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Old 10-10-2018, 07:03   #1
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Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Hi

I know this subject has been discussed, and i have read and reread the comments, watched the videos, i have taken the advice given but still no luck.

M802 ssb
At140 tuner
Dynaplate
Pactor 3 with blue tooth mod.
Insulated back stay.

When i try calling someone, all they hear is a click, no voice.

When i try to use my sailmail account the system goes through the process ok but always comes up with “no answer from station” i can here other users connecting and downloading on sailmail and I do wait for free time.

After reading posts here and elsewhere I have

- replaced tuner to backstay cable and re- connected it twice!

- replaced copper strap to dynaplate from at140 with new, also cleaned all connections

- cleaned all electrical and rf connectors and sprayed with contact cleaner.

- checked with icom that my unit is after they began fitting mod as standard (it was done at factory during build), serial number is over 1101110

- just fitted a new battery bank that was due for up grade.(630Ah)

- fitted ferrites everywhere I can.

Symptoms:

- I can here others talking ok, i can here others using sailmail ok.

-Tried the FSK test and get full 8 bars on pressing transmit button on mic

- when selecting a suitable channel for propagation, i whistle and talk into mic, i get around 4 or 5 bars, but it varies, sometimes nothing, i get the feeling it is under powered, as on FSK i see around 25A use, but on voice only around 6A?

- tune button works fine.

Any ideas would be welcome!
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:07   #2
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Sorry, should have said, i am in the canary islands, and tried connecting via sailmail to Belgium station, which I have used before.

There is an isolator fitted to RF cable at the tuner.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:58   #3
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Sulaire,
I'm here and will try to help....just give me a couple hours...

But, first off...
Save yourself the time/effort and headache and do not take advice from "some guy on the dock"....'cuz the problem you're describing has nothing to do with the tuner-to-backstay cable (GTO-15??); nor the copper strapping from the tuner to the grounding plate; nor inadequate battery capacity; nor usually a lack of ferrites....

So, I will try to help....give me a few (I'm at a client's office and need to pretend to work a little bit...


Fair winds...

John
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Old 10-10-2018, 13:38   #4
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Thanks John, no rush, i should mention a couple of other things.

I sent the tuner to icom uk to test and it works fine.

The dynaplate has not been painted, but does have a good infestation of white marine growth. I have tru design polymer through hulls so only ground is to dynaplate.

Around 3 years ago i was in a marina during a lightening storm. We did not recieve a direct hit but a boat at the far end of the marina did. After this my original 802 system went dead (secondary effects perhaos), anyway insurance paid up for a new M802, and as i said icom tested the tuner and gave it the ok.

Since fitting the new 802 , i have had trouble described above.
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Old 10-10-2018, 17:56   #5
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

First thing to do is find some one in the marina or very close, Can they hear you? Can they see signal from you. If they can its possible the mic? Can you hear them?.

Since sailmail is not work nor is voice and both have different inputs you can rule out a mic issue. DOes sound like a radio/transmitter issue.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:09   #6
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Sulaire,
As I wrote earlier, the problem you're describing almost certainly has little to do with the tuner-to-backstay cable (GTO-15??); nor the copper strapping from the tuner to the grounding plate; nor inadequate battery capacity (but could be wiring/connection issue); nor usually a lack of ferrites....but those are all things that are good to be verified to be in good shape and working well, so that is all good!!

But, since I'm hindered by only small bits of info, I might not be able to give you a definitive answer....and in reality, it could be multiple issues combining to cause your troubles...

And, I'm astonished that Icom did troubleshoot this issue with you when you contacted them...
But, oh well....we're here now...

My very first thought was:
Bad Mic cord!!

Icom and many other radio manufacturers did get a bad batch of mic cords from their vendors (in China?) a few years ago....the outer rubber deteriorated / flaked away and the wires began to erode/break due to not having the proper support/cover...
Icom replaces these defective cords fore free, as an out-of-warranty exception...(but not so with S/H, Uniden, Garmin, nor even Furuno)

But, Sulaire, I assume that you would've noticed this / tested this straight away...so, I'm going to proceed as if this is not the issue....
But, just in case you haven't looked carefully at the mic and mic cord, please do so!!

My second thought was "speech compressor" is Off...

My third thought was "poor choice of channel/freq for our solar minimums"

My fourth thought was "defective M-802"....it can happen, right out-of-the-box....it's rare, but it can happen...


