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Uniden Washington

A place to ask questions about base setups.

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Scipio Kid
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Uniden Washington

Post by Scipio Kid » Saturday, 29 October 2016, 20:48 PM

I got a great deal on a Uniden Washington recently. It seems to be a popular rig for a lot of folks here so I was glad to get it. Got it all fixed up cosmetically, the meter light was out and I had a blue replacement and now it really looks cool. It seems to work well, but I won't really know until I get a better antenna. I have a few concerns; it picked up a real whine in the Jeep on the way home that was constant even with the squelch up and the volume down. Not using it for a mobile so it doesn't matter but I wonder if something is wrong with the power supply or filtering. Now that I've got a little time on it, I've notice a few things I'm hoping to get some advice on. When I use the NB/ANL, it's almost worse than without it. The same static on my Cobra, (I can run them side by side) is nearly eliminated with the NB. I also notice a faint high pitched squeal every now and then and it'll go away when I disengage the NB/ANL. Sometimes It'll got away if I go from sideband to am. There's also a pop or click every now and then that I first thought was external noise, like a nearby switch or something but now I'm sure it's the radio doing it. I'm no guru, can solder a few things in and out and follow directions but I'm wondering about some of the tuning and tweaking you hear about. Is this old unit worth putting a few bucks into to have some of that kind of thing done to it?

Thanks for the advice. It's nice hearing it from those with a lot of experience and know-how.

Scipio


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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by MightyMo » Saturday, 29 October 2016, 22:50 PM

My advice comes from logic, not experience. I'm fairly new to the CB world, so take it with a grain of salt. I'd start trying to eliminate variables and the obvious. How did you have it powered in your Jeep? Since you mentioned a power supply, I'm guessing you had the power supply plugged into an inverter? For testing, try powering the radio with a car battery (with nothing else hooked to it) and a dummy load for the antenna. That can help you determine what sounds are the radio vs power or power supply vs antenna. For your noise blanker, crack it open and make sure those switches are still wired to be noise blanking and not some hodge-podge mod. Maybe the switches themselves have failed. Try hooking up another switch and see if it makes a difference. Check the internet for service manuals and such. I'm going to P.M. you some other info. Once again, logic, not experience. Good Luck.

(edited by MDY, removed double post)



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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by MDYoungblood » Sunday, 30 October 2016, 16:26 PM

That radio will pick up more noise in a mobile application, it is really for base station operation and the 13.8V source is expected to be a filtered PS. One thing was probably the way it was hooked up, if you used the cigarette lighter socket, they are inherently noisy and has a ground loop problem which is the whine from the alternator. Once it is plugged into house power there shouldn't be any problem.

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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Scipio Kid » Sunday, 30 October 2016, 21:11 PM

Thanks Greg,
That's exactly what happened, I had a temporary lighter plug power source and mag mount antenna just so I could test the radio before buying it. So, once again, you nailed it. The other noises I mentioned however happen from time to time now that it's set up as a base using it's own internal power source. I'll open it up and see if anything looks awry as MightyMo suggests, I've seen lots of weird things once a radio is opened up (well, probably nothing like what some of you professionals have seen).

Another technical question for you experts out there, I use electrical contact cleaner for many things in my doings and have used it on electronics, especially older stereos, radios, etc. since the innards are often dirty and dusty, almost always with good results. By using it, I mean I spray the switches pretty good with it and let it drip out and evaporate and usually work the switches back & forth while the cleaner is in there. But I always worry I'll ruin some sensitive part or something. Any thought or advice on using this kind of thing on old radios?

And thanks to you too MightyMo,
Lots of good ideas. Nice to visit a little with you. I'll be up in your area tomorrow and I'll give you a loud shout. I've got a modded out cobra 29 I've been wanting to try out so It'll be loud with a lot of echo, (if I have the time to mount it in my truck, otherwise, I'll still have something).


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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by MightyMo » Tuesday, 01 November 2016, 9:04 AM

Scipio, I heard you yesterday. I was headed home from class and my truck was almost out of gas. I was about to pull into a gas station when I hear you come on. Unfortunately I was surrounded by buildings for the most part. I got up on a little hill where I heard you the best and I thin you heard me. I heard you say you were out by Hill Air Force Base. Right after that, conditions went away. I tried to get higher, but took the wrong road down into a valley. I stopped for fuel because I was seriously close to having to push my truck. I tried to call you after that, but I never heard a response. It was fun for what it was. Thanks for the call out!

