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Old 03-01-2016, 16:14   #16
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

Argh, it takes me so long to type on this tablet that I see John has not only clarified the 7000 "tuner" issue, but also edited his post about the 120/130 confusion.

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Old 03-01-2016, 16:25   #17
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
sneuman,
With this additional info, and some thought, I may have jumped too quickly on the current draw / DC power being an issue....(although this is still a possibility, if the boat previously had a Marine SSB radio installed, and we assume it worked at some point....this isn't as highly probable as earlier)



EDIT:
With your further info, from 2 minutes ago, I see that my words in the above paragraph are well timed!!!




So, onto some further good news / recommendations...

1) Most of the basic troubleshooting YOU can do yourself, without any specialty tools/meters, etc....

Make sure you read the earlier referenced thread, where there is a LOT of good info/advice!!
Re: SSB Great Receive Poor Transmit



2) I'm at the dock in S. FL, about 100 miles from Freeport, and we could easily arrange an on-air sked / test....(but, I'm dealing with family medical issues / surgery, this week....so, not sure exactly when..)



3) If you are seeing some DC power draw on transmit, this is GOOD....
But, it would be really nice if you could tell us approx. how RF power the M-700Pro is outputting...both when you are speaking and when whistling...

Use the M-700Pro's RF output meter along the bottom edge of the display...
It has 8 segments, and on a whistle you should be getting 7 - 8 illuminated, and on normal voice (with the mic about 1" away from your mouth) you should see 3 - 5 segments illuminated....
If you are seeing these (or close to them), then the radio is almost certainly transmitting fine, AND the tuner is most probably also tuning properly...

You did not mention WHO on ebay you bought the radio from / what was their feedback rating / reputable / etc...
So, we have no way of knowing if your radio was in working condition, but let's assume that it is, as you have been heard on-the-air to some extent, and you have seen some DC current draw upon transmit...
But, we don't know how much power you are outputting (nor if the tuner is working)



4) Not knowing what tuner you have, makes it difficult to give specifics here....but...
But, I suspect an Icom AT-130...

EDIT:
Our posts passed each other!!
I see you have an AT-120....
FYI, this is a VERY OLD tuner....haven't been made in > 20 years!!!


So, I'm starting to suspect the tuner / tuner control wiring / etc...


Also, FYI....
The M-700Pro does NOT have a built-in autotuner!!!!
Do you not have the manual??? It can be downloaded from Icom, for free....



If this is the case, you can try just listening with your ears near the AT-130, first select a different channel/band (such as 12mhz) and then press the M-700Pro's "TUNE" button....and see if you hear any "clicking" sound from the tuner...
Also, look at the M-700Pro's display to see if "Tune" blinks....and if "Tune" stays illuminated...






There is a LOT more to all of this, but without any further info from you, I'd just be taking wild guesses....(and wasting everyone's time)




Please read my earlier posting above, as well as the referenced thread, watch the videos (when you can)....and provide a lot more info....and we can be of a LOT more help!!


Fair winds..

John
Thanks again, John. It might be an AT-130 (and I always hear it buzzing as it tunes up). I will check that in the daylight tomorrow. I tried a contact with a friend in Fla. and he could not hear me tonight, although I could hear him fine on the 4,000 MHZ band. I will double-check the output on the RF meter, but it seems that it's in line with what you've said.

I will read through the thread you posted and see if there's anything more I can glean from that.
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Old 03-01-2016, 18:25   #18
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

I'm glad to be of help...

Although, 4mhz might work well, depending on the time-of-day/evening....Since you posted this at about 6:25pm local, about 1 hour past sunset, if you were attempting to contact your friend in Florida before this last posting, then I would've recommended 6mhz band (up until about 0000z / 7pm local), and then 4mhz after that...(and 8mhz from an hour after sunrise, until sunset...)
And, remember we are having some rare strong January T-Storms in Florida today/tonight...which can add a LOT of atmospheric noise to his receiver!!

