Weird VHF radio problem

G'Day everyone,

I've got a very weird intermittent problem with my VHF radio in my boat that I need to sort out. Tried logging on early yesterday morning with VMR Whitfords but my message to them was so faint they could hardly hear me, in the meantime I could hear them and other boats around me loud and clear 5/5. Ended up logging on with my phone and mid-afternoon did a radio check at which time sea rescue could now hear me loud and clear 5/5. A week ago no problems logging on or off.

It's a GME VHF radio, whip and base.

This has been going on for a little while, I thought it might be the coaxial cable between the base and the radio so changed out the base. No problems last weekend so thought I had it fixed but now the problem has returned so I don't know what step to take next, change out the whip or change out the radio, whicp obviously cheaper but I'll just be wasting my money if it's the radio.

If anyone has experienced this sort of thing before or has any ideas I would very much appreciate any advice and ideas.



Posts: 267

Date Joined: 04/08/22

I'd be looking at a new

Mon, 2023-05-29 12:30

I'd be looking at a new microphone mate or try swap it with a mates for a try.Also check for to much voltage drop while transmitting 

Brody's picture

Posts: 1024

Date Joined: 06/02/07

 Not a massive fan of GME

Mon, 2023-05-29 14:50

 Not a massive fan of GME radios and microphones personally. More than likely not an issue with the radio unit itself and quite possibly a simple microphone issue or power souce/connection issue somewhere along the line.


Transmitting on Hi/Lo power? Squelch set correctly? Do some power source checks with multimeter while no charge going to battery to establish that side of things all good or not.

Posts: 1098

Date Joined: 19/06/14

You summed it up at GME

Mon, 2023-05-29 19:12

I've had one do pretty much the same thing. These days I'm running Icom units in my tub, a little expensive but well worth it for peace of mind. 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Posts: 139

Date Joined: 09/01/12

 Wrasse, are you trying to

Tue, 2023-05-30 05:12

 Wrasse, are you trying to log on in the hillarys harbour by any chance ? It's a known dead spot and I have to wait until I get out of the harbour for my radio to work. In the harbour i can hear them but they can't get me, but just outside the entrance and all the way past rotto it's good. Just a guess. 

Posts: 126

Date Joined: 16/10/10

Hey Grumpy, I tried just

Tue, 2023-05-30 10:00

Hey Grumpy, I tried just outside of Hillarys and then again about 2nm out so confident it is an equipment issue.

Brody and Silver Fox, I hear you about Icom vs GME, unfortunately GME was an uniformed decision I made a long time ago when I first bought the boat (had 27 MHz radio and whip which I replaced with VHF radio and whip) so if I'm going to replace GME I'm really looking for something that will fit my existing hole cut out (radio is flush mounted) and hole pattern for antenna base. The only thing that I have found online that might fit the bill is Uniden, anyone have any experience with Unident marine radios and antennas?

Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 8078

Date Joined: 07/05/12

I had the same prob mate.

Fri, 2023-06-16 20:41

I had the same prob mate. Just had a perspex plate made up to cover the GME cutout hole and filled in the inside of the hole with ply. Happy days


Officially off the Pies bandwagon

scubafish's picture

Posts: 953

Date Joined: 15/08/12


Tue, 2023-05-30 11:16


dmck's picture

Posts: 414

Date Joined: 07/03/19

You havent indicated if you can communicate with other boats...

Wed, 2023-05-31 09:00


VHF marine antennas are interchangeable.  Is your antenna a marine VHF? If you reused a marine 27Mhz antenna you could destroy your radio

For maximum efficiency the antenna should be as long as possible and mounted as high as possible.


I have GME and have no issues- UNIDEN just have better marketing,  THe only issue I see with GME is that their latest GX700 model does not have DSC.  What model is yours?

Check your transmit power.  It is easy to accidently switch it to 1watt.

Check the aerial cable where it enters the antenna base. IF there is any green you have a cable fault and the cable and base will need replacing - this is a common problem particularly if the antenna is lowered when trailered or stored. (ie up and down a lot!))

As Bodgy said, try changing the microphone - they get wet/ the cords get stretched/ they get dropped etc.  They are not unbreakable!   Find someone with a similar radio and do a quck swap

A high price does not necessarily mean a bettter radio.   They all meet approval specs, are 25watts and have a level of water-proofing (this is where price may rise- )

Check Scubafish's link.  Whitworths have a good range - dont overlook 'Standard Horizon' 


For indepth explanations....

good luck.

Posts: 126

Date Joined: 16/10/10

 Thanks everyone for your

Wed, 2023-06-07 09:51

 Thanks everyone for your ideas, ended up replacing the radio.

dmck's picture

Posts: 414

Date Joined: 07/03/19


Wed, 2023-06-07 10:03

 what did you buy, pls ?

Posts: 126

Date Joined: 16/10/10

Ended up going with another

Wed, 2023-06-07 10:26

Ended up going with another GME. My original 27MHz was still going strong after 10 years before I changed out to VHF. The VHF lasted only 3.5 but I figured the good run I had with the 27Mhz has to count for something so giving GME another go. Yes, the easy change out did weigh heavily in this decision.