GL2Way - Loud Squeal on TX
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    Notorious Rocket Scientist The Astute Reader(tm)'s Avatar
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    Default GL2Way - Loud Squeal on TX

    Greetings!

    This is mainly for Pedro, though anyone who knows the answer can chime in.

    My GL2Way has been working perfectly on CB and GMRS for weeks now. But just yesterday it started transmitting a loud squeal when transmitting. This squeal is barely audible as a sidetone in my headset but it is actually way louder to the people with whom I am communicating. They report that it is about 10X louder than my voice.

    Last night I took the unit out of the trunk, checked all the connections and put it back. The squeal was gone. This morning, the squeal was back. I have checked all the connections in the trunk including the antenna ground and found nothing.

    Suggestions appreciated.
    Best Regards,
    Lee E. Brown

    "Greetings from Herkheimer Industries!"

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    Seasoned Member pedro66's Avatar
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    Lee

    Most likely positioning or routing of your FRS cable try unplugging it and then we can move from there

    We have also seen faults with lower headset cables do this so try testing without a headset connected
    Pete

    "What is now proved was once only imagined."
    William Blake







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    Seasoned Member ssncob's Avatar
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    Default another possibility

    Not pre-empting a message I'll be sending to Pete concerning an update with some issues with mine and a buddy's, but I recently gained a part-time squeal in mine and here's what I found today while investigating. Again, this is not to preempt or over-ride anything Pete has on the subject.

    My squeal was an intermittent thing, and I noticed it seemed to do it less when rainy/humid (the wetness seems to improve the grounding, more about that below). Two usual suspects with squeal are routing of the antennae cable near the other inputs (FRS, headset and/or GPS, especially without ferrite cores installed), and a not so great ground.

    Took my seat off, hooked up a battery charger (not a tender) to give me full voltage to the radio while testing without the engine running, and proceeded to check.

    Found that I would not have a squeal when putting my fingers on the antennae inline connector from the radio's cable to the antennae's cable. Hmmm. My fingers were acting as a capacitive ground for the connector. (cable is shielded too well for it to work when touching the cable). Unhooked the connector, tip was a bit dirty, cleaned and reinstalled. Same symptom. Unthreaded the cable from the ratholes going from inside the trunk to behind the passenger seat and put them inside the trunk. Minor improvement.

    Then I hooked an additional temporary ground from the FM antennae grounding bolt to the frame chassis. More improvement. Moved the ground point from the antennae bolt point to the grounding nut that’s on the side of the GL2WAY to the CB unit. Whalla – seems to have cured the issue.

    I’m letting it sit overnight, and will retest in the morning. But the main improvement seems to have been the additional ground from the main gl2way unit to the chassis. I’ll probably leave my antennae cable routed inside the trunk, at least for now without a decent reason to put it back through the “normal” ratholes.

    Another separate item I’ve noticed with the FRS radio system. The molex connectors that Pete needs to use has some issues with connectivity. Have found our FRS’s would stop working, noticeable when transmitting. First thought it was a bad Push-to-Talk switch, disassembled and cleaned, no improvement. Swapped our FRS radios, noticed with one of them when the PTT was pressed the TX indicator on the radio would sort of fade in-and-out. The other radio’s display didn’t do that, but also wouldn’t actually transmit either like the other one. Removed and re-installed the FRS molex at the gl2way, resolved that problem. A dirty molex connector prevented the transmit signal properly getting to the FRS. End result, also check your connectors at the gl2way.

    Different issue we're tracking down. My buddy’s radio seems to work sometimes normally, other times the transmit volume drops real low. On our last ride, his volume started out fine, then later dropped real low (he could still hear me fine). Then later it went back up high, then stopped transmitting and receiving completely. We haven’t had a chance to get back together and do some troubleshooting, he’s on the memorial 1K ride right now, will test later and hopefully have a troubleshooting update.

