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Old 28-01-2014, 07:32   #1
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ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

John…Thanks for your reply on the "sticky" – all very helpful to an SSB “rookie” like me! Some quick answers to your questions and some details on “symptoms” I am experiencing:


Original Problem: ICOM M-802 shows continuous "THRU" versus "TUNE" on any band and TX indicator bar not showing "transmit" strength.


Some qualifiers: After reading all I could get my hands on for troubleshooting (the manual is less than adequate), my entire SSB set-up appears to have been professionally installed (this is a new to me boat). I have an ICOM M-802 with AT-140 Tuner and a 35" backstay antenna. I am not using KIS counterpoise - I have 4' copper ribbon to the keelbolts. All connections are professionally soldered, clipped, sealed and clean with sealing tape in appropriate places above and below deck.

The M-802 is configured in the set-up mode for AT-140. I have checked the physical condition of all connections from the transceiver to the AT-140 and cleaned, inspected, tightened all connections. I am not using KISS – I have a 4” copper ribbon to the keel bolts.

The “no transmit” bar problem is new…and I can receive station traffic (albeit weak) due to marina RFI. The AM signals from commercial stations are the strongest (in the marina) but I have been able to faintly hear some of the cruising nets on USB. This weekend I will take the boat out and troubleshoot from “pure water” vice being surrounded by electronic infrastructure (RFI in Marina)). I do know that I must turn off the Xantrex inverter and all of the other RFI noise-makers on the boat to get the cleanest reception (that’s when I can faintly hear the USB nets in the marina) and the M-802 is directly tied to the battery bank. My most curious concern is that I cannot hear the time tones on 2.5, 5.0, 10.0 or 20 Mhz bands. Am I correct that this needs to be my “receive” litmus test?

I performed the “tune test” you detailed in your reply to the "sticky" after verifying the AT-140 selection in setup. When I select a frequency and press “tune” – the “TUNE” indicator flashes then “THRU” appears and remains constant. I will check the auto tuner connection on the back of the transceiver this weekend – I have jiggled it but not yet removed the connector from the box to verify the pins are contacting and will do that this weekend and report back. The radio is in a cabinet (in the salon) that is not susceptible to being bumped or moved and it is bolted down to the shelf. It is a good possibility (as you mention) that a cable could have “failed”…I will check continuity and ohm out all cables this weekend as well and report back. When inspecting the AT-140 tuner cables, I have reseated/cleaned the copper ribbon connection but have not removed the “tuner control wiring” to verify pin contact (will do that this weekend too). I also cleaned the connections from the AT-140 to the backstay antenna (thru deck) and ensured that the drip loop is in place. I found no corrosion anywhere below deck except patina on the copper ribbon (expected)…all other connections with nuts/washers were clean and shiny…I will verify the tuner control and signal wiring connections with a meter soon (pin to pin/coax to coax)…re-assemble and try the “TUNE/TRU” test again.

I think I need to complete all of your continuity/physical connection instructions first before I move on to item (f) in your troubleshooting advice. I am comfortable with testing wires & pin-outs for continuity but taking readings from respective pins for signal/power measurements is a less comfortable area for me…I am not afraid of it…just diligent in wanting to know “exactly” what pin/wire needs what setting on am/ohm meter to get accurate reading to report back to an expert mentor like you. I think your instructions in the "Sticky" post are detailed enough for me to work with in my ignorance.


I really appreciate your time and detailed instruction – I know it’s hard to help when you aren’t looking at it directly. I am grateful that you expend the effort and time to help fellow cruisers in need and applaud you for the outstanding instructional products you have put out on the forum – they are simply invaluable and demonstrative! I can do this – and with your help may end up sending the “right” component to ICOM for repair if the infrastructure in the boat turns out to be sound. YES – this helps a LOT! Thanks for your patience and I will come back with another post on a separate thread to ensure you see my report and that others can learn for your excellent advice/help.

Respectfully – Steve
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:26   #2
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Steve,

My bet is that there is a poor connection in the tuner control cable from the M802 box to the AT140. This is a common problem and is due to two things:

1. surface corrosion on the pins and/or contacts; and/or
2. physical disconnects of the pins.

