Strange CB problem - then it works, now it doesn't?
18' coax with a male-male coupler and a 2' extension
Firestik K4A antenna stud mounted to a riser bracket secured behind the spare tire
Firestik quick disconnect
Firestik 4' adjustable fiberglass whip antenna
I have power coming right off the battery; one fuse in the engine compartment near the battery clamp, the other a panel mounted glass fuse mounted in the side of the console. I have RF snap-on chokes over each power lead (+ and -). I have a power noise filter mounted inline under the glovebox (made by RoadPro). Absolutely everything is soldered and shrunk.
Prior to my mishap I was getting a SWR of between 1.2 and 1.3. I assumed I could dial it in further and eliminate some of the superfluous noise I was getting - mostly through the antenna - by putting a ground lead on the antenna mount. As it is i'm getting good continuity from the bottom of the antenna stud to the mounting bolts that go into the tailgate.
Yesterday I was talking to some truckers on the highway. When I stopped keying the mike, my thumb slipped off and the button snapped outward. My CB went from having the usual background noise from an unsquelched signal to near silence. I was still receiving close transmissions (less than a mile), but everyone else on the channel now couldn't be picked up. I dead-keyed the mike and noticed my TX power normally all the way full was now only about 2/3 on the scale. I turned the radio off, got home, and took the mike apart.
These things are pretty simple; a switch and a mic element. No damage that I could see unless it's internal to the switch itself, which is unlikely (I hope?). Everything pivots smoothly and I put it back together.
This morning I hooked up the SWR meter and now I'm getting readings at 3+. I removed the antenna from the QR just for shits and giggles and the radio sounds the exact same in RX with or without an antenna (I did not transmit without an antenna, fyi)!
I'm at a loss at what this could be. I don't believe my lack of superior grounding ruined anything, as my SWR was favorable prior to the incident. I want to blame the mike but I find it hard to believe that because I didn't release the button gently on a mike in service for a week that something inside broke (that I can't see). All my coax connections are tight, and none of my coax can be damaged physically in any way. My power is good as the radio turns on, and there are no other symptoms of electrical failure or short.
Either it's the radio or the antenna has a short someplace. I simply can't think of any other diagnosis, can you? If it is the radio...does Midland take them back for repair? The thing is barely used!