Did you try the contact cleaner on your switches yet? Did it work? I've got a couple of main pots on my 29 that are getting a little scratchy. I wonder if it would work for them as well?
Also, one more thought for your radio. While doing research for another radio, I came across electrolytic capacitor kits on **Non Sponsor**. The claim was the capacitors eventually dry up and don't work as well. Maybe taking time and doing a capacitor kit like that would help cut your noise down. Not a kit for a mod or a "super tune", just fresh parts. However, I have also heard that some of the current electronic components are not nearly as good as the older ones. You'd have to do some research and figure out what you should and shouldn't replace to keep the integrity of the radio as good as possible. But you probably know more bout that than I do. Just another though.




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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by 543FtWorth » Tuesday, 01 November 2016, 16:06 PM

I've had good luck washing out switches and pots with contact cleaner then using deoxit fader lube after the cleaner evaporates.



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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Scipio Kid » Wednesday, 02 November 2016, 6:37 AM

Thanks guys,
I've had good luck with contact cleaner getting pots, sliders and switches to work. I've had some problems with plastic parts getting melted though so I always try to keep it away from faceplates and meters etc. I'll have to look at that deoxit lube you mentioned FtWorth. I worry about drying everything out and making things worse in the long run.

Hello MightyMo,
There was a yardsale ad for 6 radios in Clinton last week and I texted the guy but couldn't get him to give any specs and the pics were fuzzy. Didn't seem like much but one looked like it might be a Cobra 29. I had to be in Huntsville Monday so I decided to go look at the radios on the way. He only had 5 by that time, having sold the other one Saturday or Sunday. The radios weren't too impressive, 2 Realistics, 2 old 23 channel somethings and a 21 GTL Cobra ... but for 5 bucks each, I bought them. As I was loading them in my truck, I asked, "hey what was the 6th radio?" Oh is was a Galaxy or somthin' like that, sold it for 15 bucks. Well I shoulda been the early bird on that one! I got the others checked out and they're all worth the deal so not all bad, just feel stupid missing out on a great deal like that.

Anyway, I was trying to find my way back to the freeway and figured I'd give you a shout. I was amazed to hear you come back! I heard a lot of what you said, that you were up in Washington Terrace etc. But once on the freeway, I was behind the soundwall most the time until I got up to 12th street. I called several more times before heading up the Canyon but couldn't get through. Oh well, it was nice making the connection. I might be up there again today, so I'll shout your way again. Maybe if you have more gas in your truck I'll be able to hear you better! The radio in the service truck I'm using is one of those little plastic Midlands I got off **Non Sponsor** brand new for 30 bucks. I bought it in April when I decided to get back into CB'ing. It's been a good little unit but I'd never have bought it if I'd known there were so many good deals on used radios out there. I was putting one just like it in a little Baja Bug for a friend last night and as soon as I turned it on, there came some big ol' voice from Gerogia booming in on Channel 6 like he was next door. That was amazing, I was in the garage with the doors closed at the time! The skip's been phenomenal the last couple days, all day long and into the night. All I need now is ears to talk back to em'.

Well, I'll be up there around 9:00 or 10:00 and I'll give you a shout. See you then!

Scipio


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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by MDYoungblood » Wednesday, 02 November 2016, 8:34 AM

Sounds like you are using the CRC brand contact cleaner, not good for plastic and could lift the traces off a PCB. DeoxIT comes is several spray's, I like "D5", have had only one incident were it discolored the radio's plastic. Canned air is another thing good to have around.

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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Scipio Kid » Wednesday, 02 November 2016, 18:52 PM

Thanks Greg,
I tend to experiment and see how things work, which means anything that ends with smoke or explosion or meltdown, that kind of thing, I usually don't do again. I used to try sulfuric acid on everything but learned fast (after a few years) that it's really only good for Batteries. I never paid much attention to what kind of contact cleaner I used but have some real good electric motor stuff now that works good. I think I used some kind of brake or engine cleaner when I was melting things. And I remember using CRC a time or two.

Thanks for your advice on the deoxIT. I'll give it a shot. I also keep a little air tank on hand for dusting out the innards and just charge it with my air compressor, works great. If you use compressed air, you just have to make sure it's dry and keep the pressure low. (I'm sure you know this). I use high pressure air for cleaning machinery etc. It'd blow the solder out of most CB's. But if I'm ticked, that's exactly what I do anyway. Doesn't fix anything but it makes me feel better.


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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by MightyMo » Sunday, 06 November 2016, 19:32 PM

Scipio Kid wrote: Hello MightyMo,
There was a yardsale ad for 6 radios in Clinton last week and I texted the guy but couldn't get him to give any specs and the pics were fuzzy. Didn't seem like much but one looked like it might be a Cobra 29. I had to be in Huntsville Monday so I decided to go look at the radios on the way. He only had 5 by that time, having sold the other one Saturday or Sunday. The radios weren't too impressive, 2 Realistics, 2 old 23 channel somethings and a 21 GTL Cobra ... but for 5 bucks each, I bought them. As I was loading them in my truck, I asked, "hey what was the 6th radio?" Oh is was a Galaxy or somthin' like that, sold it for 15 bucks. Well I shoulda been the early bird on that one! I got the others checked out and they're all worth the deal so not all bad, just feel stupid missing out on a great deal like that.

