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Old 06-03-2015, 06:03   #16
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

I see I am confused (a perpetual state of late).

But, yes, there was a very distinct click at the tuner at power up and power down. I can't comment on the 802 box, as I wasn't there (I was upside down in the lazarette). I cannot envision how it could do that if it were not getting power there.

The connector (small white rectangle at location embossed "tuner" or some such) which had the (correctly remembered, as it turned out) power out to the tuner was made up by another ham a few years ago. However it happened, those ends (female, soldered to the power-to-tuner line) were not fully seated in the nylon-or-whatever receiver. I corrected that and remounted. It was my presumption that it couldn't have helped (smaller contact area with the female receiver partially withdrawn) and MAY have caused a no-power condition. I have had occasion on other, computer, connections, to have to remove and remake such connectors, so I recognized the problem and addressed it. It might not have made a difference, but it couldn't hurt

I didn't spray anything into the box. I put Corrosion Block (something I've found effective at protecting exposed connections in the past), a liquid, on the connection points and remade them, burnishing slightly by on-off repetition. In the case of the antenna clamp, it was just to try to make the input the best possible. Both the clamp and terminal brightened up considerably with vigorous application of crocus cloth. Per your above, at some point you told me not to use Corrosion Block; clearly, I missed that, as I would not have done so on such direct instruction Some notes on Corrosion Block:

"Corrosion block is a marine version of the aviation and
military's ACF-50. This is a specially formulated penetrant that
was created to battle the worst kind of corrosion. "

Lear Chemical Research Corporation

The voltage at the major white 6-pin clip was, at the time I measured it, 12, as it's not very sunny or windy at the moment, we had several other things running (typical boat usage - refrigerator, inverter, computer, etc.), and it's been a few days since full charge. (If that happens to be an issue, we're charging today.) That is fed by a breaker direct from the buss bar in the engine room, thence to a terminal strip adjacent to the main box, 12Ga - and that connects to the provided pigtail. Round trip about 30 feet.

I gather I'm uncertain as to what to measure, where. Am I to measure the output at the pins at the tuner "out" power, in the main 802 box, to see if the tuner is getting power? Would the power-on/power-off clicks at the tuner answer that question?

I'm quite willing to measure the voltage, and on rereading closely, I see you ARE speaking of the tiny pins coming out of the "tuner" rectangle, but in my dunderhead understanding of how stuff works, the tuner wouldn't make a very distinct click on power-on and power-off if that click weren't somehow an electrically related event - and if there's no power going to the tuner, no such clicks would/could be heard, as it would never energize, let alone release (???? - not being argumentative, just very confused at this point), would it? FWIW, I did try the large-separation of frequencies - no clicks other than on power on and power off, and still the "SWR" indication. Interestingly, no such indication on USB - but because I have to unmount my computer to get to this, I didn't do the Pactor tx/rx test. I'll do that before I tear it all apart, again...

So, I'll measure the voltage, and you've saved me a very sore back and other parts as I do the snake dance upside down. In the meantime, while I very much "get" your last
Quote:
("In order to incentivize you, I will no longer respond in detail about this, until you measure the voltage and report this back... ")
, as I can't get to it immediately, and we're not in direct communication, would you mind opining on my - probably incorrect - head-scratcher about why and when the tuner DOES click, absent power?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:44   #17
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Skip,
LOTS of good news here!!!

1) First forgive my bluntness last night...bad night here...

2) Next, no need to write a treatise, as it distracts from the information needed...

And, if I read correctly:
You DID measure the voltage at the M-802's tuner control jack (the tiny pins) and got 12vdc???

And, you DID hear the SGC tuner make a hard click, upon powering up of the M-802???

PLEASE JUST CONFIRM THOSE QUESTIONS WITH A "YES" OR "NO"....NOTHING ELSE.....


3) Assuming the answer to those two question is a "yes", then YES you are correct that the tuner IS getting power...(something you apparently knew yesterday, but didn't actually write here, and allowed me to waste a LOT of time describing the "test"....so PLEASE do not write a treatise/explanation of everything, just the facts...)
Again, we seem to have confirmed that the tuner is getting dc power, but not functioning....

Since the SGC tuner only needs dc power and RF from the radio to function....the possible causes of your troubles are narrowed down to 3 things:

a) Faulty coaxial cable / connectors (a common occurrence), causing poor SWR between the radio and tuner...and/or not allowing enough RF power to reach the tuner for it to operate...(and, yes this CAN be happening and you still will be receiving signals...albeit sometimes receiving can be weaker than usual...)
Solution: examine / test / replace / repair, cable and connectors as necessary...

