I'm currently on the hard
with my mast
down for repairs
, but still wanted to use my SSB
(I've got my ham License
-- Amateur Extra), so I made myself an emergency antenna
First, I used my 20' whisker pole to erect a temporary mast
in the cockpit
-- lashed it to the wheel
support and added guy lines connected to the stern pulpit and jib cleats
. I ran my backstay in a loop over pole to the stern pulpit and back over the pole forward. Then I connected another wire that ran all the way forward to the bow pulpit and back to where it started near the dorades, making sure it didn't come in contact with any metal.
This gave me a long wire in a loop about 75' long -- the boat's 33' long. Then I used all my shrouds to create a counterpoise
on the deck
. I connected them to a few other large pieces of metal I had on deck
, e.g., anchors and my coiled up lifelines
, but didn't connect it to anything else -- not the engine
or the dc ground. Remember, I'm out of the water
, so thru-hulls wouldn't help a lot. If I were, and I wasn't surrounded by all these other boats with their mast up (I'm a small fry here), it would be much better. Basically, I'm a very low level satellite
Anyway, with this setup, using an Icom
700Pro, I was able to check-in to the Maritime Mobile Service
Network today with no problem. I'm in New York
City and net control was just south of Atlanta, so I figure that's a pretty good hop considering, probably around 500nm, but I can hear stations on the west coast
-- though not sure if they can hear me.
Just thought I'd post this as an example of what's possible. Of course, suggestions are welcome.