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Old 02-05-2015, 17:23   #1
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Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Can anyone recommend someone in the Kemah, TX area that is really good with Marine SSB or Ham radios? I have a Ham radio on my boat. Suddenly, I am not able to tune my backstay antenna very well. I could really use some help in figuring this out.

Thanks for any recommendations you may have.


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Old 02-05-2015, 18:13   #2
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Do a web search for amateur radio club near Kemah. They should be able to get you in touch with someone or may help you directly. Good luck. Have you checked your antenna and ground connections from the tuner?
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Old 02-05-2015, 18:48   #3
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Very knowledgeable in Clear Lake....

Home
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Old 02-05-2015, 19:00   #4
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Coutret,
As I have written here before, if you explain the problem in detail, the chances are very good that we can at least narrow the issue for you here...for FREE....
Have a look at what I wrote here...
Icom M802: Looking for technician in Ft. Lauderdale Area
and here..
Icom M802: Looking for technician in Ft. Lauderdale Area
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coutret View Post
Can anyone recommend someone in the Kemah, TX area that is really good with Marine SSB or Ham radios? I have a Ham radio on my boat. Suddenly, I am not able to tune my backstay antenna very well. I could really use some help in figuring this out.

Thanks for any recommendations you may have.
But, until we have more info from you....here's the answers to your question...

1) Steve Bowden runs Sea=Tech Systems, right next door to Kemah, in Clear Lake...
Communication


2) Although unfortunate, fact is few hams these days have much experience with remote auto-tuners, and/or HF maritime installations and their peculiarities...
But there are 10 amateur radio clubs local to you...(mostly out of Houston)
Clear Lake ARC
Johnson Space Center ARC
Texas DX Society

Houston Echo Society Inc
University Arc
South East Texas Amateur Club
TEXAS REPEATER COUNCIL, INC.
Northwest ARS

Pearland ARC
TIDELANDS AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY, INC.



I do hope the above helps....

Fair winds..

John
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:45   #5
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

From what you said I would say your tuning//coupler is on the fritz, but not being there it is a guess... Do you have all the maintenance manuals for your SSB system You may be able to down load and print them off your computer. If you do not, DO IT, so when you find a Tech that will help you, he will have a better understanding of your equipment and system... And keep a file copy for yourself on the boat... Also in looking for a Tech, you might check with your local military as the might be able to refer you to someone who can use a few extra dollars...
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Old 03-05-2015, 14:15   #6
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

What makes you think your are having trouble tuning your antenna?
High SWR?

There are two rather simple and cost-effective solutions:

1) buy an antenna SWR meter, like this:
MFJ Enterprises Inc.

2) buy an antenna tuner.

The meter will tell you what the problem is, and the tuner (maybe) will make it go away.
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Old 03-05-2015, 14:18   #7
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

ARRL also has a marine radio manual.
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Old 03-05-2015, 15:20   #8
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coutret View Post
Can anyone recommend someone in the Kemah, TX area that is really good with Marine SSB or Ham radios? I have a Ham radio on my boat. Suddenly, I am not able to tune my backstay antenna very well. I could really use some help in figuring this out.

Thanks for any recommendations you may have.


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I'd be more prone to check your ground?
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Old 03-05-2015, 17:55   #9
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Ground is easy, but not easy when you are on seawater.
The analyzer does not lie, but it's not the whole story.
You need to know your antenna's SWR and then go from there.
Oz
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Old 03-05-2015, 22:09   #10
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Steve Bowden in Galveston, TX
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:33   #11
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Thank you all for your replies. I have an automatic antenna tuner. My ham radio has a built in SWR meter. I was told to key the mike and whistle into it to tune the antenna. This worked well. Almost immediately, the SWR would drop very low.

I moved the control panel for my radio. When I did, the antenna would not tune. Someone suggested it could be RFI brought about by the new wire routing. I tried some ferrite beads but that did not help.

I undid all the work I originally did thinking that would eliminate the problem, but it persisted.

I had a portable antenna that I could hoist up my mast. It is tuned with the radio's internal tuner. It worked fine.

It seems the problem is not with the radio, but the automatic tuner.

Thank you for all your suggestions.


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Old 06-05-2015, 14:36   #12
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Hi,

I am a "ham", you can see by my alias... LOL.
I think I know what your problem is....

Are these statements correct?
- You whistle and tune and the antenna tune up?
- You change the panel (VFO) change frequency.
- After changing frequency the antenna is not tuned anymore?

If all this is true it is because using a tuner on your antenna to match it to 50Ohms resistance for your tranciever makes the possible usage frequency of your antenna very narrow. The SSB frequencies are quite wide apart and the bands are very wide apart so if your tuned on 7,5Mhz and try to use the radio on example 14MHz the antenna will be completly out of tune.
So everytime you change channel or band you must re-tune again.

I hope this helps your problem.

Cheers,
Magnus
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:00   #13
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

SM6WEZ,

Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, the problem is not as you described it. You are, of course, correct that I would need to retune my antenna as I move between frequencies. In my case, the antenna will not tune at all. Sporadically, I will get lucky and it will tune up.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:02   #14
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Magnus,

Sorry I bungled your call sign. My fat fingers don't work well on my phone's keyboard.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:13   #15
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Re: Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert

Coutret,
As I wrote above, Need a SSB/Ham Radio Expert
If you gave us more info, we can be of great help, and in the interim I gave you the info on folks in your area, especially Steve at Sea-Tech...


But, you have not even mentioned the make/model/age of either your radio, nor remote auto-tuner...and how the remote tuner is powered (and/or controlled, if other than a SGC/SEA tuner), nor whether or not you've verified that there is voltage always present at the tuner for it to do its job (and specifically what that voltage is, as a low voltage there CAN present as just this exact problem, intermittent/sporadic tuner operation)...
Nor have you mentioned on what bands/freqs this occurs (all or just some), and whether there are any other variables such as occurring only in early morning or at night?? (possible low voltage issues), or in the heat of the afternoon sun??? etc. etc.. etc...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coutret View Post
SM6WEZ,

Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, the problem is not as you described it. You are, of course, correct that I would need to retune my antenna as I move between frequencies. In my case, the antenna will not tune at all. Sporadically, I will get lucky and it will tune up.
With > 40 years experience in HF comms (use, installation, troubleshooting/repair), both ham and maritime, (on shore and on-board), as well as teaching, etc. I'd be happy to help you figure this out, as would others here.....but without at least the above info, there's little for us to do, except give you the info your requested (which we did within an hour or two of your posting the question)...


Fair winds...

John
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