b) Faulty dc power connections, not supplying enough dc power to the tuner...
Solution: examine / test / measure / repair / replace dc power wiring and connections to the tuner....
Also your explanation of how your M-802 is wired is troubling, as it seems you have quite a voltage drop there as well....so, perhaps you have very little voltage under transmit to start with (remember, the voltage is going to drop a LOT when you transmit), and by the time it goes thru some more unusual connections / path to reach the tuner, it is below what the SGC tuner requires???
So, you may also wish to consider properly installing the M-802, with adequate wiring (and directly to the house battery bank or main switch), thereby reducing the possibility of this problem ever occurring again, NOT TO MENTION SERIOUSLY IMPROVING YOUR RADIO'S TRANSMIT SIGNAL, as well as reducing RFI, etc....
One of the primary mistakes made with SSB installs is this 12vdc wiring....the instructions are clear, as well as the adamant recommendations of pros like myself, Bill, etc., Sailmail, etc. etc. but why we get ignored is anyone's guess...
What I'm saying here is this:
Your inadequate 12vdc wiring of your M-802, may just be the PRIMARY cause of all of this!!!


c) Faulty / defective SGC tuner....a rare occurrence, but possible....
Solution: doing the above tests / repairs will probably solve the problem....but if not, have a look at the tuner, read the SGC manual, and look at its internal troubleshoot LED's (?)...




Okay, that's it....
No long-winded messages....

And again, if I read correctly:
You DID measure the voltage at the M-802's tuner control jack (the tiny pins) and got 12vdc???

And, you DID hear the SGC tuner make a hard click, upon powering up of the M-802???

PLEASE JUST CONFIRM THOSE QUESTIONS WITH A "YES" OR "NO"....NOTHING ELSE.....
Then, assuming the answers are a "yes", do the above tests, and this should verify what's what...


Fair winds...
Gotta go...

John



P.S. No worries about being confused....but a piece of advice, when working with electronics.....just stick to the facts, yes / no, 12vdc or zero, on/off, etc. no extemporaneous verbiage needed....the less words and more numbers, the better...
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:25   #18
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

My 12V measure (I'm about to tear it all apart again; we're charging and volts are up) was at the incoming power 6-rectangle-3/3 point connector. I'll measure both that and the pins when I take it apart later.

Yes, I did hear the tuner make a large, single, click, on 802 power up and power down, but no others.

My wiring is as you describe. 12Ga marine wire from buss bar at battery, to breaker, to terminal strip, to pigtail. It replaced the "expected" power supply deficiency when taken from the nav breaker panel as originally installed (all radios were on a breaker on that panel at that time; now it's just VHF and Am/FM). Calculation suggests 0.71 volt drop; when I do my testing, I'll report battery and pin voltage.

Manual out and in hand, will read in detail. I surely hope I don't have to disassemble the tuner to look at lights (none on the case) as it's murder to get to...

L8R

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Old 06-03-2015, 08:38   #19
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

quickie - I have an SGC-230, not -30...
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:55   #20
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Skip,
A quickie back at 'ya...

1- sounds like you may have dc power to tuner....(maybe not enough power?? which is an odd problem, but a possibility)

2- coax cable / connectors might also be a problem here...
Have a look at them and test the cable for opens and shorts with an ohm meter....before disassembling anything else...
(although this may entail climbing into lazarette....sorry about that!)


I'm going out this evening, so I won't be around....
Good luck...

John
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:05   #21
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Skip,
A quickie back at 'ya...

1- sounds like you may have dc power to tuner....(maybe not enough power?? which is an odd problem, but a possibility)
How would we determine that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post

2- coax cable / connectors might also be a problem here...
Have a look at them and test the cable for opens and shorts with an ohm meter....before disassembling anything else...
(although this may entail climbing into lazarette....sorry about that!)
Heh. That was going to be my next step, but I JUST put all the stuff back in because it's looking like rain, because I'd been told not to do that

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post

I'm going out this evening, so I won't be around....
Good luck...

John
No problem. I'll take it apart, again, to measure the pin voltage, assuming I can get the box in such a position as to have the remote connected to it at the same time as power, but with the pinout accessible.

If the rain looks like it's gone, I'll re-excavate and go polishing on connection points. In the meantime, I'll RTFM

Thanks.

L8R

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Old 06-03-2015, 18:29   #22
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Well, things went a bit differently than planned.

I was put in contact with a local ham, Guy Foguth AK4YJ, courtesy of one of the mailing lists I'm on. He's the control for 14.300 7-8AM...

He came out to the boat armed with a dual-needle SWR unit, as well as a cable tester and dummy load.

The 802 was putting out, but always being throttled to about 10W. Dummy load suggested all was well with that part of it.

The cable looked good.

So, at that point it was indeterminate.

He had an AT-140 on the wall at his shack - and an 802 was his backup, so he'd been familiar with it...

We went to his house, demounted the 140, made up a patch/jumper cable for it, and made up a new coax from line he had literally laying around. Ran both down the walk-through, out the aft cabin hatch and out on deck.

Plugged the new cable in to my setup, first, to eliminate that possibility. Same results - high SWR, throttled output.

Wired up the 140, used a piece of 12 Ga to connect to the antenna, and used the jumper coax to it. Ran 10 feet or so of speaker wire on deck for a ground plane, not a substitute for my dynaplate, the railings on deck, and many square feet of copper sheet in the bilge and workbench, but...

With the SWR meter in place, and pushing the tune-thru button (and getting the "tune" notification in the upper left), we tried the Maritime Mobile Net.

