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Old 24-04-2016, 05:24   #1
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VHF Mystery

I recently installed a new antenna (Shakespeare 5215), new coax (Ancor, RG-213), new connectors (Shakespeare PL-259-G and PL-258 Splice), and a new VHF (Standard Horizon, Eclipse DSC+).

I first performed a DSC test with the US Coast Guard. In this test, I received a digital acknowledgement. My subsequent phone call confirmed that my DSC signal was received at the nearest Coast Guard station, approx 1 NM from my position.

Next I tested the reception of my radio by turning on my Standard Horizon handheld VHF and setting both this handheld and my new fixed mount VHF to Channel 16. I was troubled to discover that the new fixed mount would not receive some of the transmissions that the handheld received.

This led me to believe that there was something wrong with my new antenna/coax/connectors.

To test my hypothesis, I borrowed an old fixed mount ICOM brand VHF from someone. Surprisingly, this ICOM seemed to work just fine with my new antenna/coax/connectors. It received all the same transmissions that my handheld VHF received.

This led me to believe that there was something wrong with the reception capabilities of my new Standard Horizon fixed mount VHF.

To test this reception-problem hypothesis, I conducted an automated radio test with SEATOW on Channel 27. I should mention that SEATOW is located approximately 3.5 NM from my position. The ICOM radio passed the transmission-reception test. Surprisingly, the new Standard Horizon fixed mount passed the test as well.

Afterwards, I switched the new Standard Horizon fixed mount back to Channel 16. Much to my dismay, once again, it was silent when the handheld VHF was receiving verbal traffic on Channel 16.

I'm really at a loss. It appears that my new fixed mount VHF works in some capacities, but not in others. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Roscoe
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Old 24-04-2016, 11:09   #2
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Re: VHF Mystery

Good test, but weak, bad radio.
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Old 24-04-2016, 11:25   #3
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Re: VHF Mystery

Squelch set too hi?
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:06   #4
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Re: VHF Mystery

I'd also question the squelch, especially if this is one of those fancy new radios where squelch is set from a menu, not a know.


Then I'd call SH, who have outstanding customer service. Ask them for ideas, and if they can't puzzle it out, I'm sure they'll ask you to send it in for a warranty checkout.


Which is inconvenient, but not all bad, since they will actually test every function of the radio and make sure every circuit is tuned and tweaked--better than it was off the assembly line.
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:53   #5
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Re: VHF Mystery

I read through the owners manual for the radio. It has a knob squelch. So, to summarize, on channel 16, the radio does not receive as well as another solid state radio. However, on other channels, the radio seems to perform as well as other radios.

Only two reprogrammings of the DSC? Anti-theft measure? Or anti-masquerade?

I can't think of any settings that would affect just channel 16 reception, and since channel 16 reception is important, and these radios can only be repaired by an authorized service center or repair facility per the FCC, I would ask if you can return it and get a new one. It seems that the radio is defective. If not, taking it to the warranty shop is your best choice.

For grins, my guess is that there is a digital frequency generator associated with each channel setting and that the one for channel 16 is slightly off. If you want to test this, see if some of the calls you are missing are louder than some of the ones you are getting. Everyone drifts a tiny bit, and so some calls of equal strength might be missed if they are farther from your off frequency than others. But you can't fix it.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:24   #6
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Re: VHF Mystery

Thanks for the help, fellas. I'm going to begin by calling Standard Horizon tomorrow.

Roscoe
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Old 25-04-2016, 05:27   #7
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Re: VHF Mystery

There is no technical reason why your radio will function better on one channel than another.
Agree with other comments...check your squelch setting. Rotate squelch all the way counter clockwise then rotate clockwise to just where it eliminates the background hash noise.
Next listen to the weather stations, find the weakest station now compare to your handheld. Your fixed boat radio should receive the weak wx station better than the hand held.

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