The latter condition is due to the fact that these connectors ARE TERRIBLE. Icom should be ashamed of choosing these lousy connectors for their flagship marine SSB products.

BE VERY CAREFUL when you try to disconnect them. They don't "just pull straight out" as John intimated. Rather, they have tiny locks which need to be pressed. Folks trying to pull them out who don't know about these locks often wind up damaging the connections....pulling wires & pins loose, etc.

The smaller connection which attaches to the connector built into the back panel of the M-802 has just one "lock". It's on top and sometimes located a bit inside the surface. Take a small flat-blade screwdriver, press down on the "lock", and then pull the connector straight out. This is the easy one.

The connector near the AT-140 is harder. I have a brand new M-802/AT140 on the bench right now, and had a devil of a time trying to disconnect the tuner control connector near the AT-140. There is a "lock" both top and bottom, and it is damnably difficult to do. I built a special tool from a spare pair of needle-nose pliers, bending the tips in my vice 90 degrees so that they could depress both of the tiny "locks" on the connector simultaneously. Even this was very difficult, and I would up gently placing one part of the connector in my bench vice, then using my special tool to depress the "locks" and with my other hand pulling gently on the connector body until it disengaged.

Not only are these horrible connectors to have used, they are NOT even splashproof much less water or even moisture proof.

Anyway, in a new-to-you boat it would be useful to disconnect both ends of this controller wire, inspect the pins, and squirt some De-Oxit on the pins and on the mating surfaces.

Good luck,

Bill
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Old 28-01-2014, 09:21   #3
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Bill - Thanks for the sage advice on the tuner control cable - I have already noticed the "intricate" locking tabs on the transceiver end and did not yet disconnect this plug for fear of damage - just wiggled the plastic housing a bit to see if a "re-seat" would clear up the THRU problem. Really appreciate the cautionary guidance on the AT-140 end of this cable - it is in a tight place and I will be extremely careful checking this one - per your advice. I will carefully remove each connector this weekend as I follow John's instructions and report back on my progress. Thanks very much for the wise tidbit...stay tuned as I embark upon this troubleshooting journey - I will likely ask for guidance again so as not to create other unfortunate problems along the way. By the way - I am exploring the potential for moving up your direction (Chesapeake) in APR/MAY from Tampa as a result of a company courting me for employment in the Alex/DC area...any insights on liveaboard marinas in the region. We have spoken to Harrington and Tantallon...insights would be appreciated if you are inclined to PM me and I will give you a private email to use.

respectfully

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Old 28-01-2014, 09:21   #4
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Since you're receive capability sounds a bit weak, I would also check the connections from the tuner to the backstay, particularly the one on the backstay. The lack of a good antenna will also cause the 'thru' status when tuning.
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Old 28-01-2014, 09:37   #5
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Thanks donradcliffe - I have closely inspected the connection on the backstay and it has "patina'd"...I will cut back the exposed wire to fresh metal and reconnect, re-form the drip-loop and re-tape the union...I acknowledge that this may also cause a THRU condition as well as an insulator could have failed? Not yet clear on how to test these but suspect that a "null" continuity check between the backstay at the chain-plate and the Antenna side of the insulator will confirm that the insulator is "good"? Am I correct.

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Old 28-01-2014, 10:48   #6
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Steve:

Don had a good thought: inspect/clean/replace the connection of the GTO-15 feedline (presumably it's that type) to the backstay.

However, the AT-140 is capable of tuning the proverbial "wet noodle". My bet is that it's not even trying to tune, either because of problems with the control cable or the tuner itself.

RE: transfer to DC area and liveaboards, the choices are limited. I'm at Capital Yacht Club...very convenient to the city, pricey to join, takes awhile to get a permanent slip assigned. We do accommodate transients, but the daily rates are steep.

The marinas in DC are in a state of flux, with the planned SW waterfront development project due to start later this year. CYC will likely be moving to temporary digs later this year.

The two marinas in Deale (Herrington Harbor North and HH South) are fine and closest to DC...about an hour's drive. Also there is Shipwright Marina next door...smaller homey place which feels like an old-time shipyard. Have friends wintering there the past two years and they're very happy with it.

There are many other marinas on the Chesapeake and in the Middle and Lower Potomac, but with commute times of 1-2 hours each way in rush hour traffic they're all less convenient.