100W on mid power, blasted through to the back end of the Colorado control. No issue with SWR.

OK. The tuner is getting power out of the pins (didn't have to dismount, hooray) - and the control pins work, too, if I had a 140. What about the existing coax?

Connect that up, SWR meter in place, whistle on a variety of frequencies, and get great readings. Because it was getting late, I didn't try to log onto 14.300 again, but if the meter can be believed, the original cable works.

So, apparently the problem is in the tuner.

Changing horses is problematic in that running the control cable will be enormously disruptive due to all that would have to be moved for access, so I'd prefer not to have to do that.

It's been mounted in a dry location, and the case is weatherproof, intended for outdoor installation, so it's unlikely to have water-caused issues. He's offered to open it up with me when I get it down; if there's something obvious, perhaps it can be repaired immediately.

If not, I could send it off to SGC or just buy another.

Do you see any other more recommended course of action?

Thanks.

L8R

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Old 09-03-2015, 11:55   #23
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Skip,
Sorry if it seems like I abandoned you....but 'ya see there is this girl.....


Okay, now back to your radio problems...
Please see my comments and QUESTIONS (requests for clarifications), in red...
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
a local ham, Guy Foguth AK4YJ, courtesy of one of the mailing lists

He came out to the boat armed with a dual-needle SWR unit, as well as a cable tester and dummy load.
This is VERY good!!!
A dummy load (and SWR meter) are almost always necessary troubleshooting tools!!!


The 802 was putting out, but always being throttled to about 10W. Dummy load suggested all was well with that part of it.
Not sure what this means..???
Are you saying that when connected to the dummy load, the radio was working correctly?? (150 watts out)...
Or, are you saying that it was only putting out 10 watts???
I assume you mean that when connected to your antenna system (tuner, whip, etc.) the radio was only outputting 10 watts, but on the dummy load it was outputting 150 watts???

Edit: upon reading your whole posting, it appears that as we assumed, the radio is working fine...just as it is supposed to...
But, if you could please just report the facts, voltages, power outputs, etc. in a clear and ordered way, I could MUCH better understand what is happening....AND..
And, better for you, this will only take a few minutes of your time, rather than days!!!


{Skip, I realize many are used to writing prose, etc....on blogs, etc....but when it comes to engineering/science/technology, and especially when troubleshooting, the BEST way to write things is in a bland, non-entertaining, but unambiguous way..

Such as:
M-802 output in FSK (with my antenna system) = 10 watts
M-802 output in FSK (into dummy load) = 150 watts }


The cable looked good.
Was there any "testing" of the cable???
What were the results??

{Such as:
Center-to-Shield (tested on both ends) = > 2 Mohms...
Center-to-Center = < 1 ohm
Shield-to-Shield = < 1 ohm }



So, at that point it was indeterminate.
Again we must be clear here (i.e. I need CLARIFIACTION of the above)....
But, assuming the radio was putting out 150 watts (in FSK carrier) into the dummy load, AND the coax cable tested good, AND you confirmed you DO have dc power to the tuner....
Then the tests ARE determinate of a faulty tuner...

But again, your writing of what was actually tested and what the results were is not clear.....
So, my suggestions / recommendations cannot be absolute...
(Skip, I hope you are starting to understand something here....if you provide actual factual data of what is happening and what tests are done, and what the results of those tests are, in a list like I showed above, I can be VERY direct and accurate in determining what is wrong and how to fix it...but with the words you write, it is difficult to understand what is going on....Please understand we are not after a great read here, just the facts...)


He had an AT-140 on the wall at his shack - and an 802 was his backup, so he'd been familiar with it...
This is good....


We went to his house, demounted the 140, made up a patch/jumper cable for it, and made up a new coax from line he had literally laying around. Ran both down the walk-through, out the aft cabin hatch and out on deck.

Plugged the new cable in to my setup, first, to eliminate that possibility. Same results - high SWR, throttled output.
I think you are saying that you temporarily replaced the coax, with a new/known good piece?? (that's good)
And, confirming that a new piece of cable made no difference is good...
But, not sure why....if your coax tested good earlier....you wrote that he brought a "cable tester" and the coax "looked good"...so, again I'm not clear on whether you tested the coax cable or not???

Also I still do not know what voltage you have at the tuner???
I assume you measured that???
But, you've not written that here...




Wired up the 140, used a piece of 12 Ga to connect to the antenna, and used the jumper coax to it. Ran 10 feet or so of speaker wire on deck for a ground plane, not a substitute for my dynaplate, the railings on deck, and many square feet of copper sheet in the bilge and workbench, but...

With the SWR meter in place, and pushing the tune-thru button (and getting the "tune" notification in the upper left), we tried the Maritime Mobile Net.

100W on mid power, blasted through to the back end of the Colorado control. No issue with SWR.
As I assumed earlier, this confirms that your radio is fine....it is outputting okay, and it is providing dc power at the tuner control jack.....these are all GOOD things!!!

