VHF No Sound . . .

. . .but it powers up. I have a Midland Regatta VHF installed on my boat and I never got sound though it did power up. I thought it was due to a bad antenna on the mast so I replaced the antenna. Still same problem.

So, no knowing what to do I thought it would be easier and cheaper to just buy another inexpensive radio which I did do. A Cobra. I installed that and tried it out - it worked. Then a few weeks ago while motoring I went to use it (usually I keep it off on the sailboat as to not draw power) and the same thing. It powers up but no sound - no squelch, no nothing, no screech when I press the speaker button.

??? Any ideas how to proceed to figure this out? Should I try to wire up an external speaker? But that still doesn’t help with the microphone does it?

I am thinking about taking the first radio and putting an accessory plug on it and plugging it into my car; then somehow fixing an antenna to it to test it there. Is that doable?

Thanks in advance - Jim

Doable (as in technically possible), yes. Legal, no. Marine radios are intended for installation and use on marine craft only. Operation of a marine radio on land, such as in a car, is illegal.

As for the issue itself, I need more information. First, what model is the Cobra? Is it still installed on your boat? You mentioned you were motoring - is this on your boat or in a car? Are you using the same speaker mic or a different one for the other radio?

Thanks for the quick response. The Cobra is on the sailboat. I am not on the boat and don’t recall the model - it was a $99.00 job. Each unit has its own speaker and mic so I basically just wire the unit(s) to a dedicated fused circuit (which does not blow) on the panel and plug in the antenna cable that comes down from the mast.

Now that I am thinking about this I realize that this is my 4th radio! When I initially purchased the boat 7 years ago it had a radio and after just a few days trial sailing the same thing happened. The seller who was an electrician came down, looked at it and just installed a new radio. The radio worked as I had to radio harbor master, etc. So that was radio number 2. So the next year I had the same problem and thought it might be the antenna because the antenna had blown off in a storm. So I just bought a handheld and then decided to get a new radio anyhow (the Midland) So this went on until last year when I finally climbed the mast and installed a new antenna. Well the Midland worked for awhile and the same thing happened. You see I am thinking that it is something I am doing that is blowing out the speaker - like turning up the volume or something.

So that now brings me up to date - I purchased the Cobra thinking the Midland is bad and it worked as I turned it on initially. Then now it doesn’t work.

You see I don’t use the radio a lot so I just keep it off but when bringing the boat in to a harbor I tried to use it and - nothing - powers on but no sound at all. So I use the handheld.

This is crazy - I cannot figure out what would cause this. My panel is serviced by one 12v deep cycle battery and my 9.9 hp outboard charges the battery using a rectifier (not a regulator). My mechanic says the rectify produces so little amps that it won’t over charge the battery.

You see I was thinking that somehow when the engine was running at full tilt it was giving too much volts to the radio or something - ?? just fishing - I haven’t a clue.

Hope this provides some insight.


Your problem is that you should have had a two way tech install your transceiver for you.
Technicially it is not a radio - because it talks and receives…
A radio only talks.

When you installed the radio - and knew the antenna was bad - how did you fix it.

Just replacing the antenna does not solve the problem.

A basic understanding of communications and how a radio works is necessary to work on any type of two way radio.

The coax is a conductor that carries the signal from the Generator ( radio ) to the load ( antenna ). If the antenna is resonant and installed properly - then the length of the coax is irrelevant.

When it is not resonant - then it becomes a major issue.

All vertical antenna’s requires some type of ground plane and the radio and antenna needed to be grounded and bonded together - a fiberglass boat does not offer this.

You will continue to burn up radios until you have it installed properly.

So do you even own a SWR meter and a dummy load?

You can’t work on radio equipment without these two basic tools!