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Need help with GMRS Base Station

Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Los Angeles, CA
#1
New to GMRS, and radios in general (want to communicate with family and listen to various communications.) I set up a base station using a Midland MXT400 40w radio and a TYT TH-1380 30amp switching power supply (inverter). Ed Fong DBJ-UHF antenna. Rx works fine, as does Tx on all channels (1-7, 15-22) except when attempting to transmit on a repeater (did request and receive permission from the owner). As soon as I attempt to Tx, it trips the GFCI (on a 15AMP circuit breaker) in my garage. I'm guessing that the inverter is overpowering the circuit breaker. If so, what's the fix? Would greatly appreciate any insight to this issue. Sorry for the novice question. Thank you!
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,078
#2
While I'm not familiar with that radio, two things come to mind: 1. Your antenna is too close to your power supply and is inducing RF into the house electrical when you transmit and thereby tripping your GFCI. 2. You have "common mode current radiating from you coax shield creating the same problem mentioned in #1. I believe most Ed Fong antennas are J-Poles, an antenna design that often frustrates users because RF radiation is often emitted by the coax itself. This RF can get into places you don't want it to be and cause problems. If you feel you're the least bit handy with a soldering iron, you can make up a 1/4 wave ground plane out of a few pieces of #12 solid copper wire and a SO-239 bulkhead connector for a few dollars and try it. I'd guess that if you did that you problems may go away.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Los Angeles, CA
#3
bharvey2 - First, thank you for your quick reply. Interestingly, the antenna IS close to the power supply as I have yet to install it on the roof (this weekend). Same for the coax, as it too is coiled near the power supply. Given your hypothesis, I will troubleshoot the 2 potential problems first, and if that doesn't work, get a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna. Thanks again my friend!!
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,078
#4
bharvey2 - First, thank you for your quick reply. Interestingly, the antenna IS close to the power supply as I have yet to install it on the roof (this weekend). Same for the coax, as it too is coiled near the power supply. Given your hypothesis, I will troubleshoot the 2 potential problems first, and if that doesn't work, get a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna. Thanks again my friend!!
Hopefully moving the antenna will resolve your problem. I had a very similar problem when I was testing a 2M ham radio at home several years ago. I stuck a mag mount antenna on top of the metal case of my drill press in the garage. It was only a foot or two away from a GFCI. Every time I keyed up, the GFCI would pop.

Oh and welcome to RR by the way. By and large the members are a nice group of people and you gain a log of knowledge reading the posts and get help when you need it. I see you're in So Cal. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area but find my way down to your area a few times a year. While I have a GMRS license, I don't spend a lot of time on GMRS. Do you have your amateur radio ticket?
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Los Angeles, CA
#5
Hopefully moving the antenna will resolve your problem. I had a very similar problem when I was testing a 2M ham radio at home several years ago. I stuck a mag mount antenna on top of the metal case of my drill press in the garage. It was only a foot or two away from a GFCI. Every time I keyed up, the GFCI would pop.

Oh and welcome to RR by the way. By and large the members are a nice group of people and you gain a log of knowledge reading the posts and get help when you need it. I see you're in So Cal. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area but find my way down to your area a few times a year. While I have a GMRS license, I don't spend a lot of time on GMRS. Do you have your amateur radio ticket?
You were exactly correct in your assessment!! Yep, I moved the antenna and coax and voila, no GFCI pop. Excellent diagnosis on your part. I just started with GMRS and as I figure it out, I may get my amateur radio license as I suspect it would be far more robust than GMRS. This board has a lot of information and is a great resource - starting with you. Appreciate it.
 
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