(but, this doesn't confirm what the dc voltage is AT YOUR SGC-230 tuner...I assume you tested this, but have not reported it here....or perhaps you have not tested this????...
So, while I suspect a faulty tuner, it is "technically" possible for the tuner to power-up, but not have enough power on transmit to actually operate...so I cannot be absolutely certain of a failed tuner, until I have the results of the voltage tests AT the tuner, and/or you look at the SGC's internal LED's...)




OK. The tuner is getting power out of the pins (didn't have to dismount, hooray) - and the control pins work, too, if I had a 140. What about the existing coax?
If you tested the existing coax, and the results are good....(see what I wrote above for example of what good test results would be), then your coax IS good!!!
If you didn't test the coax, then I have I cannot be absolute...BUT...
But, since you have been receiving okay, I'm going to make a qualified assumption that your existing coax is okay...

FYI, you could've also connected the AT-140 to your existing coax, dangled in the lazarette, etc. and tested it that way...
BUT...

But, one of the BEST ways to test the coax is by placing a watt meter / swr meter and dummy load at the far end of the coax, and compare those readings with earlier readings when testing the radio's output directly into the dummy load!!



Connect that up, SWR meter in place, whistle on a variety of frequencies, and get great readings. Because it was getting late, I didn't try to log onto 14.300 again, but if the meter can be believed, the original cable works.
Okay, now I see that you DID test your existing coax??
Then why did you ask about it, in the paragraph immediately above???
Oh well....no worries....
Your existing coax is okay...



So, apparently the problem is in the tuner.
Yes, it does appear that the tuner is faulty...90%+ sure!

But, as I continue to stress, I do NOT know what the tuner power voltage is AT the tuner, under TRANSMIT (we know at the radio, under rec, it was 12vdc)....
If the dc voltage at the tuner, while transmitting, is less than needed by the SGC tuner, it will NOT operate....(I believe that's around 10 volts, but YOU have the manual...what does it say????)

EDIT:
I looked it up for you...
The SGC manual clearly states:
DC Operating Range +10.5 to 15 VDC
we recommend that the DC voltage at the antenna coupler be measured because if the coupler voltage drops below 10 volts, the coupler may not operate properly.

So, before we can officially make an absolute statement with 100% certainty, that the tuner has failed, we should know that voltage reading...and also have a look inside the SGC, at its LED's....you may find more info there..


Changing horses is problematic in that running the control cable will be enormously disruptive due to all that would have to be moved for access, so I'd prefer not to have to do that.
If the absolute determination is made that the tuner is faulty (we need to know the voltage AT the tuner, and have a look at the troubleshooting LED's), then the choice is:
a) an expensive repair by SGC (they think their repair prices are reasonable, but I think they're outrageous)....
b) buy a new tuner (either SGC or Icom...)

Yes, the Icom tuner requires it to "talk" back to the Icom radio (as well as have 12vdc power)....but it's just a few small wires....so, install shouldn't be a big issue....


It's been mounted in a dry location, and the case is weatherproof, intended for outdoor installation, so it's unlikely to have water-caused issues. He's offered to open it up with me when I get it down; if there's something obvious, perhaps it can be repaired immediately.
If not, I could send it off to SGC or just buy another.

BEFORE you disconnect the darn thing....
DO the voltage tests that I recommended last week (and report them back here)....

If the voltage under transmit is > 11 volts, then the tuner is faulty....and you should open it up, and look at the LED's inside, and that will give you a better idea of what's what...

FYI....although SGC has a good rep, I have been the guy saying that the "Emperor has No Clothes" for a few years now....
The FACT is, that SGC has had some quality-control problems now for years....yes, their designs are top-notch, but the QC sucks!!! (I have an SGC tuner, that I keep as a spare.....it's failed twice in the 5 years I owned it!!! Which is why I LOVE my Icom AT-140, it's been 100% reliable!!)


Do you see any other more recommended course of action?

Okay, Skip.....I think I covered everything....
To sum up:
Test the voltage AT the tuner end of your tuner power wire, when transmitting....(which is what I was recommending last week)
If it is < 11 volts, fix the wires/connections and re-test...
If it is > 11 volts, preferably > 12volts, I suspect you have a faulty tuner....



Fair winds...

John
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:55   #24
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Hi, John, and, again, thanks for the detailed response.

While you were writing that, I was AFK so didn't see it while we (Guy, at his shack, and I) tested the unit which I took out.

Saving all the discussion of which I do poorly, it's the tuner.

All the relays latch on power up, but never let go until unpowered. No tuning happens. LEDs light but aren't informative, as it's not trying to tune.

He had an antenna switcher, so was able to go back and forth from his in the attic to mine; the difference was painfully apparent.

His setup was to remove his feed from his balun box at the bottom of his mast and connect it to the tuner's RF input, and to run a solid 12GA (the same one we put on my antenna during our tests aboard) wire to his 10' long copper pipe - reaches the water table! - with rebar inside it - ground, and power it with a gelcel battery from a UPS.

So, it doesn't work. Meter the RF feed line with power off: continuity on shield and center to antenna as well as to each other. No continuity to ground on any point (antenna, shield, center).

I have the manual, but don't have the chops to read the schematics, but that doesn't seem right.

