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I have an 03 Goldwing. Last year I had a CB Installed and on the ride home I began hearing a short spurt of static - the RX light does not come on. It happens randomly, but almost always when I hit a sharp bump with the front wheel. The dealer has replaced the CB as well as the on board radio amplifier, but the noise continues. It's not a big deal, escept that it mutes the music from the sound system. The dealer has told me that Honda knows about it, but doesn't know how to fix it. However, it seems that only bikes with ABS systems have complained about it. Can anyone help.
 

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I've never heard of this problem with the CB. I know that some people had problems with the CBs lack of range etc. but that's all. Did the dealer fit the 3-pin plug under the saddle into the correct spot? Theres an article elsewhere on this site about fitting the CB and I remember something about there being two plugs that the CB can fit into. Go to the bikers workshop section and find the CB fitting link and see if that helps.
 

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I think your dealer is talking rubbish. I know loads of ABS gl1800s with CBs that never had this problem. There were other CB problems and Honda replaced those affected units.
I think you have a bad ground point on the CB antenna. This can cause RX problems. Clean up the ground points and see what happens.
 

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mroj wrote:
it mutes the music from the sound system.
The dealer has told me that Honda knows about it, but doesn't know how to fix it.
Muting proves there is audible noise from the receiver sufficient to trip the mute. Very possiblya loose antenna connection, any loss of contact of the center pin (center conductor) can cause static. Check especially where the antenna coax enters the CB, those connectors are difficult to manufacture into a cable, and are often subject to sharp bends on installing - Ive seen them broken in two.

If the antenna has a round, screw - on connector (PL - 239 type) check it closely for breaks, strain or a center wire not crimped in properly. It may also be a RCA type, which is long and round. Same there. Pull on the '239 connector with20 pounds force, it should not come off. 5 lbs force for the RCA plug.

If that reveals nothing, remove the antenna and go for a ride, being careful not to hit CB transmit. If it doesn't static, that may indicate antenna system problems.

Check power wires also, that would definitely cause static. Thumping about with a screwdriver handle might help as well as wiggling wires and connectors.

Not unusual for Honda to not know how to fix it, and this is nothing bad on their part. They did not manufacture the electronics or wiring -they made the motorcycle and did assembly. It is well beyond a mechanic to sort this out, again, not his fault.

If you cant resolve it and are close enough, I can help you diagnose and repair. Im a Radiotelephone operator specialising in this sort of thing. Im in US.
 

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mroj wrote:
I have an 03 Goldwing. Last year I had a CB Installed and on the ride home I began hearing a short spurt of static - the RX light does not come on. It happens randomly, but almost always when I hit a sharp bump with the front wheel.
I don't think you'd see a hit on the RX light since the event is too transient to allow the circuit to light up. It's true that the muting is a good clue that it's coming from the CB and not a problem with the bike's audio system. I also agree with Dave about the possibility of the antenna connection, however I'd disconnect the antenna as close to the CB as you can and take a test ride to see if it still crackles. If it doesn't hook the cable back up and disconnect the antenna itself and retest. If it persists start with the power and ground leads, shake them around a bit. One other possibility is to try plugging and disconnecting all connectors several times after a small squirt of contact cleaner. The problems are almost always located by persistence, thumping around with a fist on different parts of the bike and radio, etc.

:waving::waving::waving:
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. As soon as it warms up a little I'm going to try them all. A poor ground or connection at the antenna source may just be the problem - it certainly makes sense. I'll get back to all of you as soon as I check it out.
 

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I am happy to find someone that agrees with me regarding the ABS system and the CB noise. I'm still going to exhaust the grounding issue to make sure that it is not the problem.
 

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I'm interested in this as well. Don't forget to share your findings with us.
 

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If all that fails, you could try wrapping the DC power lead several times around an iron toroid... They make them that split in half and are pretty easy to put on. This forms an RF choke thatshould stop any kind of stray RF from getting into your radio.

Do the same on the coax going to the antenna. Wrap as many turns as possible around the toroids. If you don't have enough slack in the wires to do this, just addseveral torroids and tape them in place. They should be as close to the radio as possible.

The split chokes are available at Radio Shack and other electronics places. They might call them split torroids, interference chokes, etc. they are the same things that you see as a heavy lumpsof plastic moldedinto the end of computer cables. Attached is a photo.