But, it is good that you could hear him well...

And, these words (along with your original words), make me wonder three things:
a) You are probably not having your signal, at these "distant locales", compared to others that are coming from the same anchorage as you??? And/or not at the same time?? (minutes later?)
These can cause very large differences, and would not be caused by a problem on-board...
b) You may not be aware of radiowave propagation factors, that can effect your ability to use the various frequencies at different times-of-day....
(meaning always use the highest freq that will allow the communications across whatever distance you need to cover....the lower freqs of 4mhz and 6mhz can be problematic during daylight hours, for anything other than local comms up to a few hundred miles, with 8mhz also being somewhat limited during midday hours...)

c) What RF ground / Antenna ground system do you have???
What condition is it in??
How is it connected??? (should be a clean, shinny, dry, and tight connection from the AT-130 tuner ground lug to the sea water...or some other "ground system"??)



Whether you have the AT-120 or At-130, it matters less now at this point, as you have verified that you do hear "clicking"??? Yes???
(I suppose if listening from the cabin, it could sound like "buzzing"...but, it should be more like a rapid clicking...)
So, do not go through a lot of trouble to further verify this...

Instead, please verify that the M-700Pro's RF power meter is showing these segments illuminated as I described earlier...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Thanks again, John. It might be an AT-130 (and I always hear it buzzing as it tunes up). I will check that in the daylight tomorrow. I tried a contact with a friend in Fla. and he could not hear me tonight, although I could hear him fine on the 4,000 MHZ band. I will double-check the output on the RF meter, but it seems that it's in line with what you've said.
This would be the single most important thing to verify and report, when troubleshooting poor transmit performance...

I will read through the thread you posted and see if there's anything more I can glean from that.
Now, we can start to narrow things down a bit...

---The radio receives well...
---The radio seems to transmit with proper power (you will double-check / verify)...
---The tuner is energized and seems to be doing something when "tuning"....AND this is also to be verified when you double-check the M-700's power output, because if the tuner is not tuning correctly the SWR presented to the radio would be high, and the radio's power output would be significantly reduced (typically only 1 or 2 segments on a whistle)
---You've check and verified the GTO-15 to backstay connection is good/clean/tight...
---You've tried the radio connected directly to the batteries, with no change....


BUT...
---You have not mentioned the RF ground / Antenna ground system, nor what condition these are in, how their connections look, etc...
(although, please do NOT obsess about this....at least not yet! , this can be a proximate cause of poor transmit performance...)

---You have not mentioned whether you hear everyone else loud-n-clear, without distortions / warble...AND whether your M-700Pro shows the same frequency displayed when you transmit as when you are receiving (when attempting to check-in to these nets, or trying to communicate with other boats)....'cause if not, then we have hit upon THE problem!!!

---You have not mentioned WHO / WHERE you've attempted to contact, other than your original words and a friend in Florida...have you raised WLO, or the USCG, NMN or NMG???
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I have an ICOM M700pro and am not getting through on the transmit side. Distant end (Cruiseheimers and Do-Dah nets) say they can hear something and, with difficulty, usually my call sign or boat name, but have reported bad signal
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I tried a contact with a friend in Fla. and he could not hear me tonight, although I could hear him fine on the 4,000 MHZ band.
Remember you have been attempting to communicate with others that also may have compromised antenna systems, ground systems, RFI issues, etc. etc. etc....rather than professional stations / Coast Stations, so....
So, until we can compare your signal from your boat, with
others in your anchorage (or nearby), at the same time-of-day, etc., OR....or, until you attempt to make contact with a Coast Station....we cannot make absolute statements here....(which is why I always ask for more info!!



Not sure if any of my recent words here will be of help, but I'm trying...


Fair winds...

John
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:32   #19
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

I have a few more things to report. I am indeed getting 7-8 bars on the transmit side when I bellow a good "Fower ..." My attempt to contact the friend in Fla. was late afternoon, about 4 pm. He was fairly clear, but also faded in and out a bit. Still need to check on the tuner.