SGC wants $35 diagnostic fee (reasonable, I think) and, with that included, if you choose to repair it, a $245 flat repair at a typical turnaround of 30 days - or another $50 for expedited service (I didn't ask as to how much time that would represent, as we're pushing awfully close to new pricing).

I have a line on a take-out locally that I hope to be able to pursue today...

Meanwhile, as they're tools I've never used, I can't tell you what it was that Guy used to determine the condition of my feed coax, but it was digital and provided information which was useful to him - he was very positive that the cable was OK; the reaction to attempted tuning/transmission was identical with his and my coax switched out to my tuner and, as seen in my ham(pardon the expression)handed prose, patched to the 140. Given that, I'd expect the cable isn't the issue.

As to it being easy to power/signal cable an AT-140, you'd have to see the boat to see why it's not, at all, easy, but a nightmare. This most recent excitement aside, I've been well pleased with the tuner.

As to voltage at the unit, now that it's out, and the lazarette is empty, I'll measure it at the cut-off power leads. But there's little question that the tuner is the issue. It's frustrating to have a dead short situation, as it's possible that it would be an easy fix for someone electronically talented.

Meanwhile, in excavation and removal, at the ground, I saw that some ******* I'd paid at the time totally mucked up the attachment of my railing system. There was the heavy brass strap, all right, but instead of it being a bridge between the stern gate legs, with a tap coming down to the tuner, it was attached at one end only, and that to the electrically disconnected base of my antenna mast post!

So, a different question, really, as to practice, now:

When we swapped into the 140, the only ground/counterpoise was about 6' of speaker wire. The results in comparison to what we'd had before was astounding. From that I gather both that you don't need all that much, and my tuner has been on the way out for a while.

Unless...

There's something wrong with my current setup (the tuner's still dead ).

I have the usual 4" wide copper strap running in the bilge, crossing over a motor mount bolt, up to a 3'x4' copper plate on the underside of my workbench, and onward to the dynaplate immediately below the 802. I haven't looked, but recollection from the time has it that is also connected to my 802 ground (the strap continues from the dynaplate) - but that was many years ago, and I could be mistaken on that particular.

My antenna feed line is #10 wire with drip loops top and bottom, about 12-16 inches long, terminal rings on both ends. It meters zero ohms.

However, I also have these SS railings. Metering across the aft gate shows zero ohms, so my (I did THOSE myself) bridges on the side gates are doing their job. (There's continuity from one leg of the gate forward through the pulpit and returning to the other leg.)

Two questions:

Would it be useful to have that railing system tied into the ground?

If so, do I need to make that a loop (bridge the aft gate) or, since it's conductive over its entire length, would a strap from the nearest stanchion bolt work effectively?

I believe that I discovered why the aft gate not-bridge was that way (though I really resent not being told of the issue so I could address it at the time). The strap was slightly too short - so the clod just attached it to some bolt sticking down through the deck! If I should use the same material (a 1" wide, 1/8" thick brass strap), I'd have to find some, as what I've got isn't long enough to do it. OTOH, if some form of wire would suffice, I could do that trivially.

So, the next report will be to tell the voltage at the tuner connection (tuner not there), and how I'm resolving the tuner. You could assist me WRT the ground/counterpoise question of the railings - connect, or not, and if so, continuity is needed or doesn't matter.

Thanks!

L8R

Skip
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:01   #25
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Skip,

Pardon me for breaking into your conversation but I have been following your thread. Frankly, given what you've discovered, rather than spending more on repairing your existing tuner, it might be wiser/more cost efficient to simply purchase an AT 140 from Defender (for $489) and a KISS-SSB Ground Plane (for $149) and be done with all the brain damage involved with trying to make your existing arrangement work, No?

FWIW...
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:09   #26
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach



Two things:

Cabling would be a major nuisance for a 140.

The admiral demanded new gear, plug-and-play.

So, one is on its way, today, from Ham Radio Outlet, my prospective take-out having already been sent off to SGC by the junkyard guy only recently, meaning that I'd have about a month to wait to see if his was OK.

And, the admiral is looking for instant results. Different cabling would tear up the boat and delay us...

John, I read your comment in the 'what tuner' thread; I hope we aren't bitten in the butt by a new one. Charging at the moment, will dive into the lazarette for voltage reading when we're done.

L8R

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Old 10-03-2015, 12:14   #27
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Skip,
You're quite welcome!

Sorry to hear that the tuner is faulty...and as you can see from my comments (and others'), SGC has had some rather disappointing QC issues over the last decades...
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
... But there's little question that the tuner is the issue. It's frustrating to have a dead short situation, as it's possible that it would be an easy fix for someone electronically talented.
Skip, with microprocessor controlled electronics (which is what the remote auto-tuners are), it's usually a software/firmware issue that causes problems like you've described....so, I doubt you'd find many folks outside of SGC, HRO, AES, etc., or marine radio shops, that would have the ability to troubleshoot the processor...
So, don't feel bad my friend....even I wouldn't attempt to repair the damn thing myself...





