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Old 19-07-2017, 00:09   #1
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HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Hello all,

I have an Icom IC-M710 SSB with an AT-130 Automatic Tuner along with Pactor Modem and Sailmail on board our 33 ft mono.

Everything has worked pretty much seemlesly for the past years however recently during a failed connection with the Pactor modem, wherby the computer froze mid call and i was forced to shutdown computer and switch off the radio (this happens quite often due to the radio intefering with the computers ports somehow) but this time when i turned the radio back the following occurs-

The radio appears to funcrtion normally i can hear static on all channels but it is very quiet.
I can not hear anything other than low static noise.
I can not transmit.
When i press tune on the radio the Automatic tuner only makes one clicking noise and not the usual fast array of clicks as it used to do.


I have checked all conmections, earth and aerial conmections all are fine.

I feel the issue might be in the Automatic Tuner but am unsure.

Does anyone have any ideas for me? Is it worth taking the face cover of the tuner and checking anything in side?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are currently cruising in New Caledonia and do not have access to any technicians.

Thanks.

Frozzie
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Old 19-07-2017, 00:33   #2
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Difficult to say. Try these in order:

1) Confirm you can receive on the time frequencies, 5,000; 10,000; 15,000 and so on. Note any differences in reception but pay attention to propagation characteristics of the day/time.

2) What do you mean you cannot transmit? Check the current consumption of the radio when you press the transmit button - this will give you in indication if your power amp section of the radio is still working. Try it with voice and data. These marine radios typically have two independent power amps and it is quite unlikely that both will fry at the same time even if there was a current spike somewhere.

If both amps are working you should be drawing at least 15 amps on "Fooour...". Also, make sure you do a complete software reset, settings, etc. and that the radio is high power mode. If you are not drawing at least 8-9 amps during transmit, the problem is in the radio. If the current consumption is in line, then the problem could be in the tuner. You can try bypassing the tuner and check if the radio is giving Hi VSWR. Alternatively, pick a Winlink/Sailmail frequency close to the matching frequency of your antenna setup and try without the tuner.

Good luck.
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Old 19-07-2017, 00:38   #3
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Sounds ominous. You can hear static but it sounds quiet is not promising.

First thing I'd do is tune the radio to some frequency where you know you should be receiving a broadcast. Weather fax frequency would be good.

Then if I did not hear anything I'd bypass the at130 and jumper the ant from the radio straight to the existing antenna if practical or even the nearest stay. You SHOULD be able to hear stuff with that setup. (But clearly do not transmit)

Then (a) if you start to hear stuff you know the at130 is buggered or (b) if you still hear nothing the radio has a problem.

Next steps depend on the result of that test.
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Old 19-07-2017, 00:40   #4
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
Difficult to say. Try these in order:

1) Confirm you can receive on the time frequencies, 5,000; 10,000; 15,000 and so on. Note any differences in reception but pay attention to propagation characteristics of the day/time.

2) What do you mean you cannot transmit? Check the current consumption of the radio when you press the transmit button - this will give you in indication if your power amp section of the radio is still working. Try it with voice and data. These marine radios typically have two independent power amps and it is quite unlikely that both will fry at the same time even if there was a current spike somewhere.

If both amps are working you should be drawing at least 15 amps on "Fooour...". Also, make sure you do a complete software reset, settings, etc. and that the radio is high power mode. If you are not drawing at least 8-9 amps during transmit, the problem is in the radio. If the current consumption is in line, then the problem could be in the tuner. You can try bypassing the tuner and check if the radio is giving Hi VSWR. Alternatively, pick a Winlink/Sailmail frequency close to the matching frequency of your antenna setup and try without the tuner.

Good luck.
Ho Pizzaz thanks for your reply.

I can confirm that the radio does draw current when transmitting at all. I have also tried to listen to another boat which is transmitting and here nothing except very quiet static. And they cant hear me either when transmitting.

So if you are correct in saying that without amp draw during a transmit, the issue is in the radio, then at least this is a start for me to look further.

Could you please advise how i do a reset? Is there a hard or soft reset on the radio or tuner?

