RG-213 vhf antenna cable

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RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by jjveleber »

Hey all,

It's been a while. I hope you are well.

I have this: The Shakespeare 5225-XT says that it comes with an RG-8/X cable.
I have been noticing that I am not able to broadcast very far when making VHF calls. I also notice that, much of the time, when receiving the audio is distorted. My squelch is very low (1 above the minimum). I watch some videos and read some things about VHF antenna cable and discovered that RG-8 can greatly reduce the range of my radio. I am thinking of replacing it with RG-213. Do any of you have experience with this? What are your thoughts?
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by rvanpra01 »

I have the same antenna. Seems to work okay for me. When I was salmon fishing out of moss landing. I was able to hear people up well north of Santa Cruz.
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by MacGyver »

It’s has been my experience that a bad antenna or coax will not cause distorted audio reception. You may also have a bad speaker and only noticed it now that your having other problems.
How old is the antenna? The Vhf 215 come with 20 feet of RG-8/x, how much more coax do you have/need?
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by Sirensong »

Try a different antenna and see if it changes anything. You can probably borrow one from a buddy, just to check it out. In my limited experience antenna’s rarely are the issue.
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by jjveleber »

Everything is about 1 year old. I don't need much length of cable at all (~3').

My question is around the cable RG-8 vs RG-213. RG-8/x is very thin (0.242" diameter). RG-213 has a 0.405" diameter. This results in the RG-8/x having much higher loss. I think my antenna is fine.

I think that I might need to do some research and testing to understand better what might be happening. I haven't used my radio much. I was out in fog over the weekend and was being hailed or at least I thought I was. Later in the day we passed a boat with the same name as ours. Anyway, this is where I was having trouble sending and receiving. Line of sight might have been an issue, I don't know.
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by SilverFox »

The loss in a 3' tranmission cable run will be negligible between RG-8 and RG-213. Disassembling and inspecting the connector that screws onto the radio would be the first thing I'd do.

I built many, many RG-213 cables (and RG-58) during my USAF career (used in ground based VHF and UHF NAVAID facilities) and, short of actual physical damage, problems were always quality of the connector build.
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by jjveleber »

Ok, this sounds like some wisdom. Occam's razor. Thank you.
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by MacGyver »

There a couple of things that must be done if you want a trouble free systems.
The PL259 connectors are not water proof and need to be sealed against the elements. There is self sealing tape called I used called Tacky Tape.
Don’t forget to use a drip loops before going through the wall to keep water from dripping on the wiring. It would also help to have one just before the radio.

On a side note disconnect the 3 ft jumper on both ends, inspect the connector for problem. Use a VOM to make sure the cable is not shorted between the center pin and shield AND continuity between the center pins.

SIDE NOTE: if you measure the resistance from the connector going to the antenna you will have a short between the center pin and shield (( THIS IS NORMAL FOR THIS ANTENNA)) so don’t panic.
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by SilverFox »

I made a couple assumptions, one, a waterproof cable clam was used where the RG8 enters the cabin, and two, with only a 3' run, the antenna has to be just outside starboard window or above hardtop and with transceiver on the upper shelf.

On our boat I mounted the antenna, also a 5225-XT, on the port gunwale and routed cable through a waterproof clam then to helm.
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Re: RG-213 vhf antenna cable

Unread post by Nizzmont »

I'm interested in installing a radio in my boat and I'm curious what length antenna is good?I don't want a long one if I can avoid it..I fish 99% upper columbia river and surrounding areas
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