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President Lincoln II+ V3 AM Choppy Squelch Issue

Discussion in 'CB and Export Equipment and Accessories' started by skiman1, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. skiman1

    skiman1 Member

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    I have a President Lincoln II+ V3 radio and love everything about except one thing, and its a biggy since I like to use the radio for scanning memory channels. The Squelch on AM is terrible, ASC is even worse.



    When I receive most any signal and no matter the signal strength, the squelch opens and closes as the person speaks, seemingly "clipping" on modulation peaks. To see if happening in other modes I momentarily switch modes to FM, USB, LSB to monitor the AM signal and that same signal doesn't chop out. ASC too, same thing.

    I think it has something to do with deviation of the receiver since I did a little test I using a 40 Ch CB walkie talkie which obviously has modulation limiters and it sounded just fine, never chopped out.

    Is this an inherent issue with these radios? I've had three of them total now and two of them have now done this, both II+ V3's. I did have a II+ non V3 version and it didn't do this, sorry I got rid of that one now!

    I've googled this issue and can find NO ONE talking about this, so makes me think what the heck am I doing wrong? I've even tried to remedy it via using different combo's on the ANL/NB together and alone and no difference.

    I welcome any input you guys can share, thanks!
     
    Slowmover likes this.

  2. cralt

    cralt Well-Known Member

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    My Linc's ASQ works no where near as good as it did on the McK. It misses a lot then cuts out strong signals. Its really the only thing I don't like about this radio. Hopefully they come out with a firmware update or something.
     
    skiman1, Slowmover and ForestRunner98 like this.
  3. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    That’s too bad of the ASQ. Your right about the McKinley ASQ...works great! I know on the McKinley it can be adjusted. No adjustment pot on Lincoln?
     
    skiman1 likes this.
  4. skiman1

    skiman1 Member

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    Good thought, not that I know of, I will have to look.
     
    cralt likes this.
  5. cralt

    cralt Well-Known Member

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    I dont know. I was pressed for time so I just popped the resister in and slammed it in the truck. Didn't really get a chance to poke around the radio or measure its performance. I downloaded the software and want to play with that for sure. I only really miss the good working ASQ in SCAN mode. When listening to a conversation or qso'ing I run the squelch wide open. Just force of habit.
     
  6. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    Definitely!! I turn on the auto squelch when local interference is high, don’t want to hear far off stations or scanning.
     
    Slowmover likes this.
  7. Wayfarer

    Wayfarer Member

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    Just bought a Lincoln II+ and found this thread doing a google search. I have the *same* issue. I'll go one further and add that my squelch on the lowest setting, "01," is still too high. It takes an S7 signal to break it. I wonder why the squelch adjustment range is 01-36 when 01 is still too high?!

    I have to believe there is some way to adjust this to bring the lower limit of the squelch down to where it should be. The 2015 Lincoln II service manual says nothing about any way to adjust the squelch. Maybe in the engineering menu? I'll be watching this thread.

    Otherwise I *love* the Lincoln II+. Great radio! And I've had lots of radios over the decades, including the original Lincoln and many export and 10m radios plus HF ham rigs. I even like the interface. I wouldn't change a thing ... except for that darned squelch circuit.
     
    skiman1 likes this.
  8. skiman1

    skiman1 Member

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    Yep, sucks don't it? I would reach out to President, that is certainly not right! Did you purchase it new or was it previously "golden screw-drivered?

    The squelch is the only flaw in the radio in an otherwise fantastic radio. I've only had one out of about 5 that DIDN'T do this, and I think it was an older one, the non + version.

    I just got a brand new one, and the newest V3 that doesn't even have the V3 plastered all over the box, instead the new box says "Vox Enabled" and other logos in that area of the box where the V3 was plastered.

    There is one thing of note with this newer one, the "beep" when you turn on the radio is shorter more like a long dit vs a dah if that makes sense. But even this brand new one STILL does the squelch thing.

    I actually reached out the seller after he asked what I thought of the radio, and he seems to be in good contact with President and he told me they send them test radios and they provide feedback etc. I advised him on the ongoing squelch thing and seemed to acknowledge there are "issues".

