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Old 03-07-2011, 04:51   #1
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VHF transmission issue

My VHF radio is not transmitting very far is there a way to test the antenna without climbing the mast.. with a multimeter maybe?

It is an older standard horizon VHF. I have tested it with my hands held and it appears to work but when I do a radio check with seatow I get no response ...

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Old 03-07-2011, 05:34   #2
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Re: VHF transmission issue

Yes, you could use a VHF radio Output Power and VSWR (antenna efficiency) tester, like this:

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Old 03-07-2011, 06:15   #3
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Re: VHF transmission issue

Daiwa makes similarly priced SWR meters that are of much higher quality. Check any ham radio outlet.
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Old 03-07-2011, 14:32   #4
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Re: VHF transmission issue

As you look at different SWR meters, look carefully at the specs to be sure they are suitable for marine VHF use. They key specs are the power range and frequency range. I made the mistake of buying a Radio Shack SWR because it was convenient to get, but it only works up to 30Mhz which is well below the marine band. It was useless and I had to return it.

When looking for a replacement, I found many units that only worked up to 20W, and you really need 25-30W. Some had two ranges, 0-20W and then up to 300W, neither of which are suitable for a 25W radio.

Here's the one I finally bought Ham Radio Outlet | MFJ MFJ-822 | HF/VHF 300W X-NEEDLE SWR/WATT METER. Don't forget you'll need a short jumper cable as well. This helped me track down a very perplexing radio problem.
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transmission, vhf

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