Bill
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Old 28-01-2014, 11:21   #7
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

As an FYI to all here, this is what I wrote yesterday, in the other thread ("sticky")....and this was before I had any of the above additional info....

The below may be of help to others...

More later, when I have time....gotta' take my Mom to another appt...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Steve,
Sorry I missed this post....I don't check this "sticky" often....(next time, please start a new thread with any tech questions/troubleshooting issues, and someone is sure to help you out quickly...)

As for the specifics....
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT2
troubled by a problem I have and don't know how to troubleshoot it if you'd be willing to advise

My ICOM 802 is showing "THRU" consistently on the screen vice "TUNE." I have an AT-140 auto-tuner and a 35" backstay antenna set up. Can you advise mo on how to troubleshoot this and get back in the "TUNE" range?
Steve, it sounds like the M-802 is not configured for the AT-140; or AT-140 is not connected and/or the connection has failed; or (fairly unlikely) the AT-140 has failed....
Steve, you didn't say if this is a new problem, or has it always been this way??? (assuming it is a NEW problem)
Nor did you say whether or not you are receiving anything on the M-802??
(assuming you ARE receiving something, but cannot transmit much due to lack of AT-140 functionality)
So, I'll need to go over things one-step-at-a-time....



1) The M-802 display should flash "TUNE" (along the top line of the display, just to the left-of-center of the display) when you press the TUNE button (top button, just to the right of the display)....
If the M-802 display is showing "THRU" at this location, when you press the TUNE button, then the AT-140 is not getting the tune signal / the M-802 is not configured for the AT-140; or the AT-140 is not connected / not connected correctly....(or that the AT-140 has failed)


2) First we need to verify that the M-802 is configured for the AT-140 (and at the same time we'll make sure you're set for "auto-tune" as well...)
a) Enter "Initial Set Mode"....(see page 49 of the M-802 manual)

Entering set mode
---Turn the power OFF, if the transceiver is powered On
---While pushing [MODE SET], push [POWER] to turn he power On to enter initial set mode.

b) Use Group knob to select "Icom Tuner"

c) Use Channel knob to select "AT-140"

d) Use Group knob to select "Auto Tune"

e) Use channel knob to select "On"

The turn M-802 Off and then turn it back On....




3) Next, do the test above again....
Press TUNE button and verify what the M-802 display shows....
a) If it flashes "TUNE" and then shows "TUNE" after it has completed tuning, you are all done, and everything is now working....



b) If the display still shows "THRU", then the wiring / connectors from the M-802 to the AT-140 may have failed, chafed, broken, come un-done", etc..



c) Please physically check the auto-tuner connector on the rear panel of the M-802's Main unit, this is a small rectangular white connector on the left side of the Main Unit's rear panel, just to the left of the ground screw, and just to the left and slightly above the Main Antenna connector.....
This connector should have 4 wires on it, and should be mated completely into the matching connector on the radio....(to remove, it pulls straight out....and to re-attach, it pushes straight in...)
Check / be sure this connector is completely seated/attached....and that all 4 wires are well attached to the captive pins of the connector....(this is the only part of the M-802 that is fragile and I don't like it at all....but, it is what it is...)

If these connections prove to be good....then try the test again, press the TUNE button and verify what the M-802's display shows.....if it flashes "TUNE" while tuning and then shows "TUNE" afterward, you're done, and all is working well....
If it still shows "THRU". proceed to next step...



d) The AT-140 has two short "pig-tails" of wire coming out if it....one is the coaxial cable, and one is the tuner power and control wires....
The plugs that connects the tuner power and control wires may be a problem here...
Physically inspect these plugs, just like you did with the tuner control plug on the rear of the M-802 itself....verify that they are mated completely and that all 4 wires are seated in their captive pins correctly....(also verify that there is no corrosion on these connections.....shouldn't be any if proper installation procedures were followed, but 'ya never know...)

