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CB Radio Forum - Discussions regarding Citizens Band Radio (CB)

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2018, 12:34 PM
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Do you have the calibration control set correctly? Do you have the radio and antenna connected to the correct ports? Those meters are pretty hard to kill. You might damage the meter if you set the calibration control too high "pinning" the needle full scale. Also check the fwd/ref switch to be sure it is set correctly. Those slide switches can become intermitint.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2018, 12:42 PM
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Very cool, thanks kindly.
You are welcome. We all started this way, unfortunately for many of us, it was long before the internets were something us commoners had.

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Does blowing up an external SWR meter qualify me? Cause that's what I think I did today (see above post). LOL
"Letting the magic smoke out" of a few things is absolutely a rite of passage. No matter how careful, stuff gets broken. It's part of the learning process. Anyone who expects to learn by not making a few mistakes along the way either isn't really trying, or has unrealistic expectations.

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Yes, I am looking into amateur radio licensing... I thought experimenting with CB radio first would be a good (and cheaper) way to see if amateur radio is a good fit.
While many may deny it, a LOT of us got our start with CB radios, 49MHz walkie talkies, FRS radios, scanners, even AM radios trying to pull in distant stations.
I remember plying with scanners when I was younger and being fascinated by them. At one point, I was able to get my hands on a used CB radio and learned a lot. Then a shortwave radio, etc. Amateur license along the way. All that led to a full time job in communications. Now I'm lucky enough to have a career doing this stuff.
And it all started with a CB and a scanner.

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So far, I am having a great time, and there are a ton of helpful folks like this group, on Facebook, Reddit, etc.
It's important to have fun, yet not go broke in the process. Sounds like you are off to a great start. Have a good time!
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2018, 12:51 PM
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Did I kill my SWR meter?
Unlikely -you- killed it. If it was dropped, I'd suspect a lose connection, damaged forward/reflected power switch, etc.
Or, it's just faulty.

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Did I harm my UNIDEN 980SSB? It powers up, I hear some RX, everything works AOK. Haven't gotten any radio check replies though.
Unlikely you damaged it. Even if you dead shorted the output, you'd have a hard time damaging the radio. While high SWR isn't good for a radio, it won't result in a catastrophic failure, no matter what some will tell you. When SWR goes high, the final will heat up, but they are mounted on a heat sink and can take a certain amount of abuse.

I'd remove the outboard SWR meter and just connect your antenna directly to the radio. I suspect your built in SWR meter is good enough. If the outboard SWR meter has an internal fault, keeping it in line may be your issue.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2018, 1:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WA0CBW View Post
Do you have the calibration control set correctly? Do you have the radio and antenna connected to the correct ports? Those meters are pretty hard to kill. You might damage the meter if you set the calibration control too high "pinning" the needle full scale. Also check the fwd/ref switch to be sure it is set correctly. Those slide switches can become intermitint.
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Yup, checked all those. I am bringing the antenna inside today to tweak, I will recheck again.

DRF
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2018, 3:45 PM
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Default SWR Meter Working Again! Coax Jumper Coiled in Zipties

The good news: My SWR meter is working again!

The "bad" news: I think I caused this problem. I got fancy with "cable management" and coiled up the 3 foot coax patch cable from SWR Meter to radio for a "neat and clean look". I realized that's the only variable that was new, and that I didn't test without.

So, I unclipped the zipties and uncoiled the coax patch cable, hooked everything back up (correctly) and voila... my external SWR meter works AOK again.

Note to self: Coiling up coax cables is bad. LOL

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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2018, 4:21 PM
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Ahhhh. So you're learning, Grasshopper.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2018, 5:50 PM
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So, I unclipped the zipties and uncoiled the coax patch cable, hooked everything back up (correctly) and voila... my external SWR meter works AOK again.
Good troubleshooting there. Stepping back and look at what was changed since it last worked correctly is a good method.

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Note to self: Coiling up coax cables is bad. LOL
Yeah, however sometimes it's done to act as a common mode choke, but let's leave that for later...
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