    Personally? I don't think its a true squelch issue, its more a "deviation" issue combined with the squelch circuit, if they are a normal sounding station, (ie; not huge amounts of overmodulation) its much better, but overmodulated stations seem to do it on the voice peaks and only on AM, otherwise, it acts as normal, not overly tight like yours. You seem to have a bonus issue :(
     
    #8 skiman1, Jun 2, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  9. Wayfarer

    Wayfarer Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. My radio is brand new, pure stock, no "golden screwdriver" applied.

    I played around with the radio for a few more hours today, and the squelch is nearly useless. I guess it kinda works. It's too tight even on the "01" setting, as I noted in my earlier post, and it's also "choppy" like you described. Comes in and out and sometimes cuts off strong signals.

    Squelch OFF completely and the radio is superb. But especially on AM my beat up old Cobra 29 and junk box Galaxies have far far better squelches that work as they should. I also suspect that the Lincoln II+ squelch is calibrated primarily for SSB use with AM an afterthought.

    Seeing how I bought this radio to monitor AM CB while on the road and work some DX when the conditions are good, it fails for my purposes .. without a squelch fix anyway. Too bad, because it's excellent on SSB with the squelch open (i.e. off completely), and I love the interface and features.

    As I see it, two things need to be recalibrated: 1) "attack" time, or responsiveness, needs to be delayed or turned down to stop the constant choppiness of the squelch coming in and out with every little static pop. This might result in missing the first 1/10th of a second of a transmission, but would make it more like a traditional Cobra/Galaxy and far more listenable. And 2) set the "01" squelch level down so that you can properly set it to receive/break squelch for weak signals, instead of requiring a S7-S9 signal even when noise levels are only S1-3 like it does now.

    With the ability to configure almost anything via software, I have to believe there's a way to properly calibrate the squelch and fix this issue.

    Here's a video showing the hidden menu with various squelch settings.



    I'm too chicken to mess around here, even though I have an RF signal generator and could probably do the calibrations myself with the proper service manual.
     
    #9 Wayfarer, Jun 2, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
    Shadetree Mechanic and skiman1 like this.
  10. skiman1

    skiman1 Member

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    Thanks for the input, and well aware of the engineering menu, I've used it before with great luck getting the freq alignment dead perfect, as they are always a little off from the factory, and I like to keep the clarifier locked on TX

    For me the squelch issue is a killer for the one of the functions I really like the radio for, to scan programmed channels of my choice vs other radios your stuck in a "linear" type freq scan. I like to have a couple of 11M and 10M freq's to scan, some AM, some SSB and the AM squelch thing is just disappointing.

    I dumped a Stryker 955 for the Lincoln due to its size, and the ability to scan memories like the Lincoln does, still happy with the choice, but man, this squelch thing is a let down in an otherwise killer package.
     
    #10 skiman1, Jun 3, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
  11. Woody-202

    Woody-202 Sr. Member

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    My II+ is the same, and my McKinley is better at it. I don't do any scanning so it's not a big deal to me. My gripe is with the volume control and the slack between hearing nothing and hearing something. It takes a little more than a nudge to go from zero volume to just a little volume, and when that threshold is hit it's more akin to going from no sound to more sound than I want. Not a problem in the car, but at home, when using it late at night (to keep the household happy) I'll switch to a radio with a volume control that has better linearity.
     
    skiman1 likes this.
  12. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    I never use squelch so perhaps the following isn't relevant but here's how I use these radios without squelch.

    Have someone with a S3 or greater signal give you some audio.

    Set volume
    Turn down RF gain 15-20%
    Turn on ANL/NB
    Turn tone adj up
    Then readjust volume so you can easily hear the station

    Their signal will be about 2 S units less but you'll be able to hear them no problem. Best part is static will be cut back a ton making listening very pleasant.

    Some people might be worried about turning down the RF gain and missing weak stations but after years of running these models I've found that most of the time these radios hear further than they talk. Just turn down the RF gain and talk to the stations that you actually have a chance of reaching.

