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Old 08-01-2019, 06:01   #31
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

Hi
not sure this is the right thread to post my question,if not,please my apologies and if could redirect me?
In the process of refitting have all the new electronics gizmos including GarminInReach,AIS,Radar,Marine Radio with DSC etc.
I am missing the reception of weather reports and weather fax.
Have an old ICOM 710 kept in a box from older prior boat.
Not sure will be able to modify backstay for split insulated section on time.
Can I use the radio without the AT 130?,connect a regular whip antenna to the radio and use it as a receiver like any other regular short wave radio?
Not interested on voice/transmit at this point.
thanks
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:58   #32
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

You seem to imply that metal boats don't have grounding issues. As someone
who will be buying an aluminum boat soon, what is the strategy to get a ground plane/ counterpoise when the rule is NEVER to use the hull to carry

electricity lest you turn the aluminum into a giant sacrificial anode?
I've been looking for the "proper" answer to what to do with the "other half" of the antenna for a long time, so I ask it here.
Thanks Dennis
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:23   #33
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

On a metal boat, the easiest way to provide the RF ground needed by the antenna tuner is to connect the tuner ground connection to the hull through a capacitor. Farallon Electronics used to sell one. The capacitor stops any DC current that might somehow result from the tuner.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:49   #34
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

"Can I use the radio without the AT 130?"

NO.

The tuner is necessary so the final amplifier circuit in the radio "sees" a resonant antenna at the proper impedance match of 50-75 ohms. The tuner does not really tune the antenna, all it does is provide a low impedance transmission line match to to transmitter with low reflected power or SWR. In fact some wire antennas just may be too short to be tuned so a little research and calculation is necessary. Best to try it out on land first, with your wire antenna hung from say a tall tree. In fact back in the early days of radio these were called Match-Boxes!!

You want to place the tuner as close to whatever wire you are using for an antenna. If you are using a back stay then the back stay must be insulated from the rest of the rig. You will also want to avoid grabbing it while transmitting as it can result in an RF burn. That is why using a non-conductive back stay with an insulated antenna wire is preferred. Carbon fiber is of course a conductor.

If you are cruising you might want to consider Dyneema for a back stay and have it professionally installed as it does not conduct electricity or react inductively to rf currents.

You can then run an insulated wire along your non-conductive back stay for the radiating element right out of your Antenna Tuner and run your coax from the AT to the Icom 710. Making sure the antenna rf ground goes to the grounding plate on the hull of yacht. DC or AC grounds do not go to a grounding plate. Only when transmitting will relatively high rf currents be grounded and generally only if the efficiency of the antenna is poor. Upon receiving the antenna may produce microvolts: one millionth of a volt, hardly something to be concerned with vis a vis stray currents.

If you do not want to use an Autotuner then your antenna must be cut for the frequency you will transmit on. Length = resonance.

length (metres)=(150 * A) / f f = frequency, A is velocity factor of the current in the antenna or about .96 to .98. This is related to the ratio of the thickness of the wire to the length of the radiating element. This formula is for a half wave dipole. There are others to use. You might want to read the ARRL Ham Radio Antenna Manual.

The type of antenna you will have on your back stay is a random length end fed wire antenna.

Here are a couple of good links to understanding just what you want to do:

https://www.kb6nu.com/playing-end-fe...nnas-91-ununs/

http://www.aa5tb.com/efha.html

Random Wire Antennas - Best Lengths To Use For Random Wire

A Magnetic Loop antenna also might give you excellent results. But you have to marinize them yourself and they require quite of technical understanding to make them work. They are just recently commercially available. In my opinion they should be ideal for marine HF use for both marine SSB and Amateur. But they too require tuning however they are very small and light.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:01   #35
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

thank you
was afraid will not work
have a rigger come in tomorrow,believe the standing rigging might need replacement,if so,the issue will be resolved,will have the back stay modified for the antenna.
thanks you very much for taking the time
cheers
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Old 08-01-2019, 13:06   #36
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

davil-
I'd disagree. Using the IC710 as just a receiver is a bit of a waste, BUT as long as you physically remove the mic so no one can accidentally push the transmit button? You don't need an antenna tuner to a receiver. Yes, it might help, but NO it is no necessary at all. You'll effectively be using the rig as a "random long wire" receiver antenna, and that's totally acceptable.
Now in the unlikely but possible event that you needed or wanted to use the radio to transmit...you'd be stuck with a very sudden need to install the AT130 and perhaps make rigging changes. So I'd suggest "in for a penny in for a pound" and either make it fully operational, complete with new antenna/tuner and correct ship's license, or get rid of it and pick a less intrusive means to get weather.
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Old 08-01-2019, 13:21   #37
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

Davil...