I re-ran a 2" copper strap from the tuner to the forward grounding plate on the boat. The ground from the radio goes directly (and separately) to the same plate.

On one frequency we tried (I believe it was in the 2k MHz), my friend did hear something, but it was not much, apparently.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:16   #20
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

snueman,
I REALLY think we're getting somewhere!!
It looks like your radio is transmitting sufficient power (7-8 bars illuminated), and the tuner is tuning (you hear it "buzzing" when it's tuning), and your antenna connections (GTO-15 to backstay) are clean, and now you report an new 2" copper strap to a grounding plate, which is good!!
(only a minor caveat, the length of that strap....it should be as short as possible....but typically up to 8' - 10' long is okay....shorter is better...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I have a few more things to report. I am indeed getting 7-8 bars on the transmit side when I bellow a good "Fower ..." My attempt to contact the friend in Fla. was late afternoon, about 4 pm. He was fairly clear, but also faded in and out a bit. Still need to check on the tuner.

I re-ran a 2" copper strap from the tuner to the forward grounding plate on the boat. The ground from the radio goes directly (and separately) to the same plate.

On one frequency we tried (I believe it was in the 2k MHz), my friend did hear something, but it was not much, apparently.
Your use of 2mhz at 4pm is rather odd....while it may work, the noise levels are very high...and you're relying on groundwave as much as any skywave (high D-layer absorption)....
{Just an FYI, but 2mhz marine comms have been eliminated by the USCG a year and a half ago, after 10 years of advising against them, and have never been used in Australia, etc....noise levels just too high, and too little range, etc...}
At 2100z, the MUF is about 8mhz or so, around FL...and as such 6mhz (and even 8mhz) are good choices, or even 4mhz...but 2mhz can be problematic!!!
(I'd pick 6224, primary....with 8294 and 4146, secondaries)

SO...

So, we are left with only a few other possible issues:
a) your radio is "off-frequency" and/or you are not transmitting on the proper frequency (same freq as other boats you are listening to)...and/or is transmitting distorted audio...
Please verify that your M-700Pro shows the same frequency displayed when you transmit as when you are receiving (when you are in "SIMPLEX" mode, attempt to contact other boats and//or check into nets...this would not be the case when in "DUPLEX" mode, such as when attempting to contact WLO)

---You have not mentioned whether you hear everyone else loud-n-clear, without distortions / warble...AND whether your M-700Pro shows the same frequency displayed when you transmit as when you are receiving (when attempting to check-in to these nets, or trying to communicate with other boats)....'cause if not, then we have hit upon THE problem!!!

Also, if possible, have someone knowledgeable test the radio, maybe someone on another boat near you, can listen and tune around, to verify your M-700Pro IS transmitting on the proper frequency and is clean/clear...

Please note, that in order to actually hear what is going on with your radio, I would be happy to set-up a sked (scheduled time of contact) with you, on a couple different frequencies / times, and would gladly help you out...

As, I am only about 100 miles from Freeport, I'd pick 6224.0khz (6.224mhz) for primary daytime (with 8294 and 4146 as secondaries)....{note that early morning, from sunrise to 2 hours past sunrise, 4mhz is usually still good...and during midday hours, 8mhz can be better than 6mhz...}

And 4146.0khz (4.146mhz) as primary at night (with 6224 as secondary)...
Let me know if you'd like to try this....


b) radiowave propagation and your understanding of it..
Understanding of radiowave propagation is paramount....just like understanding of navigation is, or sailing handling, or anchoring, etc. etc. etc...
If you have decent internet, please have a look at my Youtube videos...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

(I will place a link to video #1, the one dealing specifically with radiowave propagation, below....please watch it....you will see a LIVE, REAL-WORLD demonstration of different frequencies in operation at different times-of-the-day...)
You will learn to always use the highest freq possible....(less noise, less D-layer absorption, stronger signals, etc.)