Also on your DC power lead (NOT the antenna lead or anything else), you can install a capaciter - one end to ground and the other end to the positive lead of your CB. Make sure it's big enough to handle the couple amps that a CB uses on transmit. This sounds like a short circuit, but capaciters do not conduct DC, but they will conduct stray AC (orRF, your noise problem), to ground before it has a chance to get into the front end of your receiver.

Another thing you could look at is the routing of both your antenna lead and DC power lead for your radio. If these leads come too close to something that might emit RF (like possibly your ABS system), move the radio leads away from those components.


Another thing to look at is where the CB gets it's power. If its fed from the same point as many other components of your bike, it can pick up stray RF from those components. The best way is to connect the power leads straight to the battery (with a fuse), but of course you'll always have to remember to turn off your CB or you might have a dead battery. The battery acts as a large capaciter and can eliminate many RF problems.
 

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Mroj -

All fine replies about troubleshooting this type of problem. As a ham operator let me just say that I believe it is definitely RF into the CB system. But the question is how does it get in. It could be as simple some of the suggestions or it could be a loose DC connection or relay (intermittant connection creates RF "white" noise that permeates the whole spectum). Do you hear static on AM radio doing the same manuevers that cause the CB to hear static? Choose an area on the dial that has no station, turn up the volume and listen for some induced static. Since you seem to think it is front end banging or jarring when hitting a bump, I'm inclined to believe it is a relay rather than a connection (connectors might do it intermittently at other times - when turning, raining, etc.). So I would change out the relays that carry - headlight, parking lights and any thing else with wring that comes up front near the CB (move to fan and other circuits later). Why? Because the relay has a built in antenna to transmit it's RF past and into the CB housing. The CB is very poorly shielded thus it will pick up stray RF. If you can't find it or the time and effort seem to be getting too much, build an RF cage of very thin sheet aluminum around the CB and ground the aluminum , bet the noise is gone.
 

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Jack,

I'm also an amateur radio operator (ham operator)... been one for over 25 years. Also have my commercial class-1 (GROL) license, but I've never heard of a relay with a built-in antenna. I guess a defective relay could open and close and cause static, but not act as an antenna, aside from acting as a spark-gap transmitter across the spectrum.

However, your idea with the AM radio is a good idea. It will eliminate the CB itself and it's connections as the source of the noise (Turn the CB off), but still won't tell you where the noise is coming from.
 

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Mad Jacks on the ball about the AM radio. Good idea. Some radio receivers use that principle to detect and trap out static. Also useful for finding a misfiring spark plug.

Axel, lead acid storage batteries are an open-circuit above about a few tens of KHz - they dont absorb RF. Im testing a new ignition circuit with a huge RF spike at about 45 Kc that I couldnt eliminate. I thought the battery would take it out.The battery shows >150Vpp AC spike across it at about 45 Kc. They only act as capacitors at very low frequencies. Unfortunately the engineer I spoke with at the battery mfg doesnt know what the H.F. characteristics are because I guess no one cares.

Those snap on toroids are only effective at many 10s of Mc so if his noise is low frequency, they wont help. Theyre typically responsive at 100 Mc and above. They are a crude low-pass filter when used with a "few turns wire" but dig out an inductor formulae and calculate what inductance a "few turns" is - a few microhenries at best and that wont make any difference if the noise source is a low-impedance item in the electrical system. those things are designed for VHF and above, and 27 MhZ is way low from there.
 

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axelwikand Motorcycle Jack, do you happen to know if there are any ham radios available that would be small enough and tough enough to use on a Gold Wing?

I know very little about ham radios, except for the fact that they nearly always can reach someone, somewhere,when you use them. It just seems like they would be a great choice if you were travelling in remote areas and needed emergency help, as opposed to CB's and FRS which can only reach a few miles.

Could you guys please enlighten me on this topic?

Vic
 

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Dave... you're showing your ageusing Mc and Kc instead of MHz or kHz!

The CB band is atabout 27MHz... most of the snap on chokes have a frequency range of 500 kHz to 200 MHz so theymight justwork, especially if the offending signal is also withinthat range.

The lead acid battery might seem to be an open circuit at that frequency, but it's not. It simply acts as a widely-spaced large value capaciter - Rf will certainly go across it. Large, widely-spaced variable caps are used in broadcasting and ham radioall the time, both for amplifiers and antenna matching networks. RF, even at very low power levels, will go across it - certainly within the frequency range of a CB.

