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Old 01-02-2016, 10:00   #16
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

I would also mention that as much as the Pactor modem and transceiver body need to be dry, they also need to be kept cool. So a water proofed enclosure or compartment, vented by a small computer fan or muffin fan (with a thermostat if you want to get fancy) can ensure those radio electronics stay dry, even if you get a leak or green water trying to board the boat.


I knew someone who installed a computer server rack, in an office, right under the AC vent in order to make sure it stayed cool. One day in a heavy rainstorm, he found out there was no water diversion up in the AC venting, and it was running down on the new servers. Ooops.


I'm not sure which lines you want a line isolator on, but if you mean the power lines, Icom is very specific about running them directly to the battery, and each one being fused. This is to ensure that you cannot get a ground loop from other equipment, and that the fusing protects ONLY the radio (or in your case, radio plus tuner) so that there will be no interaction if something else melts down and tries to take the fusing with it. This is a case of "best engineering practice" that eliminates a whole batch of unlikely but terribly inconvenient possible problems.
And installing "drip loops" on all of the wiring and cabling (a U-shaped section immediately before they enter any piece of equipment) and also helps to ensure that any water which gets on the wiring, hits the drip loop, falls down, and doesn't get into the radio. Not common, not necessary, but again, "best practice" just in case.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:47   #17
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

JM,
You're very welcome!

Before I get to your specific question, I'd like to re-iterate something....
Just about anything can work, to some extent....what we are all trying t do here is impress on most of the sailors new to HF radio comms, two important points:
a) an experienced / seasoned radio operator can make reliable / repeatable contacts using a poor-to-mediocre system....while an untrained / inexperienced op will have trouble making contacts using even the best system...
i.e. learning how to use the radio system, properly and effectively, is just as important as learning sail trim / sail handling, anchoring, navigation, etc. are to their specific areas of the sailing/cruising life!!

b) All of the science behind all of this is well established, with the research going back many decades....some of this dates back to the 1920's and 30's....and some more recent (the 1950's and 60's)....
But, no matter what someone in a glossy magazine may write (nor what some guy on the internet might write!), there are no short cuts....the physics of all of this is still the same as it was decades ago....
What worked then, still works now....and vice versa....
BUT...
But, what we have now are much more sensitive electronics (and lots of stay RF / RFI, etc.) to contend with and use science to combat....so, while the science hasn't changed, there have been some "changes" to our world on-board..

c) much of what we write here (and what is posted in the Sailmail Primer) is designed to make sure that things work, and that they work 100% of the time....and that the system can be as layperson-friendly as possible...
(note that this doesn't mean that everything posted about here is a "necessity", but that if you do follow these recommendations, things will work and usually will work well....and if you don't, you may be frustrated with problems, or you may get lucky...



d) And, if you roll up these 3 things above into one....you end up with a simple:
"While anything will work to some extent...I just want to be sure that my stuff work well, and is reliable.
So, if I follow the recommendations, including learning how to use all of the radio's features, I should be good to go"




A line isolator is always a good idea, especially if you'll be using a computer, or external modem, connected to your radio...as it keeps the RF inside the coax (not on the outside), and reduces the possibility of transmit RFI causing problems with the modem, computer, etc...as well as reducing the RF inside the boat that can cause problems with other systems on-board...
And, since they are cheap and cannot hurt anything, they are always recommended...
As for your specific question, see here in red....
Quote:
Originally Posted by NahanniV View Post
I will have to find a spot for the transceiver further from the antenna and tuner.

How important is a line isolator ?
Although not a necessity, in my opinion, they are important...
But, remember "anything" can work...so, if you don't have one, and everything works, it doesn't mean they're a bad idea!

Grounded or not ?
NOT grounded....
The only "RF Ground" connection you want is that on the tuner ground lug...
Cheers,
JM.
Hope this helps...

John
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:12   #18
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

In reality, I've found the RFI birdies from my DanFoss BD-50 (AB Cold Machine), to be of little issue...
Only occasionally have I switched off the frig while getting some weather info...as the "bleep-bleep" of the frig hasn't usually been a problem..

