dead CC Skywave followed by recovery


Nick Hall-Patch
 

Has anyone run into such a problem as this?

I was lucky enough to spend some time in Malawi about six weeks ago, and took along a CC Skywave for some of the more adventurous portions of the trip, intending to get an idea of the AM and FM bands there, away from city noise.     Unfortunately, it didn't work.   It would switch on OK, indicate and tune frequencies, but, dead quiet.   Tried replacing the batteries, but still, no signals.

Oh well, plenty else to do there, but it had worked fine the last time that I'd used it at home, though I hadn't tested it on the way out the door.   The bigger mystery is that maybe the air band did work, because ot certainly worked about two weeks later, after I had returned home, but, I hadn't checked it in Malawi.  I did spin through shortwave there, but nothing heard there either. 

Or, maybe it was just the first band to recover, because...AM and FM functionality returned a few days after that, as if nothing had happened.

The radio had been packed in checked luggage.   Is there any known failure for radios like this from whatever they use to scan checked luggage these days?   (We had also been over some rough roads in Malawi previous to discovering this, though it had been reasonably securely packed, I thought.)

Would be happy to hear any ideas, so that I don't have such a disappointment in the future.

Thanks.

Nick


Paul Blundell
 

Hi,

My Digitech AR1733 died a couple of months ago, after the batteries went flat, it would not turn on at all. I returned it as it was only a month old and it was replaced. At the time they said they had seen this happen before.
I am not sure if this is the same for your model?

Paul

On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 1:27 PM Nick Hall-Patch <nhp@...> wrote:
Has anyone run into such a problem as this?

I was lucky enough to spend some time in Malawi about six weeks ago, and took along a CC Skywave for some of the more adventurous portions of the trip, intending to get an idea of the AM and FM bands there, away from city noise.     Unfortunately, it didn't work.   It would switch on OK, indicate and tune frequencies, but, dead quiet.   Tried replacing the batteries, but still, no signals.

Oh well, plenty else to do there, but it had worked fine the last time that I'd used it at home, though I hadn't tested it on the way out the door.   The bigger mystery is that maybe the air band did work, because ot certainly worked about two weeks later, after I had returned home, but, I hadn't checked it in Malawi.  I did spin through shortwave there, but nothing heard there either. 

Or, maybe it was just the first band to recover, because...AM and FM functionality returned a few days after that, as if nothing had happened.

The radio had been packed in checked luggage.   Is there any known failure for radios like this from whatever they use to scan checked luggage these days?   (We had also been over some rough roads in Malawi previous to discovering this, though it had been reasonably securely packed, I thought.)

Would be happy to hear any ideas, so that I don't have such a disappointment in the future.

Thanks.

Nick



--
Paul


Gary DeBock
 

On Tue, Feb 2, 2021 at 06:27 PM, Nick Hall-Patch wrote:
Has anyone run into such a problem as this?

I was lucky enough to spend some time in Malawi about six weeks ago, and took along a CC Skywave for some of the more adventurous portions of the trip, intending to get an idea of the AM and FM bands there, away from city noise.     Unfortunately, it didn't work.   It would switch on OK, indicate and tune frequencies, but, dead quiet.   Tried replacing the batteries, but still, no signals.
Nick,

I'm very sorry that your CC Skywave chose such an awful time to come down with issues. In general, the radio has a high reliability record, and I have used it repeatedly during exotic overseas trips to places like the Cook Islands, Hong Kong and Hawaii.  Both the stock and SSB Skywave models have a "Reset" button on the bottom of the cabinet-- did you try this in Malawi?

<<<   The radio had been packed in checked luggage.   Is there any known failure for radios like this from whatever they use to scan checked luggage these days?   (We had also been over some rough roads in Malawi previous to discovering this, though it had been reasonably securely packed, I thought.)
Would be happy to hear any ideas, so that I don't have such a disappointment in the future.   >>>

The only suggestions that I could make, Nick, are to always pack any radio gear in hand-carry luggage, and always carry along a backup radio on exotic vacations like this. The travel bumps, heat and humidity in places like Malawi are notorious for enhancing Murphy's Law, and you need to assume that the worst will happen, and be ready for it. A backup radio will keep you in the game. Any local DXer going on such an exotic trip is more than welcome to any of the "supercharged" Ultralights here, which have been provided to Walt, Colin, Bruce, Pete, Phil, Chris and many others.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
  

 


daiche
 

Hi Nick and all! I may be able to shed some light on the radio problem. Here In Grants Pass, OR I have two HP MW stations, 10KW and 5KW, just 2+ miles away on a river bottom. During the day and sometimes at night, the RF level is high enough to blank out/mute the audio, sometimes completely on all of my digital portables. I have a CCrane 2E and Skywave SSB, an XHDATA D808 and an ETON Elite radio that all have this problem. This appears to be a common problem for all of them, that if the RF level is too high, they start shutting down their audio and sometimes completely muting, making you think they are dead. Depending on RF levels you can sometime rotate a radio and null the RF source getting the audio to at least partly restore slowly. The muting, when it happens, seems to lock on until the RF source goes away, perhaps protecting the front end of the radios. It has always made it very hard to compare performance or DX at post-sunrise or pre-sunset, without getting away from the Grants Pass area 20-30 miles. That problem even shows up here with My ELAD SW2 and G33DDC radios during the day if I aim my 1530LN loop toward the two stations that seem to be on the same tower or at least in the same field. Of course this is made worse using an amplified antenna or FSL, which further aggravates the problem.