If the offending signal is produced by some kind of spark-gap, however, then all bets are off. The source of the spark gap must be investigated instead of the filtering described above. That's why resistors are installed in spark plugs and/or wires.
 

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Goldwinger,

Good news and not so good news.

First the not so good news. You MUST have a ham radio license to operate a ham radio... that's worldwide. If the FCC catches you operating without a license it could mean a fine of over $10,000.00 here in the US, and they'll confiscate your radio equipment (hams and the FCC do monitor the frequencies and they will catch you).DF, direction finding for hidden transmitters is a big sport in the ham radio ranks. Similar situation anywhere else in the world.

However,it's not as bad as it sounds. It is now easier than ever to get a ham radio license. You no longer have to learn the morse code for the introductory level license. Here in the US it's called the Technician license. You do have to pass a 20-question multiple-choice test, but it's pretty easy if you spend about a week reading through the license manual. In the US they even publish the question pool for this test and it's available online as practice testson sites like http://www.qrz.com. More good news is that if you live outside the US, most countries have abandoned the morse code requirement for all the upper-level ham license classes. In the US, to get get a license above theintroductory class (Technician), one must pass a 5 word-per-minute code test. (Actually I don't think it's such a bad thing.)

There will be a testing fee that covers testing expenses. Usually $12-$14. But the license in the US is good for 10 years and there is no further testing or any feesfor renewing your license.

This morse code-free Technician license will allow you to use the ham bands on the frequencies of 50MHz and up. This is VHF, UHF, and above. If all you wanted to do is have better communications on your bike that's all you would need. You'll have access to radio repeaters, much more output power, and clear, noise-free FM communications that could extend hundreds of miles if the repeaters in your area are set on mountaintops or tall buildings (which they usually are). Sometimes the repeaters are even linked together to give one state-wide coverage or coverage from one major city to another.

If you really get involved, with your Technician license you could even use the ham radio satellites that have been put into orbit since the 60's (not likely on a motorcycle though). It's even possible to have a chat with the astronauts on the international space station from your motorcycle.I've actuallychatted with the cosmonauts on the Mir space station when it was still up while driving my car.

Now the really good news. There is a plethora of radios out there that could be used on a Goldwing. I'm thinking of installing a dual-band radio on mine that covers the 440MHz UHF band and the 144MHz VHF band. Most of these radios have an output of around 50 watts and use FM, and are usually as small or smaller than a CB. This makes for very clear communications at pretty long range line of sight and extended communication if you use a repeater. Repeaters are everywhere. I'm willing to bet that 90 percent of mountain-top radio/TV sites also house at least one ham radio repeater.

A good website/organization to look up is the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) http://arrl.org.

In Canada go to http://www.rac.ca/.
 

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Hey you guys this is getting deep. I want to thank all of you for your suggestions. You have been very helpfull. It's been a little too cool for me to ride but I've spent some time bench testing and may have found a solution. I concentrated on the suggestions concerning a bad connection or ground, so I turned on the ignition and place the key on ACC (to save the battery) and started bumping the the bike at various places - no results. But, when I moved the key back to ON, I heard a relay in the front end click and also heard the static noise - two bursts of static. The static sounded just like what I have been hearing. I associated the static with the relay and started pulling fuses and turning the key to ACC and ON, to try and stop the relay from actuating. I started with the left bank of fuses, one a time, pulling the fuse and turning the key. Nothing on the left bank (as you are looking at it). I started on the right bank from the top. When I pulled the Battery 30 amp fuse, things went dead, so I replaced it and tried the key again ACC to ON - the static noise stopped - the relay in the front come on. I'm beginning to think the problem may have been a poor connection in the fuse box thereby not providing enough current to the relay causing the relay to open (especially when I hit a bump with the front tire). I'm hoping to ride tomorrow if the temp is reasonble and see what happens.
 

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Good going OJ. Sounds like you're zeroing in on the problem.
 

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Mroj -

Glad to hear you are closing in on the noise. I've trouble shoot several CB's in friends 1500 with very similar results - noisy relay points, what used to be called a spark gap transmitter back at the beginning of radio.

And also glad to hear that you asked about ham radio on your Wing. I always run with a 2M/440 dual band rig besides the CB. You have to really be way out there to not be able to raise another ham or repeater. Besides, some repeaters provide access to the phone system so you can make a phone call without worrying if your cellphone is near a tower.

Hope you cure your problem and enjoy a static free ride soon. :clapper:
 
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