But, to your question....
Anything you can do to reduce the RFI radiated from the frig compressor controller, the less of an issue it will be to your HF receiving...
And, this means that RF shielding, ferrites on all wiring as it leaves the unit (and sometimes even some caps across the power wires, at the unit), etc. are all ways to reduce the RF radiation from it...
But, remember that typically these units are within a few feet of the HF antenna...so, "reduction of RFI" is possible, but "elimination" is unlikely (unless you wish to spend the $700+ for the AB "RFI -free" controller module...which I never saw the need for)



Be aware it is the 3-phase AC motor controllers that seem to be the proximate cause of the RFI....so shielding / isolating the controller is what you are after, not the whole unit....use of shielding, along with ferrites and bypass caps, can be of help....just depends how much of a problem your frig is causing you on-the-air, and how much time/effort you wish to spend on this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Since refrigeration compressors/motors are such a common problem, what can be done to shield that? I put a perforated copper "shield" over one on my last boat but not sure it really helped that much. Would ferrites on the power wires to the unit help?
Again, since the frig compressor controller can sometimes be only a few feet away from your HF antenna (antenna tuner, GTO-15, whip / backstay, etc. are ALL parts of your antenna), eliminating the RFI from the frig completely is a tall order....but anything can help...



I hope this helps..

John




P.S. Just for clarification, exMaggieDrum's question is about received RFI ("interference" to the HF receiver, coming from other systems on-board), and JM's question is about transmit RFI (the HF transmitter causing "interference" to other systems on-board)....and these are two completely different things....
--- And typically placing ferrites (and line isolator) on the HF radio wiring will have NO effect on received RFI, but will significantly reduce/eliminate transmit RFI....
--- And, while placing ferrites on the wiring of other systems on-board is primarily to keep them from radiating RFI into your HF radio (reducing received RFI), they can also help reduce transmit RFI into those specific systems....
Just wanted to be clear....
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Old 02-02-2016, 00:44   #19
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

I am the least qualified but have one suggestion and maybe John ka4waj can fill you in -- we have an 802 and while sailing south down the fla coast we were doing a couple of overnighters and one morning off cape Canaveral I thought we were close enough to use a 3mhz channel to download the gribs from winlink - we usually use higher bands but heck we were close so why not -
we were on autopilot but the admiral had the helm and set up and transmitted and suddenly the autopilot did a complete hard turn to starboard and we were going in circles - we could not turn it off so we cut all power and were able to recover the boat and fired everything up but our chartplotter did not work - we had radar but no plotter - pulled out paper and worked our way into the cape and had Zack Dye - an electronics guy there come and look -
turns out we fried an electrical board in our chartplotter and he was a RayMarine qualified tech so was able to get and install a new one --
we told him what happened and he said most likely we had our ssb feed to the antenna and a feed from the AP to the chartplotter close enough somewhere that the signal jumped across -- he said we could pay him a lot of money to try and find it or just not use 3Mhz and he put a ton of ferrits on the leads into the chartplotter

as not happened since but have not used 3MHZ but it also showed the need for a separate backup system and we install and use opencpn with it's own gps on 2 laptops

so maybe a bunch of ferrits on the way to the chartplotter --

what do you think john?
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:33   #20
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
In reality, I've found the RFI birdies from my DanFoss BD-50 (AB Cold Machine), to be of little issue...
Only occasionally have I switched off the frig while getting some weather info...as the "bleep-bleep" of the frig hasn't usually been a problem..

But, to your question....
Anything you can do to reduce the RFI radiated from the frig compressor controller, the less of an issue it will be to your HF receiving...
And, this means that RF shielding, ferrites on all wiring as it leaves the unit (and sometimes even some caps across the power wires, at the unit), etc. are all ways to reduce the RF radiation from it...
But, remember that typically these units are within a few feet of the HF antenna...so, "reduction of RFI" is possible, but "elimination" is unlikely (unless you wish to spend the $700+ for the AB "RFI -free" controller module...which I never saw the need for)



Be aware it is the 3-phase AC motor controllers that seem to be the proximate cause of the RFI....so shielding / isolating the controller is what you are after, not the whole unit....use of shielding, along with ferrites and bypass caps, can be of help....just depends how much of a problem your frig is causing you on-the-air, and how much time/effort you wish to spend on this... Again, since the frig compressor controller can sometimes be only a few feet away from your HF antenna (antenna tuner, GTO-15, whip / backstay, etc. are ALL parts of your antenna), eliminating the RFI from the frig completely is a tall order....but anything can help...



I hope this helps..

