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Stryker SR -655HP; Been Tinkered With

Discussion in 'CB and Export Equipment and Accessories' started by Sarasota Slim, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Sarasota Slim

    Sarasota Slim Well-Known Member

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    Hello Gentlemen (and Ladies?),

    I've got, as the title suggests, a radio that's been tinkered with. I bought it off a guy at a truck stop, who only had it for a short period of time, but whoever he got it from, got inside it and did strange things.

    As I'm new here, let me fill you in on my background real quick. Currently, I'm a truck driver, but I've also been in hotel maintenence, the burglar alarm industry, and I've installed/serviced DirecTv. I remodeled my sisters house a couple years ago, and am currently doing my own house. I'm a tinkerer; I've built a working lawnmower from dead ones, using a pocket knife and vicegrips. I took HVAC classes in high school, back in the 90's, and that came with an electrical class. I have a rough understanding of schematics. I'm DIY kind of guy.

    On to the equipment; the radio is a Stryker SR -655HP, the antenna is the massive Wilson with a big coil. I know that I do not need a 5000watt antenna, since I don't come close to pushing that, but I got it for the height, since it's mounted behind the cab. I needed it to stick up above the roof line. I seem to get a better SWR reading now, than I did with mirror mounted antennas.

    The coax is Wilson, as well. Also, I have an Astatic PDC2 SWR/Watt meter; this model has separate gauges for the two functions.

    I was first aware that something was off on this radio, when I realized that turning the power up, via faceplate knobs, was causing my transmissions to come from speakers inside my truck, that were totally unrelated to the CB, for example, some computer speakers that I keep hooked to the TV. Speakers off and unplugged, still play my CB transmission. Also, I noted that I was only putting out about 20 watts; a bit underpowered for this radio, I believe. Lastly, I am not talking to people. I hear them, they don't hear me.

    I took the unit into the CB shop, at the TTT in AZ, for a bench check. He declared it to be in proper working order in less than 2 minutes. I wasn't too impressed with this guy.

    So, I've been scouring the internet for solutions. I found the mod page on CB Tricks for this radio, which was a little useful.

    I was able to adjust the two power, and the two modulation pots enough to stop transmitting through random speakers; this makes my wife happy, anyway.

    While I was in there, this is what I found:

    When looking at the pic on the CB Tricks Mod pdf, it points to a resistor labeled "0", and says to remove it. In my radio, it has been removed, as has the resistor above it. In their place, a new resistor was added (banded Yellow, Violet, Orange, Gold) one leg seems attached to where "0" was, the other leg, where the other resistor was.

    Coil "L20" has been altered; the loop on either end had been pushed down to the board. I raised both loops, some.

    Now, while my random speakers are now quiet, I note other oddities. Keying the mic will cause my interior light to dim, and the voltage meter on the radio drops to 11.5; though not the truck meter. Normal voltage is 13.8-13.9.



    I note, too, on channel one, DK registers 40+ watts on the unit meter, but only 20+ on the Astatic.

    Flip to 20, DK upper 50's on unit, 15ish on Astatic.

    On 40, DK 60watt on unit, 10 on Astatic.

    So, I guess the questions are, what's going on, and how do I fix it? I have no interest in running a splatter box; I want a clean signal.

    Also, the CB Tricks pdf gave me 4 pots to adjust; I know that 2 are modulation, the other 2 power. But, is it possible to get a more specific explanation of each ones function? The one labeled "Mod ANL" is particularly confusing to me. I note, too, that turning clockwise seems to reduce. Is that correct?

    Sorry if this seems long winded; I've tried to give as much relavant info as possible. Thank you, in advance, for any assistance that y'all may be able to provide. And, if I have forgotten anything important, I do apologize.
     

  2. Sarasota Slim

    Sarasota Slim Well-Known Member

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    Another question; I hear tell that some "techs" like to cut a device called a modulation limiter, and I have read that this can cause problems similar to mine. Outside of what I have already stated, I see no signs of more cutting, but I truthfully wouldn't know how to identify a modulation limiter. Where might I locate such a device, to check it specifically? I note that the manual for this radio specifically stated that disabling it was bad, and from what I've read, I understand that disabling a modulation limiter on ANY radio will basically cause bleedover, which I do not want. I don't much care to be "that guy".
     