If you are going to license and deploy Marine SSB then do it right. It just might save your life and the lives of your crew and family or someone elses.

Just how would you feel when you need to relay an SOS and your radio station is hacked and cobbled together? Marine SSB is not a privilege for the purpase of rag chewing and ordering pizza, it is a responsibility. When the Coast Guard has to recover bodies because you did not have a properly installed marine SSB capable of long distance communication you are not going to feel that great. After all that is why you have it isn't it?

And there are better ways to listen to the weather.

There is a right way and a wrong way to do EVERYTHING.

I told you the right way to install and deploy a Marine Radio Station. I also sent you to information so you can understand why.

It's your choice.
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Old 08-01-2019, 13:24   #38
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

I agree having an SSB transceiver just for receive is a waste. You will make someone happy if you just sell it on eBay. In addition, the transceivers use a significant amount of current even in receive only mode (> 1A). My suggestion would be to get a receiver only (either or portable SSB radio or an SDR) and then you can use whatever antenna you want. The benefit if the stand alone radio is that it is a separate system, uses very little power, can be easily interfaced to a phone to decode wfax. The benefit of an SDR is that you can build an integrated system, where you can control the receive schedule and frequency automatically, so that all the relevant wfaxes are in your mailbox in the morning.

Then there is always the Inreach Explorer...

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Old 08-01-2019, 14:22   #39
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

Quote:
Can I use the radio without the AT 130?,connect a regular whip antenna to the radio and use it as a receiver like any other regular short wave radio?
Not interested on voice/transmit at this point.
Above is the question that the OP posed. Note that he specifically says that he is not interested in HF transmitting. Thus, no licensing is required, no moral obligations to have a good HF installation are placed upon him and indeed there is no need for an antenna tuner to use his HF rig as a receiver for wx (or other) broadcasts.

So, my answer to his question is that it will work, albeit not optimally. IN your position, I'd simply run a wire from the output connector (that normally goes to the tuner) to the nearest chainplate. This will use the entire rig as a random wire antenna and will work reasonably well for your application. No need for insulated backstay or other dedicated rx antenna.

I would agree that it might make some sense to sell off the Icom and use the money to purchase a modern receiver, one that has other functions that you might find useful whilst cruising.

Jim (N9GFT/VK4GFT/WDJ4598)
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Old 08-01-2019, 15:30   #40
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

[QUOTE=Jim Cate;2797767]Above is the question that the OP posed. Note that he specifically says that he is not interested in HF transmitting. Thus, no licensing is required, no moral obligations to have a good HF installation are placed upon him and indeed there is no need for an antenna tuner to use his HF rig as a receiver for wx (or other) broadcasts.
=================================================t hank you Jim for reading and answering my specific question.
some times members trying to help misread the questions or issues and again with the best of intentions "rush to judgment"
Normally just ignore answers that find less than helpful and focus on what addresses my question.
As you remark,I do not have any interest on voice transmission,I do not have any moral concerns" what if" as I already cover all available safety concerns for offshore sailing (liferaft,EPIRB.GarminInReach,MOB personal AIS,Vesper transponder,personal EPIRB,Routing and weather reports by professional weather routing services and most important personal cruising /sailing experience)
The issue of the SSB I already mentioned was to get weather in addition to what I already have (as if using a cheap short wave radio) and that was answered.
Tomorrow will have the rigger I called to inspect the standing rigging,since I do not have any documentation as to when was installed I like him to go over,and get on the chair ( am too old to do it myself as always did, cannot believe how fast these 78 years went by) and check spreaders and all points of fastening on the mast.
More likely there will be some replacements needed and the back stay although looks good at deck level may need to be replaced,then if so will tell him to prepare it with the insulators,if not,may add an Iridium/Globalstar phone as suggested on prior postings that will provide me with more weather info, BUT will miss the old ICOM 710, used it back then(late 90') when Pinoak? was the only email provider using their proprietary modem/pactor and we connected with my daughters and friends.
Anyways,let my frustration get the best out of me,I know better,again thanks again for listening.
David
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Old 19-01-2019, 11:55   #41
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

Well, here is another brief update/addition...