Dave Aichelman     N7NZH     Grants Pass, Oregon


Michael.2E0IHW
 

This is somewhat disconcerting!  Possible explanations posted here need further investigation.  My Digitech AR1733 died of an unidentified malady some time back. Our high-tech radios are  susceptible to humidity, knocks,  airport x-ray (?), hungry ants, QC,  component failure, RF overload quirks etc.   The fact that it recovered suggests humidity leading to pcb or smd  bridging.  Have others experienced similar failures in tropical humidity and temperatures? It might be possible to expose an affected radio to RF from a dummy load placed close to record  whether at increased RF  the UL shuts down.

Michael UK

... the RF level is high enough to blank out/mute the audio, sometimes completely on all of my digital portables. I have a CCrane 2E and Skywave SSB, an XHDATA D808 and an ETON Elite radio that all have this problem. This appears to be a common problem for all of them, that if the RF level is too high, they start shutting down their audio and sometimes completely muting, making you think they are dead.
Dave Aichelman     N7NZH  


Marc Coevoet
 

Op 3/02/2021 om 03:27 schreef Nick Hall-Patch:
Has anyone run into such a problem as this?
I was lucky enough to spend some time in Malawi about six weeks ago, and took along a CC Skywave for some of the more adventurous portions of the trip, intending to get an idea of the AM and FM bands there, away from city noise.     Unfortunately, it didn't work.   It would switch on OK, indicate and tune frequencies, but, dead quiet.   Tried replacing the batteries, but still, no signals.

Maybe the radio must be left without batteries fr some days, to empty the voltages inside, eg for memories ...


Marc
PS: I do have a Rotel rt11 tuner with defect memories ... always starts up with a dab scan ..

--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)


Paul Blundell
 

Good points and not something that I had thought of.


On Wed, 3 Feb 2021, 17:15 daiche via groups.io, <daiche=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Nick and all! I may be able to shed some light on the radio problem. Here In Grants Pass, OR I have two HP MW stations, 10KW and 5KW, just 2+ miles away on a river bottom. During the day and sometimes at night, the RF level is high enough to blank out/mute the audio, sometimes completely on all of my digital portables. I have a CCrane 2E and Skywave SSB, an XHDATA D808 and an ETON Elite radio that all have this problem. This appears to be a common problem for all of them, that if the RF level is too high, they start shutting down their audio and sometimes completely muting, making you think they are dead. Depending on RF levels you can sometime rotate a radio and null the RF source getting the audio to at least partly restore slowly. The muting, when it happens, seems to lock on until the RF source goes away, perhaps protecting the front end of the radios. It has always made it very hard to compare performance or DX at post-sunrise or pre-sunset, without getting away from the Grants Pass area 20-30 miles. That problem even shows up here with My ELAD SW2 and G33DDC radios during the day if I aim my 1530LN loop toward the two stations that seem to be on the same tower or at least in the same field. Of course this is made worse using an amplified antenna or FSL, which further aggravates the problem.

Dave Aichelman     N7NZH     Grants Pass, Oregon


Paul Blundell
 

Mine was left for a couple of days. I now swap the batteries over before they totally run out.


On Wed, 3 Feb 2021, 20:15 Marc Coevoet, <sintsixtus@...> wrote:
Op 3/02/2021 om 03:27 schreef Nick Hall-Patch:
> Has anyone run into such a problem as this?
>
> I was lucky enough to spend some time in Malawi about six weeks ago, and
> took along a CC Skywave for some of the more adventurous portions of the
> trip, intending to get an idea of the AM and FM bands there, away from
> city noise.     Unfortunately, it didn't work.   It would switch on OK,
> indicate and tune frequencies, but, dead quiet.   Tried replacing the
> batteries, but still, no signals.


Maybe the radio must be left without batteries fr some days, to empty
the voltages inside, eg for memories ...


Marc
PS: I do have a Rotel rt11 tuner with defect memories ... always starts
up with a dab scan ..

--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)






radiojayallen
 

That does seem odd and I haven't seen this but did you try a full reset? C. Crane issued this as an addendum and it may not have always been included. It may have nothing to do with what you experienced but resetting is always worth a try as a first thing to check whenever there is a problem

"With Power Off, press and hold Memory Buttons 4 and 6 until the radio beeps four times and the display flashes".

Jay


Nick Hall-Patch
 

Thanks to all for their comments.   I should have mentioned that I did do a couple of full resets at the time, with no change, I'm afraid.

Dave's observation of the audio muting in the presence of strong signals was interesting, as I was staying less than a mile away from a 30kw transmitter before and after this part of the trip.  But, that wasn't the place that I was trying to use the radio.

And, this Skywave must have been strengthened by its baptism of fire, because I've just taken it to within a mile (all salt water path) of my local 10kw, CFAX-1070, within its very directional lobe (nearly 2V/m field strength at 1 km supposedly).  It was happy to continue working on the AM band in that environment.

So, I'm back to its front end getting locked up by something else.   Best to take Gary's advice about taking it in the carry-on, it would appear.

Nick
.