    I run the McKinley with the RF gain down two notches, ANL and NB on and Tone up at 5. It cuts the static and noise yet the tone high means you can easily hear DX.
     
  13. skiman1

    skiman1 Member

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    Yep, 1 you cant hear it, 2 its too loud for late night use, I have mine next to the bed and it sucks. The fix is an external speaker with a volume control and the little Nagoya NSP-150V does the trick on the cheap, you can find them for around $10-$15 on eBay.
     
  14. Wayfarer

    Wayfarer Member

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    Fixed! Or at least the tight squelch problem anyway.

    I spent all day yesterday in the engineering menu fiddling with the squelch settings. Menu items #10 and 11. 10 "SqUL" seems to be for the USB/LSB squelch and 11 "SqFA" for the FM/AM squelch. in each of those menus, when you rotate the encoder, the last two digits change incrementally from 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, and 12. After a lot of trial and error, I figured out (I think?) that these number correspond to the S-meter readings. The three digit adjustment numbers that come up to the right correspond to the squelch setting, the lower the number, the sooner the squelch opens at that S-meter reading. Set properly, the 3-digit numbers would go up as you cycle through the 01, 03, 05, etc., settings, starting with 01 around 100 up to 12 at about 800.

    Now here's the hard part. After finding the Lincoln II+ input frequency while in the engineering menu using a sweep generator and my flex SDR, I used a calibrated RF signal generator and step attenuator feeding RF into the radio at the right levels for each S-meter setting. Once I got the correct input voltage into the radio and the proper S-meter reading (see below table), I hit "Band" which saved the setting. I did this for each menu item, 01, 03, etc.

    The results are that the squelch works a *whole* lot better. I wrote down the factory settings before I started and the biggest change was bringing the 01 setting down from 134 to 024 and the 03 setting down from 420 to 156. The other settings ended up being roughly the same. This was for the USB/LSB squelch, but the AM.FM was similar. The lower numbers for the 01 and 03 settings seem to have done the trick to lower the signal level when squelch engages.

    So the engineering menu does indeed allow adjustment of how the squelch works, at least the signal levels required to break squelch. But these adjustments also require an RF signal generator and a lot of tedious trial and error. Hopefully at some point either President will release the service manual information for the engineering menu, or some enterprising soul figures it all out.

    Oh, and the "04" "Frq" menu setting changes the overall frequency of the radio, all modes and both TX and RX. The "06" menu settings allow you to change each mode's frequency independently. But on my radio, all I needed to do was change the overall "Frq" setting by 4 numbers, 495 to 499, to put it smack dab on frequency (it was off only 25 Hz to begin with). I'm guessing the "05" "FrqOff" is frequency offset between TX and RX, but I didn't mess with that. The factory techs did a really good job getting the frequency set correctly, I just got it tweaked a little "more perfecter."

    Can't stress enough to NOT mess with these settings unless you know what you're doing or have the patience to figure it out. I spent all day on it and at one point had everything so royally messed up I was about to give up and send it to a tech. I'm posting this information here so that maybe some brave soul can pick up where I left off and figure it all out 100%. The engineering menu is powerful, so powerful it can totally screw up your radio.

    The more I get into this radio, the more I love it.


    S-meter ... microvolts ... dBm
    S9+10dB 160.0 -63
    S9 50.2 -73
    S8 25.1 -79
    S7 12.6 -85
    S6 6.3 -91
    S5 3.2 -97
    S4 1.6 -103
    S3 0.8 -109
    S2 0.4 -115
    S1 0.2 -121
     
    #14 Wayfarer, Jun 3, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
  15. ForestRunner98

    ForestRunner98 917 SoCal

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    Good advice!!!

    I agree...they hear very well!! I stopped trying for the faint stations. I also keep my RF power down 2 notches, anl/NB with hi-cut. Although I have the tone at zero. It’s more comfortable for my ears. I use the ASC and for the most part it works fine and opens up when voices appear.
     

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