I did a presentation with the US Icom
Product Manager a year ago last fall. He in fact highly recommended both eh KISS ground and the GAMM antenna
in his canned presentation. I may still have a copy someplace if you really want to see it send me an email
Actually it is not to hard to believe since the two products reduce startup time and can almost never be installed wrong. Their support folks get hundreds of calls each day from folks that are having trouble installing.
In the Icom
manual it does recommend the use of a radial ground and KISS is suppose to be a radial ground folded into a tube.
I do not disagree that there are better grounds. Actually from what I see on a daily basis communicating on nets, because I check, The grounds that work the best in order of Transmit and Recieve:
1. Metal boat
2. Large sheets
of copper platting or mesh along the inside of the hull
and not tied to any part of DC system.
3. New installation
of a Dynaplate in most cases. I have seen them not work, but that is probably because of the configuration on the boat.
4. Radial grounds including the KISS
5. Tying to one un-bonded valve near the tuner with a copper strap.
5. Copper strapping running through boat tying into everything that is metal
Unfortunately, most cruisers have constraints built in by the boat. I have no place on my boat I could install a copper sheet. Also after a year the sheets
look real bad and have massive corrosion
unless they get glassed in. So then you need to decide if you want a plate on the bottom or not.
As stated before, I have the slides somewhere if you want to see what they said. But again I believe it is all about sales for Icom and not something the Icom engineers studied and put forth.
What I can tell you is KISS does work and it is supposed to be as Icom describes, one wire for each band.
I agree more might be better and when I built mine I did one per band and a specific wire for all the nets I participate in. It was a real pain to install through out the boat. As compared to my copper straps to everything in the boat (when I bought the boat) my range seems to be much farther for the nets. I communicate as well as anyone in an anchorage and better than many.
The problem with a boat is we are stuck with the design of the boat. The best solution for communications
is a metal boat. Every thing else is a compromise.
Originally Posted by vk4ma
"the kiss guy is not a crook as was implied earlier by another gentleman"
I am not saying the guy is a crook (either expressed or implied), but I will observe the following:
The KISS-SSB website implies this is an Icom endorsed product - I am yet to find anyone within the Icom organisation that has endorsed this product. This statement is thus misleading.
KISS-SSB may argue that Icom have not endorsed the product but that Icom have endorsed the principle of its operation. This is stretching the truth as well.
Certainly in the Icom m802 manual, Icom itself recommends the use of a counterpoise
system but only as a supplement or an adjunct to a grounding plate or a copper foiling arrangement. At no point does Icom itself say that the attachment of a few counterpoise
wires constitutes an acceptable grounding system.
Grounding to the conductive sea water
around the boat works because the sea water
acts as a reflective surface for radio
waves and particularly enhances long distance communication via a lower angle of radiation for the transmitted radio
A counterpoise operates in the same manner as a tuned radial system for a vertical antenna
- if you have few radials - ie one per band like the KISS-SSB system, the resulting antenna system is pretty inefficient - ie akin to a dipole with one leg raised vertical in the air with the second leg lying on the deck
of the boat. If you add many (50 or more) radials (counterpoise wires) for a given frequency the counterpoise will eventually start acting like a reflective surface for radio signals and this combined with a capacitive coupling to the surrounding sea water will do a similar job to bonding directly with the sea water via a dynaplate or metal keel
. For this latter system to work you either need lot of counterpoise wires or a significant surface area of metal such as copper sheet. This is actually the system recommended by Icom in the m802 manual.
Of course I am always happy to be proven wrong. If someone can show me a specific Icom endorsement for the KISS-SSB product I would most happily defer to the expertise of the Icom RF engineers. If such an endorsement does not exist then I stand by my comments re a possible misrepresentation of this product.
This certainly does not mean the KISS-SSB guy is a crook but it probably does suggest he has been a little over zealous in the promotion of his product.
Paul - vk4ma