John




P.S. Just for clarification, exMaggieDrum's question is about received RFI ("interference" to the HF receiver, coming from other systems on-board), and JM's question is about transmit RFI (the HF transmitter causing "interference" to other systems on-board)....and these are two completely different things....
--- And typically placing ferrites (and line isolator) on the HF radio wiring will have NO effect on received RFI, but will significantly reduce/eliminate transmit RFI....
--- And, while placing ferrites on the wiring of other systems on-board is primarily to keep them from radiating RFI into your HF radio (reducing received RFI), they can also help reduce transmit RFI into those specific systems....
Just wanted to be clear....
Thanks John,
On our previous boat the 802 amp and the antenna/tuner/coax were on opposite sides of the beamy boat, so not as close as it could have been. My little Faraday cage didn't noticeably reduce the noise so we usually just shut down refrigeration. I am going to put an 802 on my current boat at some point and everything will be very close. The coax would pass right by the reefer systems and the tuner would be close too. I will put the autopilot on the other side. Good info on the RFI prevention - both ways.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:23   #21
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

Another ham, on this board or the SSCA board, detailed his efforts to quiet his Danfoss controller using bypass caps on every line and ferrites. He was successful but of course put a lot of effort into it. If you are in for a little project, try to find the post.

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Old 02-02-2016, 13:49   #22
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

A few more comments on RFI...

1) Good news is that severe transmit RFI, like Chuck described, is rare!!
And, while placing ferrites on all cables in/out of all electronics (chartplotter, etc.) is usually unnecessary and overkill, in some instances it may be necessary...

Chuck, in your situation, it is very possible that you actually had a couple rare things...
a) a resonant length of cabling going into / out-of the chartplotter, which picked up your transmit signal very well...
b) a somewhat corroded connection on some wiring/connector at the chartplotter, and this "rectified" the RF and sent this voltage directly into the chartplotter circuit board...(note that "corroded connections" are single-junction semi-conductors...i.e. diodes....and can cause LOTS of problems in an RF environment...this is why I'm not a big fan of "LMR" cables in the marine environment, since moisture intrusion can wreak havoc with the dissimilar metals used in them, if you get a cable nick/cut, scrape some of the tinning off the copper-braid, laying on the alum foil shield, and you've got a wonderful RFI source brewing away!!!)
c) inadvertent ground loop connecting to/thru the chartplotter...


Although "a" is highly likely, it's probably a combination of all three....


BTW, a few years ago, I had an issue with a 120vac GFI outlet "clacking"/"chattering" when I was talking on 6mhz....no shore power connected, no genset running, etc....but, on 6mhz, the 120vac wiring run to that GFI outlet must have been near resonance, and many times I'd trip that GFI outlet, when on 6mhz....never any other issues, on any other bands/freqs....
I replaced the GFI outlet, and never an issue again...
Was it just slight corrosion in the outlet???
I don't know....it was a cheap and easy replacement, so never even looked at the old one, and tossed it in the trash!



2) Receive RFI, from Dan Foss compressor controllers....
On my current boat, my AB Cold Machine is in the lazarette, port-side, and my AT-140 tuner and GTO-15 is in the lazarette, starboard-side....separated by about 8' - 9'....and on some freqs, the birdies are about S-3....but, mostly barely above the noise level....
Never been an issue for me...

But, 2 docks away is a big trawler, and on some quiet days/evenings, I can just barely hear their frig....so it must be really strong RFI for me to hear it on my radio 100 yards away!!
Now, if I had a frig with that much RFI, I would've spent a lot of time/effort/money to eliminate that RFI...

So, like many things on-board...some things are just different, on different boats...



3) Bottom line:
--- ferrites can't hurt...
--- the bigger the distance/isolation, the better...


Fair winds

John
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:08   #23
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
I am the least qualified but have one suggestion and maybe John ka4waj can fill you in -- we have an 802 and while sailing south down the fla coast we were doing a couple of overnighters and one morning off cape Canaveral I thought we were close enough to use a 3mhz channel to download the gribs from winlink - we usually use higher bands but heck we were close so why not -
we were on autopilot but the admiral had the helm and set up and transmitted and suddenly the autopilot did a complete hard turn to starboard and we were going in circles - we could not turn it off so we cut all power and were able to recover the boat and fired everything up but our chartplotter did not work - we had radar but no plotter - pulled out paper and worked our way into the cape and had Zack Dye - an electronics guy there come and look -
turns out we fried an electrical board in our chartplotter and he was a RayMarine qualified tech so was able to get and install a new one --
we told him what happened and he said most likely we had our ssb feed to the antenna and a feed from the AP to the chartplotter close enough somewhere that the signal jumped across -- he said we could pay him a lot of money to try and find it or just not use 3Mhz and he put a ton of ferrits on the leads into the chartplotter

