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Old 13-05-2013, 11:08   #1
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ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

I have an ICOM M304, which I have had since 2011. I transmit well, and people can hear me across 5 miles of lake without a problem but I can only hear most others when they get close. Some transmissions I can receive over 5 miles away, but most are less than 2 miles. I have checked all my "Gold" connections on the antenna with a meter The antenna is a new Shakespeare high gain. Any Ideas?
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Old 13-05-2013, 12:36   #2
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Re: ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

Need a bit more info. Did the radio ever work better? What did you do recently? What changed? If that sounds like a Kepner Tregoe course in problem solving, it is.

Here are some questions more specific to your problem--can you hear the weather channel clearly? What do your neighbors hear? Can you borrow another radio (it shouldn't take long to jury rig a replacement for comparison)?
Can you borrow or make up a short RG58 pigtail to put the antenna right next to the radio? Can you borrow a SWR meter? Another antenna??
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Old 13-05-2013, 13:33   #3
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Re: ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

The radio did work better. I had a 1/4 wave shakespear 1/2 height that worked fine, but I traded it for an older 8' model, which also worked fine. Then my mechanic saw it and told me I needed an 8' high gain antenna, but my radio hasn't been the same since I put the new antenna on. I know what you are thinking, this is the only thing that changed. But it is brand new and I checked all the components 3x for shorts and output.

I don't know anyone with an SWR. Know where I can get one cheap?
I have an old UNIDEN I can use, but trying to find someone 5 miles away to radio check will be a challenge.
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Old 13-05-2013, 17:41   #4
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Re: ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmokeeffe View Post
.......... Then my mechanic saw it and told me I needed an 8' high gain antenna, but my radio hasn't been the same since I put the new antenna on. ........... .
OK, think about what you posted for a while............................

Time's up - either the new antenna is defective or your installation was. Reconnect the old antenna and see what happens.

Having said that, the antenna doesn't affect receiving as much as it does transmitting. You could receive pretty well with just a piece of wire held vertically. Or by connecting the radio to a bimini top frame.

Are you sure someone didn't adjust the squelch control setting?
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Old 14-05-2013, 02:17   #5
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Re: ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
OK, think about what you posted for a while............................

Time's up - either the new antenna is defective or your installation was. Reconnect the old antenna and see what happens.

Having said that, the antenna doesn't affect receiving as much as it does transmitting. You could receive pretty well with just a piece of wire held vertically. Or by connecting the radio to a bimini top frame.

Are you sure someone didn't adjust the squelch control setting?
+1 for the complete post & +10 for the emphasised section
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Old 15-05-2013, 12:33   #6
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Re: ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

The old antenna is busted, the guy I gave it to hit a bridge.

However, I did discover that the U/I/C setting was on "I". I changed it from "I" to "U" for united states. Would the setting on "I" create the circumstances I described? I tried hailing someone, but I got no answer. I will try tonight when I know someone who will be on their boat.
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Old 15-05-2013, 16:26   #7
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Re: ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

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Originally Posted by gmokeeffe View Post
The old antenna is busted, the guy I gave it to hit a bridge.

However, I did discover that the U/I/C setting was on "I". I changed it from "I" to "U" for united states. Would the setting on "I" create the circumstances I described? I tried hailing someone, but I got no answer. I will try tonight when I know someone who will be on their boat.
Most amateur radio testing is doomed to failure. You might know someone is on his boat but will he have the radio on? Will it be set to the same frequency you are transmitting on?

In many parts of the USA, Seatow has set up an automatic radio check system. In my area it's on channel 27 but it's different in some areas. I can make a radio check (or say anything I want) on channel 27 and it will be repeated back to me.

If you want to use a friend for radio testing, call him on a cell phone and arrange who is going to test what and when.
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Old 16-05-2013, 00:08   #8
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Re: ICOM M304 TRANSMIT/RECEIVE

Your question on the U/I/C depends on the channel. Most of the simplex channels, like 9,12,16,72 are the same, but the duplex channels like 27 are not. The cell phone makes a good second line of communication for the testing.

Last summer I found that the flybridge radio didn't get near the reception of the downstairs radio. Swapped the antennas and found that one was much better than the other. When I pulled out the bad one to replace it, I found 2 crude splices and a knot in the coax. A new antenna did the trick. Did you install the new antenna yourself or did your 'mechanic' do it?
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