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Old 19-12-2011, 00:04   #16
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Unbusted, if you can wire up battery cables or a car stereo, you're qualified to install SSB. DO read up, see what the range of opinions about "proper" installation is. From ICOM and from others. Gordon West, a respected author on ham radio who also has dealt with marine ham & SSB installations, is among the many who will tell you that every boat is different because even an identical sistership has slight differences in the rigging, in the conductivity between metal parts, etc.

So when it comes to questions like grounding, counterpoise, best antenna, the "best" choice is whatever sounds like it will work best for you--and then some time experimenting with whatever options or alternatives are feasible for you on your boat.

The Dynaplate is made from sintered bronze, not a solid plate. This means it is porous and has a much larger "surface" contact area with the sale water than a simple metal plate would have. And that is why they make good radio grounds. Also why they make bad lightning grounds--because all that water literally IN the sintered metal plate can flash to steam and explode. Good for radio, not for mast!

Grounds/counterpoise you can always add, improve, extend, so if what you do at first isn't perfect, no big deal to make changes there. Cutting the backstay...bigger deal, but one you shouldn't have to repeat.<G>
Thanks for the no nonsense post. Very informative.
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Old 19-12-2011, 00:07   #17
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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Originally Posted by Otia View Post
To these cost you will probably want to add a modem?
Sailnet? Then a Pactor for 1200$?
I have no idea why people buy pactors for $1200 when you can have SeaTTY for $40.
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Old 19-12-2011, 05:20   #18
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Originally Posted by unbusted67
I have no idea why people buy pactors for $1200 when you can have SeaTTY for $40.
Then how about understanding people who have SeaTTY, use it for a while and then buy a Pactor modem?

When all is nice and signals are booming, SeaTTY will perform well. But when you are in some anchorage where you can barely hear the other side, and all the boats with Pactor do their email, and all the boats with SeaTTY can't complete their sessions and are left without email.... that's when one starts understanding the reason for spending $1k extra.

Most situations will be somewhere in between these two extremes and here the Pactor modem will often make faster connections. What I never heard is if people have tested with professional sound cards instead of the basic internal ones...

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 19-12-2011, 06:21   #19
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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So say

$1500 Icom M710
$500 AT 140
$400 for two Sta-Lok insulators for your backstay
$30 for copper foil between your tuner and Dynaplate
$30 Circuit breaker
$30 Wire
$20 cable clam (for wire from your tuner to backstay)
I preferred the 802, skip any extraneous grounding and go right to a KISS.
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Old 19-12-2011, 10:46   #20
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Originally Posted by Seahunter

I preferred the 802, skip any extraneous grounding and go right to a KISS.
Is there anything that the 802 does better than the 710? Half of it's circuitry is disabled because of problems with regulation compliance.

For non metal boats without an exsting bonding system, I agree with going for the Kiss counterpoise.

cheers,
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Old 19-12-2011, 12:45   #21
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Or , to save $140, just attach a ring terminal to the end of a 14 ft length of marine grade wire, and put that where you might have put a KISS. That will probably work as well.

To do even better, attach several such wires of differing lengths (ideally about 1/4 of the wavelength of the frequencies you will use most) and stretch those out as best you can, ideally somewhat separated from each other.

There is no need to spend a lot of money, or put a great deal of effort into the ground/counterpoise of a base tuned vertical in a boat sitting in salt water. As some "systems" sold to cruisers demonstrate, a minimal approach is often adequate.

Putting effort into sealing connectors and corrosion proofing electrical/RF points of attachment will pay dividends, that is worth concentrating on.
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Old 19-12-2011, 13:04   #22
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I just looked up SeaTTY, and it appears to be a receive only solution for wefax etc. How can that be compared to a Pactor modem?

Winmor is a sound card protocol that could sub for Pactor if there were as many quality RMS stations supporting it as there are for Pactor, but unfortunately that is not the case at present.
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Old 19-12-2011, 13:55   #23
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Originally Posted by SoonerSailor
Or , to save $140, just attach a ring terminal to the end of a 14 ft length of marine grade wire, and put that where you might have put a KISS. That will probably work as well.