Unfortunately since the Seven Seas Cruising Assoc (SSCA) is under new management and has decided to keep all of the info given to them (freely by myself, a long-time member and "rear commodore", and many of my fellow cruisers) exclusively for their current members, I can't direct you the pages that would have my own words, explaining similar problems and probably directly onto what your issue is and how to resolve it...

So, I will endeavor to post here some info that will help...


1) First off, "troubleshooting 101" is always start with the basics!!
Always!!
a) That means completely disconnect your PACTOR modem from your M-802, as well as any other ancillary cables / equipment connected to it...
You should have only the Main Unit (transceiver chassis), the control head, speaker, and microphone....12vdc power in, main antenna out, tuner control cable, DSC rec antenna in, and GPS data in....

b) Make sure that you have adequate "12vdc power" to the back of the transceiver, when you transmit a steady carrier (FSK mode, pressing the microphone PTT button) with all "8 bars" of power output....

-- Place volt meter probes into the white power connector/plug that is plugged into the back of the M-802....
-- Switch to a channel you desire to use for SSB Voice comms, such as 8294.0khz...
-- Press Tune button, and verify the tuner has completed tuning..
-- Transmit a steady carrier in FSK mode...
-- Measure the voltage...
-- Verify it is above 11.5vdc....and preferably above 12.5vdc...

Once this is done....we can proceed with the detailed troubleshooting....

c) Although I have the knowledge/expertise and test equipment to perform some tests that others might not....many of these tests can be done by laypersons with just the radio itself and a volt meter (and current meter)...

And, while I'm usually loath to recommend just getting on-the-air and see how it sounds, in your case (in Canary Islands in Oct) you should be able to find dozens of other sailors wanting to test their SSB radios and learn how-to better use them...so...
So, give a call out on the VHF, and/or ask around on the docks, and/or in the bar, chandlery, etc....to find someone local (within a few miles is good) that wants to test/evaluate their SSB radio too...

Arrange to meet them on a 4mhz channel, like 4146.0khz (4a / 4-1) during the day, at a convenient time for both of you, and maybe even be able to be within VHF range (or via cell phone) and be able to coordinate your communications accordingly...
Let him transmit what comes out of his SSB radio's speakers back to you on VHF, so you can hear it (and vice-versa, you to him)

This will tell you that your radio is actually producing a voice signal and some small output, even if the output is very small (like only a couple watts) it will still go a few miles on 4mhz...



2) Please be aware that the ultimate solution to your issues/problems might be multi-fold....
So, I try to hit 'em one at a time...


3) You make little mention of your antenna details??
How long is your antenna?? Do you have GTO-15 wire run from the tuner to backstay?? How long is this part of your antenna??
How long and how wide is your copper strap going to the Dynaplate??
Etc. etc...
And, especially what freqs / channels, and at what times of day, and at what distances you have tried...
Most especially who/when/where have you tried to make contact??

Also, you made no mention of how your radio is wired up?? How does it get its 12vdc power?? Your mention of the current draw makes me wonder if it is wired thru your distribution panel / breaker panel?? Thru some other wiring bus???
Or is it wired directly to the batteries or direct battery bus?? (as recommended)

SO...
So, I can only give you some generalities and some guesses...


4) So, in general (without any further info), unless you have a defective / damaged microphone or microphone cord (a distinct possibility, but I suspect you'd have found that out already...so I will assume you have verified the mic and mic cord are good??), my assumptions up front are that the primary reasons you are having trouble speaking with other boats on SSB Voice:

a) You do not have the M-802's internal DSP-based "Speech Compressor" turn On... (it is Off)...

If you've purchased this radio within the past few years, although Icom ships the units with this turned Off, most experienced Icom HF dealers would have either simply switched it On for you, or added the feature to allow you to switch it On/Off as you desire...
(BTW, leave it On, all-the-time...unless you are using the radio near a loud engine or with the mic out an open cockpit...just leave it On...)

