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Old 26-02-2015, 11:01   #1
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VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

I purchased a Uniden VHF 4 years ago that no longer will transmit. Cleaned BNC connections etc. Can't replace MIC as it is hard wired to the internals of the machine. Called Uniden. 36 minutes on hold while listening to horrible music only to be told they don't support it, have no knowledge of it, and when pressed told to buy a new one..... I agreed but had to reveal that it definitely won't be a Uniden product.
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Old 26-02-2015, 13:22   #2
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

duefocena,

I sent you a private message with testing options.
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Old 26-02-2015, 15:08   #3
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

Quote:
Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
I purchased a Uniden VHF 4 years ago that no longer will transmit. Cleaned BNC connections etc. Can't replace MIC as it is hard wired to the internals of the machine. Called Uniden. 36 minutes on hold while listening to horrible music only to be told they don't support it, have no knowledge of it, and when pressed told to buy a new one..... I agreed but had to reveal that it definitely won't be a Uniden product.
I went through three Unidens 525/625. Got one warranty repair and it failed again. After that they sent them back claiming I was on the wrong U/I/C channel setting, which was total BS.

Toss it. They don't even sell them anymore. West Marine picked up the hardware and re-branded it it appears.

Dave
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Old 27-02-2015, 08:16   #4
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

duefocena,
Although the problem may be as simple as a broken/disconnected mic cable wire, this radio is not really worth much time/effort to troubleshoot/repair...
Sorry!

I'm with 2hulls/Dave!!!
I'd scrap it and buy a real radio!!

Uniden has never been a hi-quality manufacturer, and I'm not surprised by their approach to customer service!
Quote:
Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
Called Uniden.......
.........only to be told they don't support it, have no knowledge of it, and when pressed told to buy a new one..... I agreed but had to reveal that it definitely won't be a Uniden product.
I prefer Icom, but some also rave about Standard Horizon...
An Icom M-506 (or even better an M-604), would be my personal recommendation for you....


I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:41   #5
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

I have an Icom and a Standard Horizon. Both great, would recommend either. For the cost and trouble to fix the Uniden you could buy a new GOOD radio.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:36   #6
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

Need to update my earlier post on my UNIDEN ES 525. While I had cleaned the BNC connectors with a bronze wire brush and emory cloth I ignored the grounding wire shield. I cut the bnc out and inspected the cable. The grounding shield mesh turned to dust in my hands until I cut out about a foot at each joining end. Went to WM and for $10 a new shakespeare bnc w/ a much better rubber insulating cover installed and the radio check pulled clear transmission about 10 miles away.
Additionally, I now have disconnected the Garmin GPS map from the VHF as it hampers the clarity of it's sound.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:38   #7
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

duefocena,
Please forgive my bluntness....
But, Seriously???

Quote:
Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
Need to update my earlier post on my UNIDEN ES 525. While I had cleaned the BNC connectors with a bronze wire brush and emory cloth I ignored the grounding wire shield. I cut the bnc out and inspected the cable. The grounding shield mesh turned to dust in my hands until I cut out about a foot at each joining end. Went to WM and for $10 a new shakespeare bnc w/ a much better rubber insulating cover installed and the radio check pulled clear transmission about 10 miles away.
Additionally, I now have disconnected the Garmin GPS map from the VHF as it hampers the clarity of it's sound.
You should never use a wire brush and emory cloth on an RF connector!!!
In an emergency, maybe a green scotchbrite pad....but never anything rougher than that!!!


I assumed that your earlier reference to a "BNC" connector was a simple typing error....but now I'm wondering if this radio is using BNC's???

But, whatever the case with the connector, whether BNC or UHF (SO-239 / PL-259), it appears that you have some SERIOUS VHF Radio system problems!!!

From your description, it appears that your VHF antenna coax has moisture penetration and is all but useless....
REPLACE this coax with new and better cable...

Also, it appears you haven't weather-proofed the connections very well...
Please read up on how-to do this properly...

And, if your Garmin GPS being connected to the VHF Radio (which it IS supposed to be connected to), is causing interference ("hampers the clarity of its sound"), then this Uniden VHF radio is seriously defective and/or you have some serious VHF Coax wiring issues, and/or some serious NMEA wiring issues.....(most probably the radio, combined with the other 2 issues, is my best guess.)
BUT...