And BTW, now that we know that the tuner has failed, no hurry in diving back into the lazarette to measure the tuner power voltage....
But, when you do, be sure to measure the voltage when you are transmitting as this will ensure that you have enough to make the tuner work well...





As for running new wiring....I understand the issue...
You will make your decisions for you and yours....so no worries from me...but, FYI, my opinion stands....
Go with the AT-140 and eat the time/effort to run a new wire...
(FYI, when I say I understand how much of a pian it is, I really DO understand!! I have done this stuff on my own boats as well as on others'...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
As to it being easy to power/signal cable an AT-140, you'd have to see the boat to see why it's not, at all, easy, but a nightmare. This most recent excitement aside, I've been well pleased with the tuner.






Skip, I will tell you two VERY important FACTS....yes, these are indisputable facts....
1) EVERYTHING is a matter of degree....especially antenna RF ground systems....
An HF vertical antenna (used to be called a "Marconi-type" antenna) will work with NO antenna RF Ground at all, and it will work with 120, 1/2-wavelength long radials, and it will work using the sea water as an antenna RF ground....
It's all a matter of degree...
(and yes, of course this also means it will work with the WAY over-priced, and non-tuned "KISS Ground"....but not as good as it will work with longer / full-size radials, nor a direct sea water connection RF ground...)

2) Entire scientific papers and chapters of radio engineering textbooks have been written about antenna RF ground systems (and I've read them, and have used them as references for my seminars, etc.), so there is NO way that you will ever gain enough knowledge here in these forums to become any more than "slightly educated" on them...



And, here I don't have the time to write a treatise on antenna RF grounds!!
But will say this, every little bit helps....
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
So, a different question, really, as to practice, now:

When we swapped into the 140, the only ground/counterpoise was about 6' of speaker wire. The results in comparison to what we'd had before was astounding. From that I gather both that you don't need all that much, and my tuner has been on the way out for a while.

Unless...

There's something wrong with my current setup (the tuner's still dead ).

I have the usual 4" wide copper strap running in the bilge, crossing over a motor mount bolt, up to a 3'x4' copper plate on the underside of my workbench, and onward to the dynaplate immediately below the 802. I haven't looked, but recollection from the time has it that is also connected to my 802 ground (the strap continues from the dynaplate) - but that was many years ago, and I could be mistaken on that particular.
I think I'm understanding this correctly....but...
But, I haven't a clue as to WHY you did all of this....

A simple 4" wide copper strap run to the Dynaplate, and connecting your rails, etc. is all that you should need.....and I would NEVER recommend trying to use the engine block as part of an RF ground system!!
And while the copper plate on the underside of the workbench can't hurt anything, it is extremely doubtful (99.9% certainty) that it does anything at all for your signal!!

It is set-ups like that, which gives credence to the false arguments against running a copper strap to an underwater thru-hull or grounding plate....

I don't have the time here and now to go into details, but the design you describe is very odd....and seems like it may have been just a "let's use as much copper as we can, and everything will be fine" approach??? (when that is not the case at all...)



However, I also have these SS railings. Metering across the aft gate shows zero ohms, so my (I did THOSE myself) bridges on the side gates are doing their job. (There's continuity from one leg of the gate forward through the pulpit and returning to the other leg.)

Two questions:

Would it be useful to have that railing system tied into the ground?
Yes....

If so, do I need to make that a loop (bridge the aft gate) or, since it's conductive over its entire length, would a strap from the nearest stanchion bolt work effectively?
No need to complicate things....
--- Connect one piece of strap (or wire) from the tuner grd. lug, to the railings....and as long as they are all electrically connected, you're fine...
--- Connect on piece of strap from the tuner grd. lug, to your Dynaplate....

And, that is IT!!!!
Do NOT connect anything else to the Dynaplate...
(nor should you connect the M-802 to any strap, etc...as this can be the cause of on-board transmit RFI and/or RF feedback into the M-802....)



I believe that I discovered why the aft gate not-bridge was that way (though I really resent not being told of the issue so I could address it at the time). The strap was slightly too short - so the clod just attached it to some bolt sticking down through the deck! If I should use the same material (a 1" wide, 1/8" thick brass strap), I'd have to find some, as what I've got isn't long enough to do it. OTOH, if some form of wire would suffice, I could do that trivially.
Skip, wire is FINE!!!
I cannot stress this enough....copper wire works fine as an antenna radial....it is used ALL the time in AM Broadcast, ham radio systems, etc. and has been the standard for almost 100 years now...there is NO need for copper strapping when building radials!!!

Copper strapping is used as a LOW-IMPEDANCE RF connection from the tuner to the sea water, where the sea water is being used as the primary antenna RF ground...

When using radials as a primary (or a secondary) antenna RF ground, copper wire works just fine!!!

This one of those distinctions that is rarely understood....
Use of copper strapping is important to allow the antenna system ground return currents to flow from the sea water back to the antenna with as little loss as possible....
But, if you are using another type of "counterpoise", such as toe-rails, stanchions, lifelines, etc. and are NOT using them to attach/couple-to the sea water, then copper wire is a good way to attach them to your tuner....
If you are using BOTH the sea water (such as with a Dynaplate) and rails, stanchions, etc., then use the strapping to connect to the Dynaplate......and if you wish to use strapping to connect to the rails, etc. that's fine, but copper wire will also work for this as well....