c) other stations you've attempted to contact have high noise levels / RFI, reducing their ability to hear you well...
Try contact with stations that have lower noise levels and/or understand about these things (and radiowave propagation)...like me, WLO, USCG, etc...(or even Chris Parker, who should hear you well on 4mhz early mornings, and 8mhz, by 1400z, nearer the end of his net...and you could also try the SSCA HF station, KPK, on 8mhz, at/after 1400z...)


d) dirty / barnacle-laden grounding plate...
(easy to clean off in the warm Bahamian waters!)



For simplicity in reading, I'm also going to copy 'n paste my earlier posting here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
I'm glad to be of help...

Although, 4mhz might work well, depending on the time-of-day/evening....Since you posted this at about 6:25pm local, about 1 hour past sunset, if you were attempting to contact your friend in Florida before this last posting, then I would've recommended 6mhz band (up until about 0000z / 7pm local), and then 4mhz after that...(and 8mhz from an hour after sunrise, until sunset...)
And, remember we are having some rare strong January T-Storms in Florida today/tonight...which can add a LOT of atmospheric noise to his receiver!!

But, it is good that you could hear him well...

And, these words (along with your original words), make me wonder three things:
a) You are probably not having your signal, at these "distant locales", compared to others that are coming from the same anchorage as you??? And/or not at the same time?? (minutes later?)
These can cause very large differences, and would not be caused by a problem on-board...
b) You may not be aware of radiowave propagation factors, that can effect your ability to use the various frequencies at different times-of-day....
(meaning always use the highest freq that will allow the communications across whatever distance you need to cover....the lower freqs of 4mhz and 6mhz can be problematic during daylight hours, for anything other than local comms up to a few hundred miles, with 8mhz also being somewhat limited during midday hours...)

c) What RF ground / Antenna ground system do you have???
What condition is it in??
How is it connected??? (should be a clean, shinny, dry, and tight connection from the AT-130 tuner ground lug to the sea water...or some other "ground system"??)


Whether you have the AT-120 or At-130, it matters less now at this point, as you have verified that you do hear "clicking"??? Yes???
(I suppose if listening from the cabin, it could sound like "buzzing"...but, it should be more like a rapid clicking...)
So, do not go through a lot of trouble to further verify this...

Instead, please verify that the M-700Pro's RF power meter is showing these segments illuminated as I described earlier...


Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman
Thanks again, John. It might be an AT-130 (and I always hear it buzzing as it tunes up). I will check that in the daylight tomorrow. I tried a contact with a friend in Fla. and he could not hear me tonight, although I could hear him fine on the 4,000 MHZ band. I will double-check the output on the RF meter, but it seems that it's in line with what you've said.
This would be the single most important thing to verify and report, when troubleshooting poor transmit performance...

I will read through the thread you posted and see if there's anything more I can glean from that.

Now, we can start to narrow things down a bit...

---The radio receives well...
---The radio seems to transmit with proper power (you will double-check / verify)...
---The tuner is energized and seems to be doing something when "tuning"....AND this is also to be verified when you double-check the M-700's power output, because if the tuner is not tuning correctly the SWR presented to the radio would be high, and the radio's power output would be significantly reduced (typically only 1 or 2 segments on a whistle)
---You've check and verified the GTO-15 to backstay connection is good/clean/tight...
---You've tried the radio connected directly to the batteries, with no change....


BUT...
---You have not mentioned the RF ground / Antenna ground system, nor what condition these are in, how their connections look, etc...
(although, please do NOT obsess about this....at least not yet! , this can be a proximate cause of poor transmit performance...)

---You have not mentioned whether you hear everyone else loud-n-clear, without distortions / warble...AND whether your M-700Pro shows the same frequency displayed when you transmit as when you are receiving (when attempting to check-in to these nets, or trying to communicate with other boats)....'cause if not, then we have hit upon THE problem!!!