This time, regarding how "easy" it is to use your HF radio, as long as it's programmed well and you have at least a cursory knowledge of HF communications (such as garnered from some of my other videos)...


Although I still vehemently disagree with them, some of my fellow sailors have commented that there is some "magic art" to using HF radio....however, I do agree that with close to 5 decades of experience in radio communications sometimes what I perceive as "easy-peasy" can be daunting to novices....and this is the reason I decided to post my videos on Youtube over the years...


I made these videos myself....no director, no script, etc....all done LIVE in the real-world, as it happens (including some "opps" moments, just like real people make...), onboard a real offshore cruising boat, no "laboratory simulations"...

Also, over the years, I have said that if your HF radio is installed, commissioned, and programmed properly (and you've mitigated any on-board RFI), anyone with even a cursory knowledge of HF communications should be able to walk on-board at any random day and time, turn on the radio and be able to contact others within a minute or two...

I've also mentioned that if you know when/what times weather forecasts are transmitted for your area(s), you should be able to easily hear/receive them in no time at all...

I received some push-back from this as well....with some folks still saying that there is some "black art" involved....

Please note that while many see the "programming" as something that has little importance, in actuality with most non-tech / layperson folks, having the radio programmed and set-up properly (for their specific applications and their proposed cruising areas) can be of great importance!! Please do not just use the radio "as-is", program it and set-it-up correctly for your application(s) and your cruising area(s)....and things will be much easier!

I never wanted to argue the point, as this might just turn people off the whole process and they'd never get around to learning about HF radio.....but, I still stood by my opinion that if your HF radio is installed, commissioned, and programmed properly, a layperson-sailor with just a cursory knowledge of HF communications, should be able to walk on-board at any random day and time, turn on their radio and be able to contact others within a minute or two...

So, that is what I demonstrated in my latest video....


I show the exact time (on my wristwatch and radio display), that I walked onboard, turned on the radio, heard various stations (ham and maritime), contacted various stations, turned on other circuit breakers and switched on GPS and WeFax receiver, listened to multiple offshore weather broadcasts, received WeFax weather chart, etc. etc...all in about 10 minutes time (10:53amEST /1553z thru 11:03amEST /1603z) from switching radio on, including talking to two different stations, on two different bands, at two different distances, within a couple minutes....



I have also added this new video to my HF radio playlists...

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY



HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2n3z5nlv-ga2zYuPozhUXZX



Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nPNdApNsZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y



Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2npivDjoFrC-8QKVyMb4tVr



I hope this helps some understand the importance of proper radio installation/commissioning, but especially proper programming (for the cruising area) of the radio's "user channels" for those "layperson sailors"...and of course, spending the time to learn the basics of HF radiowave propagation, as well as actually "knowing" your radio...






Fair winds and 73,

John
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Old 19-01-2019, 12:13   #42
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

Davil,
Sorry I missed your question here...
{and, fyi...it's usually better to start a new thread to ask specific questions like this....and leave the "stickies" for the general / over all information...but no worries! }

As Jim Cate and Hellosailor have already answered you, yes of course you can use the radio "as-is" with just about any wire stuck in the center of the antenna jack and either attached to a chainplate, or just strung up a halyard, etc...
Quote:
Originally Posted by davil View Post
Can I use the radio without the AT 130?,connect a regular whip antenna to the radio and use it as a receiver like any other regular short wave radio?
Not interested on voice/transmit at this point.
thanks
It will work just fine!! (and I have do so in the past on deliveries when tuner was inoperable, etc.)


