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Old 17-12-2011, 21:53   #1
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general cost of SSB install

Hey guys I am trying to price a SSB install. I am probably going with an icom 710 and at-140. I guess I will do the install myself unless I hear an uproar from this peanut gallery. I am just wondering if I need to do a split backstay or if I can use a whip and if so how much that will cost. Also what about the other costs that I am just not thinking of.
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Old 17-12-2011, 22:32   #2
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Re: general cost of SSB install

Hi, maybe some things you haven't thought of:

~$400 for two Sta-Lok insulators for your backstay
$250 Dynaplate (if you get one)
$300 Quick haul out for the Dynaplate
$30 for copper foil between your tuner and Dynaplate
$30 Circuit breaker
$30 Wire
$20 cable clam (for wire from your tuner to backstay)

The Dynaplate can be skipped. I had one, but I don't know if it did anything or how the radio would have worked without it.
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Old 18-12-2011, 07:50   #3
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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?

I would elect to skip the dynaplate, it seems like everyone is as ambiguous about it as you. I would probably need to up the size of my battery bank if I didn't only want to tx/rx with the engine running. Right now I only have a 240 Ah house bank.
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Old 18-12-2011, 08:13   #4
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Re: general cost of SSB install

What type of hull is your boat? GRP?
If so, that is my own plan:
- ICOM M802 = 2000$
- Antenna tuner = 500$
- AC Ground (counterpoise), I will go either with the kiss-ssb solution (Home) or for a copper based paint in the bilge; I will not use a dynaplate, but I will connect the ground plane to the keel.
I'm not sure about the cost, I would say 200$
- Antenna, I don't want to cut my backstay, I will go with a GAM split lead antenna (200$)
- Other hardware (coax connector, etc) = 200$
so overall, it will cost over than 3000$

I did discuss the GAM split lead antenna with ICOM, this was their answer:
"Based on customer's feedback they have gotten good results from the Split Lead Antenna from GAM, very positive comments."
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Old 18-12-2011, 08:30   #5
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Re: general cost of SSB install

I think you are tacking on an extra $500 because you are buying a more expensive radio. I really like the GAM antenna too. maybe I will go with that instead. It seems silly to cut one's back stay and introduce two more week points into it.
Likewise I like the ease of use of the KISS system but the lack of attention to the website is a little alarming, as is the lack of attention to the English language.
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Old 18-12-2011, 08:34   #6
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Re: general cost of SSB install

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
So say
I would elect to skip the dynaplate, it seems like everyone is as ambiguous about it as you. I would probably need to up the size of my battery bank if I didn't only want to tx/rx with the engine running. Right now I only have a 240 Ah house bank.
You really should not skip the dynaplate due to several things.
+ You get better tx/rx
+ Less corrosion on propulsion system and anodes.
+ Central point of grounding.
Do not underestimate the value of a dynaplate.

You should go for a separate batterybank for both SSB and VHF with a diode solution to separate the bank from the house and start bank.

For a 150-250 watts SSB I would get a 120AH bank (2x60AH or 1x120AH) preferrably AGM or GEL. Just watch the charging voltage, do not go over the recommended voltage. Usually not a problem when you use a diode block for separation.
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Old 18-12-2011, 11:44   #7
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Re: general cost of SSB install

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
I think you are tacking on an extra $500 because you are buying a more expensive radio. I really like the GAM antenna too. maybe I will go with that instead. It seems silly to cut one's back stay and introduce two more week points into it.
Likewise I like the ease of use of the KISS system but the lack of attention to the website is a little alarming, as is the lack of attention to the English language.
I need the 802 bkz the 710 is too big, it does not fit well around my chart table. The 710 is a good unit, you can find a decent used 710 for some 700$. A friend of mine has one to sale if you're interested.
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Old 18-12-2011, 12:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otia

I need the 802 bkz the 710 is too big, it does not fit well around my chart table. The 710 is a good unit, you can find a decent used 710 for some 700$. A friend of mine has one to sale if you're interested.
Check out the 710-RT in that case. It has a small unit for the operator and a blackbox elsewhere just like the 802.

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Old 18-12-2011, 12:33   #9
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Re: general cost of SSB install

I have been watching Icom stuff on E bay, last week a new M710, the picture still had the wrapping etc on the mic and the original box @ $560.00, I was out for supper and missed it, XOXOX and a M710 rt ( looked good) went for$ 660.00

I liked the RT however it is hard to get any cables etc and a used one might need some work, so I think you can get a great M710 or 700Pro for around 500 to 600.00

In my case I built a good alternate back stay antenna for under 100.00, 40 ft of 1/8" life line, a 1/4 stud swaged on the end and block on the mast, with a down haul line.

Kiss ground seems to be highly recommended by many. Used tuner are hard to find but I got an Icom AT120 for 150.00

It can be done for under 1500.00
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Old 18-12-2011, 13:05   #10
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Re: general cost of SSB install

Quote:
Originally Posted by CampDavid View Post
I have been watching Icom stuff on E bay, last week a new M710, the picture still had the wrapping etc on the mic and the original box @ $560.00, I was out for supper and missed it, XOXOX and a M710 rt ( looked good) went for$ 660.00

I liked the RT however it is hard to get any cables etc and a used one might need some work, so I think you can get a great M710 or 700Pro for around 500 to 600.00

In my case I built a good alternate back stay antenna for under 100.00, 40 ft of 1/8" life line, a 1/4 stud swaged on the end and block on the mast, with a down haul line.

Kiss ground seems to be highly recommended by many. Used tuner are hard to find but I got an Icom AT120 for 150.00

It can be done for under 1500.00
There are a lot of model numbers getting tossed around here. Which ones of these can access the HAM bands?

The old boat I was on had a 150 watt HAM radio on it and it didn't need a separate battery bank we just went off of the 400 ah house bank.
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Old 18-12-2011, 13:06   #11
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Re: general cost of SSB install

Wehave had good reception and transmission with a rope antenna. I was surprised. We do have a dynaplate.
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Old 18-12-2011, 13:28   #12
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Skip the dynaplate, there's one on my boat, but I don't use it. In fact I'll remove it on the next haul. Kiss would be fine, but you could do better -- skip all the copper snake oil as well. The gam antenna is probably fine, but I ended up just using a homemade rope antenna.

I don't use kiss, I have tuned radials, but you need to know how to make them, which isn't hard. Expensive gizmos aren't needed to put out a good signal.
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Old 18-12-2011, 14:09   #13
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Re: general cost of SSB install

I used 2" copper tape under the deck down each side of the boat. The copper cost about the same as a Dynaplate but is out of the way, didn't need a haulout, no additional holes in the boat and it worked great on the trip to Hawaii. Used insulating terminals on the backstay that I got off Ebay. If you want to cut the cost using the backstay, you only need one insulator at the top. Just be sure not to hang onto the backstay while transmittling. Have an SGC 230 tuner which is supposed to be the best and will work with any radio.

I've got 225 amps of house storage with 270 watts of solar for charging. Didn't have a problem having enough electricity on the passage and never had to run the engine to charge the batteries. I've got a ham radio but it's really no different from a Marine SSB for installation.

The costs:
ICOM 718 ham radio. $450 used already opened up for transmit on all frequencies.
SGC 230 Tuner. $495
Copper 2" tape. About $250
Norseman insulators. $150 off of Ebay.
Miscellaneous wire. $50
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Old 18-12-2011, 15:30   #14
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Re: general cost of SSB install

To these cost you will probably want to add a modem?
Sailnet? Then a Pactor for 1200$?
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Old 18-12-2011, 15:52   #15
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Re: general cost of SSB install

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>
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