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Old 06-05-2013, 13:30   #61
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Sometimes a wire will pull in one direction but not the other. Try pulling it the other way and see if it works. Sometimes it will not pull at all because it's bundled to other wires or otherwise fastened in place. Try running the new one as in my post above.
That's good advice. I had that problem -- if I tried to pull a cable up my mast, it would lift the cover of the conduit and jam between the plastic cover and the conduit tray -- every time. Finally figured out that cables in my mast can only be pulled down. By design of Selden, I guess, as strange as it seems.
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Old 06-05-2013, 17:44   #62
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

I've pulled a lot of wire in my day. There's not a lot I don't know about pulling wire.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:09   #63
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

Finally got the new small cable run down the mast and into the cabin, where we realized that it was about a meter short. I decided to hook it to the old large cable and connector that was in the cabin near the mast, thus avoiding a second connector. Soldered the point and hooked it up. Got a clear radio test to 4 miles away.

I was told not to mix the two different sized antenna cables. Any problem eith this?
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:30   #64
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

No, not a problem.

But the 4-mile test really doesn't tell you a lot.

Put a power/swr meter on it and see:

1. how much power you're getting out from the radio; and
2. what the SWR is (i.e., how good the coax/antenna system match is).

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Old 09-05-2013, 05:39   #65
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

Back to the original topic -- one of my antennae suddenly started working. Bizarre. I guess maybe a connector not screwed down tight enough? I had it connected to my AIS and noticed that suddenly I was picking up AIS transmitters from the middle of the English Channel. I chopped off the connector at the nav table end, and carefully soldered on a new one, using all the knowledge gained on here. Now my VHF works (except the d*mned thing has extremely attenuated audio volume at the main unit at the nav table -- apparently unrelated problem -- audio from the second station at the helm is fine -- if it's not one thing, it's another! ).

I guess I will delay climbing the mast until I am well prepared. I think I will buy crimp connectors and the large crimper for RG213 and just crimp on new ones. After my adventures soldering yesterday, I really don't want to try to do it from a bosun's chair.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:51   #66
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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Back to the original topic -- one of my antennae suddenly started working. ..............
I would not be comfortable with something that was broken and then suddenly started working. You don't know why it didn't work and you don't know when it will stop working again.

If this was for a television set or entertainment radio, no big deal, wait until it stops working and then deal with it.

If it's something critical like your VHF antenna, you should really find out where the intermittent connection is and repair it. If you find that the connector was loose and you are able to tighten it, that was probably the problem. If you can't find out what was causing the problem, the safest thing to do is cut off the connectors and start over again.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:01   #67
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I would not be comfortable with something that was broken and then suddenly started working. You don't know why it didn't work and you don't know when it will stop working again.

If this was for a television set or entertainment radio, no big deal, wait until it stops working and then deal with it.

If it's something critical like your VHF antenna, you should really find out where the intermittent connection is and repair it. If you find that the connector was loose and you are able to tighten it, that was probably the problem. If you can't find out what was causing the problem, the safest thing to do is cut off the connectors and start over again.
I agree, and I will do just that.

One other problem I have is that I am not sure which antenna is now working. The cables are identical. I'm going to need to get at the mast base to figure that out prior to going aloft.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:28   #68
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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I agree, and I will do just that.

One other problem I have is that I am not sure which antenna is now working. The cables are identical. I'm going to need to get at the mast base to figure that out prior to going aloft.
At the risk of stating the obvious (); next time label the coax feeders at the time of installation.

For example, we recently erected a comms tower with 22 antennas and thus 22 coax feeders - labels were essential
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:38   #69
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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......

For example, we recently erected a comms tower with 22 antennas and thus 22 coax feeders - labels were essential
Awww....that's not very sporting :-)

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Old 09-05-2013, 06:58   #70
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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I thought that too, but I tested both cables with a multimeter today, and discovered that there is no short to the core in either case. Which is bad in the case of my masthead antenna, because it is a dipole and is supposed to read shorted.
If it's a dipole and it IS shorted, you have a problem, hence the name "di-pole". Braid goes to one half and center conductor goes to the other half...LL
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:44   #71
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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If it's a dipole and it IS shorted, you have a problem, hence the name "di-pole". Braid goes to one half and center conductor goes to the other half...LL
Hmm, I understand what you're saying, but there was a bright orange label on the antenna, a Shakespeare Galaxy, which said "Warning! Antenna Will Read Shorted!"
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:50   #72
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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Hmm, I understand what you're saying, but there was a bright orange label on the antenna, a Shakespeare Galaxy, which said "Warning! Antenna Will Read Shorted!"

Edit: Oops, maybe I'm not remembering it right. Mine is an XP 5400:

Shakespeare Antenna Specifications: Galaxy 5400-XP VHF Marine Band

Maybe the warning was "Warning! Antenna Will Read Open on Continuity Test!"
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:52   #73
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

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At the risk of stating the obvious (); next time label the coax feeders at the time of installation.

For example, we recently erected a comms tower with 22 antennas and thus 22 coax feeders - labels were essential
Indeed. It would not have been a problem, as I am intimately (!) acquainted with every single cable I pulled. Except that I enclosed the mast base before labelling at the nav table. The masthead antenna cable comes out of a different duct, than the spreader one.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:07   #74
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

Quiro-
It is not a question of size but matching impedances and as Bt said, you want to do an SWR test to see how well the job went. Some folks will say it is impossible to solder coax that way without creating a problem. Others say you "must" cross it over, conductor to shield, at the splice. What everyone agrees on in is that your best bet is to solder a male connector on each cable, and use a double-female connector to join the two of them, rather than splicing. More work, more money, but no questions about how lucky your splice might have been.
The SWR test will tell you if you need to redo this.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:08   #75
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Re: Coax Connector Failure

There are various versions of the Shakespeare Galaxy, and you could look up your specific specifications on the Shakespeare web site. Here is the link.

The information on that site for the
Galaxy 5400-XT Little Giant™ is "No DC Ground - The antenna will read open on continuity test."
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