as not happened since but have not used 3MHZ but it also showed the need for a separate backup system and we install and use opencpn with it's own gps on 2 laptops

so maybe a bunch of ferrits on the way to the chartplotter --

what do you think john?
we us
I had a similar issue with an AIS500 Raymarine blackbox ais receiver installed at the nav station about 75 cm away from the HF SSB (Icom 7000)
It started working erraticaly some minutes after startup it stopped receiving. No visible issues. returned. Got new unit under warranty. I also suppose the issue came from the SSB/HF but from the HF antenna when I installed a dedicated AIS receiving antenna at the transom and 3 m away from the base of the HF antenna. I now switch off the AIS receiver when transmitting and/or switch the AIS antenna input to a 50 Ohm dummy load. The AIS receiver hasn't re-developed the issue.
I have however never checked how I run the AIS reveive antenna cable and the wiring from the AIS to the Raymarine plotter at the wheel - should have done so!!! To make sure they run as far away from the ATU-transceiver coax and ATU steering cables...

Jan
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Old 06-02-2016, 16:20   #24
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
...
(sorry, if that is awkwardly worded....bottom line is: get the radio, modem, etc. away from the antenna and AT-140!)

Running coaxial cable from the radio to the tuner, and keeping then as far away as possible on-board, is your best approach! (and, this is how the system is designed)
....

I spent a few hours trying to find a better place to install my M-802 transceiver today.
I don't have a lot of good choices.
I'm wondering what would be a minimum distance ?
I do have a spot about 6' away from the tuner; Would that be far enough?

Thanks,
JM.
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Old 06-03-2016, 14:11   #25
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

Is there a benefit to making sure the RG-213 cabling is a tinned product (ANCOR #151710) vs a non tinned product (JEFA RG-213/U). Tinned seems to be 20% more expensive, (.79 vs 1.14/ft) certainly not a deal breaker!!
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Old 06-03-2016, 14:14   #26
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

The advantage to tinned wire is that it does not rot out or punk out the way that plain copper does, from oxidation, moisture, or battery fumes. Some folks claim this is a myth or that proper cable termination will prevent it. Others prefer to use tinned and not take a chance.
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Old 06-03-2016, 14:21   #27
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris07732 View Post
Is there a benefit to making sure the RG-213 cabling is a tinned product (ANCOR #151710) vs a non tinned product (JEFA RG-213/U). Tinned seems to be 20% more expensive, (.79 vs 1.14/ft) certainly not a deal breaker!!
Absolutely, Chris.

In the saltwater environment, the tinned cable will have a much longer useful life span and will resist corrosion much better due to the tinning...

This is the same reason marine electrical wire and cable is tinned.

Over time, I have found that the slight added cost of the proper cabling compared to my time spent installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and replacing [if I install the wrong cable...] becomes less relevant [even trivial, often even cheaper] in the long run.

I always joke I can't afford cheap tools as a reminder to myself when going through the same exercise you are...

There are entire forum posts on the topic of choosing the right wiring and cables if you wish to dig in deeper...

Cheers!

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Old 06-03-2016, 15:07   #28
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

FYI - anything you can buy at West Marine you can buy cheaper elsewhere so if the difference in price is important check around first.
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:25   #29
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Re: ICOM M 802 SSB Install: Cabling and Ferrites???

Intuitively, I know that the tinned product is better. And use tinned wire everywhere else. It's just that reputable vendors selling into the marine market don't seem to have that emphasis towards tinned antenna wire. The subject comes up for me because my mast is down and I'm replacing all components. The 40-50 yr old antenna wire is I'm pulling out is not falling apart in my hands, so I raised the question. And the mind numbing number of articles on the subject of SSB and cabling really don't address the issue. Whatever, I'm looking forward to new mast head light, spreader lights, good AIS and VHF performance. Haven't decided on installing an up-to-date wind instrument yet, but will run wires for sure. My "tug of a motor sailor" may not benefit from optimization of sailing angles
Thanks all for replies.
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