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Old 08-06-2013, 18:01   #16
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Re: VHF Transmission Poor

Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
Before you go aloft, take a look for a connector at the base of the mast. Does not take much corrosion to cause problems, sure easier to get to if that is the problem... ...worth a look.

Good luck,
Once I found how to get to them, the connectors definitely have corrosion on them. The center piece has some green on the copper. What's the best approach from here.

Sandpaper or file?

Is there a spray to clean them, or should they be replaced?

Does coating them with some sort of grease prolong their life?

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Old 08-06-2013, 18:11   #17
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Re: VHF Transmission Poor

Replacement is best of course but if it is only light then a contact cleaning spray will suffice in most cases.

Many electronic contact cleaners are available but best is Deoxit (the 5% is sufficient for this job - DeOxit 05).

A silicon dielectric grease can be used to help waterproof the connectors - suggest Dow Corning DC4.

If it's bad enough to need sandpaper or file, then it's bad enough to replace IMO.

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Old 10-06-2013, 06:53   #18
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Re: VHF Transmission Poor

After replacing connectors (masthead and/or foot of mast) do seal them using self-vulcanizing tape (can be found at your shipsandelr or electronics store). Ask them to explain how to use it if you haven't before.
A good quality one like 3M will do wonders. If I cut one open that has been on a plug even after many years the plug comes out as shining & new.

Cover/protect it from the elements such as UV with standard isolation tape.

As for DC wiring: I've wired mine directly to the main + and minus 12V posts of my electric panel, no switches in between just the necessary fuse wired closely to the panel connection.
Wiring it directly to the service battery bank with heavy gauge wire is even better but it did not given the risk of battery drain if I left the VHF on unatendedly for a long time.
My HAM SSB is directly wired to the battery bank but then thios one draws 23A and I always switch it off completely (power and antenna wires) when I leave the boat.

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Old 10-06-2013, 20:08   #19
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Re: VHF Transmission Poor

A VHF SWR/Power meter and a cheap multimeter will tell you everything you need to know.

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