I trust this clears this up for you???


So, the next report will be to tell the voltage at the tuner connection (tuner not there), and how I'm resolving the tuner. You could assist me WRT the ground/counterpoise question of the railings - connect, or not, and if so, continuity is needed or doesn't matter.


I hope this helps...

John
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Old 10-03-2015, 13:27   #28
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Hi, John,

Summarizing:

1) Don't bother to measure voltage.

Too late; I did that just before seeing this.

But - despite it having perfectly latched and unlatched all the relays on application of the on and off button on the radio, there is no (zero, not any portion) volts at the tuner end, any more.

I inspected the clip/plug at the nav end, and nothing appeared amiss. Both females fully seated, clean connection. I can't imagine why that should be different at this time. I thought it MIGHT be that the brains had something which wouldn't put the voltage there if the antenna coax wire wasn't in (it was out from our swapping; I put it back), but there was the same - sorta - result (there was 0.1V present).

Is there some simple explanation as to why power would suddenly disappear (I'm probing the pigtails, of course, as it was clipped from the tuner)?

2) The copper tape, run, etc., is weird.

It came that way, at least 20 years ago. Should I remove it from the engine mount (remaining continuous to the dynaplate otherwise)?

3) Adding the rails is good; you only need wire to do that.

Great. I'll do that.

4) Use the copper tape only to the dynaplate from the tuner ground.

If the dynaplate wasn't supposed to be connected to the radio, I suspect that it's not. I'll look. Certainly, there's no suspicious connection piece.

L8R

Skip
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Old 10-03-2015, 16:47   #29
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Skip,
Not sure where you are reading that anyone (and certainly never myself) wrote to not measure the voltage????
Please do not respond here to me, to comments/recommendations from others/elsewhere...

I realize that you mentioned that you've been discussing this with others....on-line, in person, and possibly on-the-air as well....so, I understand that you may have gotten some advice/recommendations mixed up, as to who wrote/said what....

But, I'd like to make it absolutely clear that I was always asking for the exact voltage readings, and both at the radio and AT the tuner!!!

Back on last Wednesday, less than 2 hours after you posted this question/thread, I responded with much help and asking for more info/clarifications...

Here is just part of what I wrote last Wed:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Here is the first way to do this:
a) Make sure that whatever power source you are using to power the SGC tuner from is switched on, and if you can get at the tuner power wires, measure the voltage there, to confirm you have 12-14vdc to the tuner...
And, then later that same day:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
2) And, FYI....
With the exception of the voltage tests of the tuner power wires (which will take all of about a minute or two), all of the other tests I listed can be done by you, sitting in front of the radio, in just one minute....

So, "testing" won't take much time / effort....
Figuring out what the test results mean, and what to do next, will take only as long as it takes me to type and post the answers....
And, that evening:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
If you don't know where the dc power for the tuner is coming from, I suggest you physically look at the tuner and work back from there.... FYI, if powered from the M-802's tuner power plug, understand that if the wiring/connections are suspect/corroded/etc. you may have blown the M-802's internal 5amp fuse....and easy fix, except you need to open up the 802 to replace the fuse....just fix the problem with wiring/connections first, otherwise you'll be opening it up again!

If you are using the M-802's tuner power plug to power the SGC tuner, a simple DC voltmeter check of the "13.6vdc" power pin on the tuner control plug on the back of the M-802 will tell you right away if the radio is supplying sufficient power for the tuner....
Pin 3 is "+13.6vdc" (or actually whatever voltage the radio is being supplied), red wire on the tuner control cable...
Pin 4 is "negative", black wire on the tuner control cable...

(there are other voltages/pins, but do NOT mess with them!!)

If you get no voltage here, then the M-802's internal 5 amp fuse is most probably blown....and before you replace it, be sure to find the reason it blew (such as bad wiring, etc.)...
You continued to explain that you did not know how/where the tuner was powered, and I continued to explain how to figure that out AND to report the voltages....


And, last Thr. I wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
I'm not sure I'm understanding what you found and what you did...
But, you still haven't mentioned what the voltage was on these "connections" / "receivers"???
Without knowing if there was any voltage on these pins / connections, there was no need to re-install anything...
We NEED to know if the radio's aux dc output is working???
That is why I specifically directed you to measure this...

I've written this above in red bold type, so that you'll get that this is THE important test....


On Friday, you wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
My 12V measure (I'm about to tear it all apart again; we're charging and volts are up) was at the incoming power 6-rectangle-3/3 point connector. [this is the DC power IN of the M-802, NOT the tuner control power pins, that I was asking about] I'll measure both that and the pins when I take it apart later.



On Monday I wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Also I still do not know what voltage you have at the tuner???
I assume you measured that???
But, you've not written that here...



As I assumed earlier, this confirms that your radio is fine....it is outputting okay, and it is providing dc power at the tuner control jack.....these are all GOOD things!!!

