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Spectra VHF has low revieve audio even at volume 15

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powderchaser

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Dec 24, 2007
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This radio had an issue on the Recieve several months ago when the recieve was almost a whisper for volume but even after the fix and before it the audio on this radio even at 15 is more like 10. If I turn the volume down to 10 the tone that tells you your volume is almost dead silent. The shop says the radio checks out fine. The speaker checks out fine as well. Could it be my power wiring? Do these radios have any recieve audio adjustment?
 

n5ims

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A couple of things may be going on. First off, the Spectra has a well known issue with leaky capacitors and several of them are quite near the audio section and cause audio issues. You indicated that the shop indicates that the radio checks out fine, but you may want to confirm that they have replaced all of the known leaky caps, even if they don't appear to have leaked just yet (they've probably leaked, but not visibly so the damage may still be happening to the boards).

Second, a Spectra is wide-band only (Astro-Spectra may be narrow-band or not) and your agency may have gone narrow-band, which would make the audio sound quiet on the Spectra. If this is the case, your radio may no longer be legal to use under their license and could be causing issues with them or other agencies that are close to their frequency. You may be forced to get a new radio to remain on their system (and nearly certainly will after the narrow-band deadline passes).
 

zz0468

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Since the OP says that the volume tone goes nearly silent at a setting of 10, that indicates it's not a narrow band issue.

What speaker are you using? If you're using something other than a 3.2 or 4 ohm speaker, there will be some loss of volume due to an impedance mismatch.

Also, don't necessarily have 100% faith in what the shop tells you. They're quite capable of being wrong.
 

cmdrwill

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Spectra radios all use a 8 ohm speaker.

The problem could be several things, so a little checking would help:

Is your speaker wired correctly? The Spectra audio amp is a bridged amp, there is NO connection to ground.
Measure the DC voltage from each lead of the speaker to ground, it should be 6 volts when the Spectra is receiving. Try this without the speaker connected, 6 volts on each speaker lead.

Does the speaker POP when first receiving, speaker amplifier turning on, or off?
 

scanpprcn

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If the shop says the radio's okay, assuming a bench test, and then the speaker was given to them and it checked out okay, then that leaves the wiring harness.

That 15-pin grey hooded connector has the pins for the speaker output. I wonder if one of the pins is sinking back into the connector when you press the connector back onto the radio. I don't remember right off, but check that pins 6 & 7 aren't loose in the connector... Well, check them all while you're there ;-)
 

gary123

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Try to stick with a 8 ohm speaker. the audio circuit in the spectras dont really like a speaker too far from the load they are expecting.
 

zz0468

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Try to stick with a 8 ohm speaker. the audio circuit in the spectras dont really like a speaker too far from the load they are expecting.
I guess that begs the question... what load is it expecting?

I'm sitting here, right now as I type, looking at a Spectra service manual that shows a 3.2 ohm speaker, and two of you are insisting it's 8 ohms. I have an armload of Spectra speakers on the shelf in the garage, and every one of them measures 3.2 ohms.

You'll find at least two model numbers for speakers on the Spectra. One is an 8 ohm speaker, the other is 3.2 ohm. Me thinks there's more to the story here.
 

gary123

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Im using a astro spectra its definatly 8 ohm. If the manual says that 3.2 ohms is ok then you should be ok. The audio amp is a balanced output thats why the output impedance is a bit more touchy. But I would say that you should be ok even if you guess wrong provided you dont keep the radio at full volume constantly.

BTW look into changing the caps on the spectra they are notorious for failing and the audio circuit is one of the places they fail.
 
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