Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

langstonelayabout

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Unsure if my VHF is working as it should. Installed a new metz masthead mounted antenna last year before restepping the mast. Hoping i did the connections properly. Is there a way to test the antenna? and radio?

thanks

Custom is to test your installation (installed radio, antenna and coax) with a SWR meter to check for low readings. Take a look: https://www.rightchannelradios.com/...ides/18542155-interpreting-swr-meter-readings

I have fitted Metz antennas to all of my boats and consider them as good as the best available. Have you any concerns with your coax and connectors?
 

cobolt

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Just call the CG on Channel 16 and ask for a "radio check".













I'm joking, if you don't have SWR meters etc. best is to find a boat you know and arrange a radio-check on an appropriate channel over a reasonable distance.
Or if you're being particularly courteous, call the CG on landline, and ask to perform a radio check with them on a specific channel. I've found them very helpful, especially because they know you're doing it out of genuine concern for your radio safety equipment, and glad of this method over the 1000's of request calls they get on 16 - which mainly seem to form part of some pre-sail checklist for a lot of people.
 
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Poey50

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It's good to check properly if you can. I fitted a new Metz antenna and cable last winter. It seemed to work fine - better than the previous set-up - through local radio checks. (Not with the Coastguard - I've yet to ask for one in 18 years.) I discovered there was a problem because my AIS stopped working properly. This shares the Metz through a splitter and the AIS diagnostics software was showing up a crazily high VSWR figure. It was so high I assumed that the figure itself was an error otherwise why would the VHF work at all? With advice from Salty John I discovered there was indeed a short on one of the cable connectors and a single strand of wire was shorting out.

The AIS worked immediately and the quality of the VHF reception shot up as evidenced by us regularly picking up English south coast coastguards while cruising in North Brittany ...
 
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RIBW

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would any of these meters work, to test the setup? thanks

https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/swr-meter/bn_7024787033

Be careful to buy one that covers the marine band (frequency range) and also to be wary of the operating instructions - mine were barely intelligible! However, a VSWR meter should only be your third step.

Before getting that sophisticated, some DSC radios facilitate a self test by digitally pinging coastguard stations (Requires no CG human involvement). The instructions on how to do this, if it is a feature of your specific radio, can be found deep inside the manual. By pinging different CG MMSI numbers, you can get a first insight into the transmission range of your set up. No (or intermittent) ping from your nearest CG station would be very disturbing. If the nearest CG MMSI ping is successful then try the next along the coast.

As the second step, I'm with cobolt on finding a 'chum' to do a radio check at a distance.

I'm told that the coastwatch people on Ch65 are also obliging, but I've never had any dealings with them personally.

Cheers
Bob
 

Hot Property

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Be careful to buy one that covers the marine band (frequency range) and also to be wary of the operating instructions - mine were barely intelligible! However, a VSWR meter should only be your third step.

Before getting that sophisticated, some DSC radios facilitate a self test by digitally pinging coastguard stations (Requires no CG human involvement). The instructions on how to do this, if it is a feature of your specific radio, can be found deep inside the manual. By pinging different CG MMSI numbers, you can get a first insight into the transmission range of your set up. No (or intermittent) ping from your nearest CG station would be very disturbing. If the nearest CG MMSI ping is successful then try the next along the coast.

As the second step, I'm with cobolt on finding a 'chum' to do a radio check at a distance.

I'm told that the coastwatch people on Ch65 are also obliging, but I've never had any dealings with them personally.

Cheers
Bob

NCI at Calshot on ch65 are very helpful with radio checks. Plus they will give you local sea conditions and weather advice.

Much better than listening to endless radio checks on ch16....

If you must call the coastguard in the Solent for a radio check use Ch 67 as advertised!
 

TernVI

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You can do an awful lot of the checks required just by listening.
To check transmission, the coastguard is about the worst possible correspondent, as they have multiple aerials around the place and the best equipment to receive your signal.
The very few times I've felt the need to test transmission, I've either used another club member or a marina office. If you call someone just as they've finished a conversation, you know they're at the radio etc. The coastwatch people are a good choice though.
 
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