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antron 99 base question

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I used to have a citizen band base when I was younger. Radio shack Navajo. I kept it all these years, about 25. I put it up to see if my 8 year old would be interested. He is. I put up the antron with 18 foot of coax bought last week from pilot truck stop. thought I grounded the antenna and mounting pole through a ground rod. have tried numerous radios, but my swr goes over 3 no matter what I do. I have adjusted the rings on the antenna. I tried another coax. No change. I am calibrating the gauge correctly. I don't know if it is the length of the coax or possibly the antenna is bad. I receive just fine. Can't transmit. I have forgotten so much over the years. I tried a no ground plane antenna, not sure it will work on a metal shop?? It was a Saturn workstar (I think is the model). I am attaching some photos of my sad attempt at mounting. Would appreciate any help.

Silverspoon in Mississippi.
 

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WINNSBORO1

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antron 99

Check the cable for continuity with an Ohm meter. My bet is the cable has a short in one of the PL259'S. Hopefully the whole cable is not defective
 

LtDoc

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You have three choices of where the problem might be, the antenna, the feed line, or the radio. If that antenna worked before then it ought to still work unless it's been damaged in some way. The feed line is sort of "iffy", I just don't have much faith in non-big name manufacturers. Checking it for shorts is certainly worthwhile. After that substituting a dummy load for the antenna and seeing what the SWR looks like is also worthwhile. That last choice, the radio, unless it's been modified, is just not too likely. But, stranger things have happened.
Good luck.
- 'Doc
 
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that's what is throwing me. I've tried different radios. two pieces of coax cable. bought a no ground plane and swapped from the antron 99 to the no ground plane (work star). Still SWR is off. I can receive transmissions and listen to folks all day long. I was thinking maybe its the length of my coax. I'm not sure if swapping from a ground plane to a no-ground plane antenna would work. It is mounted to a metal shop. I plan on buying a longer piece of coax and see if that helps.

I appreciate the response.
 

Dawn

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Ltdoc's advice is spot-on. Terminating the coax from the antenna into a dummy load should clear up if the problem is the antenna or the feedline in one shot should the swr look flat into a termination.

That also looks like a double shielded, teflon cable from the photos. Hardly the type of cable I'd expect to find at a truck stop and more like 142 b/u. Maybe that's just an artifact of the photo. If it really is a high grade, double shielded cable they managed to buy some surplus runs of, there might be the problem.

Nothing wrong with it at 27 meg as it's 50 ohms and way overkill for transmission line and more appropriate for test fixtures and intercabling of test equiment or coaxial devices. The stuff is pretty stiff though and not cable that takes too well to much twisting or bending around. You may have put it together beautifully, but something may have broken away. It's such a pain to work with soldered connectors, all my bench jumpers are crimped. I don't see any ty-wraps or tape tethering the cable, so that may be a possibility since the install.

If everything is 50 ohms or pretty close to it as it sould be, the coax length despite the continuing myths, shouldn't matter. Another misconception that should be in a sticky along with power mic and limiter myths.

That ground is a good addition both for the antenna and lightening. I can't tell if the ground collar of the antenna is bonded to your garage/shack's metal structure giving it an even more excellent ground plane despite the antenna not needing one. It really helps the pattern and keeps rf from flowing down the cable.

Looks like you've done everything right. Beg. borrow, buy, or better yet build a little 5W dummy load. RS used to sell a little one for a few bucks that could take a few minutes worth of power and a larger one for about $15 with fins that could take it all day long. Something that needs to be part of your permanent kit anyways.

There might be a remote possiblitlity of a problem with the meter if you've had a long while or several drops now that most everything is plastic cased, but a dummy load on back output should clear that and the radio. If you get a high swr at the back of the meter and everything looks good and ground and center continuity check on the directional coupler, check inside the radio. If somebody has been in the radio, you may have an open shield.

I've seen some questionable soldering jobs inside radios too after a repair to the PA. Check the shield of the coax inside the radio. Some use plug type connectors often on that small, gray rg-174 type cable they use inside to connect the pa module or to the board. Those can sometimes get pulled loose or need a turn or two to get good continuity after many years. Seem a lot of that too especially in marine gear.

Do continuity checks as LtDoc suggested. That and a dummy load is your best friend exorcising these little bugs.

Hope your little one has fun. I couldn't never get either of mine near a radio until cell phones came along when they were in their late teens. Now they're glued to them.
 

mm

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depending on how old theA99 is, you didn't say if it is your original antenna,but if it's new one that you recently picked up from someone else then it could be modified for 29 MHz.

There is a mod that you can do to a stock A99 where you cut off a few feet of the upper section and the performance at 29MHz for ham FM use is improved, unfortunately the VSWR below 28 MHz is very high.

Another thought, I see another blue vertical that is close to your A99, it is possible that it is detuning the A99. If so try removing the blue vertical and recheck the vswr.
 

RC286

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There is a trick to see if your meter is ballanced properly.

Hook it up normally. Set to forward power, key up, calibrate. switch to reflected, key up, note the SWR.

Now disconnect the meter and hook it up backwards. (this wont hurt anything, and SWR meter is bassically a current transformer usually a loop or two of wire around a larger guage conductor that connects the RF input and output together)

Now the meter will work backwards. FWD power is no REF power and vice versa.

Set to reflected power (now forward) key up and calibrate. Set to forward (now reflected) key up and note SWR.

Bot readings should be the same or very close. If not something in the current sensing cuircuit is bad, probably a capacitor or resistor on one side of the ciruit that has drifted out of spec and caused the meter to become unballanced.
 
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