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Old 16-03-2015, 18:40   #31
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

So...

After determining that my supply line to the tuner was good, I went looking for why I might not have power through the clip.

Despite all the urging, I felt very uncomfortable measuring the pins' voltage directly, as there was no place convenient, due to how it was installed, to place the radio so that I could easily and accurately probe them while it was powered. Between that and the fact that we HAD, at one point, had a working tuner, and a non-working tuner which latched and unlatched all the relays on application and removal of power, I felt reasonably sure that my pins were hot. I for-sure didn't want to accidentally get a probe across/between them, because then I =would= have a blown fuse.

I removed the female receptacles (which formed the basis of getting the voltage from the pins to the tuner) from the clip.

I found that the ham who'd made these up, and inserted them into the clip, had not quite shaped them ideally for the holes into which they went.

So, in a very fiddly operation, I reshaped them to what looked like it would be original, but, in any case, =would= go fully down to the bottom, and ensured that the clip barrier was effective (meaning that they couldn't pull out). I then reattached the plug/clip, and measured the voltage at the tuner.

House battery 13.6
Tuner connection 13.3.

Encouraged, I set about to reinstall, using your recommendations.

I stripped out enough of the (RF) lead from the supplied 4-wire plus coax cable to allow the 4-wire to be at the tuner, while, in the run I have, the coax lead in went to my coax from the radio.

I mounted the tuner using the same mounting holes as the previous one, leaving the power and RF lines loose for the moment.

I made up jumpers for the aft gate stanchions, and to ground, from another of the rear rail stanchion bases, from 8ga wire, and installed them. The net result is not only the copper 4" ribbon with its 12SF of under-workbench mounting, connected to a large dynaplate, but now, also, a continuous two-level run of SS tube, of about 110' RT (each level), plus 30' of stanchions length - AND a massive arch. I suspect that I easily achieve the 100SF of counterpoise that SGC would like for me to have...

Heh. I just realized that I didn't need to bridge the gate. The arch is integral to the rear rails and gate; it's already continuous!

I cleaned up the 4" copper sheet, supported both sides of it with fender washers, added the strap (8ga wire) from the railings and arch, secured it with the supplied washer and lock washer, and ran the line fair from any possible hindrance from when I reloaded the lazarette.

I reattached the antenna feed line after burnishing the ring terminal (just as I'd done at the attachment point on the antenna) using the supplied washer and lock washer, and ran it fair while securing it with wire clips to make sure it didn't get involved with anything in the lazarette.

I made up the connections for the power using shrink/adhesive butt crimps, and provided shrink-wrap for over them. I dressed the extra RF-in and power/signal lines cable in a coil for a choke. I did the same with my coax at the radio end.

According to my local ham, reception, static and propagation on 14.300 was truly awful today; he was able to hear only one station in his session as control this morning.

At 3PM, I heard very little other than static. At 7PM I heard a bit more, and also some of the relays which were coping with the lousy conditions. I came through as 5/8 to N.GA, a relay who was managing to hear and be heard by control. I also successfully fetched and sent mail over winlink.

So, in the end, the tuner =WAS= dead, as proven at the local ham's shack, but we also had a wonky power input. I cured that and installed a new tuner with an added few hundred linear feet of counterpoise (the railings all around the boat, two levels, pulpit and stanchions and arch).

Given that the round trip voltage drop to the radio itself is (at least if the chart I consulted is to be believed) 0.71V, a battery-to-tuner drop of only 0.3 suggests that we're pretty well connected. I have great confidence, now, in the tuner's power clip connection at the radio, as well.

Given the horrible conditions today, I consider the jury to still be out. But in my whistle tests, and in my transmissions, I saw no indication of the previous 'swr' in the upper left hand corner, and my transmission strength bars went all the way across.

I now have a dead tuner (with original manual and schematics) which may be of interest to someone to either try to repair themselves, or, if they have 6 weeks between transit and turnaround, to send off to SGC at the risk of $35 diagnostic charge or a completely repaired (with diagnostics included) unit at $245. If we'd had the time, we'd have done that ourselves

Thanks for all your assistance. I apologize for my ham-handed presentation(s), probably including this one. I'll continue to attempt contact over various bands on the morning nets, to see if I get different results. Absent an actual SWR meter, I can only go on the complete change in visual presentation of the digital readout but I feel that problem is gone.

Any added suggestions you may feel appropriate will be gratefully received.

L8R

Skip

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Old 18-03-2015, 07:39   #32
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Crickets...

But not on the air. I just got off 5/9 reports from Virginia and Little Cayman on 14.300.

Yesterday, I had an extended chat with C-language (OpenCPN) in the
Jumentos on 8164, and another ham who'd been following my issue
copied/monitored us very clearly in DC. I'd previously done a large-file
in/out on winlink last night, and this morning I did multiple log-ins on many
stations, with down-to-94% likelihood of connection, from next door to Nova Scotia to the Caribbean.

I think we've got it.

Anyone want to make an offer on my old tuner? The box the new one came in, complete with bubble pack and outer box with peanuts, now holds the old one and the original manual with schematics. It's 9 pounds as it came; the manual MIGHT push it up to 10, so you can calculate UPS to you from 32960 if you're interested.

Sometime soon, after finishing a couple of other pre-departure boat chores, I'll have pix of it up on my gallery, 2013-2014 refit subgallery. If you want it, mail me skipgundlach at gmail dot com and I'll mail those pix to you.

Thanks for the collective help here.

L8R

Skip
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Old 21-03-2015, 10:55   #33
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Re: IC-M802 and SGC tuner help needed in Vero Beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
Any added suggestions you may feel appropriate will be gratefully received.
The silence is deafening From that I impute that what I've done is seen as both a good thing and complete.

However, charging on is my wont, even without added input, we're well into "training" the new tuner. Once it's tuned to a given frequency, the SG-230 will "remember" it and tune up in microseconds. Until then, it's the old whistle routine on each new frequency before I get my output bars.

So far I've got most of the nets, and have talked with folks up to 3000 miles away or as close as a couple hundred.

It seems to be working.

And, I have a taker for the old unit. It had a troubleshooting sheet in with the original manual, and the first item sounded like ours - only a single click on power-up (and, of course, the associated single click when unpowered); the possibilities were an open DC line (unlikely in the results current), and an internal fuse.

I hope that's the case for my taker; I'd be tickled if he could solve it simply and have a $40 with shipping working, and from the reports above, better-than-current-model unit.

L8R, yall,

Skip
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