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Old 14-01-2009, 13:10   #31
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Originally Posted by limmer View Post
does anyone really need to understand any of that when installing a ssb? because if I do then I'm screwed.
No you don't.

The main problem if gleaning advice on it from forums is knowing who to believe - a real problem unless one has some background in classical physics enabling one to sort the little bit of wheat there is from the volumes of chaff.

As I said, the practical approaches to going about grounding radio transceivers on a boat (ie whether radials, a single thru' hull, copper plate, etc, etc) is a very touchy subject on forums and one I personally will not get into. In the end it is not a worry for my own situation as I have a metal boat , so everyone else to their own.
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Old 14-01-2009, 13:41   #32
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My background is Electrical Engineering with AT&T with operation of Outside Area Test Site (OATS) for FCC compliance testing for RF compatibility and RF interference, GROL with radar endorsement, Amateur Radio Extra Class. The following site is an excellent primer for Marine SSB applications and grounding techniques on a sailboat. I suggest you read this even if you have already started your installation.

www.icomamerica.com/en/support/kb/Default.aspx

Where it asks for a KB#, enter 5cdh365748. This will take you to another page. Then click on SSB Fundamentals.pdf. This will take you to an article with a wealth of knowledge on SSB installation, grounding and operation. It is well worth the time spent reading if you do not have alot of experience with marine HF SSB. It was recommended by ICOM of course.

This is in no way meant to belittle anyone elses suggestions on this forum and I might add btrayfors suggestion on the use of 30A fuses is a good idea. Just make sure you put one in both the positive lead and the ground lead from the battery to the radio. Also, make the connection from your radio and tuner to the first grounding point as short as possible.

Hal
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Old 14-01-2009, 14:55   #33
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All,

It sounds like there are several Hams on this forum (not surprised). Would any mind giving their callsigns? Mine is W5GHZ. For those of you that do not know much about Ham radio, the suggestions that have been made to get your Ham license are very good. No morse code required anymore and the Ham bands are a great resource for communcations in an emergency or just to pass the time. Most guys I know use a separate Ham rig plus their marine SSB HF rig. This gives you a backup in case one goes down. There are other advantages also. You need a General class amateur license (not GROL) to transmit on the Ham HF frequencies. There is always someone talking or using digital communications on amateur radio. It is worth the effort to get one. Check out www.arrl.org for information on how to go about it. Any questions, you can post to this forum. I am sure that I or any other ham on the forum can answer them. Looking forward to talking to some of you on the Ham bands while you are making an ocean crossing or just sitting in a slip in Margarittaville.

Hal
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Old 14-01-2009, 15:11   #34
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Hal - N4RVE here. I have not only the M802 with Pactor as a built-in comm system, but also a QRP rig (FT-817) in a sealed Pelican case, along with large sealed lead acid battery pack and associated solar panel, NUE-PSK box for stand-alone PSK-31, CW key, and portable antennas (End-Fedz halfwaves in the box, Buddipole in separate pack). This is thus a completely separate backup, as well as a rig that can be tossed in the dink or kayak and taken ashore for impromptu island field ops.

And I agree - I consider a ham license essential for cruising. It also gives access to high-quality hand-held VHF/UHF rigs that can be legally used off the boat (unlike Marine VHF), as well as connection with a global culture of hams who are usually delighted to help when needed. Years ago, I pedaled across the Strait of Juan de Fuca with my girlfriend, on two micro-trimarans. We had hourly check-ins with a net in Victoria, relating our location and conditions, and when we arrived after midnight, our host was at the harbor entrance in his dink to escort us in. The "talk-in" was most helpful, as was the knowledge that people were keeping an eye on us and ready to deploy help if anything went wrong.

73,
Steve
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Old 14-01-2009, 15:14   #35
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Good idea and comments, Hal...