Anyway, I was trying to find my way back to the freeway and figured I'd give you a shout. I was amazed to hear you come back! I heard a lot of what you said, that you were up in Washington Terrace etc. But once on the freeway, I was behind the soundwall most the time until I got up to 12th street. I called several more times before heading up the Canyon but couldn't get through. Oh well, it was nice making the connection. I might be up there again today, so I'll shout your way again. Maybe if you have more gas in your truck I'll be able to hear you better! The radio in the service truck I'm using is one of those little plastic Midlands I got off **Non Sponsor** brand new for 30 bucks. I bought it in April when I decided to get back into CB'ing. It's been a good little unit but I'd never have bought it if I'd known there were so many good deals on used radios out there. I was putting one just like it in a little Baja Bug for a friend last night and as soon as I turned it on, there came some big ol' voice from Gerogia booming in on Channel 6 like he was next door. That was amazing, I was in the garage with the doors closed at the time! The skip's been phenomenal the last couple days, all day long and into the night. All I need now is ears to talk back to em'.

Well, I'll be up there around 9:00 or 10:00 and I'll give you a shout. See you then!

Scipio


Yeah. I saw that ad for those radios. I had the number in my phone to call him but then I remembered I'd have to justify it to my wife somehow I've got 6 radios already in various stages of completion. Realistically I have more projects than I have time. If I realized it was a Galaxy, I would have done it. But I still probably would have bought them. A happy wife is a happy life, so I let them pass. Glad you got them. Have you hooked any of them up? Are any of them SSB radios?

Sorry, I was busy the next day you came through.

Are you looking to replace your Midland? I've got an extra 29 NW WX LTD Classic that I'm looking to sell. Some people like the Night Watch and/or Weather Stations. Some don't. It functions well. Nightwatch works. Good reports. Could use a basic tune etc. If you're interested, let me know. I got it so spruce it up with a few bells and whistles and put it on eBay but haven't got to it yet.

How's the Washington coming? Have you got the noise issued figured out?



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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by sonoma » Sunday, 06 November 2016, 20:41 PM

S Kid you do not want to use a motor cleaner. it will eat up plastic and traces. CRC does have a cleaner they call it electronic motor cleaner and it will melt plastic. it was made for dirty starters, alt etc. CRC does have a cleaner for circuit boards and will not melt plastic. just read real close as to what it really is for. deoxit seams to be one of the best for switches and circuit boards. there is a few other brands out there also for what you are wanting to do. some are very misleading as to what they write on the can just to sell it. my local walmart sells the crc cleaner for boards and switches and it works good.



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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by pabxone » Monday, 07 November 2016, 4:11 AM

Contact cleaner , Deoxit , other fancy named and fancy priced contact cleaners - Forget the lot as you hardly ever really need them !

WD40 / RP7 or whatever other branded silicone based spray lube / water displacement types you folks get in your part of the world are the go.

Won't melt or damage plastic faceplate's , microphone bodies and bezels (Actually it's great to spray on them to clean them up)
Wont ruin paint or plastic coatings on chassis top / bottom cases.
Great for cleaning marks and etc. off passivated rear chassis plates on radio's
Great for cleaning Pot's , Slide switches , Channel selectors , Mike PTT switches etc , Flood the control with the WD40 and work the control 5 - 10 times whilst its wet with the lube.
It's non conductive so you can spray it directly onto PCB's.

Just be careful when spraying it directly onto the TOP of PCB's in Radios - The boards tend to fill up with dust and grit and the silicone lube oil tends to bind it all together and it looks like a mess and "Can" often be conductive dependent on the make up of the dust and grit - A can of Freon would be the shot to clean that out with (But since that was banned 25 years ago due to holes in the ozone layer) a can of compressed air does a reasonable job these days.

DON'T spray it on relay contacts as the residual oil can make the contacts stick or bind in the open or closed position - use a stick of microscrub or a very fine relay burnishing tool to clean them - if you can't get your hands on either of them - Well then CRC 2-26 contact cleaner is the way to go.

All I ever use is the generic brand WD40 $2.98 AUD (approx $2.50 USD) a can - A can of CRC 2-26 is on hand for the really stubborn controls that won't come good with the WD 40 cleaning.



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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Scipio Kid » Friday, 15 September 2017, 8:53 AM

Hey Mighty Mo,
I never answered you way back when … sorry about that. I call for you whenever I’m up that way and I’ve heard you on my base a time or two but you must be getting out better than I do because you never respond (or maybe you’re just ignoring me … like everyone else).