  3. 9C1Driver

    9C1Driver Sr. Member

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    Best bet is send it back to the Stryker factory service center and have them re-align it to factory spec. This is assuming you have noticed an actual problem with the radio. The reason I say this is all the things you listed about cb tricks and your radio is probably why it's janked up in the first place. If it were that simple good radio shops would not be several months behind on service work.

    If you really don't want to send it in try to find a cb shop that has an O scope. On a scope they will be able to tell if the limiter has been clipped real quick by looking at the wave form. If you find such a shop they should be qualified to restore the limiter and re-tune the radio.
     
    543_Dallas and 222DBFL like this.
  4. StrangeBrew

    StrangeBrew Well-Known Member

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    Where are the radios power leads hooked up to? Usually with high power radios it's recommended to go straight to the battery, if it's running off some kind of accessory connection in the cab you'll get a voltage drop because the wiring to that probably isn't up to the job.

    As far as the computer speakers are concerned this can be a problem with the speakers themselves sometimes, ferrites on the wires is something to look into.

    With the mods to the actual radio itself finding a good shop would be your best bet.
     
    222DBFL likes this.
  5. Sarasota Slim

    Sarasota Slim Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was hoping for a little more than "send it back to Stryker " or "Take it to the shop".

    Neither of those options are particularly attractive to me, for various reasons. I would imagine that if Stryker put the radio back to factory specs, I would get back a radio that was incapable of 11 meter transmission, as that's how they come from the factory. They probably would have legal reasons to return it to me in such condition.

    As for a good radio shop, I wonder if they even exist anymore? In the past four years, I have been able to cross the thresholds of 5 shops. I will return to none of them, and that includes Walcott Radio.

    Problem is, I am a team driver, and I generally drive nights. So, unless there is a reputable radio shop, located conveniently to I-40, somewhere between Barstow, CA and Holladay, TN, that happens to be open 24 hours a day, including Sunday, and they also have parking for big trucks, CB shops are out.

    @StrangeBrew , in regard to the voltage drop, I believe that you are correct. Unfortunately, I am unable to run power straight from the battery, as I drive a company owned vehicle. This also has a negative impact on my antenna mounting options. I detest Volvo trucks. Actually, I detest all modern trucks; trying to set up a decent, but not permanent, antenna system on these things, it's a challenge.

    You had a good point with the computer speakers, too. I note that the truck stereo speakers were not reacting the same way, so that's probably it.

    Thank you for your time, 9C1, and StrangeBrew.

    I guess I will be pricing oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers, and things of that nature. I'll likely start a new thread on that, later on :)
     
  6. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    How do you know if any of these shops are reputable - or not? Are you a tech? That would be the only way to know for sure - and you already said that you are not - if we are to believe you.

    Collars and cuffs don't match . . .
     
  7. 222DBFL

    222DBFL Sr. Member

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    If you aren't supplying good power to the radio it won't work right. Most likely why you are only seeing 35 watts pep. Also your antenna setup needs to be good. No more than a 1.3:1 VSWR. Mosfets don't like a high VSWR. But it sounds as if power or amperage is your issue. If you aren't getting good power to the radio it can't put out the full rated power. Plain and simple. You might want to look into a single final radio like a cobra 29. I know it's not what you want to hear, but it might be the best option. And as far as radio shops that are good there are still some out there. And I don't mean Walcott either!! You might have to send the radio to them if you can't stop and drop it. Doug's Custom CB shop, Mikes Radio Repair, Key CB, and there are more. Also if you sent the radio in they most likely won't mess with the 11m mod. They know when they sell these radios what they will be used for. And it's not for 10m use LOL!! So I wouldn't worry about that too much. But at any rate, it's your radio, you do what you feel is the right thing to do with it. But keep running it without the proper voltage and amperage and it may not work at all someday. JMHO's.
     
  8. Sarasota Slim

    Sarasota Slim Well-Known Member

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    @Robb: If I am to be believed? I'm fairly perplexed as to why you would think that I would lie about such a thing. Seems a silly sort of fib.

