Nobody is going to quantify how good or bad the GAM is going to be in real life. This cant be done because nobody has access to an antenna test range where its real
world performance can be quantified. Besides a GAM on your boat is not going work exactly the same as a GAM installed on another boat. These comments apply to any antenna in the world. There are many anecdotal reports on many sailing boards on how well or bad the GAM performs.
Everything works, GAM, KISS, Backstays
or for that matter even a piece of wire taped directly to the backstay. So luck will be on your side when choosing any antenna. Thats just the nature of HF radio
All these anal debates on many forums
about this versus that creates more fear, uncertainty and doubt rather than provide hard answers.
Just look at at the commercial
HF users like PRO fisherman and many ocean going container ships. Look at what they use. They use short 23 to 35ft whips that are less efficient than most yacht backstay antennas. They use their HF radios without issue or problems of "getting out" despite their limitations.
I seem to get the impression that many sailors have HF hypochondria. Those trying to install a competitive 70ft ham radio
tower with a beam onto a yacht are really having delusions of grandeur and this competitive demolition derby has no place in HF emergency communications
These debates are really doing more harm to the widespread acceptance and widespread use of HF radio
than contributing to making HF more accessible to the masses. We really need to take the ham out of sailing communications
needs versus hardcore ham use which many of these performance debates blur into one. HF radio
is a tool like hammer and needs to be used as such. It should not be promoted by those wanting to turn it into a secret society full of technical mumbo jumbo. If HF radio was buying
a yacht most of us would not even buy because we would be so confused.
Why I make these comments is because in the rest of the world in many sailing forums
we dont have these endless silly debates on HF grounds and various pieces of commercial equipment
. HF is installed by the book and very few people have problems like some of these forums seem to indicate.
If you use a GAM you will get a MAYDAY out and so it meets its objective for
an easy to install functioning antenna that works. If you want something more than this maybe you can spell out in detail what levels of performance or what exactly the problems are that you are facing when installing a GAM
I once delivered a racing
yacht. I used a broom stick wrapped with tin plated wire. This broomstick was attached loosely to the back stay and fed with a Icom marine
antenna tuner. It survived across the Atlantic and I got out and was heard on all my HF marine
communications. I did this installation
because I did not want to be without HF.
If I suggested that you use a broomstick with wire wrapped around it, I would be laughed out of town on most forums. I have been around HF long enough to know that everything works. I am like most people, I am in the " I cant be bothered if I dont have to bothered about it" category. HF radio is that kinda guy! If you have this pragmatic view about HF equipment
you will have no problems with the GAM or anything you do on HF. There are many people who love making you feel insecure with their technical genius which helps nobody install a proper effective working yacht HF installation
. God help us if they ever wrote a book on doing a HF installation, it would never get done because you would have to read a thesis and consider 1000 conflicting points that has very little to do with reality and what is a pragmatic working HF installation.
Install the GAM and do your own tests. If it meets your requirements then leave it alone. Thats how practical HF systems are installed and used.
Good luck with you HF radio installation. The GAM or any antenna that you install will work. You will be heard and nobody will say you cant be heard because your GAM antenna is not working.
Originally Posted by svfinlandia
It looks like we may be waiting for a long time for someone to reply who has actually used one of these things. I wonder if they have sold any of them at all?
Al, S/V Finlandia