I'm not familiar with Icom dealers in Canary Islands, but what you need to find is one that has the CS-802 software ("cloning software" for the M-802)...but there are 3 versions of this CS-802....a very old version and two more recent...I think you will need to find an Icom dealer with the latest version, based on your M-802's serial number....
{Icom can certainly tell you directly and with certainty...ask them, they will tell you...}

Your mention of having all 8 bars of transmit power on FSK, but not when on SSB Voice (on the same channel, I assume?)....and only having 4 or 5 bars on a whistle??? (I believe I am understanding this correctly??)
If this is the case, that's very telling....and is an indication that the internal Speech Compressor is switched Off...
Further this is a very telling indication and any Icom M-802 service tech should be aware of this....and I'm also somewhat surprised that Icom didn't mention this when you were speaking with them, but again....we are where we are, so no worries...


b) Sulaire, please forgive me here...you may be experienced radio op, and know all of this already....but, you made no mention of your HF communications experience and thought perhaps you could use some tips...
Further, even those experienced in HF comms sometimes need to be reminded of the changes to their operating required when approaching solar minimums....so, even if you think you got it covered, you may want to have a look...

Choosing the right freq band / channel for the communications path is something learned....and I just this past month updated my Youtube videos with a new version of how-to-choose the proper channel, based on our current low solar activity...

Please remember that things have changed in the past couple years....and the folks operating the radios need to adapt to the new normal (at least for the next few years)

Please have a look at this new / updated video....
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2npivDjoFrC-8QKVyMb4tVr

Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nPNdApNsZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY

HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2n3z5nlv-ga2zYuPozhUXZX



Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2npivDjoFrC-8QKVyMb4tVr


All of these playlists, where the videos are arranged in logical order...should be helpful...



Offshore Sailing
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nbwAGh5DKgTCj15iyl6qoY



c) You might have too high of voltage drop / power loss in the 12vdc wiring....
Your mention of the current draw makes me wonder if it is wired thru your distribution panel / breaker panel?? Thru some other wiring bus???
Or is it wired directly to the batteries or direct battery bus?? (as recommended)

As I wrote above, make sure that you have adequate "12vdc power" to the back of the transceiver, when you transmit a steady carrier (FSK mode, pressing the microphone PTT button) with all "8 bars" of power output....

-- Place volt meter probes into the white power connector/plug that is plugged into the back of the M-802....
-- Switch to a channel you desire to use for SSB Voice comms, such as 8294.0khz...
-- Press Tune button, and verify the tuner has completed tuning..
-- Transmit a steady carrier in FSK mode...
-- Measure the voltage...
-- Verify it is above 11.5vdc....and preferably above 12.5vdc...

Only after verifying this should you do a current draw test...
And, remember current tests are series tests....actually I love "clamp-on DC amp meters" for these tests....makes life a lot easier!

Understand that most DC current meters cannot follow the complexities of human speech driven SSB transmissions....so you will be measuring an "average" current draw at best...
And, some digital meters are over-loaded / disturbed by the transmitted RF being in close proximity, and as such we usually only use analog current metering when in high RF environs....

Next, please test / verify the following:
If you just key the microphone in regular SSB Mode (USB or LSB) and do not talk, you should have no "bars" showing on the transmit power display, but the M-802 will be drawing about 5.5 amps at approx 13 volts....that is just the transmit standby / idling current (transmitter PA bias-derived)...and that is 100% perfectly normal...

Once you start talking this current should rise, and with most meters it will be showing 12 to 15 amps average, under normal speech....the higher the better!!
{a steady FSK carrier should draw about 28 to 29 amps...a steady whistle on SSB should produce the same or a bit lower (~ 25 to 28 amps), if the speech compressor was turned On....but if turned off, even a whistle will only produce half that or less...}

If, as you write, when trying to talk on the radio, you are seeing only 6 amps of current draw, you are indeed not transmitting much RF power...
And, assuming that the tuner has tuned correctly and provided the M-802 with a good SWR match, it should be drawing a lot more than that (25 to 29 amps peak, and 12 to 15 amps average), if the speech compressor was On...but, if turned Off, it would be showing half that (or even less....but you should always be seeing about 5 amps draw on SSB transmit, even without any voice/talking at all....so, I suspect your current measuring is thru some sort of battery monitor shunt?? and perhaps the radio is wired thru a distribution panel?? breaker panel??)

{Although, here again, I do not know if this is the case....as I'm not there and don't know what meter you're using, nor how/where it is wired?? nor how/where your M-802 is wired??
Please note that except for Hinckley and Swan, I have NEVER seen a marine SSB radio proper wired / installed by any yacht manufacturer....and I assisted with my first marine SSB install in 1973....so, I've seen a lot... So, don't assume that if the radio was installed by the factory or a "professional", that it was actually done properly...}



5) Sulaire, I hope you are getting the gist here....
I don't have much info to work with, so I may be covering things that are either moot or that you've already verified....sorry about that...

