM   #12
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

OK, electronics ain't my strong point.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:10 PM   #13
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

A friend of ours had the same problem on his boat and could not figure out why. We'd be right next to him and not able to hear him.* But he could receive OK.* Come to find out the wire from the VHF to the antenna had never been connected!!!* Now it works just great.* Good luck with it!* We have so many electrical things to chase down it isn't even funny.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:42 PM   #14
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Usually transmitting on a VHF radio that's not connected to an antenna is a pretty sure way to burn out the radio. There should always be a load connected to the antenna connection, either an antenna or a load simulator, before you hit the transmit key, particuarly on high power.

That's the danger of having two radios sharing the same antenna via a selector switch. If someone forgets to change the switch and transmits on the radio that's not connected, permanent damage to the radio can be the result. Our boat was set up this way when we bought it--- the flying bridge and lower helm radios were both connected to the single 8' VHF antenna via a selector switch on the flying bridge. We replaced this 8' antenna with a 24' antenna for the helm radio and added a new 8' antenna for the flying bridge radio. No chance now of accidentally transmitting on an unconnected radio.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:47 PM   #15
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RE: VHF- can hear but can't talk!

Well I think it was a bad connection on the antenna! I chased down the wiring from both stations and antennas- discovered my port antenna is the sole antenna for the VHF, the starboard antenna (both 8' shakespeare antennas) is hooked up to the salon am/fm radio/CD/ipod player. Anyway, I checked all the connections after taking it apart and cleaning one of the connections, the VHF fully works for talking and listening. YIPPIE! Now I can be one of those irritating people always asking for a radio check on channel 16.

Thanks all!
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