I agree with Jim here 100%...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
So, my answer to his question is that it will work, albeit not optimally. IN your position, I'd simply run a wire from the output connector (that normally goes to the tuner) to the nearest chainplate. This will use the entire rig as a random wire antenna and will work reasonably well for your application. No need for insulated backstay or other dedicated rx antenna.

Jim (N9GFT/VK4GFT/WDJ4598)


BTW, even if you have no interest in transmitting on HF, and even if you do have decades of past experience with HF comms, either Voice and/or digital (yes, I remember PinOak, as well!), you may find some of these videos useful in refreshing yourself? Or not...

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY


HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2n3z5nlv-ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nPNdApNsZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y



Fair winds and much luck with your rigger, etc.!!

John
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Old 19-01-2019, 14:45   #43
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

John-
I would say that the "black art" is actually proof of the famous adage "Any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic."

Not that HF is all that "advanced" compared to, say, using the large hadron collider. But there are some things, like the complexities of propagation, the solar cycles, trying to guess what frequencies will reach where and whether anyone will be on them....

That all requires some mental focus, or at least a dedicated set of notes. Without that knowledge, the boater is like a dog in an elevator. The dog KNOWS it works, but his only hope is to sit there and wait for help. (Or for the door to open, magically, at the right world.)

It does require somewhat more attention than just "dial this number". Or actually, heck, most folks who use the internet for web browsing are incapable of connecting to any web site without using the DNS servers. They have no idea that each web site really is a NUMBER, and the names we all use are just aliases, that someone has to look up and enter before any connection is made.

Black art? Stop ten people on the street at random, and ask them if they know how to change, or rotate, a tire. My neighbor knew her car needed gas, but after her husband died, she had to ask for help, because in a whole life she'd never actually DONE that. No idea where the hose went or how to work it.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:15   #44
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HF Coaxial Cable / Tuner Control Wiring, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc

1) Although I thought this was covered here in this thread, it might not be specifically mentioned....so...
Running of the tuner control / power wiring and coaxial cable, to/from the HF transceiver (such as M-802, etc.) and the remote tuner, is not "critical"...(see below for details)


2) But first, some additional clarification...
Of course, using clamp-on ferrites on the tuner control/power wiring (at the tuner end, or both ends) is always recommended, and using a "line isolator" in/on the coaxial cable (again, at the tuner end of the cable) is always highly recommended (and has been highly recommended for ~ 20 years) and is specifically mentioned by me and others, a lot (and in the Sailmail Primer, too).....
It should be noted that the reason for using these is to prevent any "transmitted energy" from traveling along the outside of these cables/coax and interfering with other systems on-board (which would be known as transmit RFI), and also to a much lesser extent, keep any other systems' noise/RFI from being picked up by these cables and causing you additional receiver RFI...

{Please note that a "line isolator" can have as much as 50 to 100 times, or more, the "chocking" energy of a single clamp-on ferrite....and as such is VERY highly recommended....and fyi, if you can wind your coax thru a adequately-sized ferrite / torroid (of the proper "mix"), each winding increases the "chocking" energy (aka common-mode impedance) of the ferrite/torroid by an exponential rate....i.e. 8 turns thru would be a 64 times increase in "chocking energy")....which is basically what you have inside a "line isolator"....so, they're not "magic", just a reasonably-priced, weatherproof, and easy to install way of gaining a LOT of common-mode chocking energy....}

https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-fcc050-h05-a

https://www.balundesigns.com/model-1...-5-54-mhz-5kw/

https://www.balundesigns.com/model-1...-1-31-mhz-5kw/


While MFJ also makes a cheaper line isolator, and it should perform well, I have no personal experience with it...but, my experience with MFJ products is generally that they have poor QC and usually have connection/assembly reliability issues....so, I don't recommend their line isolator...nor other "off-brand" / unknown manufacturers units...(but, they may work just fine)



1) (con't)
Now, in a perfect world, you'd have a perfectly "RF-sealed" coaxial cable, and a "line isolator" would do its job and there would be no issues at all with coaxial cabling running thru the boat....
And, in most cases / situations, this is true...