But, the gist is this:
--- Speech Compressor is probably Off...(and the M-802 was designed with the assumption that it would be On....the reason Icom now ships it Off is complicated and I will explain it below if you need to know)

--- You may need to spend some more time choosing the proper freq/channel for the time-of-day and communications path, now that we are approaching solar minimums..

--- You may have a DC power issue, feeding the M-802...



6) You should also verify the DSC transmission / reception functions...
I assume you DO have a DSC receive antenna connected to the your M-802??

Have you made DSC contact with other vessels and/or coast stations??

Your regional Sea Area A2 MF-DSC stations in Canary Islands use
MMSI# 002241026 (on MF-DSC on 2187.5khz DSC)
That would be an easy contact to make...

And, of course you can also try other vessels on DSC...both MF-DSC and HF-DSC...or try Madrid on HF-DSC (8414.5 or 12577)....or anyone of > 80 HF-DSC coast stations world wide???



7) Only attempt to connect and use your PACTOR modem and attempt a Sailmail connection, after you have verified SSB Voice comms are working...
FYI, the lack of "speech compressor" for SSB Voice comms will have no effect on PACTOR / Sailmail comms....and using the Speech Compressor when using the PACTOR modem also is no issue (the M-802 recognizes speech and/or the pactor protocols / data don't care)

So, you're inability to connect to Sailmail is NOT connected in any way to having the speech compressor turned Off....
It is either some modem wiring, modem/software issues, or RFI issues....OR...
Or, radiowave propagation issues...
So...
So, you must troubleshoot the SSB Voice comms issues first...

Please see above for details....section 3b, above...



8) Finally, please understand that I spent a couple hours typing all of this / deciding how to word all of this / figuring out how to explain all of this....and, it might all be for not??
As I have very little info to work with, I can only go with generalizations here...
So, if some of this is moot or a rehash of what you've already done, please know I tried....and if you do require more, please provide some more info...

The more info, the more detail, the more numbers, the more dates, the more freqs, the more times, the more distances, the more info on experiences, the more info on exactly when this change occurred, how/when it was noticed, who/where/when were you and the same for all the other stations...and there are of course lots of other info to...


--As I wrote up front, my first thought was a bad mic cord....
And, after that:
--My second thought was "speech compressor" is Off...
--My third thought was "poor choice of channel/freq for our solar minimums"
--My fourth thought was "defective M-802"....it can happen, right out-of-the-box....it's rare, but it can happen...



And it could be a 12vdc power issue, too..

So, if we troubleshoot all of the above, and find mic cord is good, find speech compressor is On (doubtful) and that you have tried comms on freqs/times others near you were using just fine (??), then it's unfortunately getting likely that your M-802 has an internal problem (but, I'm still doubtful of that...)



I do hope this helps..

fair winds...

John


EDIT:
I just saw your latest post....where you mention that this has been a problem since fitting your replacement M-802, about 3 years ago!
Boy do I wish you had mentioned that right up front!! Would've saved me a lot of time/effort!


Except for the Mic cord issue (which is doubtful, since this issue has been with you since the radio was new, three years ago), I think it's highly likely that your M-802 has its Speech Compressor turned Off and/or it is a defective M-802...or possibly some defective wiring??? (coax cable and tuner control cable....that runs between the M-802 and AT-140....you took a near miss lightning strike, so I assumed that you replaced this cabling when installing the new M-802....but, then you mention using a AT-140 that was checked out by Icom UK??? Does that mean that it is the AT-140 that was hit by lightning?? If so, then that is VERY suspect....any device that was hit is suspect...
No matter how well it checked out in the lab, I would not trust it on-board....(I replaced mine after a lightning strike, including all the wiring/cables)
So, perhaps the problem is the coax?? Or the tuner cabling?? or the tuner itself??
We may never know...


But, lightning struck electronics are not to be trusted / re-installed....




Which brings me to a very important question...
If this has been an issue for the past 3 years, why have you not had Icom fix it?? Or at least had someone evaluate it??
Just curious, I guess....but a problem that has been there for 3 years is a real tough thing to track down!!
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:28   #7
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

While a difference in current draw is normal between a mode like FSK which is a full power carrier (that shifts frequency to convey text... SSB of course is voice modulation which even with steady whistle outside power/ current input various as the tone’s/ voice’s sine waves rise and fall resulting in significantly less average power/ current. Not sure is IC-802 actually uses a ‘peak’ reading output (or average) circuit driving the bar graph indicator. Different rigs handle this differently. But even if it is driven by an ‘average power’ output circuit... a 25A reading for FSK and 6-8A is very low in my experience. On my 802 a clear whistle yield 18A.

