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Old 01-17-2014, 09:25 PM   #1
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CB Radio: I can receive but not transmit. Suggestions?

As the title says, I can receive a radio signal, but cannot transmit. The radio is a Uniden 520xl connected to a 3' Wilson Flex that is located on my driver side tail light mount. I've got a cheap (very cheap) multimeter, and a SWR meter, but don't know where to poke around to find the issue. I thought it was a rusted start washer under the antenna, but I replaced that and it doesn't work. The setup did work for about a year and a half before not working at all. Anyone willing to help troubleshoot?

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Old 01-18-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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Can you take a good sharp clear well-lit photo of both the top & bottom of the antenna mount and post them up here? Have you connected the SWR meter in yet to see what it says about the CB's power output and the SWR of the antenna system? Or do you need a little guidance on the use of a SWR meter?

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Old 01-18-2014, 06:46 PM   #3
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Sounds like you blew a final.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Can you take a good sharp clear well-lit photo of both the top & bottom of the antenna mount and post them up here? Have you connected the SWR meter in yet to see what it says about the CB's power output and the SWR of the antenna system? Or do you need a little guidance on the use of a SWR meter?
X2

Sounds like the antenna may not be isolated (well enough) from chassis ground.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:14 AM   #5
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I.C. When you say "can`t transmit" do you know if you are not transmitting R.F. Power or just simply "no voice is heard in the other radio you are trying to talk to ?
First thing, check to see if r.f. power output is coming out of the radio by using a wattmeter. If you have r.f. power coming out, but still no voice is heard in the other-receiving radio, you may have a bad microphone, in other words, no audio is modulated into your radio`s output power, and that is a common problem. In such a case, the easiest way is trying a "known good mike" on your radio and that fixes the No-modulation in 99% percent of the cases.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:58 PM   #6
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Whoops, i just noticed these replies. Sorry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Can you take a good sharp clear well-lit photo of both the top & bottom of the antenna mount and post them up here? Have you connected the SWR meter in yet to see what it says about the CB's power output and the SWR of the antenna system? Or do you need a little guidance on the use of a SWR meter?
Sure I can get a photo tomorrow. Any guidance in using the SWR meter would be great. Not sure what I'm doing really. I need to pick up a small coax to connect it though.






Quote:
Originally Posted by lolpetewtf View Post
Sounds like you blew a final.
Final? I thought that modern radios had overload protection and such? (if that's what that means)



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Originally Posted by Knuckles65 View Post
X2

Sounds like the antenna may not be isolated (well enough) from chassis ground.
I'll check between the tub and the Mount and be sure.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnymoto View Post
I.C. When you say "can`t transmit" do you know if you are not transmitting R.F. Power or just simply "no voice is heard in the other radio you are trying to talk to ?
First thing, check to see if r.f. power output is coming out of the radio by using a wattmeter. If you have r.f. power coming out, but still no voice is heard in the other-receiving radio, you may have a bad microphone, in other words, no audio is modulated into your radio`s output power, and that is a common problem. In such a case, the easiest way is trying a "known good mike" on your radio and that fixes the No-modulation in 99% percent of the cases.
My radio has a RF led thing that usually lights up when I transmit. I don't know how to describe it, so I'll post a photo later. But it used to light up indicating I was transmitted, and it now does not. Also, no one can hear anything I say no matter how close they are. The mic is a good lead I can check.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:29 PM   #8
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I.C. if the TX light is not working, do this, open the squelch so you hear noise on the speaker, key the mike, noise should go quiet, that tells you the mike-key switch is working. If thats ok, and the TX light does not lit, I`m almost sure your radio is not transmitting power out at all. Take it to a local ham radio guy or gal, they are very friendly and knowledgeable on this stuff and most of them like helping out, they will tell you in five minutes what the problem is.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Johnnymoto View Post
I.C. if the TX light is not working, do this, open the squelch so you hear noise on the speaker, key the mike, noise should go quiet, that tells you the mike-key switch is working. If thats ok, and the TX light does not lit, I`m almost sure your radio is not transmitting power out at all. Take it to a local ham radio guy or gal, they are very friendly and knowledgeable on this stuff and most of them like helping out, they will tell you in five minutes what the problem is.
Okay I'll give it a shot in a few mins. How would I go about finding a local ham/radio guy? I'll see if anyone in my local 4wd club is familiar. Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:52 PM   #10
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Well I for sure have a ground issue on the radio side of things. I turned the switch and it didn't come on today. Jiggled it about and it came on which tells me either the power or ground is loose behind my dash. I need to rewire to a clean power source anyhow, so that's another project. After I got it to turn on, I keyed the mike and the radio went silent. The TX light turns red, but the other lights did not light up (like before). Here is a picture with the various lights I'm mentioning.

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Old 01-21-2014, 08:03 AM   #11
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Good, now it sounds like you have a voltage/current issue in the power cables. If the electrical 12v cables are not right, they can not provide proper needed current for your C.B. to go into TX, which consumes much more power than RX. The best test for a input voltage issue is to measure the voltage at the power cables ( requires wire piercing meter leads on the voltmeter, to measure voltage level ( in TX ) at the radio input. But, to be honest, the best way to test any Transceiver, is to take it to a radio repair bench, and testing the radio on an R.F. dummy load, with a good voltage source. Like I said, take the radio to a local Ham radio person, most of them are good at testing gear, and most of them do it for free because they do it as a hobby.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #12
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Yep it's sounding like it has a bad power or ground connection. A weak power or ground connection can provide enough power for the CB to turn on & receive but not be able to pass the additional power (current) required by the CB when it is trying to transmit.

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