To do even better, attach several such wires of differing lengths (ideally about 1/4 of the wavelength of the frequencies you will use most) and stretch those out as best you can, ideally somewhat separated from each other.
Remember that EM signals travel lower through copper than through air. This means the radials become shorter than 1/4 of the wavelength. A grid dip meter is great for tuning but otherwise just use insulated wire and make it 4% shorter than calculated. Aim for the center freq. of each band.

cheers,
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Old 19-12-2011, 13:59   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor
I just looked up SeaTTY, and it appears to be a receive only solution for wefax etc. How can that be compared to a Pactor modem?

Winmor is a sound card protocol that could sub for Pactor if there were as many quality RMS stations supporting it as there are for Pactor, but unfortunately that is not the case at present.
Yes, Winmore was the original but I believe all kinds of clones are coming up incl. commercial. I just assumed SeaTTY is one of those, but indeed it looks like a tired rx only program.

cheers,
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Old 19-12-2011, 14:50   #25
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Re: general cost of SSB install

SeaTTY appareently is for receiving only. A Pactor modem is, for now, the most widely used and fastest way to send text over HF radio, so if you want to send email (free for hams, btw) Pactor has the patents to the fastest system.

Winmore was in development for a couple of years, partly because Pactor3 is so damned expensive. I haven't had hands-on but it is supposed to be competitive on speed, although I think there's just ham support for it, and a smaller user base.

Given the thread about the KISS ground system and the autopsy showing it is just a batch of resonant length ground wires....If you're going to go that way it might pay to just buy a big cheap reel of 20g "telephone" or ethernet wire and crimp together the same big batch of matched lengths, no?
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Old 19-12-2011, 15:44   #26
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Re: general cost of SSB install

Nick - what you say is true - about elevated radials. When you are throwing them into the hold, inches away from seawater, I think they will be significantly de-tuned, just like ground mounted radials are on land. I don't know if anyone has actually done the experiment. Add to that the difficulty of laying them out straight in the hold and I think all careful calculations will be out the door. Because of this, there may or may not be an advantage in having wires of differing lengths in the hold. Maybe only two, one of them an odd fraction of the length of the other. That way, no matter what frequency you are using, at least one radial/counterpoise will be well away from the difficult to tune 1/2 wavelength (or its multiple).

As soon as your radials get more than a few inches away from water or other conductors that they may couple to, exact length will be important, even if resonance turns out to be well away from the free space calculation.

As for the KISS, I do not believe the lengths of wire in that bundle act as independent resonant radials. My tests with an antenna analyzer (see other contentious thread!) show no sign of that. That is why I suggest simply using one or two or three wires of arbitrary lengths thrown into the hold and attached to the ground lug on the autotuner. I don't know how well telephone or net cable would work. Those are very small diameter conductors and may not handle the RF currents at 150 watts or so efficiently. Plus they might corrode in the hold much more quickly than larger diameter wires, unless you could truly seal them up. That is one nice thing about the KISS - it appeared to be well sealed against moisture ingress.
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Old 19-12-2011, 15:46   #27
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Is there anything that the 802 does better than the 710? Half of it's circuitry is disabled because of problems with regulation compliance.
Nick, I'm not sure what you mean by disabled?
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Old 19-12-2011, 15:57   #28
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
So say

$1500 Icom M710
$500 AT 140
$400 for two Sta-Lok insulators for your backstay
$30 for copper foil between your tuner and Dynaplate
$30 Circuit breaker
$30 Wire
$20 cable clam (for wire from your tuner to backstay)

$2550

for the whole job?
Unless you already have it, don't forget the $220 for the station license and operator permit.

Eric
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Old 19-12-2011, 16:00   #29
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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Nick, I'm not sure what you mean by disabled?
The only thing disabled on the 802 is the DSP Speech Compression.

Eric
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Old 19-12-2011, 21:09   #30
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Originally Posted by fairbank56

The only thing disabled on the 802 is the DSP Speech Compression.

Eric
Exactly... crucial for amplitude modulated modes.. The 710 is much better received because of this and has not a single problem with it's design.

cheers,
Nick.
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