---You have not mentioned WHO / WHERE you've attempted to contact, other than your original words and a friend in Florida...have you raised WLO, or the USCG, NMN or NMG??? Remember you have been attempting to communicate with others that also may have compromised antenna systems, ground systems, RFI issues, etc. etc. etc....rather than professional stations / Coast Stations, so....
So, until we can compare your signal from your boat, with
others in your anchorage (or nearby), at the same time-of-day, etc., OR....or, until you attempt to make contact with a Coast Station....we cannot make absolute statements here....(which is why I always ask for more info!!



Not sure if any of my recent words here will be of help, but I'm trying...


Fair winds...

John
Here's the important video about radiowave propagation / frequency choice...



I do think we are getting somewhere!!
Report back all above, when you can....and we'll get you going!

Fair winds.

John
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:26   #21
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

Good news!? Impromptu radio check with someone in Rock Sound, Eleurthra, yielded a "loud and clear" come back. This was at about 0715 this morning (Tuesday 1/5) on 4018. That's only about 100 nautical miles away, but it's something!

ka4wja: did you receive my PM?

Btw, I looked at the tuner, and there's no identifying mark that would indicate whether it's a 120 or 130. Just a grey plastic box with the ICOM logo.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:23   #22
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

Got your PM.

Congrats on your contact to Eluerthra!

BTW, the most difficult ranges for most sailors are the 100 - 500 mile comms...as these typically use Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) on the lower bands (4, 6, and 8mhz), and our vertical antennas produce a NULL overhead, which is the worst pattern for NVIS work!
So, we end up with weaker NVIS signals than those with horizontal-polarized antennas (such as hams on land), and also rely on decent groundwave over sea water on the lower bands (4mhz, in particular) for ranges out to 100 - 150 miles (which is completely unheard of with land stations!)


Gotta go!

John
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Old 09-01-2016, 15:50   #23
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

Argh! Just as I get the thing up and running, I break the mic cable when I got thrown around in the cabin by heavy seas. The second time that's happened! Where am I going to find a new mic cable in the Bahamas?!
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Old 09-01-2016, 16:36   #24
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

Damn!
Sorry to read this!

I suspect that it is possible to repair / solder / secure this, in order to make it work....but, you will need to find someone that can solder (and is good at it), has a soldering iron on-board, and have a look at the M-700Pro manual for the wiring code of the mic plug...
(the four important wires/pins are Pin 1 and Pin 7, for the mic element....and Pin 5 and Pin 6, for the PTT)

M-700Pro MICROPHONE PIN
SPECIFICATIONS

pin 2 NC No connection.
pin 1 MIC+Audio input from the microphone
element. Input impedance: 600
Ω

4 AF2 AF input. Connected to pin 3 in the microphone.
5 PTT PTT switch input. When grounded, transmits.
6 GND Connected to ground.
3 AF1 AF output controlled with [VOLUME]. Connected to pin 4 in the microphone.
Output impedance: 4
Ω

7 MIC
Coaxial ground for MIC+.


8 AF
Coaxial ground for AF1 and AF2.



If not possible to repair:

I do NOT know anybody that has a spare mic for you, in the Bahamas...
If you had an M-802, I've got a spare mic....but the M-700Pro is quite an old unit and finding a random spare mic for it is possible, but not in the Bahamas.

The M-700Pro's original "EM-101" was replaced by the Icom HM-180, which fits the M-600, M-700, M-700Pro, and M-710 / M-710RT...

They are available on ebay, other on-line stores, and someone here might have one to send to you (perhaps btrayfors)...
I would start a new thread, right here in the Marine Electronics page, saying you need a new mic / mic cord / plug / etc...(depending on exactly what you need)



Again, sorry to read this...
But, hope I helped?

John
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Old 09-01-2016, 17:56   #25
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Re: Trouble-shooting SSB Tx problem

I have a soldering gun aboard. It's worth a shot.
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