While not definitive, it suggest something amiss in the modulation circuit... or the tuner has not/ can not properly tune to a low SWR and the transmitter protective circuits have kicked in to limit output to protect the output semiconductors from exceeding their max current/ heat. That ‘click’ that you say is the only thing other stations hear could be an indication that the xmiter started at 150w and almost instantly shutdown to much less. However, if on the same freq/ tuner/ backstab you read 25A on FSK... unlikely that it’s a SWR forced reduction of output. That brings me back to something in audio circuit. I’d try the following:
- Make sure the mic connector on mic cord AND the female on the 802 aren’t corroded. Sometimes pulling connector on/ off about 20 times can clean things enough to make good contact... but of course... you still need to clean them the best you can do
- Take mic cord connector apart, look for broken wire. The cord-connector is a stress point. Not saying Icom marine has a problem but after a vendor/ manufacturer process change in Icom ham radio mics, many issues have started to surface... most however, within the mic itself... mostly the oust to talk switch becoming intermittent.
- If there was anyone with a IC 802 mic nearby you could swap with for a quick test, it would eliminate the mic/ cord and 1/2 the connector possible cause.
- While Marine SSB equipment is very reliable and using external voltage and current readings is usually ok for quick feedback that all appears ok or might be a problem... most techs prefer to use an external SWR or power our meter, independent of the transmitter. If left in-line it will be a much better indicator/ start to see things sooner for the average operator than reliance in ship’s amp meter and questionable rig ‘bar’ indicators. Also always good to at least have a battery Shortwave receiver on board for situations just like this (and many other situations) where you can independently listen to you own signal/ voice if you suspect something amiss (do you hear yourself, is it clear/ distorted, alternator noise?, muffled/ distorted RF feedback typical of bad/ lost ground,...).

If you are a full-time cruiser...
- Here’s one more tip from way back in time... when you get back, find a local ham (or marine tech shop) and ask them to solder up a 120v incandescent pigtail lightbulb socket to a PL-259 RF connector. Early ham radio operators used to use a 100w bulb in the old days as a simple/ low tech dummy load/ troubleshooting tool for their transmitters. With FSK it will light up steadily bright. With voice it will flicker as you speak (bright on voice peaks).

We quickly learned what ‘normal’ looked like in the brightness of the flicker and at rest dim on AM, and totally out on SSB not talking. If it was dimly lit in SSB mode without talking, it meant a hum in the signal/ lightly bad ground. A lot of good intel from a simple hack that could help determine nature of transmitter/ tuner problem without higher tech SWR meters.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:45   #8
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Wow, thank you so much for all this detail, i really appreciate your time and effort, you are a star!

I will work through things in the order you detailed, so to begin with I have the mic in my hand now and it all looks visually good, is there a multi meter test i can preform to check its integrity ?

It does feel to me that when i use the ssb, the mic might be a little suspect, as sometimes there are no bars, then the next minute there are when i talk, i could be imagining it.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:09   #9
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Sulaire,
You're welcome!

FYI, if you didn't have a new M-802 or hadn't verified the S/N to prove that it was manufactured after the "Clipping Mod" fix was done at the factory, I would've included the old (2003 thru 2006) "clipping issue" in the list of possibilities, as the description of lower power and intermittent transmit power is similar to what the old clipping problem produced...

As for the mic....if it looks good, and since you've had this trouble since the radio was new (and since you also have had difficulty connecting to Sailmail), I'm going to assume the mic is fine....
But, if you find a time/freq where your power output is good, you could gently twist the mic connector and/or slightly tug on the cord as it goes into the mic itself, to see if it cuts out...(but, only do this if the other tests fail to find a proximate problem, because I do not want you to damage a good mic cord!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulaire View Post
Wow, thank you so much for all this detail, i really appreciate your time and effort, you are a star!

I will work through things in the order you detailed, so to begin with I have the mic in my hand now and it all looks visually good, is there a multi meter test i can preform to check its integrity ?

It does feel to me that when i use the ssb, the mic might be a little suspect, as sometimes there are no bars, then the next minute there are when i talk, i could be imagining it.

