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People can't read my transmissions

Thames

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Messages
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Location
Sacramento CA
It sounds like it's not a transmit power issue or an antenna issue. What needs to be determined is what freq is your radio actually transmitting on. Is it transmitting on 467.55 to get into the repeater or is it transmitting on 462.55, i.e., simplex on the repeater output? You can listen with a scanner to test what freq your radio actually transmits on when you key the mic.

It could also be there is nothing wrong on your end and in a dead spot for the repeater to hear you. The repeater could also be a POS.


Sent from my XP8800 using Tapatalk
I do not have a scanner but I do have a UV-5R laying around. Maybe I could set to that frequency to test? Here is the link to the manual for my radio. Page 20 show the channel REP16 for .550 with a 5MHz offset. The repeater is listed and details provided show it's using that frequency and same offset. Are you suggesting my radio may have a deviation when transmitting? Not sure if that's possible...
 
Last edited:

KE5MC

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Likely a typo. From the original post you are using 462.550 which would be CH23 REPT15 not 16. If you are in Channel mode vs. VFO you should be on frequency for RX and TX as preprogramed. Some radios have a automatic repeater offset function that must be turned on AND set correctly. It normally is only for VFO mode and is two parts, set it to correct values and turn it on.
 

mmckenna

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Thames,

Don't replace anything just yet. I agree, sounds like this may be a programming issue.
You need to tell us what your transmit frequency is set for. You may need to read the radio with a computer/programming software.
To access a GMRS repeater, you need to be transmitting on 467.xxx. That is the repeater input frequency, it's what the repeater listens on.
The repeater will retransmit what it hears on 462.xxx.

If your radio is set up incorrectly, it may be transmitting on 462.xxx as well as receiving on 462.xxx. That's simplex. Since others will be listening to the repeater output on 462.xxx, they may hear you and think it's coming from the repeater. If they answer through the repeater, they'll transmit on 467.xxx and you'll hear them just fine on the 462.xxx output.

Check your programming.
 

Thames

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Messages
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Location
Sacramento CA
Likely a typo. From the original post you are using 462.550 which would be CH23 REPT15 not 16. If you are in Channel mode vs. VFO you should be on frequency for RX and TX as preprogramed. Some radios have a automatic repeater offset function that must be turned on AND set correctly. It normally is only for VFO mode and is two parts, set it to correct values and turn it on.
Yes was a typo. REP15... I was just able to make solid copy on my MXT400 from my truck. I am in a different area at the moment but was able to confirm the settings are correct on a different radio. I'll have to double check everything when I get back to my base 50X1 tonight. I'll see if I can put the 50X1 in my truck and transmit from the same location eliminating the radio being the issue leaving me with it being my antenna to troubleshoot or simply my location not being ideal.
 

Thames

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Messages
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Location
Sacramento CA
Thames,

Don't replace anything just yet. I agree, sounds like this may be a programming issue.
You need to tell us what your transmit frequency is set for. You may need to read the radio with a computer/programming software.
To access a GMRS repeater, you need to be transmitting on 467.xxx. That is the repeater input frequency, it's what the repeater listens on.
The repeater will retransmit what it hears on 462.xxx.

If your radio is set up incorrectly, it may be transmitting on 462.xxx as well as receiving on 462.xxx. That's simplex. Since others will be listening to the repeater output on 462.xxx, they may hear you and think it's coming from the repeater. If they answer through the repeater, they'll transmit on 467.xxx and you'll hear them just fine on the 462.xxx output.

Check your programming.
I'll check the programming tonight. I mentioned in a previous reply I was able to make solid communication with my MXT400. I'll just need to compare settings to confirm everything and then I was planning on taking the 50X1 in my truck to the same location to test if the radio is programmed and working with my truck antenna. If that works then I can begin going down others paths of troubleshooting.
 

mmckenna

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I am set at Wide/25KHz under Bandwidth setting.
OK, that's good.

I adjusted Mic gain (range 0-127) from 10 to 15, no luck.
OK, that's something you can adjust as you get a bit farther down the road.

It is a UHF antenna designed and factory tuned for GMRS freqs. It's mounded using a under eaves pole that wrap out around my gutter. It's about 5' above my roof which is about 30' from ground level. I did not ground it yet using any ground rod (i plan to but haven't had the ability yet). I do not have a SWR meter yet either, wasn't sure what one to buy. It's a 50' rg8x coax (bought off amazon). Connectors are solid.
Do you have a brand/model number?
If it's a mobile style antenna, it'll need a ground plane under it, like what you'd get if you mounted it on the roof of your car. For a mobile antenna in a base environment, this would have 3 or 4 radials coming off the base of the antenna mount horizontally.
If it's a mobile antenna just mounted to the offset mount, then you'll need to address that.
If it's a real base antenna, then it should be OK.