If these connections prove to be good....then try the test again, press the TUNE button and verify what the M-802's display shows.....if it flashes "TUNE" while tuning and then shows "TUNE" afterward, you're done, and all is working well....
If the display still shows "THRU", then proceed to the next step...



e) As I wrote above, you didn't say whether or not you are receiving anything on the M-802??
(assuming you ARE receiving something, but cannot transmit much due to lack of AT-140 functionality)
Assuming you ARE receiving okay, we can assume the coaxial cable and its connections are okay...but they might just be okay enough to allow some reception, but fail upon application of transmit RF power....
So, please inspect the coaxial cable and both connections, to verify it is in good order....

If these connections prove to be good....then try the test again, press the TUNE button and verify what the M-802's display shows.....if it flashes "TUNE" while tuning and then shows "TUNE" afterward, you're done, and all is working well....
If the display still shows "THRU", then proceed to the next step...



f) It is possible (although unlikely) that your AT-140 itself has failed....but if you have a volt meter, you can check to see if you are actually getting proper voltage from the M-802's tuner connector, and then also check at the AT-140 end of the tuner power / control cable...
PLEASE ONLY attempt to measure these voltages, if you know exactly what you are doing....as you may short-out some of these wires and blow an internal fuse (inside the M-802)....
And, if you do NOT have any voltage on Pins 3 and 4, this is probably what has happened...

Looking at the rear, from left to right....pins 1, 2, 3 and 4....
Pin 1 = Key signal = +0.5vdc to +0.8vdc DURING TUNING ONLY
Pin 2 = Start / Thru signal output
Pin 3 = +13.6vdc
Pin 4 = Negative / Ground

If you do have proper voltages on Pins 3 and 4 (13.6vdc, or whatever your present battery voltage is), then when you press the TUNE button, with your meter on Pin 1 and 4, you should see the .5 to .8vdc signal....

If these voltages are good...connect the plugs back up, and then try the test again, press the TUNE button and verify what the M-802's display shows.....if it flashes "TUNE" while tuning and then shows "TUNE" afterward, you're done, and all is working well....
If the display still shows "THRU", then proceed to the next step...

{If the voltages are NOT there, especially the 13.6vdc on across Pins 3 and 4, then I suspect a blown internal fuse in the M-802....
And, here you should also proceed to the next step...}



g) The next step is to call Icom Service and tell them all that you have done, including any voltage checks, etc....
You've likely got either a blown internal fuse (step "f" above) or a defective / faulty AT-140....
In either case, Icom service will be able to help you out....

Note, you CAN change the fuse yourself IF you know what you're doing....and if you find you need to send your AT-140 into Icom for repair, the closest Icom service center is in Tallahassee....

Icom Service Center - Florida
5046 Tennessee Capital Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Phone: (800) 649-5783
Fax: (850) 575-0346


Icom America, Inc.
Service Department
12421 Willows Road NE
Kirkland, WA 98034
Phone: (800) 306-1380



I hope this helps...
Sorry the answer is so long....but I didn't have much info from you to work with, so I had go through everything step-by-step....

fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 28-01-2014, 12:06   #8
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Steve,
Sorry, I've been sporadic....but family comes first...

Bill has gotten you going well here!!!
And, Bill is correct that the plugs have small plastic clips that you need to overcome in order to pull the plug out....but what I meant was that it pulls out straight, not up or down....(Yes, I hate those plugs!!!)




1) The more info we have the better!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT2 View Post
Original Problem: ICOM M-802 shows continuous "THRU" versus "TUNE" on any band and TX indicator bar not showing "transmit" strength.
Assuming you're saying that you have no output showing even for a split second when pressing the TUNE button, then I'd say the tuner connections and/or tuner power (internal fuse) is still a good place to start looking....and understand that you will only have two of the 8 segments illuminate when in TUNING, as the power output is set at about 10 watts, when pressing the TUNE button...


Understand that when in SSB mode (USB or LSB) you will NOT have any "transmit" strength, unless you are talking into the microphone...
Press MODE button until "FSK" shows as the operating mode, and then a press of the microphone Push-To-Talk button will place the M-802 into full-carrier transmit, and you should see a full-scale reading on the M-802's transmit power meter display (assuming you are in "high power")....



Steve, it sounds like you have a good installation, and you probably have a minor issue that is causing the problems...