Bottom line:
Except for the intermittent nature (which could be caused by suspect coax, control cable, and/or tuner itself...or even an internal M-802 problem), the description of "low talk power" / "weak SSB Voice transmit" / "low output" / "nobody hears me well" / "little current draw on SSB transmit" / etc., all point directly to your M-802's internal (DSP-based) "Speech Compressor" being turned Off!!
And, I think this is your primary problem...

Secondarily, suspect coaxial cable and/or tuner control cable (if this was not replaced when the new M-802 was installed), and/or the AT-140 tuner itself...

Third, is radiowave propagation changes with our low solar activity...

Fourth, 12vdc power issues...

Fifth, defective mic/mic cord...and/or defective M-802 itself...


Now, it's up to you to figure out what's what...

FYI, while having an external power/swr meter is nice (and yes, I do have them permanently installed on both my M-802 HF and M-602 VHF), it isn't a necessity for most...
But...
But, here in your case, if you had one you could use it to test your power/swr back aft at the tuner end of the coaxial cable, to verify that all is well with it...
As well if you had a real dummy load (no need to try to use a light bulb, as a fluorescent bulb laid next to the backstay is a much better...and actually used to be the defacto standard way of measuring antenna current, and maximizing antenna current used to be the way we adjusted the remote tuners, not with swr bridges... )

But, everyone needs to understand that if you're radio is showing the tuner is tuned ("TUNE") and is outputting full-power (8 bars on its power out display) in FSK, then at least at that moment the transmitter is working fine, as is the tuner and antenna....and no "measuring" with an external meter is going to show anything different...(except if you had a rather lossy piece of coax,


Good luck!

73,
John
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Old 17-10-2018, 01:24   #10
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

I am working through the advice given...

- confirmed mic is ok by using another cruisers mic,that is known to work, no difference

- cannot get anyone with cs-802 software over here so ordered it from the usa plus cable, will check compression setting with that when it arrives in a few weeks.

- tested the voltage at chasis power connection as suggested. In standby mode i measure 12.9v, when in fsk mode with mic button pressed and 8 bars on display head, i get 6 volts, across each of the 3 sections ( connector has 3 positive and 3 negative ports).

- i am using shielded high voltage cable, GTO-15 is not available in europe, but this cable is what is recommended over here, consists of 3 big copper strands in a plastic sheath, with copper shielding then outer protective cover.
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Old 17-10-2018, 06:41   #11
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Ok, spoke to icom uk, after rewiring the power supply with new wire etc, found the fuse holder was getting hot!. So changed out for a new one... a little better, but still only 8 volts after keying mic in fsk. Then i noticed that if i “jiggled the power connection as i was reading the voltage in fsk transmit mode, it jumped up to 12 volts, then back to 6 volts then 9v etc etc.....

So i have a loose power connection, either the external connection or the one on the unit, icom want the unit back if i think it is the plug on the box ( very difficult to send, but can supply a new power lead at a price!).
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Old 17-10-2018, 08:16   #12
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Sulaire,
You have found two very serious problems, but thankfully they are also very easy to solve!!!

{BTW, all of these issues are covered in the "stickies" at the top of the Marine Electronics page, right here on Cruiser's Forum...so, nobody has to look thru 100's of threads or ask dozens of questions... }

Please know understand again, that I am not there and cannot see what you have on-board, and I do not know how your radio is wired up!!
This is why I asked for this info...but, I have gotten no further info, just little bits...
So, while I can still help...please remember that this would've been much easier, and quicker, if I had more info...

And, while I think I now see what the problem is, I still don't have a clue how your radio is wired??


1) DC power to the radio....
It appears that this is your primary problem...
And, please note that this is often overlooked by many (even many "professionals"), so don't feel bad...

You should not have more than a 3% drop in voltage from receive voltage to transmit voltage when at full peak power output (such as keying the mic in FSK mode, sending a steady carrier)....and preferably 2% drop...
In our 12vdc systems, that usually means no more than a 0.3vdc to 0.4vdc change in voltage, from receive to full power transmit...
Any more than that, and you've got a problem...

Now, while the M-802 will function within spec, down to 11.5vdc....if your batteries are at ~ 12.0vdc at some point, this doesn't give you much room...
So, the DC power wiring, fuse holders, etc. are important to understand and adapt to your environment!

Never use the whole length of DC power wire that comes with the M-802 (or any other HF transceiver) in a 12vdc marine installation....these are designed to be used in environments where the radio is fed with 13.6vdc to 13.8vdc regulated power, not when on "batteries"!!
If you do need that whole length of power cable to reach the batteries (or main battery bus), then you must use larger sized wire! (use wire size charts to make sure you have the correct size for 30amps, with < 3% voltage drop)
I recommend 6ga for most small/mid-size cruising boats....(I use 2ga)...

