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Old 16-11-2016, 13:22   #61
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Re: Antenna tuner/ground plate

Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Osprey,

Way back in post #21 I suggested a few simple, non-technical steps to test your radio. The most important one of those was to GET OUT OF THE MARINA to do your testing. If you don't do that, all the other things are likely a waste of time. Marinas are horrible places to receive radio signals Lots of noise, lots of other masts.

All the advice about the BEST way to do things is fine, but you need to find out if the bloody radio actually works before you start optimizing things.

Please go back to #21 and give it a try. I think that you are getting lead around the mulberry bush by too much advice, too soon.

I did follow your advice. Please see post #37. Reception did not improve outside the marina.

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Old 16-11-2016, 13:49   #62
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Re: Antenna tuner/ground plate

Originally Posted by osprey877 View Post
I did follow your advice. Please see post #37. Reception did not improve outside the marina.
Yes, but have you tried replacing that active antenna and cable with just a piece of wire as we have been suggesting? If that antenna is bad or not powered then this could be causing all your problems.

As noise in the marina, yes, in your slip can be a noisy place. Still, I can usually pick up WWV, and have made many ham and marine SSB contacts from the marina. Every location is different. Marina interference usually sounds like a loud buzzing, ticking, or similar. Atmospheric noise sounds like a broadband hiss, with occasional crackling from lightning.

Be methodical about this. Test one piece at a time. The first step is to see if the radio works, and using the wire antenna is the best way to start.

Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 16-11-2016, 22:51   #63
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Re: Antenna tuner/ground plate

Please accept my apologies for responding to ancillary matters posted here, which dissuaded you from following the excellent advice and precise recommendations provided here by Jim, Paul, and I....

But, if you read what I wrote here 10 days ago (and what Jim Cate wrote), and read the referenced thread where you will find easy-to-follow, stet-by-step instructions in how-to get the USCG (and WLO/KLB's) HF broadcasts of NWS/NOAA offshore and hi-seas weather forecasts (both Voice and WeFax) well as videos (and wav file) showing you what you should be hearing (both voice and WeFax)...

If you take Jim's advice (whether you simply attach a wire to your chainplate / stay, etc., or run a 20' to 30' piece of wire up a halyard...and just plug that into the receiver) read the referenced thread, reduce your on-board RFI, watch the videos, listen to the wav files, WILL have success (assuming the radio is working)....

Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Please go no further....
Go, back and read Jim Cate's posting again!!!

Originally Posted by Jim Cate
No, you do not need either for reception. Attaching the radio's gruond terminal to a through hull or other underwater metal may help reduce noise in your reception but is not necessary. Another thing to try is attaching a wire between the radio's antenna terminal (if it has one) and a shroud or stay. They make a pretty good antenna all on their own.
And, then read it again!!!
It is the definitive answer to your original question!!

Do NOT worry about any of the other answers right now...

As for what you write now...
You will be well served by some honest, accurate info and advice....which I will give you!!
But, please forgive me if some of it sounds harsh....I mean no offense!!
You have the typical "can't hear anything - itis"....

Those that are new to HF radio communications ("SSB", "weFax", etc.), are surprised by the "noises" and "static" they hear...
Some of these are "natural", but many are "man-made" (RFI)...and much of this "man-made" RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) comes from your own boat!!

If you are at a dock, marina, boat yard, yacht club, etc....or your boat is near shore (within 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile of civilization), you are almost certainly picking-up significant RFI (Radio Frequency Interference)...

Probably receiving lots of RFI, as well as getting a good deal of natural noise due to using the wrong freq, for specific time-of-day and distance of communications....

PLEASE do not worry....this stuff DOES will just take you some time to get the hang of it...

Now, here is the "harsh" part....
The Sitex receiver is a pretty bad piece of was made by Nasa Marine in the UK, and is a rather poor receiver, no matter what the cost no matter what the's not a great unit to try and make work for someone new at HF comms....
Actually it might even be worse than trying to use a small portable SW receiver....but, whether worse or not, you WILL need to learn about HF communications no matter what receiver you have...

Remember the "sticky" at the top of the Marine Electronics page has just about all the links to all the info you'd ever need...including "SSB receive only" info, "WeFax" info, etc...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

Osprey, you don't say where you are at, nor where you'll be sailing....but, you mention USCG out of Pt-, I assume west coast USA???
So, aside from you using NMC out of Pt. Reyes, ALL the answers you need are right here in this recent thread!!
In addition to you taking Jim Cate's answer as definitive, AND realizing that you trying to use that Sitex receiver is going to be a real pain...Please have a look at this recent thread, where you will find ALL the answers to your questions...
Hf weather HELP...

Hf weather HELP...

Please read this discussion and watch the videos, before you go any further!!!

And, then come back here, tell us where you are at, where you're planning on sailing/cruising, whether you've tried the radio in marina, etc. or at sea????
And, of course what you are trying to receive and at what time of day...

And, we will get you going!!!
Seriously....please read the above discussion and watch the videos, before you do anything else!!

Fair winds..

Here again, are the links to the earlier thread....
Hf weather HELP...

Hf weather HELP...

Hf weather HELP...

These posts describe exactly what you need to do, in order to get an HF receiver to receive HF WeFax and HF SSB Voice weather broadcasts....
(although, the precise times-of-day and frequencies recommended were for someone in the SE US / Gulf, since we do not know where you are located, I cannot modify these recommendations to fit your location....but, if you could please tell us where you are located, we can certainly give you more detailed recommendations...)
There are links there, with detailed info on reducing/eliminating on-board well as details about radiowave propagation, etc...

The key here is:
a) make sure the radio works, by taking Jim's advice and using a shroud/stay, simple wire, etc...and by tuning in a local AM broadcast station....and tuning in some of the powerful USCG HF-SSB broadcasts....

b) learn what you are supposed to be hearing / listening for...(what the synthesized voice SSB broadcasts sound like, and what the WeFax chart broadcasts sound like)
In addition to the live, real-world, videos (in the referenced thread) showing exactly what it all should sound like, on the different freqs, etc., here are some wav files, where you can hear what you are listening for...

c) tune into the proper freqs at the proper time-of-day...which is explained in detail in the referenced thread (and the links therein) and in the videos...

If you read the referenced thread (and follow all of the recommendations there, including watching the videos, etc.), and follow Jim's excellent advice, you should be receiving signals quite easily, in just an hour or two....let alone 10 days later...

Again, my apologies for not just getting to the point, and forgetting the rest of the "static"....
And, please understand that the precise, step-by-step recommendations are right there for you in the thread I referenced 10 days ago....have a look...

fair winds...


John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
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