Thanks
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Old 19-07-2017, 00:41   #5
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Btw, my understanding of the At130 (which is what I have) is that the click you hear is it switching to tune mode but the lack of the subsequent mechanical chatter is an indication that it is not getting a carrier input (very low power in my m802) to start experimenting with.
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Old 19-07-2017, 00:45   #6
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
Difficult to say. Try these in order:

1) Confirm you can receive on the time frequencies, 5,000; 10,000; 15,000 and so on. Note any differences in reception but pay attention to propagation characteristics of the day/time.

2) What do you mean you cannot transmit? Check the current consumption of the radio when you press the transmit button - this will give you in indication if your power amp section of the radio is still working. Try it with voice and data. These marine radios typically have two independent power amps and it is quite unlikely that both will fry at the same time even if there was a current spike somewhere.

If both amps are working you should be drawing at least 15 amps on "Fooour...". Also, make sure you do a complete software reset, settings, etc. and that the radio is high power mode. If you are not drawing at least 8-9 amps during transmit, the problem is in the radio. If the current consumption is in line, then the problem could be in the tuner. You can try bypassing the tuner and check if the radio is giving Hi VSWR. Alternatively, pick a Winlink/Sailmail frequency close to the matching frequency of your antenna setup and try without the tuner.

Good luck.
Ho Pizzaz thanks for your reply.

I can confirm that the radio does draw current when transmitting at all. I have also tried to listen to another boat which is transmitting and here nothing except very quiet static. And they cant hear me either when transmitting.

So if you are correct in saying that without amp draw during a transmit, the issue is in the radio, then at least this is a start for me to look further.

Could you please advise how i do a software reset? Is there a hard or soft reset on the radio or tuner?

Thanks
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Old 19-07-2017, 00:46   #7
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozzie View Post
Ho Pizzaz thanks for your reply.

I can confirm that the radio does draw current when transmitting at all. I have also tried to listen to another boat which is transmitting and here nothing except very quiet static. And they cant hear me either when transmitting.

So if you are correct in saying that without amp draw during a transmit, the issue is in the radio, then at least this is a start for me to look further.

Could you please advise how i do a reset? Is there a hard or soft reset on the radio or tuner?

Thanks
I would not reset anything until I was confident I knew the cause of the fault. Once you reset things you are eliminating a baseline of what was known to work at one stage.
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Old 19-07-2017, 10:32   #8
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I would not reset anything until I was confident I knew the cause of the fault. Once you reset things you are eliminating a baseline of what was known to work at one stage.
No body said any thing about the power leads coming into the radio
every body knows how hard salt water is on electrical connections.
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Old 19-07-2017, 13:55   #9
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

Generally speaking it's best to disconnect/ eliminate everything not needed to just troubleshoot the transceiver. So I'd unplug/ disconnect all tuner and PC/ modem connections. Either or both can cause the transmitter to not xmit or only at low low power..10w.

By what every means connect a 'long wire' directly into the coax connector of the radio... 20' should do and just run outside and pull up glad or main halyard. Now just tune around/ have you boater friend now transmit and tune to that frequency. Be mindful that many HF frequencies are actually 'duplex' pairs of frequencies... they listen on one frequency & xmit on another. Google maritime HF frequencies and make sure friend is using a 'simplex' channel... xmit a/ receives on same frequency. If you can hear the nearby transmitter, it's time to make sure you have the receiver settings correct regarding which sideband, RF gain, squelch,... That will take a re-read of the manual first sections. If still not receiving a strong local signal... probably time to seek out a local marine electronics shop or local ham (who are always willing to help and usually have enough test/ monitoring and troubleshooting knowledge to track down the issue (but maybe not enough manufacturer/. model specific replacement parts to repair it)

One easy check is to take apart any fuse holders in the radio's 12v power wires & connections to the + battery & - battery. Many many problem result from corrosion in the fuse & battery connections (and the molex 12v power plug on the radio. Corrosion can allow enough voltage to sorta power the receiver section but not enough for the heavy load (15-20a) of transmit. Let us known what you find! Helps everyone...
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Old 19-07-2017, 17:21   #10
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Re: HF Radio not receiving or transmitting.

IF you have an earphone plug, try it. You might simply have a damaged speaker. BTDT....
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