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Thread: Why would a handheld receive better than mobile or base station?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    Default Why would a handheld receive better than mobile or base station?

    This is about a VHF system used by a volunteer fire department.

    By day I'm a computer guy, so apologies in advance if I get any of the lingo wrong.

    Our station is in an island community, and about 9 miles away from county dispatch. We are not the town's main station. There is not a whole lot of topography, and sometimes the radios work just fine. Sometimes they don't.

    Each Sunday, dispatch conducts a radio check of all police, fire, and EMS units. This past Sunday, only the handheld received anything at all during the radio check.

    We have a base station with an antenna on the roof, a mobile in the fire truck which was parked outside the building at the time, a mobile in the utility truck which was off at the time, and that handheld.

    Today, there was an alarm call. The utility truck was no more than 1/4 mile down the road when the responder radioed into dispatch, successfully. The base station picked him up, but not dispatch.

    As I said I'm not a radio expert, but I was pretty stunned that the mobile worked better than the base.

    Getting any paid help would be unlikely. I'm all we've got. What should I be looking for?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Meneou, Cyprus


    Most likely water in the coaxial cable, it's not repairable. Change the coax and make sure the new one is properly sealed with self-amalgamating tape at the antenna end...

  3. #3


    Also, check the squelches on all three radios. They should be set so that even a weak signal opens the receiver.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    With my wife


    Is there a CTCSSish issue here? Maybe someone monkeyed with a programming preset on accident.

    I would be getting all over that problem if it were me & my station.

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