I'm WA6CCA, an Extra Class ham. Details at: QRZ.COM Callsign WA6CCA

I, too, use both a ham radio and a marine radio aboard, and believe that to be a very good combination, not only for redundancy but for convenience in operating.

I have had a life-long interest in radios, and in sailing. Hold current 100-ton Masters ticket, and do quite a bit of marine consulting.

73,

Bill
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Old 14-01-2009, 23:03   #36
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Hello from WE7YOP. Thanks for the input guys. Since I am just getting into the civie side of this, I was figuring on an ICM802 or the 7000. I would like to have a good system first and then will worry about a backup later as I have 3 VHFs on board. Do you guys QSL from the deep blue?
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Old 14-01-2009, 23:12   #37
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There's always eQSL.cc - The Electronic QSL Card Centre - I still prefer old-fashioned wallpaper, but the writing is on the wall, so to speak...

73,
Steve
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Old 11-02-2009, 15:02   #38
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Bill,
I am still thinking through the antenna options for my Lagoon 440 cat. In researching the addition of insulators to my starboard upper shroud, someone suggested adding insulators to the port shroud as well to create a dipole and eliminating the need for a groundplane. Does this concept make sense to you?
It seems to me that one downside might be, absent a groung plane, no ssb in the event of a dismasting, including losing the option to hook up a backup antenna, say, a rope or whip antenna.
I haven't decided which way I will go, I am just vetting every option first in order to make the best decision.
Thanks again. Kirk.
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Old 11-02-2009, 15:16   #39
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Kirk,

Problem with the dipole idea is that it would be very inefficient.

You can take a dipole and bend the legs somewhat, and still have a reasonably good antenna. An "inverted Vee" is an instance of that. However, if you make anything less than a 90-degree angle, as you surely would do with the two shrouds, the two halves of the dipole would be working against one another.

So, if you're gonna use a shroud, use just one. And plan on having some sort of efficient ground plane.

Bill
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Old 11-02-2009, 19:34   #40
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Kirk,

Bill is correct. I have tried the dipole at different angles and I can guarantee it won't work like you are thinking. The SWR goes up so high any tuner will not be able to tune it. Did the person suggesting it have one that they were using with good results? Probably not.

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Old 11-02-2009, 23:23   #41
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Correction to prior post. KE7YOP not the we7yop... I got an issue with the fingers doing what tehy want and not what my feeble brain be tellin'em. Anyway. I am still figuring on the IC-802, Pactor III and tuner. I am also looking at the Shakespeare Galaxy 7M / 23' and the Gamm antenna combination. As funds allow, I may put in a full blown Ham ie, Kenwood TS-2000. But that will be later in life. Keep putting in info for the IC-802 and I will be most appreciative. Jim
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Old 12-02-2009, 13:37   #42
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Thought I posted this but can't see that it went through so apologies if this duplicates.

Bill, thanks again for the help. I will abandon the two shroud dipole idea.

Hal, The idea came from someone who admittedly was not an expert; just a suggestion of something to look into. That is why I came here for the straight poop.

I am now back to insulating one shroud. Anyone have any experience with the Hayn Hi-MOD insulators? Since my shrouds are essentially my backstays, I would like to go with the most structurally secure insulator.
Thanks again all.
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Old 13-02-2009, 21:50   #43
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Gamm Electronics Antenna? Going with one of them and a COMROD 23'
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Old 15-02-2009, 21:21   #44
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The current ARRL Antenna Book has a chapter with a discussion of HF antennas for sailboats. The writer strongly recommends that the antenna and the boat's rigging be modeled using EZNEC or other modeling software to get an idea of what to expect, since rigging can have a profound effect on radiation patterns and mistakes can be expensive.

The writer also notes that it may not even be necessary to have an upper insulator when a backstay is base fed.

Anyway, it makes an enlightening read and might be worth your $45 just for this chapter.
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Old 16-02-2009, 07:35   #45
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I thought I'd add that you can find the Antenna book for $40 new or closer to $30 used on Amazon.
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