But, whatever the exact cause of these issues are, the bottom line is:
a) Your VHF antenna coax is bad / very lossy, and needs to be replaced...
b) Your VHF antenna coaxial connectors are suspect, and should be replaced...
c) Your VHF antenna coaxial cable connections are inadequately weather-proofed, and need to be redone...
d) Your Uniden VHF radio is suspect, and should be replaced...


I completely understand about being on a budget, but as a boat's primary VHF-DSC radio is their primary communications device, and is one of their primary safety tools on-board, I highly recommend replacing / repairing your VHF radio system as I describe....
This will cost you less than $500, all-in...
[and, combined with the description of the radio in your earlier post, I cannot fathom while you haven't scraped that thing already!]


Fair winds...

John
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Old 02-03-2015, 15:53   #8
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

I'd like to extend my apologies to duefocena.

It was brought to my attention that my posting above came across as alarmist and as an admonishment, but this was NOT my intention.
So, please accept my apologies for the above!



Aside from my words about using a wire brush (bronze or otherwise) on an RF connector, and my comments about the GPS NMEA connection causing interference, the rest of the above was after all just my opinion and my learned advice, so you and everyone here can take it or leave it....

Words on a screen don't have the ability of a voice inflection, nor does subtly come across....and I believe that lack of nuance is primarily what causes many of these misunderstandings.



But whatever the case, it my responsibility to apologize here, and make sure that everyone understands that I was never trying to imply alarm at all...rather just trying to help a fellow sailor...
Perhaps my > 40 years of radio comm. / engineering (and offshore sailing) experience, combined with the many messages we get here from those who have been bambozzeled by marine electronics "experts", has made me come off as too cynical and perhaps my enthusiasm comes across as stridency, but please understand that I am sorry for those impressions....(and of course, that I did mean well...





Now that that is out of the way, for sake of clarity I stand behind my recommendations to replace the coaxial cable and connectors, and hooking-up the GPS NMEA data to your DSC-VHF radio....
As for replacing the Uniden radio.....I understand being on a budget, so if the radio is working for you, I won't quibble....(although, for most of us, a 10 mile range isn't much of a test)




Fair winds...

I hope my smiles help this come across as friendly advice (and a friendly apology), no alarm here at all!!


John
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Old 02-03-2015, 16:06   #9
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
d) Your Uniden VHF radio is suspect, and should be replaced...
Notwithstanding all the other potential causes, I finally replaced my Unidens after multiple failures with (it does't matter - anything is an improvement) and have had no problems since. Same antenna, same antenna cable, same power source. No more failures.

Dave
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Old 02-03-2015, 20:01   #10
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

Ka4wja, may I pick your brains? I have heard that there are better grade antenna wires than the ones commonly available in most marine stores. I need to make a run of 60 feet from a top mast mounted sailboat antenna to my vhf. What is the best type or brand to use? I'm not a handy person, electronics wise, so I need a simple install. Willing to spend a little more if necessary.
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Old 03-03-2015, 13:12   #11
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

Onestepcsy37,
The short answer is:
Name Brand: Belden, Times, Commscope, Davis, etc. brand
Cable type: RG-213/u

With properly installed and weather-proofed connectors....
If you are unsure of connector installation, hire a pro to do it, or purchase pre-assembled cables...

This is just a sample of places that I've done business with, and have been very satisfied....(buy AES and HRO are also good sources, just with retail prices...)

Davis RF Co. - Coax Cables

Texas Towers, Coaxial Cable Page

Texas Towers, Coax Jumpers Page

Ham radio connectors & cables at DX Engineering

DX Engineering 213U DX Series Low-Loss 50-ohm Coaxial Cable Assemblies - RG-213/U Coaxial Cable Type - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at DX Engineering


Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Ka4wja, may I pick your brains? I have heard that there are better grade antenna wires than the ones commonly available in most marine stores. I need to make a run of 60 feet from a top mast mounted sailboat antenna to my vhf. What is the best type or brand to use? I'm not a handy person, electronics wise, so I need a simple install. Willing to spend a little more if necessary.
I hope this helps...
Fair winds...

John


P.S. Now, the LONG answer is quiet long....but, if you care to read it, let me know....'cause I already typed it and saved it!!
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Old 03-03-2015, 16:40   #12
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Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

Thanks John, but I think too much information would pass right through my brain and out into the ether...
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Old 24-03-2017, 13:38   #13
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Angry Re: VHF Troubleshoot Uniden 525 Es

Weak receive with Uniden 525 and 625 radios is a KNOWN issue and is NOT fixable and both radios have been discontinued!
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