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Old 12-28-2021, 10:50 AM
clam clam is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Lakeland, TN
Posts: 254
Default clean the antenna

... I began having radio receive issues with quite loud background static recently. I made a long list of troubleshooting steps, and then read here on VAF to make Step 1 cleaning the antenna. The suggestion was to REALLY clean it, Acetone/MEK etc, and then use a maroon Scotchbrite pad with light pressure to clean it more.

I never got to step 2 of my troubleshooting list as this solved it for me.

My 2 comm antennae are on the belly of my RV-8, and lay in the exhaust stream, which contributes to greasy/oily antenna. The theory is grounding issues with the contaminates on the antenna.
RV-8 N605TT
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Old 12-28-2021, 07:13 PM
Mike Buettgenbach Mike Buettgenbach is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 51
Default antenna - more options

As Clam noted, a solid, clean electrical bond on the antenna is important. If you have access to Alodine, that's a good treatment to achieve good electrical bonding. Also, the attach screws should be torqued appropriately (and evenly).

I had a similar problem with my '12 (poor performance, xmit and receive) I cut off the connector (the antenna side of the coax) and very carefully crimped a new one on. The orig crimp on the center pin looked "odd". Problem solved. My neighbor had a similar problem with his C150. Same fix worked for him.
Hope that helps!
Mike B
RV-12 Flying!
Repeat offender -->12iS in work
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Old 12-29-2021, 10:42 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 4,028

Some thoughts:

- Antenna cleaning. Always a good first step. For belly mounted antennas exhaust gas plating out on the antenna base can establish an unwanted (and noisy) coupling between the radiating element and ground.
- Antenna ground. Required but donít get carried away (as in scrapping paint off the fuselage). The antenna wants to have an RF ground, not a DC ground. Any practical thickness of paint under the antenna base is not a problem. I do suggest using star washers on the mounting screws.
- Connectors. Always a prime suspect. If you have not run out the antenna and feed line with a real antenna analyzer then the only practical way to find a bad connector is to do a simple conductivity check - then replace it anyway. Everyone is not proficient at installing crimp BNC connectors (at least the first few). Donít forget to suspect the connector at the radio as well.

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Old 12-29-2021, 03:29 PM
amekler amekler is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gilford,NH
Posts: 206

my A&P maintains a fleet of 5 LSA RV-12s.
3 have had the same issue andhe tracked it down to the mike ground.
Apparently the Garmin gtr200 mounting instructions call for it be grounded .
when he rewired the mike ground and grounded the gtr 200 as per garmin instructions the problem was fixed.
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Old 12-29-2021, 06:19 PM
Mich48041 Mich48041 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Riley TWP MI
Posts: 3,457

Is there a GPS396 or 496 installed with its audio output connected.
If so, it needs an audio isolation transformer aka ground loop isolator.
Joe Gores
RV-12 Flying
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Old 01-02-2022, 01:26 PM
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Bill_H Bill_H is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Marshall TX (KASL)
Posts: 1,794
Default Ferrite beads on USB cables

Sometimes both cheap OR expensive USB charger ports can produce RF interference. Ferrite beads on one or both ends of the USB cable-to-phone can help and they are cheap. Give them a try. Such as :
Bill H, RV12, N412BR "Sweetie", Skyview-equipped, KASL Marshall TX
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Old 01-03-2022, 07:46 AM
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mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,392

Originally Posted by carolsyracuse View Post
So is it static or breaking squelch?
There were some s/w updates that addressed the squelch issues.

Errrr, you aren't going through a change in your life are you Vic

Or do we now call you - ahem - Carol
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2022
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Old 01-16-2023, 05:19 PM
bbaggerman bbaggerman is offline
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Niceville, FL
Posts: 21

Originally Posted by rkiefer2 View Post

Iíve got a factory built 2013 RV12 ULS with Dynon classic view, Garmin SL40 radio, Flight com 403 intercom, auto pilot, and ADSB.

PROBLEM: When radio is receiving I it get static with the radio call.
I've go the same setup in my RV-12. Same symptoms as you described. I found out the hard way that if you plug a mono headset into a stereo wired Flightcom 403 it will sound terrible and eventually cause permanent damage. I read that in a Flightcom 403 install manual at some point but the current 403 manual doesn't mention anything about damage. Maybe later versions are better behaved.

If you plug a mono headset into a stereo jack you are essentially shorting one audio output to ground via the mono plug. Not unreasonable, I suppose, that it might cause damage. Still, there are enough mono headsets around that it is kind of rude.

A new Flightcom 403 cured my extremely scratchy audio woes.
Bob Baggerman
Niceville, FL
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Old 01-16-2023, 06:23 PM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NC25
Posts: 4,052

Originally Posted by rkiefer2 View Post

Iíve got a factory built 2013 RV12 ULS with Dynon classic view, Garmin SL40 radio, Flight com 403 intercom, auto pilot, and ADSB.

PROBLEM: When radio is receiving I it get static with the radio call.

Intercom works great, my transmissions to others are clear. NO STATIC OTHER THEN WHEN I RECEIVE. Iíve spent about 10 hours checking wires, connections, turning off lights, turning off Dynon, off ELT, replaced intercom, had Garmin radio bench tested, reseated/sealed antenna, even took it to an avionics shop and spent $2000 for them to replace the coaxial cables with shielded ones. Also I did find initially a loose ground on the connector behind the tray, tightened, ALL NO HELP.

Everything worked good for about 4 hours and then the static returned with a radio call randomly and looks like it is here to stay.

Iím hitting a wall on this one and desperate for some help with a solution. Any ideas on what else I should do specifically or things to try?
Originally Posted by greghughespdx View Post
You don't have a third-party/cheap USB power plug installed, do you? Asking just because those can cause a lot of noise sometimes. Is the static also present when the airplane is not running?
If there is no USB charger, make sure the radio is seated correctly. You will need an Allen wrench to make sure it is tight.
Gary A. Sobek
NC25 RV-6
3,500+ hours
Where is N157GS
Building RV-8 S/N: 80012

To most people, the sky is the limit.
To those who love aviation, the sky is home.
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Old 01-16-2023, 08:55 PM
maxmirot maxmirot is offline
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Hereford
Posts: 114

My Lightspeed Zulu 3. Has a dip switch setting for stereo and mono. Default is mono.
Check to see if your headset is configured ok for your system
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