VHF Echoes

Warren Updike of Towson, Maryland, asks:"My Simrad RS8300 VHF has two full-function handsets. The VHF is a black-box type with a DSC class-C transceiver that is about 15 years old; it’s mounted behind a panel in the main saloon. The receiver is very sensitive and very easy to use. The transceiver interfaces with my Raymarine ST-50 GPS, which is mounted nearby. My AM/FM
Author:
Publish date:

Warren Updike of Towson, Maryland, asks:

"My Simrad RS8300 VHF has two full-function handsets. The VHF is a black-box type with a DSC class-C transceiver that is about 15 years old; it’s mounted behind a panel in the main saloon. The receiver is very sensitive and very easy to use. The transceiver interfaces with my Raymarine ST-50 GPS, which is mounted nearby. My AM/FM stereo receiver is also located near the GPS and VHF transceiver, and the only FM antenna is a short wire that leads to a nearby fixed port.

I’ve been told that my transmissions frequently include background music and, occasionally, voices; at times the music is so loud that my voice transmission can’t be understood. The problem is intermittent, but it does seem to occur at particular locations on Chesapeake Bay, where I sail. The U.S. Naval Academy has large transmission towers, and an Air Force facility is not far away. Have you ever heard of this phenomenon? Is there a RF filter I can install? Would an FM antenna splitter let the VHF and FM share the signal?"

Gordon West replies:

First, your FM antenna wire has no effect on the music and voice problem. What I think is happening is that the strong radio signals ashore are being induced onto your VHF remote head cables. When you are on VHF receive, you may hear a faint signal coming out of the VHF speaker. When you transmit, those shoreside signals are getting into your mike cords and remote heads and are mixing with your own transmissions.

Putting a ferrite snap-on filter choke at both ends of each of your two remote-control head cables will minimize or eliminate these induced signals; now the cables are acting like a dipole antenna. You can get a pack of four ferrite filters at your local marine radio store for about $25. When the filters are installed at both ends of the two cables, your problem should disappear.

Related

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! We set sail from Chicago on a crossing to Saugatuck, ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Let her breathe When the wind’s so light your cigar smoke goes straight up (or it used to, before having fun was banned) any well-designed yacht with a clean bottom will somehow keep on sailing if you ...read more

Standing Rigging suggest crop

Ask Sail: State of Standing Rigging

Q: I have a 1974 Aquarius 23 that I am fixing up. I am wondering if I should replace the standing rigging no matter what, or if I can just check it over. I think that it is original, but I am not sure. It seems from what I have read that I should at least replace the wire, but I ...read more