(but, this doesn't confirm what the dc voltage is AT YOUR SGC-230 tuner...I assume you tested this, but have not reported it here....or perhaps you have not tested this????...
So, while I suspect a faulty tuner, it is "technically" possible for the tuner to power-up, but not have enough power on transmit to actually operate...so I cannot be absolutely certain of a failed tuner, until I have the results of the voltage tests AT the tuner




Yes, it does appear that the tuner is faulty...90%+ sure!

But, as I continue to stress, I do NOT know what the tuner power voltage is AT the tuner, under TRANSMIT (we know at the radio, under rec, it was 12vdc)....
If the dc voltage at the tuner, while transmitting, is less than needed by the SGC tuner, it will NOT operate....(I believe that's around 10 volts, but YOU have the manual...what does it say????)

EDIT:
I looked it up for you...
The SGC manual clearly states:
DC Operating Range +10.5 to 15 VDC
we recommend that the DC voltage at the antenna coupler be measured because if the coupler voltage drops below 10 volts, the coupler may not operate properly.




BEFORE you disconnect the darn thing....
DO the voltage tests that I recommended last week (and report them back here)....

If the voltage under transmit is > 11 volts, then the tuner is faulty....and you should open it up, and look at the LED's inside, and that will give you a better idea of what's what...




To sum up:
Test the voltage AT the tuner end of your tuner power wire, when transmitting....(which is what I was recommending last week)
If it is < 11 volts, fix the wires/connections and re-test...
If it is > 11 volts, preferably > 12volts, I suspect you have a faulty tuner....



And finally today, I wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
And BTW, now that we know that the tuner has failed, no hurry in diving back into the lazarette to measure the tuner power voltage....
But, when you do, be sure to measure the voltage when you are transmitting as this will ensure that you have enough to make the tuner work well...



Again Skip, I'm not sure where (or from who) you read to not measure the voltages, but it wasn't here and it wasn't from me!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
Hi, John,
Summarizing:

1) Don't bother to measure voltage.

Too late; I did that just before seeing this.
And, if you'd actually done these tests, and reported the results here, last week (as I asked), we would have had a definitive answer for you back then!!!


As for the rest of your queries....the definitive answers to all of them are RIGHT here in this thread, if someone cares to actually read what I wrote, ALL of the answers are already here, right in this thread...
No BS...
Just saying, you got me....but I'm not playing along anymore...




I wrote the above for others to use as a future reference....
The rest is for me....

Sorry Skip, but I'm starting to figure out that this whole thread is just an early April Fool's Joke, on me!!!
There is NO way that you can be serious with a comment like "don't bother to measure the voltage"!!!
So, here I am admitting you got me!!

I've got a sense of humor, and I can take a joke, so no hard feelings....ya' got me!!!!



Fair winds....

John
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Old 10-03-2015, 17:10   #30
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Skip,
Not sure where you are reading that anyone (and certainly never myself) wrote to not measure the voltage????
Again Skip, I'm not sure where (or from who) you read to not measure the voltages, but it wasn't here and it wasn't from me!! And, if you'd actually done these tests, and reported the results here, last week (as I asked), we would have had a definitive answer for you back then!!!


clipped stuff...


I wrote the above for others to use as a future reference....
The rest is for me....

Sorry Skip, but I'm starting to figure out that this whole thread is just an early April Fool's Joke, on me!!!
There is NO way that you can be serious with a comment like "don't bother to measure the voltage"!!!
So, here I am admitting you got me!!

I've got a sense of humor, and I can take a joke, so no hard feelings....ya' got me!!!!



Fair winds....

John
Oy.

No joke, nor intended.

You commented:




And BTW, now that we know that the tuner has failed, no hurry in diving back into the lazarette to measure the tuner power voltage....
But, when you do, be sure to measure the voltage when you are transmitting as this will ensure that you have enough to make the tuner work well...



But I'd already done that.
With mystifying results.

I misspoke, I think, by saying I didn't have to measure - when you meant (or, at least, I thought that's what you meant) that I didn't have to hurry.

But I'd already done it - and, I thought that, somewhere in the long and winding road, I'd specified that I did, indeed, power from the tuner-labeled port at the main box, whatever that part is called, right above the antenna feed point (my box is on its side; flat it would be at the left, I think), as that would not have been occupied if I'd not made the transition from the instrument breaker several years ago.

So, conclusively, the power to the tuner came from the clip which I replaced with the jumper to the jury-rigged AT-140 my local ham brought over, and then replaced again once we'd made the tests with both cables.

And then I measured the line in the lazarette just before I saw your earlier response.

With totally stunning results (or, at least, I never got the impression that I was supposed to see no voltage on a feed which had immediately previously latched on power up, and unlatched, on power down, when the tuner was still connected to those same leads)...

Sorry about the confusion.

New unit is scheduled for arrival Friday late; I'll connect it without heat shrinking and measure in the crimp ends at that point, assuming some sort of magic occurs and it powers up from the same line which it previously used, and report voltage both at rest and in transmit.

Apologies for what appears to have been an insulting presentation; it surely wasn't my intent.
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