    I may not be a tech, but I'm not a mechanic, either. I still know better than to pay a guy to change the air in my tires, every time the seasons change. And I know that if a guy wants to sell me a new exhaust system to alleviate my battery issues on a '73 Galaxy, he's trying to get one over on me.

    Likewise, I expect a guy who runs a CB shop to be able to coherently explain differences between antennas. I fugure that if I see a guy adjusting pots inside of a radio with a $3 4way screwdriver, and taking readings from a $20 Astatic PDC1, I probably shouldn't let him touch my own radio.

    @222DBFL: you bring up some interesting points. You know, my truck does have a power inverter that's capable of running a sizable microwave. You reckon that if I obtained a 12v power supply, and plugged it into that inverter, that would be a feasable work around?

    I've already taken that Stryker and replaced it with my back up (Cobra 25 lx mated to an RM KL203P ). I'm not particularly happy with it, either, but at least I'm talking to folks on that thing.

    Really, I'm disinclined to pack up and mail off my radios to anyone. With my work schedule the way it is, it could be months before I see them again. When I said above, that I was pricing oscilloscopes and such, I wasn't grumbling out of my hat. I am seriously considering buying these things and learning how to use them. I like learning new things. I like increasing my skill set. That, and radio communication has interested me, since I saw my cousin and great uncle talking to people all over the world, when I was about 4. So, this is less me being stubborn, and more me seeing an excuse to buy new tools and equipment, lol.

    Thank you for your insight, it is appreciated.
     
  9. 222DBFL

    222DBFL Sr. Member

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    No you don't want to run your radio off the inverter. Not the right way to do things and you would not be happy with it.
    Truly you need to get power from the battery and also check your antenna system. I would try that first. Are you sure your antenna system is in good working order. Good VSWR and such? This will affect how these radios work for sure.
    I understand not wanting to ship things off. Took me a while to do it myself. But I am glad I did. There are a few good techs left out there that won't rip you off.
    Doug's Custom CB's, Mikes Radio Repair, Key CB, and a few others all do very good work and are reasonably priced. But if it were me, I would make sure all my stuff is working right before I sent anything off. Your antenna setup being most important. That and getting good power to the radio. Reason I said not to use the inverter is that it will most likely create a lot of noise in your radio and if it goes to the same power source as the radio, it isn't going to help. You honestly need to run a power wire to the battery. Something in the 6-8 gauge range, depending on the length of the run. Then run a short ground from a seat bolt to the frame. Or under the dash to a frame bolt. This will give the radio the voltage and amperage it needs to operate at full output.
    And as far as your antenna setup, like I said before, the finals in your radio don't really like a high VSWR. About 1.3:1 is about as bad as you want it to be. Anything more and the radio may do some funny things like you are seeing. Don't use the internal SWR meter either. Get an external one. Again these are JMHO's and I'll say I am no tech by any means!! Just speaking from my own past experiences with radios like yours. Not necessarily the same one, but similar. Hope you get it fixed and working right. Be safe and have a good day.
     
  10. Clodhopper

    Clodhopper Member

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    Every tech I have questioned says the 655 should run off the standard wiring coming to the dash pos/neg post.
     
  11. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Sr. Member

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    All of your woes are caused by a poor antenna installation. Basically you have insufficient RF ground so the coax and the wiring of the radio are being used as the antenna system tries to make up for it. This means you have RF being radiated inside the cab from your coax which the speakers pick up and you have RF getting into the vehicle electrics which causes other issues you're witnessing. It also means that the signal you're radiating from the antenna will be way down on what it should be. Just because a ground meters out good at 0 Ohms with a multimeter doesn't mean its a good RF ground. RF is not DC and DC is what you're measuring. Too many people think that if they meter it out and it says 0 Ohms and they get a low SWR then its a good ground.

    You can have the best aligned radio in the world and a poorly installed antenna system will give you all the problems you're seeing even with 5W.

    Go to www.k0bg.com, read up on mounting, grounding, bonding and you'll see why I call it an antenna system installation, not an antenna installation. You'll also see on that site how to power the radio. In short to do it properly requires time and effort and drilling holes. It usually takes me around 2 days to do a proper install with 1.5 days of that being the antenna system install and the remaining half day being running power and installing the radio.
     
    Limeybastard and 222DBFL like this.

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