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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Erith YAcht Club
    Posts
    365

    Default Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    Unsure if my VHF is working as it should. Installed a new metz masthead mounted antenna last year before restepping the mast. Hoping i did the connections properly. Is there a way to test the antenna? and radio?

    thanks
    Current boat: 1988 Jeanneau Sundream (lifting center board)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    1,153

    Default Re: Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    Quote Originally Posted by UK-WOOZY View Post
    Unsure if my VHF is working as it should. Installed a new metz masthead mounted antenna last year before restepping the mast. Hoping i did the connections properly. Is there a way to test the antenna? and radio?

    thanks
    Custom is to test your installation (installed radio, antenna and coax) with a SWR meter to check for low readings. Take a look: https://www.rightchannelradios.com/b...meter-readings

    I have fitted Metz antennas to all of my boats and consider them as good as the best available. Have you any concerns with your coax and connectors?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    Just call the CG on Channel 16 and ask for a "radio check".













    I'm joking, if you don't have SWR meters etc. best is to find a boat you know and arrange a radio-check on an appropriate channel over a reasonable distance.
    Or if you're being particularly courteous, call the CG on landline, and ask to perform a radio check with them on a specific channel. I've found them very helpful, especially because they know you're doing it out of genuine concern for your radio safety equipment, and glad of this method over the 1000's of request calls they get on 16 - which mainly seem to form part of some pre-sail checklist for a lot of people.
    Last edited by cobolt; 10-04-19 at 12:59.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Chichester
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    It's good to check properly if you can. I fitted a new Metz antenna and cable last winter. It seemed to work fine - better than the previous set-up - through local radio checks. (Not with the Coastguard - I've yet to ask for one in 18 years.) I discovered there was a problem because my AIS stopped working properly. This shares the Metz through a splitter and the AIS diagnostics software was showing up a crazily high VSWR figure. It was so high I assumed that the figure itself was an error otherwise why would the VHF work at all? With advice from Salty John I discovered there was indeed a short on one of the cable connectors and a single strand of wire was shorting out.

    The AIS worked immediately and the quality of the VHF reception shot up as evidenced by us regularly picking up English south coast coastguards while cruising in North Brittany ...
    Last edited by Poey50; 10-04-19 at 13:08.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Erith YAcht Club
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    would any of these meters work, to test the setup? thanks

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/swr-meter/bn_7024787033
    Current boat: 1988 Jeanneau Sundream (lifting center board)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    I would ask the local ham radio club for help.

    If you're in Erith: http://www.nkrs.org.uk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    Quote Originally Posted by UK-WOOZY View Post
    would any of these meters work, to test the setup? thanks

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/swr-meter/bn_7024787033
    Be careful to buy one that covers the marine band (frequency range) and also to be wary of the operating instructions - mine were barely intelligible! However, a VSWR meter should only be your third step.

    Before getting that sophisticated, some DSC radios facilitate a self test by digitally pinging coastguard stations (Requires no CG human involvement). The instructions on how to do this, if it is a feature of your specific radio, can be found deep inside the manual. By pinging different CG MMSI numbers, you can get a first insight into the transmission range of your set up. No (or intermittent) ping from your nearest CG station would be very disturbing. If the nearest CG MMSI ping is successful then try the next along the coast.

    As the second step, I'm with cobolt on finding a 'chum' to do a radio check at a distance.

    I'm told that the coastwatch people on Ch65 are also obliging, but I've never had any dealings with them personally.

    Cheers
    Bob
    Trying not to extrapolate from zero

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Test metz antenna / VHF radio?

    Quote Originally Posted by RIBW View Post
    Be careful to buy one that covers the marine band (frequency range) and also to be wary of the operating instructions - mine were barely intelligible! However, a VSWR meter should only be your third step.

    Before getting that sophisticated, some DSC radios facilitate a self test by digitally pinging coastguard stations (Requires no CG human involvement). The instructions on how to do this, if it is a feature of your specific radio, can be found deep inside the manual. By pinging different CG MMSI numbers, you can get a first insight into the transmission range of your set up. No (or intermittent) ping from your nearest CG station would be very disturbing. If the nearest CG MMSI ping is successful then try the next along the coast.

    As the second step, I'm with cobolt on finding a 'chum' to do a radio check at a distance.

    I'm told that the coastwatch people on Ch65 are also obliging, but I've never had any dealings with them personally.

    Cheers
    Bob
    NCI at Calshot on ch65 are very helpful with radio checks. Plus they will give you local sea conditions and weather advice.

    Much better than listening to endless radio checks on ch16....

    If you must call the coastguard in the Solent for a radio check use Ch 67 as advertised!

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