    Hope this long narrative is of some help.
    Last edited by ssncob; 10-15-2011 at 11:06 PM.
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    Seasoned Member pedro66's Avatar
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    Great reply it's only with feedback like this that we can learn what happens out in the world and in this case hopefully how to resolve it

    As for the MIC level thing sounds like an AGC thing have you changed any of the MIC level settings on that radio
    Pete

    "What is now proved was once only imagined."
    William Blake







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    Notorious Rocket Scientist The Astute Reader(tm)'s Avatar
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    Greetings!

    In my case, disconnecting the 2nd radio cable cured the squeal. And I discovered something else, possibly related, at the same time: the wires broke off right at the GL2Way connector. They broke right where the insulation was stripped back, which may have been caused by a mis-adjusted stripping tool.

    Anyway, I will need to buy another 2nd radio cable. I can return the old one if you guys want to examine it.
    Best Regards,
    Lee E. Brown

    "Greetings from Herkheimer Industries!"

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    Contributing Member rmaddox's Avatar
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    I called Pete with some of the same issues.

    I have an early issue unit. He stated that in the early issue units that if you go up/down on the squelch, that it will do the same thing as pushing the transmit button three times quickly. But, it will not let you know that you have shifted over to the other radio with the beeps.

    So, he sent me a FedEx shipping label and asked to have it sent back for reprogramming with the newer software. AND he is throwing in a mic input from my Zumo 660 for the aggravation without me asking for one!

    Impressed. Will see how the fix works.

    And for the Command Master Chief, thanks for the info on the squeal. I will try moving my ground wire as you recommend.

    Will be a while until I get my unit back, but I'll let you all know how things work out.
    Black '08 Level One

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    Seasoned Member pedro66's Avatar
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    Not garanteeing anything on the MIC interface with that 660 but its free give it a try

    We keep looking at the grounding on the units and try to incorporate any feedback from users

    The FRS switching we always thought would be harder for users to do but guess what you all proved us wrong
    Pete

    "What is now proved was once only imagined."
    William Blake







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    Seasoned Member dfwpilot's Avatar
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    I too have a loud squeal now on transmit. I've had the unit for almost a year and about a month ago it started squealling. Now more often than not. I've check the cables and the ground. Still squealing.

    Any ideas? Where should i go from here? What to check next? I have not yet tried adding a grounding cable from the connecting nut to a seperate ground on the bike. Should I try that, like SSNCOB did above?


    Thanks,

    David W.
    Last edited by dfwpilot; 10-22-2011 at 01:22 AM.
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    Seasoned Member pedro66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwpilot View Post
    I too have a loud squeal now on transmit. I've had the unit for almost a year and about a month ago it started squealling. Now more often than not. I've check the cables and the ground. Still squealing.

    Any ideas? Where should i go from here? What to check next? I have not yet tried adding a grounding cable from the connecting nut to a seperate ground on the bike. Should I try that, like SSNCOB did above?


    Thanks,

    David W.
    Has anything on the bike changed have you added anything or removed anything It is most likely that something has changed have you got coiled cables to the unit likely a ground is moving etc especially if you were OK before

    Check your antenna especially the base where the whip screws in if the inner gets loose you can lose the ground there intermittently this is most likely your issue if nothing else has changed, I also noted from your pictures you have the armrests that fit through your antenna mounts when you fitted these did you fit the antenna grounding strap and not the one that comes with the armrests as those do not conduct a good ground it may of worked for some time but now may not be making contact.

    A low battery can also cause noises as can a bad SWR make sure you test with the engine running and check your antenna tuning

    Do you have an FRS cable or GPS cable attached, if you do disconnect them

    If you don't have any extra cables and a squeal without them or after you disconnect try disconnecting your headset we have seen some breakdown in headset cables cause issues

    Since you bought your unit we have added extra filters to combat noise you may need to add them

    We also have new software you may want to upgrade and we can check the unit out for you contact me via our website
    Last edited by pedro66; 10-22-2011 at 02:35 AM.
    Pete

    "What is now proved was once only imagined."
    William Blake







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    Seasoned Member dfwpilot's Avatar
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    Pete and the rest of the GL2way gang,

    It appears I have fixed my problem. I did two things. I moved the ferrite filters around as suggested and I moved the CB ground to the other side.

