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VHF radio mic

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by Midlant, Jun 27, 2007.

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  1. Midlant

    Midlant Guest

    My old VHF radio is not transmitting apparently. I need to check it
    again to make sure it's not just gummed up from not being used.
    Any easy way to check if it's the mic instead of the radio itself?
  2. Larry

    Larry Guest

    Just find someone with a VHF marine walkie talkie. Don't use Ch 16.

    I keep one of these inexpensive meters in the antenna line of each VHF so
    I can SEE it's putting out that distress call, RF wise.

    PWR tells you its transmitting. Switch to FWD and turn the knob until
    it's full scale "SET", switch to REF and read the SWR, telling you what
    the antenna and coax condition is. No reflected power 1:1 is perfect but
    rarely attainable. Any SWR below 2:1 is fine.... The meter is self
    powered from the RF, itself. Just feed the RF power through it on its
    way to the antenna. This is 90% of radio troubles...No RF or bad

  3. Midlant

    Midlant Guest

    Easier said than done, hence the reason I asked on here. If I knew some
    one nearby.....Thanks though.
  4. But, But, Larry, the above only proves that the unit is radiating RF,
    NOT that it is capable of actually modulating voice on that RF.....
    The HandiTalkie will tell him if the unit is actually modulating
    voice, but, REALLY, he needs to get the whole radio over to a
    "Good" Radio Tech, with good instrumentation, and get the system
    check out.....

    Bruce in alaska you get what you PAY for......
  5. Midlant

    Midlant Guest

    What I need is someone with a radio on my street so I can test it before
    taking it back out. To transition the harbor, I have to request
    clearance. Yes, it's that kind of harbor. One where the boats are grey.
  6. Larry

    Larry Guest

    I told him to listen to it on a walkie, FIRST, to see if it were
    modulating....THEN, suggested adding the little meter so he could monitor
    its output and antenna condition on the cheap. Modulation does no good
    if he's not getting beyond the end of the bow....(c; He should do both.

    Hauling the radio over to some shop at $180/minute ISN'T going to find
    that twisted-off coax cable at the Shakespeare up the mast....We checked
    everything else except its frequency for $40. They don't drift off in
    frequency any more in the last 25 years.

  7. Larry

    Larry Guest

    Don't key the transmitter without an antenna connected. That may destroy
    the output power amp. It's not supposed to, but it can.

    Larry W4CSC and other fine old calls since 1957.
  8. Midlant

    Midlant Guest

    I've got the antenna hooked up. While outside today polishing the hull,
    I kept an eye out for anyone towing a boat in passing. Every now and
    then one goes by, but not today.
    If the mic is bad, the radio is old enough to warrant buying a new one.
    Seems to be quite a selection for around a $100, some cheaper on ebay.
  9. Midlant

    Midlant Guest

    Went to Wallyworld and bought a new Cobra VHF MRF-45 for $99.

    Anyone have experience with these radios?

  10. Larry

    Larry Guest


    If you're at a classy marina, not the one behind Joe's BBQ and Tire on
    the river, don't ever let on that you bought a radio from Wally World to
    the scoffers on the dock! You'd never hear the end of it!

    Lie through your teeth and tell them you bought it from the most
    expensive chandler in 50 miles that also sells Sperry Topsiders at full
    retail and paid $879 on special from $995, making a great deal on really
    quality equipment. It matters NOT that noone on VHF can tell any

    There, now you're a dock hero with a fine radio that must be the finest
    quality on the planet because that chandler has the most expensive blocks
    in town. They'll all want one just like it, even if the wife says, "NO!"

    Never admit to anyone on a fancy dock you bought boat parts from Home
    Depot or Wally World or engine parts from NAPA at 10% of what the
    boatyard wants for the SAME injector. You'll be the laughing stock of
    every yacht club bar in town!

    No sense exposing yourself to such ridicule....(c;

    We're still trying to live down a torn reputation by admitting that the
    blue air expansion tank on Lionheart's pressure water system came from
    (gasp) Ace Hardware!
    Oh, the shame of it all.....
    We tried to disguise it with a ships wheel sticker and fake Waste Marine
    barcode, but that didn't work after the truth spread down the dock like a
    fuel oil fire through a Hatteras bilge.

    Ok, you can pick the tumblers back up now so I don't get blamed for
    someone spewing on the keyboard, again....(c;
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