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Old 07-07-2012, 14:54   #1
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Icom M504 Weak Signal.

My VHF radio, Icom M504 does not seem to be given a strong signal. Yesterday in the middle of Georgian Bay I did a radio check with the coast guard, it was reported that I have a weak signal. 2 at 15 miles from a tower, I could hear the CG with a strong signal

reception seems to be ok,in general

The radio just came back from Icom's service center so I have no reason to think it is anything but in good shape.

I take the mast down each year, so the fittings can get water over the winter.

Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot and how I might be able to check the antennea system for better performance.

Do I need a SWR meter, if so which one is the best value?

Fletch
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Old 07-07-2012, 15:24   #2
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re: Icom M504 Weak Signal.

Most VHF problems are due to antennae or the coax between the aerial and the transmitter.
A SWR meter would confirm this, but from your description it sounds very likely that this is where the problem lies. Check the voltage at the radio WHILE TRANSMITTING as a precaution as problems here can also produce the symptoms you describe.

The next stage is to clean all the connections in the coax, particularly under the mast step as this often gets some water intrusion. If this does not fix the problem I would replace the coax and antennae rather than buying a meter that will only confirm a diagnosis.
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Old 07-07-2012, 17:20   #3
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re: Icom M504 Weak Signal.

Yep. Fix up your antenna installation then test again. If the same story repeats, you may be looking towards a new radio. You will need swr meter to see if the installation is fine.

Same story here, ICOM M45.

b.
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Old 07-07-2012, 20:42   #4
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The electronics guy we use at work offered to loan his meter for trouble shooting on our boat. You might talk to the company you bought your radio from and see if you can borrow there meter.
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Old 08-07-2012, 17:05   #5
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So what readings should you get with a SWR meter?
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Old 08-07-2012, 18:42   #6
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The meter the guy had for testing antennas was giving a watt reading I believe. I'm not a electronics guy so hopefully a better informed forumite will chime in soon.
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Old 08-07-2012, 23:56   #7
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Re: Icom M504 Weak Signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samantha ann View Post
So what readings should you get with a SWR meter?
1.5 or lower is very good
3.0 is bad and possibly damaging.
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