So I've got myself a Yeasu FT1900 radio. It's a pretty nice little unit as it's able to receive a bunch of commercial bands, which is handy when exploring some of the logging roads. In theory, and the reason I purchased it, is so I can hear truckers who are supposed to call out their mileage markers, and the frequency of particular roads is on a sign at the head of the road. So, it's basically a glorified scanner that, when I go through the process of getting my HAM license (this month), I can then use for comms.
Here's my situation.
Originally I had the antenna, which was the cheapest of cheap crap, mounted on the tailgate of my Jeep with the cheapest of cheap coax running through the tailgate, under the carpet, to the radio which is in the center console.
I had it set up that way since last October, and this entire time, i've assumed that a) truckers don't call out markers and b) no one in my city uses a HAM.
So, one day I forgot to remove my antenna before opening my RTT. Bent antenna!
That gave me the excuse to upgrade, so on my day off on Monday (which was a rarity) i went to a local radio shop. The guy there taught me a LOT about radios, and at the end of the day, I bought a new antenna, new Coax, and a new mount. He was surprised that I hadn't hear anything since last October. He then attached a mag antenna to my radio to demonstrate, I was blown away by how much people were chatting -- seriously it was a ton of people coming in as clear as day.
So I've got that rigged up now -- antenna, new coax, all into the radio. And still all I get is static.
The radio manual says to turn the squelch up until it just silences background noise; for me to do that I have to turn the squelch basically 90% of the way. And I have yet to hear anyone talk on any LADD stations, with over 3 hours of testing.
Now my fiancee heard some chatter coming across a large steel bridge, but nothing in and around the city.
So my question is:
How do I troubleshoot this particular problem? Any experts out there that can suggest a method of attack to figure out what's wrong?
I should mention that I can usually hear the weather channels reasonably well, but with background static also. At the moment this radio kit is basically $500 dollars worth of a white noise machine.
Any help would be much appreciated.