You can use a small (~ 1 foot) section of the Icom provided DC power wire from a suitable fuse block or high-current terminal stud, to the radio...and then the larger size wire from that terminal stud/fuse block, to your batteries....

This usually results in excellent operation....both in transmit, by making sure the radio has sufficient power, and reducing transmit RFI...and in receive, by shunting most RF picked up by any of the DC power wiring, reducing RFI here too..

The DC power wiring / connection is such an important part of all of this, I'm always surprised by how often it is overlooked!!

In you specific case, I suspect that you had defective fuse holders and/or power plug??
Or were these the older/original wiring that you reused after the lightning strike, when installing the new radio??? (btw, this is common...most sailors forget to change the wiring / connectors after a lightning strike....or even some that understand the importance of this, think it isn't worth the effort, but trust me...it is important!)



2) The tuner-to-backstay wire CANNOT be shielded wire!
You can use just about any wire you have at hand, as long as it is NOT shielded....
a) While a "high-voltage" rated wire (like GTO-15) is always a first choice....if you cannot find any hi-voltage rated wire, you can use regular tinned-copper, insulated marine wire....but never "shielded wire" / coax...never!


b) After GTO-15, the next choice would be the inside of some RG-213 coax...
If you can find some RG-213 coaxial cable??
Make sure it has a solid-poly dielectric inside, it will look milky-white translucent and will be very stiff and hard....NOT the soft white "foamed dielectric" found in low-loss coaxial cables, but the hard old-fashioned inner insulation...
If you can find that....then strip off the outer jacket and the shielding braid, and what you are left with is an approx. ~ 3000-volt rated 13 ga, polyethylene-insulated copper wire....
Use this to connect the tuner to the backstay, and you're good to go!!!


c) If you cannot source any RG-213, then you can try some regular insulated copper wire....just about any gauge between 12ga and 18ga will work....but, I recommend 12ga or 14ga...
As long as you keep this wire well away from anything metallic (that it can arc over onto), it will work fine....certainly MUCH better than a shielded wire!!

But, please get rid of that "shielded wire"....
Remember that you antenna starts right there at the AT-140 remote tuner!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulaire View Post
I am working through the advice given...
- tested the voltage at chasis power connection as suggested. In standby mode i measure 12.9v, when in fsk mode with mic button pressed and 8 bars on display head, i get 6 volts, across each of the 3 sections ( connector has 3 positive and 3 negative ports).
This is your primary problem!!!
See above for details!

- i am using shielded high voltage cable, GTO-15 is not available in europe, but this cable is what is recommended over here, consists of 3 big copper strands in a plastic sheath, with copper shielding then outer protective cover.
This is your secondary problem!!
See above for details....
(and, fyi....do not know who "recommended" this shielded cable as your antenna wire....but, please use caution when listening to any further recommendations from them, as this is a very bad idea....and anyone that understands antennas, etc. should know this....now, please know that as I write often "anything metallic can work as an antenna", is still true...but this recommendation to use shielded wire is just so odd that it boggles my mind...)

BTW, knowing the info that you just posted from your tests, I'm not sure you actually have anything wrong with your M-802 at all...
It's highly probable that the Speech Compressor is actually turned On...and all is well in your radio...
And, it's likely (and unfortunately typical), it is the installation and wiring that is causing most of your troubles!!
Just wish I had more info, especially how the radio is wired / installed...and whether you replaced all the wiring after the lightning strike???

Fair winds....and good luck...

73,
John


---- Just saw your next post....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulaire View Post
Ok, spoke to icom uk, after rewiring the power supply with new wire etc, found the fuse holder was getting hot!. So changed out for a new one... a little better, but still only 8 volts after keying mic in fsk. Then i noticed that if i “jiggled the power connection as i was reading the voltage in fsk transmit mode, it jumped up to 12 volts, then back to 6 volts then 9v etc etc.....

So i have a loose power connection, either the external connection or the one on the unit, icom want the unit back if i think it is the plug on the box ( very difficult to send, but can supply a new power lead at a price!).
While I still suspect your fuse holders (Icom ??) and 12vdc wiring is the proximate cause, your added info in your last post also suggests you may also have a loose 12vdc power plug, and/or loose wire-to-terminal connections in the power plug???

