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Old 21-03-2016, 08:45   #1
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SSB - Very low volume

I installed a new antenna wire for my Icom M802 SSB. Reception is clear but volume is now low....very low..like I cannot hear you low. Adjusting contols on radio do not help (noise blanketer, squelch, AGC, RF gain, and clarity).

Any thoughts?

Have I messed with the wrong functions?

Thanks...
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Old 21-03-2016, 08:58   #2
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Check all your connections, especially:

1. be sure antenna is connected to the correct jack (not the DSC ant jack); and
2. speaker jack...wiggle it, and be sure it's a tight connection.

Bill
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:12   #3
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Thanks Bill. I did check both of those connections.

The new antenna runs from the backstay to the AT-140. Nothing else was changed. The old antenna wire was in bad shape but at least I had loud volume!
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:23   #4
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

The antenna is very unlikely to be the cause of low volume, UNLESS there is something wrong with the way it's installed (bad connections) or with the wire(s) themselves, particularly a break inside the wire.

Also, check the control wire between the radio and the tuner, being VERY CAREFUL not to pull any of the wires out of the crummy little connectors Icom uses.

It is possible, of course, that the voice amplifier in the radio is shot...nothing to do with the antenna. To test this, you could just stick a random length wire into the center of the antenna connector at the rear of the main unit and turn the volume up. Don't try to transmit. You should hear a loud hissing from the speaker. Be sure the squelch is turned off. If you don't hear something very loud, it's likely the radio is at fault. You could pull the radio out...just the radio...and return it to Icom for repair.

Bill
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Old 21-03-2016, 09:33   #5
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

By the way, one of the hams who is active on the Waterway Radio Net is in Brunswick, and he might be able to help you troubleshoot. He is Jeff Wingfield, KI4JDE, aboard a big Amel sailboat, Last Tango.

Bill
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Old 21-03-2016, 12:13   #6
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Check your speaker is on Press Function and 4 (SP*)
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Old 22-03-2016, 08:36   #7
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Better now...think it was the speaker jack connection. In the Bahamas now so just need to hear Chris Parker in the morning!

Tks for tip on cruiser in Brunswick.
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Old 22-03-2016, 09:47   #8
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

You have to separate the cable of the antenna with the backstay, who runs from tuner to the insulator
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Old 22-03-2016, 10:02   #9
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Quote:
Originally Posted by nknowland View Post
Better now...think it was the speaker jack connection. In the Bahamas now so just need to hear Chris Parker in the morning!

Tks for tip on cruiser in Brunswick.
Glad to hear it.

Yes, the speaker connector....like all those used in the M802....is terrible. In the marine environment, surface corrosion builds quickly, so it's important to be sure that connections are clean and tight. A good spray electrical cleaner, like DeOxit, helps a lot if applied periodically.

By the way, there are several ways to get Bahamas weather, in addition to Chris Parker. There's a WX net on 4003kHz in the morning, USCG broadcasts on several HF frequencies several times a day, WLO in Mobile broadcasts WX on several frequencies several times a day. The ham nets, Waterway Radio (7268 LSB @ 0745EDT daily) and MM Service Net (14300 USB on the half-hour) also provide weather.

Here's a good list of USCG and WLO broadcasts:
http://docksideradio.com/SSB%20Voice%20WX.htm

Bill
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Old 22-03-2016, 10:13   #10
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Quote:
Originally Posted by RafaCavi View Post
You have to separate the cable of the antenna with the backstay, who runs from tuner to the insulator
Thanks for the suggestion (and nice diagram!). I had not done that so will give it a try.
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Old 22-03-2016, 10:20   #11
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Tks again Bill. You have been a great source of information. Appreciate you taking the time to help.
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Old 22-03-2016, 18:39   #12
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Check to make sure you don't have the attenuator turned on. It will attenuate 6db, 12db, or even more.
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Old 23-03-2016, 07:49   #13
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Ok....got me here...what is the attenuator and how do I check it? Is that the A G C ( auto gain control)? That is off. Tks.
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Old 23-03-2016, 15:27   #14
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

nknowland,
1) Glad you got it all figured out!!!

2) There is NO "attenuator" in the M-802....BUT...
But, you should leave the AGC turn ON at all times!!! (there are a few extreme rare instances where switching it off may improve reception, but that's less than 0.1% of the time...so, leave it ON!!!!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTexJim View Post
Check to make sure you don't have the attenuator turned on. It will attenuate 6db, 12db, or even more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nknowland View Post
Ok....got me here...what is the attenuator and how do I check it? Is that the A G C ( auto gain control)? That is off. Tks.


3) If you haven't watched these videos, nor read the sticky up on the top of the "Marine Electronics" page, please do so...

All of these videos are "real-world"....they are done on a real cruising boat, by a real cruiser / ham / communications professional (me), and all include real, LIVE, demonstrations...

Icom M-802 Instruction Videos...(taking you step-by-step thru each button / knob / feature)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr
(please watch these videos in order / watch the playlist)


HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Offshore Weather info/forecasts sources (and receiving them)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY



Also, have a look at these "stickies"...
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call

Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

New HF-DSC Explanation and LIVE Demonstration Videos



4) In addition to the list from Dockside that Bill linked to....
Have a look at the NWS/NOAA Marine Weather Pages...
USCG HF Voice

If you're an EARLY riser, the 0930z broadcast is good....but I prefer the 1530z broadcast....as I cxcan then make decisions over lunch!!!
BTW, these NWS/NOAA Offshore Weather / USCG Broadcasts, are the ones that I used as demonstrations in my videos...

BUT....
But, if want them on a different schedule / more frequently....don't forget that WLO radio broadcasts these same forecasts 6 times a day....
Have a look here:

HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels


Also, don't forget that with some free software on a laptop or tablet, you can get weather charts updated 4 times a day...for FREE!!
Have a look here for the schedules covering your area...

New Orleans Radiofax Schedule with Links

Boston Radiofax Schedule with Links

NWS Radiofax


{FYI, these NWS/NOAA weather charts and their Offshore and Hi-Seas weather forecasts, are considered the "Gold Standard" of all marine weather sources worldwide....and are the ones that all others are compared to....
And, they are FREE!!!
Available to you multiple times a day, worldwide, for FREE....and they come from very powerful, 4000 watt transmitters!!
I have nothing against Chris Parker, just wanted you to know where/how you can get the best overall weather info....for free, anywhere in the world!}




5) And, finally....as you get familiar with the M-802's DSC functions...don't forget to understand the USCG contact procedures!!
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels




I do hope this helps!!

fair winds...

John
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Old 23-03-2016, 16:48   #15
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Re: SSB - Very low volume

Thanks for the great info John. AGC is now set to on. I'll watch videos when I have data to spare!
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