    All is clear now. Went for a pretty good trip yesterday with my friend and I had NO squealling at all. crystal clear all day long.

    I honestly think in had everything to do with the ferrite filters, as I had moved the ground earlier in the week with no good results.

    Thanks everyone!!




    Quote Originally Posted by pedro66 View Post
    Has anything on the bike changed have you added anything or removed anything It is most likely that something has changed have you got coiled cables to the unit likely a ground is moving etc especially if you were OK before

    Check your antenna especially the base where the whip screws in if the inner gets loose you can lose the ground there intermittently this is most likely your issue if nothing else has changed, I also noted from your pictures you have the armrests that fit through your antenna mounts when you fitted these did you fit the antenna grounding strap and not the one that comes with the armrests as those do not conduct a good ground it may of worked for some time but now may not be making contact.

    A low battery can also cause noises as can a bad SWR make sure you test with the engine running and check your antenna tuning

    Do you have an FRS cable or GPS cable attached, if you do disconnect them

    If you don't have any extra cables and a squeal without them or after you disconnect try disconnecting your headset we have seen some breakdown in headset cables cause issues

    Since you bought your unit we have added extra filters to combat noise you may need to add them

    We also have new software you may want to upgrade and we can check the unit out for you contact me via our website
    See you on the road,

    David W.
    MSF-RiderCoach (Texas)
    2006 Titanium GL1800 Gold Wing
    Double DarkSider #202
    IBA #: 48781
    Front: Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 130/70/18 @ 38 psi
    Rear: Falken Ziex 912 195/55/16 @ 44 psi
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    Contributing Member rmaddox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedro66 View Post
    Not garanteeing anything on the MIC interface with that 660 but its free give it a try

    We keep looking at the grounding on the units and try to incorporate any feedback from users

    The FRS switching we always thought would be harder for users to do but guess what you all proved us wrong
    No problems Pete. No guarantee needed on something not purchased.

    Assume I will get my revised unit back soon. Thanks for the service.
    Black '08 Level One

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    Seasoned Member pedro66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmaddox View Post
    No problems Pete. No guarantee needed on something not purchased.

    Assume I will get my revised unit back soon. Thanks for the service.
    Actually yours came in this afternoon will get it out Monday
    Pete

    "What is now proved was once only imagined."
    William Blake







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    Contributing Member rmaddox's Avatar
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    The unit works perfectly.

    I DID change the ground "from the unit" to a frame bolt under the seat. Really made sure that the metal was clean and used plenty of stripped wire to connect to it.

    No squeal. Doesn't switch to the GMRS radio just by changing squelch settings any more.

    Works perfect.

    Thanks Pete for excellent customer service and a great product.
    Black '08 Level One

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    I have seen a lot of these squeal problems in the past couple of years, and they seem to be happening more frequently.

    90% of the time, squeal is caused by bad grounds. It can be an antenna ground, chassis ground, or a bad connection at a ground running through a connector. I have also found the problem caused by bad grounds in the stereo. This is the same problem that causes your voice to come through the external speakers, although it depends on where the bad ground is located.

    The other 10% of the time, it is caused by an antenna cable that is located too close to other wiring. The passenger headset cable is to blame in many cases. Do not let any wiring run parallel to the antenna cable. Honda has a headset cable that I think is nothing more than a standard cable with ferrite beads in it to fix this problem. For some reason, the bulletin only mentions later model bikes. It would probably help all model years. Adding your own ferrite beads can help to block RF too.

    If you can grab a shielded cable and affect the transmission, you either have inadequate shielding, or a shield that is not adequately grounded. Considering the environment, our antenna cable probably should have been quad shielded, but that is expensive.