Anyway, I know it’s been discussed several times but I’m wondering what the gurus think about contact cleaners. I had an old, but real nice Pace base station that worked great except the volume was scratchy. So, I gave the pot a good dowsing of contact cleaner (CRC) and worked the switch back and forth. It did the trick and it sounded perfect. But when I shut it off and on, there was a “snap” and suddenly it wouldn’t turn off. Now, the switch might have just been old but I’m thinking the contact cleaner somehow weakened the plastic and caused the failure.

Last week I came across an old CB nut who had a lot of equipment that’d been sitting in a garage for several years. He let me have it all for a song. So, I got a 148 NW with a D&J Echo Modulator and some effects box (makes all kinds of sounds from sirens to animals), a Silver Bullet linear, a tricked-out Navaho base with echo board, R.B. & some other mods with about 20 watts output, a nice 148 GTL, a 29 NW ST and lots of pieces, coax, mics, hardware, a dozen or so antennas etc, etc. The problem is the garage, and the years of sitting in it. I tested the radios and, as expected, they really need a good cleanup. Inside and out.

I never got the Deoxit for the Washington, it got to working so well, I didn't do anything but clean it up. After the bad experience with the CRC I’ve been wondering what’s best. I remembered reading both good and bad about a lot of cleaners here. I just read Paxbone’s post on WD-40 and it sounds like it works for him. But I’ve heard good and bad about it, especially leaving residue that can come back to bite you. Seems like I’ve heard nothing but good about Deoxit other than it’s very expensive. But, I'd like to get these radios going so I broke down and ordered some Deoxit 5%. Then I read a post on a stereo forum saying only use 2%. Anyway, before I go spraying the 5% all over things, I’m wondering what the recommendations are from those who have a lot more experience than I have. The last thing I want to do is turn a good but dirty radio into a clean but useless pile of transistors (like I did with the Pace.


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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by sonoma » Friday, 15 September 2017, 12:23 PM

CRC makes 2 different cleaners. if you get the one for electric motors it will kill the switches in a radio. it will even melt plastic. the one works good on car starters and other parts to clean them. just not electrical parts such as switches and contacts.

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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Mtn Lynx » Friday, 15 September 2017, 12:34 PM

I had same noises coming from my base too. I got some ferrite beads and connected them to the power cords to the radio, also to the box that I was running.. the noise was eliminated.


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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Blue Ox2 » Thursday, 21 September 2017, 16:51 PM

I have a President Washington and I love it.

ext/dmzx/imageupload/files/503a75770a31 ... b8f6c5.jpg

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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Scipio Kid » Monday, 25 September 2017, 12:06 PM

Who doesn't love a Washington?

So, Mtn Lynx,
I've never understood the ferrite bead thing. I've seen them used on coax for a choke, but I read an article that said you need to size or tune them to the frequencies you're trying to eliminate. How do you know what they are? I read they provide "parasitic suppression" (eewwww) of "common mode current" flow over the shield without harming the RF signal in the coax. (OK that kind of statement is way above my pay grade) I'm not sure I understand that or how they might also work on your supply voltage. Like many things, however, we don't need to understand them to take advantage of. Heck, my wife doesn't know the difference between a piston and a brake line, but she still drives her car everywhere. (Unlike me, I know the difference, but just drive into stuff a lot, difficult to understand.) If the beads work for you then they should work for everyone else. Did you have to buy specific beads for coax or power? Also you said "the Box" you were running. I assume you mean the coax between your radio and linear? Let me ... let us all know so we can take advantage of it (well, unless, as usual, I'm the only one here who doesn't know about ferrite beads). (I'm still not sure they're not just a holdover from the Woodstock era.) I don't have the best antenna setup so any improvement would be welcome.

I currently have the Washington and a Galaxy 959 set up side by side on different antennas. Both radios have very sensitive meters so you can see a DX signal sometimes before you can hear it over the noise and then use the clarifier to zero in. I'm hoping the ferrite beads might lessen the background noise so I can pick out those hard to hear signals. Is that what you're doing. Is that a common thing for everyone or am I barking up the wrong tree here?

Also, the Deoxit is the best thing I've ever seen. I've brought 5 radios and 3-4 mics back to life with it in just a few short hours. The stuff is like magic. I even got a stuck meter to free up and work like new with just a pin drop on the adjusting screws top & bottom. Picked up a couple of real old base stations, Midland and Realistic that wouldn't even power on. After the Deoxit on all the pots and some other cleanup, they're both working like new. Even the weird aftermarket echo board in the Navaho is working! Great stuff!


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Re: Uniden Washington

Post by Blue Ox2 » Friday, 06 October 2017, 5:29 AM

Has there been any further explanation, or discussion, about the ferrite beads?

I have purchased several on Amazon to put on the coax and see if it makes a difference.

73,

Mike

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