Now that we know it is a "new-to-you boat", and you've never been able to get it to work correctly....
If the basic steps I outlined, and those of Bill and Don as well, prove to unsuccessful, I suggest you contact Gary at Dockside Radio....he is close-by and I'm sure he'd be happy o come up and get it working for you....(for pay / $$$, of course...not for free!!
Pactor-II/III Radio Modem sales, FCC License filing, Marine SSB & HAM Radio Net schedules &amp frequencies.





As for the "no transmit" bar...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT2 View Post
The “no transmit” bar problem is new…
As I wrote above, understand that when in SSB mode (USB or LSB) you will NOT have any "transmit" strength, unless you are talking into the microphone...
Press MODE button until "FSK" shows as the operating mode, and then a press of the microphone Push-To-Talk button will place the M-802 into full-carrier transmit, and you should see a full-scale reading on the M-802's transmit power meter display (assuming you are in "high power")....





As for receiving....
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT2 View Post
and I can receive station traffic (albeit weak) due to marina RFI. The AM signals from commercial stations are the strongest (in the marina) but I have been able to faintly hear some of the cruising nets on USB. This weekend I will take the boat out and troubleshoot from “pure water” vice being surrounded by electronic infrastructure (RFI in Marina)). I do know that I must turn off the Xantrex inverter and all of the other RFI noise-makers on the boat to get the cleanest reception (that’s when I can faintly hear the USB nets in the marina) and the M-802 is directly tied to the battery bank. My most curious concern is that I cannot hear the time tones on 2.5, 5.0, 10.0 or 20 Mhz bands. Am I correct that this needs to be my “receive” litmus test?
I personally recommend that you use USCG weather broadcasts on HF, as well as WLO's broadcasts, in addition to WWV on 10mhz and 15mhz (chances are you not hear WWV on 5mhz until late at night, and 20mhz is sometimes "iffy" during the day)
If you're still in Tampa, you'll have good reception on the 8mhz and 12/13mhz weather broadcasts almost all day, and 4, 6, and 8 in evenings/early mornings/night...




Steve, your concern is understandable....and if you can afford it, perhaps just calling Gary now and making an apt with him is a good idea???
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT2 View Post
I think I need to complete all of your continuity/physical connection instructions first before I move on to item (f) in your troubleshooting advice. I am comfortable with testing wires & pin-outs for continuity but taking readings from respective pins for signal/power measurements is a less comfortable area for me…I am not afraid of it…just diligent in wanting to know “exactly” what pin/wire needs what setting on am/ohm meter to get accurate reading to report back to an expert mentor like you. I think your instructions in the "Sticky" post are detailed enough for me to work with in my ignorance.


In any case, good luck and fair winds...
(gotta go..)

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 29-01-2014, 10:45   #9
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT2 View Post
...... I have an ICOM M-802 with AT-140 Tuner and a 35" backstay antenna.

If your antenna is really just a 35" backstay, I would say that is your problem.

Jack
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Old 29-01-2014, 11:02   #10
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BocaIII View Post
If your antenna is really just a 35" backstay, I would say that is your problem.

Jack
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Nice catch. On the other hand, maybe he sails in a pond.
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Old 29-01-2014, 11:03   #11
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Jack - sorry - a "fat finger" entry...should read 35ft backstay (between insulators).

Steve
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Old 29-01-2014, 13:21   #12
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT2 View Post
Jack - sorry - a "fat finger" entry...should read 35ft backstay (between insulators).

Steve
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Steve,
Just thought I would confirm.

I am over on St. Pete Beach and do local marine communication consulting .... have all the needed test equipment. Sometimes I work for Rum.....let me know if you don't get it cleared up and would like me to take a look. Email w4grj@arrl.net

Jack
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:43   #13
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Re: ICOM M-802 Troubleshooting (From an Excellent Sticky)

Jack,

Appreciate you coming over and helping with the ICOM M-802 issue - It was great to meet you.

John,

Jack identified at least one problem that must be cleared up before the entire system can be verified...the transceiver had no power output when he put it on his bench...so the unit will go to ICOM this week for repair and this will include checking the unit for the "clipping" upgrade. I will report back when I have the transceiver installed and I can complete the holistic troubleshooting process.

What a great forum! - what a great bunch of cruisers helping cruisers! My early thanks to both Jack and John for reaching out.

Steve
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