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Old 03-02-2012, 14:56   #1
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Have I fried my M802 SSB?

I had not used my M802 for a couple years. Now getting ready to head offshore again. Here's what I know:
~ System installed in 2006, new M802 with built in SWR meter , AT140 tuner & whip antenna
~ Worked fine in 2007
~ When I went to use it again in 2012, I could hear boats nearby (within 20 miles) but not far away.
~ Checked the connections on the cable that runs from the whip antenna to the tuner, and found that it had corroded. Cut the end off the cable, & reattached to the tuner.
~ Tried to check into the morning net, still can onlyl hear local boats, nothing far away. It's like the antenna isn't even attached.
~ Another boater suggested that keying the mike witht he antenna unattached could have blown something in the transciever- is this true?
~ The SWR meter moves on the side labeled "forward" (I think this means transmit) when I key the mike, but the the other needle (is this for receive?) (they cross) doesn't seem to budge.
~ Any troubleshooting suggestions would be helpful.
~ I have replaced the groundplane with one of those kiss groundplanes, since the old braided wire was all corroded.
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:04   #2
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Re: Have I fried my M802 SSB?

Unlikely you damaged the radio. The 802 is particularly sensitive to SWR and will stop transmitting before damage is done.

BTW, yours is an older 802 and these had the "clipping problem" which causes transmitted audio to be clipped (cut off) to the point where transmissions are unintelligible. This problem is most severe when there's a problem with the antenna or ground system, and the SWR is a bit high. The only fix is to remove the radio and send it back to Icom in Bellevue WA where they will fix it at no cost except shipping.

Check and recheck all connections, especially the control cable from the radio to the tuner. The connectors shipped with the radio are totally inappropriate for the marine environment, being both flimsy and not even splashproof. Nor is the radio itself splash proof, BTW.

Once you're sure that all connections are clean and tight, try tuning the radio on several different bands while someone is listening close to the tuner. Is it clicking as it should while tuning? Does the "Tune" light come on?

When the radio is properly tuned to the frequency you're listening to, stations should sound louder than when the tuner was untuned.

If all seems OK now, try to make a contact.

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Old 03-02-2012, 15:16   #3
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Re: Have I fried my M802 SSB?

Your SWR meter is a "crossed needle" type. The "forward" needle indicates transmit power (a big number is good). The other needle is showing "reverse" power (a big number is *bad*), which you see if the antenna is mis-tuned, or the cables / connectors are bad, or your auto-tuner is broken.

What you are describing is showing proper antenna / cable / tuner operation. There are certain cable problems that the SWR meter will not show, but the odds are excellent that these things are working OK.

When you key the mic *and speak loudly into it*, what does the "forward" needle indicate? Many meters are calibrated in Watts -- if yours is you should be seeing around 100W (the transmitter is rated for 150W). Be aware that the meter calibration may not be particularly accurate.
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 03-02-2012, 20:32   #4
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Re: Have I fried my M802 SSB?

Yeah, it's fried.
I'll give you five bucks for the remains if you pay postage.
One should try to "Die Young" as old as possible.
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