Once again, I'm hindered by not having much info to work with...so, start from scratch...

DISCOONECT ALL 12VDC WIRING to your M-802....before doing anything else!!! and before doing any of the below inspections/troubleshooting/possible repair!!!

Make sure you have NO power connections to the M-802 or AT-140, or PACTOR modem...
DISCONNECT the M-802 12vdc power cable/wires from your boat....you do not want any power on any of the M-802-related wires at all!!

Also DISCONNECT ALL other wires to/from the M-802...

You are going to be looking at the M-802, and your power wiring, just like it just came out of the box, fresh from the factory!!

Please take a moment and look carefully at the DC power connector, before you send the radio off for repair!

--- Also, please verify if the DC power plug (the part attached to the red and black wires) is original??? Or was this wiring replaced after the lightning strike???
If original, this needs to be replaced!! And, I suspect is the proximate cause of most of your problems....(but, again, cannot be certain as I do not know how your radio is wired / installed)
Since you mentioned the radio is new (as of 3 years ago) but the systems hasn't worked correctly since then...I suspect it is a wiring/connection issue brought upon by not replacing the old/lightning stuck wiring??

Now, if this is all new, then stupid me...I'm wrong....but, all is not lost...yet!

--- Have a look at the wires as they go into the white plug...
Do they look tight and secure??
Are there any signs of overload??
Corrosion??
If any are loose, corroded, burned, darkened, etc....these need to be repaired or replaced...


--- Have a look at the radio, and the DC power jack on its rear panel...and along with the DC power plug on the wires....
You will see how they mate together....and you can also see how they may become "loose"...
There are 3 upper terminals (+12vdc) and 3 lower terminals (-12vdc)...
As with the wires on the white plug itself...
Do they look tight and secure??
Are there any signs of overload, darkening, corrosion??

If you find some of the above is not good....then you can make the decision whether to repair / replace wiring (and/or plugs) as needed, or return your radio...
But, before you return the radio, please remember that it is the wiring/connections/installation/commissioning/ etc. that are the most important parts of the system...
Can you replace the DC power wiring and DC power plug, in your boat??
Are you sure it is the M-802 at fault, or is it the wiring??

Please remember, I am not there, I cannot see/test/evaluate this, that is up to you...

Fair winds and good luck...

John
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Old 17-10-2018, 09:10   #13
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Hi,

Regards connections.

I have 3 new 210 ah lifeline agms in parallel, at rest they give 12.9volts when engine on 13.3 or 14.4 in bulk charge, when pressing key on mic i also measured the voltage drop direct on the battery, it went down around 0.5volts, so around 12.5v at battery, 6to 9 volts at plug.

802 is wired directly to one of those batteries, not through a panel or shunt. Very simple direct connection.

I renewed all wiring after strike, fuse holder is new with this radio.

I looked at the plug and connectors, took a dental pick and made sure the 3 sockets on the plug were not too wide to accept the pins on the radio, made no difference. Sprayed with contact cleaner, again 6to 9volts but upto 12v when i jiggle the plug, so plug is the problem i reckon.

Thanks for the antenna wire info, i will check i have the correct stuff, if not replace it.

Reckon i will send to icom to look at.
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Old 22-10-2018, 13:59   #14
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Sulaire,
Just to be clear, the low voltage is a BIG problem and will be the cause of low-output, etc...BUT...

But, the fact that you see all 8 bars of power output (when keying mic in FSK mode, and thereby transmitting a steady carrier), shows a conflicting piece of info....it shows full output??
(and at 6vdc to 9vdc at the radio, that would not happen..)

So, I was wondering how you're measuring this voltage??
As I wrote above, digital multimeters do not usually provide accurate readings in areas of high RF....so, I mentioned using an analog meter...


Again, you're doing well...
Just got small bits of info to work with, so we're trying to help as best we can.

Fair winds,

John
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Old 23-10-2018, 00:23   #15
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Re: Icom M802 Ssb tx problem?

Hi John,

I have decided to take this opportunity to try and sort the whole system out, as such:

, Icom will receive the unit at their work shop on thursday for a check over

- i have ordered a new high voltage cable very similar to GTO 15

- fitted awg 6 power leads (only 2m long ) to battery

- ordered a new control cable

I will not get the unit back until mid November, but will report back with news as and when i get it fro ICOM’s service team.

Thanks for all the advice, fingers crossed

Charlie.
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