But, in some cases, you have poor-quality cable, and/or poorly installed connectors, and/or have poorly designed instrument / electronics wiring already installed in the boat (and/or poor connections on those wires), and/or just bad luck to have overly-sensitive electronic devices (autopilot control / corepak, etc.), etc....and then when you transmit, you have some transmit RFI being caused by your coaxial cable...
Luckily, if the radio/tuner, and their wiring is installed properly (as described above and throughout this thread), this is very rare, as almost all transmit RFI is caused by your actual transmit signal coming from your antenna!!

But, just to be clear, it is not recommended to bundle together, nor "cable-tie" together, your HF radio coaxial cable with other cables on-board!!
It is usually just fine running near / alongside other wiring, but try to keep them a few inches apart, if possible....
(I, myself, have my RG-213 coax from the M-802 to the AT-140 tuner, running in the same wiring chase as some of my NMEA0183 wiring, my autopilot power wiring, etc....and I have NO transmit RFI at all!)



3) Further, it is primarily the close proximity of your antenna itself, to all the other devices on-board that causes RFI to be worse in some cases of marine HF installs, than on shore-based systems...

And, please note that the remote tuner IS part of your antenna!!
Your antenna starts with the remote tuner....and the GTO-15 wire is a very important part of your antenna, not just "the backstay outside"!!
And, this means that anything in close proximity to the remote tuner, GTO-15 wire, and the backstay, will have the most effect on RFI....
So...

So, that means (compared to the actual location / placement of the coaxial cable) it is MUCH more important to design your HF antenna system to keep the tuner, GTO-15 wire, and backstay/whip/etc. as far away as possible from RFI generating sources (like refrigeration compressors / compressor controllers), to reduce your receive RFI....and as far away from RF-sensitive electronics, to reduce your transmit RFI...

Please let me reiterate this, for emphasis....
This means (compared to the actual location / placement of the coaxial cable) it is MUCH more important to design your HF antenna system to keep the tuner, GTO-15 wire, and backstay/whip/etc. as far away as possible from RFI generating sources (like refrigeration compressors / compressor controllers), to reduce your receive RFI....and as far away from RF-sensitive electronics, to reduce your transmit RFI...


Now before everyone says "Huh?...I've got a 40' boat....just how far away does he think I can put my darn tuner?"
I completely understand that EVERY boat is different, and EVERY installation is a compromise!!

In my case, I have my AT-140 and GTO-15 wire, on the starboard side aft lazarette....and my Adler-Barbour Cold Machine refrigeration compressor on the far-outboard port side aft lazarette....almost 10' away....and that is the best I can do....
I'm lucky....I've got a 47' boat....with twin backstays....so, I use the starboard insulated backstay as my HF transmit antenna...(and an insulated aft-lower shroud as my HF-DSC-Receive / WeFax-Receive antenna)...
But, I still get occasional "birdies" (bleep-bleep sounds) in my HF receive, on some random freqs, caused by the DC-3-phase-AC power inverter in the refrigeration compressor....although it has never been an issue, and has never caused me interference to wefax charts, nor regular SSB voice comms, on occasion I have switched-off the frig to listen to the radio, if trying to hear a weak signal....
(have a look at my videos, where I detail all of this...)


For a better understanding of HF Maritime communications, the Icom M-802 itself, HF-DSC comms, and Offshore Weather, etc...please have a look at these playlists.....they're free of course....nobody is selling you anything at all!!
They are all made by me personally, with no script, no director, just LIVE as-it-happens, in the real-world, on-board a real offshore cruising sailboat (just like most of you will be doing all of this), no laboratory simulations, no fancy edits to cover-up "oopps" moments....it's all done LIVE as-it-happens....(so, please be kind to my less-than-professional video work....it's just my M-802, my fingers, and my voice...)

Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr


HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


Offshore Sailing
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY


And, for specifics on what Receive RFI sounds like, have a look at this video here...






I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:46   #45
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

Two questions.....
1) If I have an aluminum boat and I need to couple the tuner ground to the hull through a capacitor (to prevent DC to ground) What size and type of capacitor is suitable?
Question 2) Has anyone any idea where to get a channel List (or CSV file) for programming channels into my ICOM HF radio? (not an 802)


I did find it on the internet a couple years ago, but cannot find it now.
Thanks Dennis
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