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Radio VSWR, Power Output, Interence Problem Help

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Dec 8, 2007

I'm installing a Motorola XTL2500 VHF in a 2002 Pierce Dash Fire truck and have ran into some problems. This will be lengthy but should give you the information that you need hopefully to help us at the department out.

We purchased this truck and it had XTL2500 remote system installed but was removed before we received the truck, the old system was a 800MHz system we are VHF. Now mind you when they removed the old system they basically cut everything and left it hang what they couldn't reach. We have identified the 3 antenna mounts in the truck and placed antenna accordingly even replaced the coax to be on the safe side and made sure there is no resistance on the lines and new connectors. We have 2 systems in this truck. One being a VHF remote mount 110w and a UHF single unit 55w, and spaced the antennas one on one side of the cab and one on the other about 96in. apart.

The problem we have ran into is on the VHF with the truck off everything works great, crystal clear and even the setcom system is crystal clear. When we start the truck the setcom system is crystal clear in cab but when we transmit on the radio we get a loud hum and no voice. So we re-ran all the power and ground cables again, put a in-line filter on the power and still the same problem. We contacted pierce and motorola both and went through the wiring again. Pierce has dedicated places to hook up the power to the radio, power to control head and ignition power. The radio first was wired the way they said to wire it, radio to direct power, control head to switched power and ignition sense power to ignition lug and ground to ground. Ok, that worked until the truck was started. Then the same thing occurred just a hum. We checked the regulator on the alternator and was putting out the right voltage idling and at high idle around 1500rpm. We did find that 4 of the 6 batteries were bad and they have been replaced all 6 of them. Still wiring the radio up the way motorola and pierce both said to wire the radio into their wiring housing we still get the hum when the truck is running.

So called motorola and piece back and advised the same thing and they stated they system can be ran directly off the batteries. We done that, wired the radio directly to the power and control heads to the switch and ignition to ignition. Ok, fired the truck up transmit and it works with all lights and sirens running its great. However, heres another problem, the radio itself is warm constantly. I understand its getting power constantly from the batteries. Is that ok?

But even more problems the radio is set to 110w transmit we are only getting about 85-88w with a reflective power of 20-26w fluctuating wether the truck is running or the batteries are on its the same. I don't know what is causing this. We checked with a ac/dc power box and it reads 109w output with still 20-26w reflected. checked the coax and mount and ground and still 20-26w reflected.

I know this isn't right. I've called local radio shops and they have said they have no clue what could be causing this even if the power is ran directly from the batteries and has 10g wire for hot and grounds, new coax and antenna and no resistance on the antenna, we shouldn't have the VSWR that we have and we should be getting the full power.

I don't know what to do to fix this. I even took the radio to the shop and they bench tested the radio and it tests out actually higher than normal so it is a good working radio. Motorola wanted the codeplug so they can make sure everything is right on that end. So got a all clear from them on that, everything is programmed correctly.

I just don't know what else to try to fix this power problem or to rewire the power and ground and the VSWR issue, if I need to put some sort of filter on the antenna and coax. We already have a line filter on both radios, control heads and even filtered the grounds to both radios.

Does anyone have any idea how to remedy this problem? If you need more information shoot me a message and I'll get back to you..

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