    Bad grounds in the CB can also cause this. But considering that the OEM Clarion CB, the OEM Radio Sound CB and now Pete's CB are susceptible to the problem, it is easy to see that the CB radio itself is not the common link.

    A fully modulated CB signal carries almost 12 watts PEP. It is very easy for stray RF to escape cabling and create feedback if the wiring is not perfect.
    Larry
    2002 Illusion Blue GL1800

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    Seasoned Member Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
    I have seen a lot of these squeal problems in the past couple of years, and they seem to be happening more frequently.

    90% of the time, squeal is caused by bad grounds. It can be an antenna ground, chassis ground, or a bad connection at a ground running through a connector. I have also found the problem caused by bad grounds in the stereo. This is the same problem that causes your voice to come through the external speakers, although it depends on where the bad ground is located.

    The other 10% of the time, it is caused by an antenna cable that is located too close to other wiring. The passenger headset cable is to blame in many cases. Do not let any wiring run parallel to the antenna cable. Honda has a headset cable that I think is nothing more than a standard cable with ferrite beads in it to fix this problem. For some reason, the bulletin only mentions later model bikes. It would probably help all model years. Adding your own ferrite beads can help to block RF too.

    If you can grab a shielded cable and affect the transmission, you either have inadequate shielding, or a shield that is not adequately grounded. Considering the environment, our antenna cable probably should have been quad shielded, but that is expensive.

    Bad grounds in the CB can also cause this. But considering that the OEM Clarion CB, the OEM Radio Sound CB and now Pete's CB are susceptible to the problem, it is easy to see that the CB radio itself is not the common link.

    A fully modulated CB signal carries almost 12 watts PEP. It is very easy for stray RF to escape cabling and create feedback if the wiring is not perfect.
    LarryM,

    What are possible solutions??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    LarryM,

    What are possible solutions??
    Many very good suggestions have already been shared by some pretty smart guys. What I say here is just expanding on them a little bit.

    Problems like this can at times be hideous to track down, but most times the problem is simple, and systematically addressing points that are most prone to failure will usually be successful.


    In the trunk.
    1. The first thing to check is the antenna grounds. That bracket is prone to breaking for some odd reason. I don't know the cause. Loosen, and re-tighten the mounting bolts. Look at the contact point. Is there paint covering it? Is the metal oxidized? Clean it up if it is.

    Under the seat
    2. Unplug the antenna plug and inspect both ends for oxidation. Lightly burnish the metal if needed. Transmitters are not my field of expertise, but I would not spray anything on antenna leads. You could screw up the cable impedance.

    3. Disconnect the 3 pin CB power cable and inspect it. Clean the contacts by spraying contact cleaner on them, and then plug and unplug it a number of times to clean the contacts. Areas like this will not prevent stray RF from being emitted, but it enables the equipment to reject interference. This connector is also sometimes responsible for CB error messages.

    Under the top shelter.
    You aren't going to mess with this until all the other options are addressed, because taking the top shelter off is no trivial task.

    4. Do the same thing with the 13 pin CB data/audio cable that you did with the CB power cable. This connector carries grounds and cable shields that can cause squeal. It can also cause the CB error problem as well as voice coming over the external speakers.

    5. Ditto with the radio connectors. Every wire in that 13 pin connector goes to the radio. The radio will be less susceptible because it has a rubber seal around it, but you have the shelter off, you may as well clean it.

    6. Those procedures will fix a large percentage of problems. If it doesn't, the stereo could be at fault, or you could have water damage to your CB. I can fix the problem if it is the stereo. If the CB has water damage, it is permanent and can't be fixed.

    If you didn't add the CB when the bike was new, those two CB connectors have been exposed to the elements for as long as you have waited. They oxidize and get dirt in them quicker, and you will be more prone to problems if you don't clean them when installing the CB.

    This was such a good question that I am also going to post it in the FAQ on my website for future reference.
    Last edited by LarryM; 11-17-2011 at 02:03 PM.
    Larry
    2002 Illusion Blue GL1800

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