RG-8 isn't ideal coaxial cable for UHF applications when the run is that long. But it'll work if you are in range of the repeater. I used some RG-8 for a while when I was active on GMRS and it was fine. Ideally you'd want to use a shorter run or higher grade cable, but don't go spending money on that just yet.

An SWR meter will help you confirm your antenna is working correctly. It's a good investment. A basic UHF SWR meter will suffice.
 

mmckenna

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I'll check the programming tonight. I mentioned in a previous reply I was able to make solid communication with my MXT400. I'll just need to compare settings to confirm everything and then I was planning on taking the 50X1 in my truck to the same location to test if the radio is programmed and working with my truck antenna. If that works then I can begin going down others paths of troubleshooting.
Were you hearing your base on simplex or were you hearing it through the repeater? If your base is set up wrong, it might sound just fine on a portable radio nearby.

Also, if it sounds OK on the portable, then your mic gain isn't likely the issue.
 

Thames

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Jul 2, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Sacramento CA
OK, that's good.



OK, that's something you can adjust as you get a bit farther down the road.



Do you have a brand/model number?
If it's a mobile style antenna, it'll need a ground plane under it, like what you'd get if you mounted it on the roof of your car. For a mobile antenna in a base environment, this would have 3 or 4 radials coming off the base of the antenna mount horizontally.
If it's a mobile antenna just mounted to the offset mount, then you'll need to address that.
If it's a real base antenna, then it should be OK.

RG-8 isn't ideal coaxial cable for UHF applications when the run is that long. But it'll work if you are in range of the repeater. I used some RG-8 for a while when I was active on GMRS and it was fine. Ideally you'd want to use a shorter run or higher grade cable, but don't go spending money on that just yet.

An SWR meter will help you confirm your antenna is working correctly. It's a good investment. A basic UHF SWR meter will suffice.
Thanks for the help. The antenna has four radials coming off the base. Here is the link to it. I ordered a WORKSMAN HP202S cross needle. Hopefully that will work out.
 

Thames

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Messages
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Location
Sacramento CA
Were you hearing your base on simplex or were you hearing it through the repeater? If your base is set up wrong, it might sound just fine on a portable radio nearby.

Also, if it sounds OK on the portable, then your mic gain isn't likely the issue.
I was able to communicate on simplex with a handheld at my house and the mic sounded fine. When communicating with the repeater today with my MXT400 I did not test the base 50X1. I'll see if my wife can hop on the radio and perform the test from my MXT400 to the 50X1 via the 550 repeater.
 

Thames

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Location
Sacramento CA
Managed to get things working. Turns out it was a couple things. First, I am just out of range of that repeater due to the terrain in my area. Second, my coax was running along some power cables which was causing some distortion.

I came to this conclusion by moving my radio into my truck and drove around. I began testing 550 and 650 (another repeater) and the receiving parties reported static from home base. I then moved the 50X1 to my truck to begin testing and then I got good tx and loud and clear reports. Then I started narrowing down the range of 550 as I got closer to home. I lose clear comms about 1 mile out from home base. When I got back home I hooked up the 50X1, I moved the coax away from the power cables, and tried again and was now getting 5x5 on the radio to 650, but same static report on 550.

This was a learning experience for me! Thanks for all the advice and help!
 

KE5MC

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Good you are getting it sorted out. I'm would draw a different conclusion about your coax and power cables. For me anytime I move a cable and effect overall system performance I become suspect of the cables construction. The act of moving the cable if it has issues with electrical connectivity can improve or make performance worst. By its design a coax cable should keep RF inside the shield not allowing it to effect adjacent power cables. There can be common mode current on the shield which does effect radios. Most commonly seen in HF setups and multi-band antennas using a antenna matching device a.k.a. "tuner". I can't say that at UHF frequencies with a commercially made antenna for that band common mode would be an issue. All bets are off if the shield at either end of the cable has connectivity issues with the radio or the antenna. For you, whatever reason proximity of the coax cable to power cable effects operations, different radios can respond differently. I see you move from frequency to frequency, but looking through the posts I can't tell if you have swapped radios at the base location. In any event much has been eliminated as a problem. Improving operations by coax and power cable separation is troublesome, at least for me. :)
Good Luck,
Mike
 
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