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Old 30-04-2013, 01:30   #31
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Re: my ssb install was a breeze

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Originally Posted by SeaBuffalo View Post
The shield will act as a capacitor NOT a insulator. As I said earlier it will as capacitive reactance to the antenna and decrease efficiency and cause more load and heat in the tuner.

GTO wire is the proper wire for the application. It's the same thing used in neon signs and rated for very high voltages.

Because the shield isn't grounded it will not shield anything and if you ground it you will make problems worse.

I've actually tried the coax instead of GTO with a antenna analyzer and see the added capacitive reactance of the coax its not pretty.
Ya, well...I guess I'm just lucky then. Wohoo!!!
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Old 30-04-2013, 01:35   #32
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Re: my ssb install was a breeze

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Would I take your advise or s/v Jedi. Without doubt the latter.
I think I would take Gordon West advice first. He did an exhaustive study on Ground planes and concluded that a straight to seawater connection was better than anything else. But I'm sure some holier than thou members will poo poo it.
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Old 30-04-2013, 04:57   #33
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Re: my ssb install was a breeze

Radio is magic, I don't understand most of it. But what I do know is KISS SSB works and works well, I would move the Pos wire from the pos bus bar and connect it straight to the Pos terminal on the Battery with a 60 Amp circuit breaker between it and the radio using this as the mains on/off. coax from radio to tuner heavy gauge wire not coax from tuner to backstay.
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Old 30-04-2013, 05:51   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaBuffalo View Post

Have something serious to add or just taking up space and wasting elections?
This thread shows that any serious input, like I made with my first post, is ridiculed and countered with crazy madness as in completely wrong info, posted by people without any education on the subject but with an air of authority as if they wrote the laws of science. When others also post with correct info that also gets ignored and then Bill takes the time and effort to post the complete how-to and even that gets again countered with mad science.

Now tell me who is wasting electrons ?! you accuse me of that? Go read my first post n this thread; it's short but complete for the OP. Go read Bill's post, it's the all-there-is-to-know about it. The important thing is that readers of this thread can determine the proper engineering from the madness brought in by those who just enjoy to wreak havoc, or don't even realize that they are hurting others who may copy their mad science duct tape solutions.
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Old 30-04-2013, 06:00   #35
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Well if you are trying to be counter-productive with your sarcasm, congratulations, you were successful. I have been doing my antennas this way for 20 years and my signal reports are my proof.
You are utterly clueless on RF. You have been doing it wrong for 20 years and now you wish others do it wrong too so you post and defend mad science. Your signal reports prove that short wave radio is resilient enough to overcome errors in installation. What you fail to understand is that they could have been much better for all those years if you would have used a piece of GTO15 cable instead.
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Old 30-04-2013, 06:43   #36
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Re: My SSB Install Was a Breeze

Congrats Eric!
When I set my system up, I talked to 6 different 20 year plus hams including Celestial Sailor. I read two books. I got 6 different answers on antennas. I got 4 different answers on ground planes. I started a fight on the dock between an old guy who had spent his career on radar and aircraft radio communications and another old guy who was a ham for 45 years.
I took most of Celestial Sailors advice. I used his ground plane theory 100%. i used part of his antenna advice except the coax part because I didn't have any good coax or any money.
My system works perfectly.
So far, with my limited use, i've been equal to or stronger than everybody else.
I'm really happy with that.
You guys can stop fighting now.
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Old 30-04-2013, 08:01   #37
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Re: my ssb install was a breeze

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
As a ham for over 40 years and as a professional SSB installer, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry when reading this thread.

No, it's not rocket science. But there is a lot of science involved, as well as art and actual experience and practice.

Hey, anybody can hook up an SSB radio just any old way using just any old thing and, with luck, make some contacts. Especially on nets with lots of folks on frequency listening. EVEN THE WORST INSTALLATION will allow you to get thru sometimes.

How do I know this? Many thousands, nay tens of thousands of contacts with boats over many many years on the various maritime nets all around the world.

Making a few contacts proves almost nothing. Making reliable contacts when you want to in many places and times and on various bands means much more.

Haven't the time or energy to respond to all the bad info in this thread.

The most egregious...

1. tuner to backstay.....use GTO-15 wire, NOT coax; failure to do so will result in possible shock hazard and in certain attenuation of the transmitted signal;

2. length of backstay.....it doesn't matter that much. Modern tuners can tune just about any length over 23' or so. Longer lengths favor lower bands; shorter lengths favor the higher bands.

3. "dipole" ... backstay antennas are not dipoles, nor are they "one half of a dipole". A dipole is a balanced antenna. A backstay is an unbalanced, end-fed random length antenna.

4. the KISS-SSB counterpoise (I'm a dealer)....yes, it's incredibly easy to install and works fairly well. It's not the best RF ground or radial system you can install, but it's not bad, and will help to tune on all bands.

FWIW,

Bill
WA6CCA

BTW, Capt Don has it just about right! Guess some folks do learn from the reading :-)

B.
Thanks Bill - I'll let you know in a couple of weeks how it works! BTW, I appreciate your thoughtful posts and sound advice!
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Old 30-04-2013, 08:16   #38
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Re: My SSB Install Was a Breeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Just wanted to put this out there for anyone who's gotten the twenty page threads about how to install an SSB. I:

- used a KISS ssb counterpoise. Screws on, took a minute.
- used crappy rg8 coax i picked up in a radioshak in mexico because the "real" gto15 doesn't exist in banderas bay.
- bought a used icom m700 pro with tuner for $1000
- wired it. negative to the negative bus bar, positive to the positive house bus.
- attached the antenna feed wire (crappy coax) to my backstay (insulated) with a zip tie


Was on the AmigoNet earlier this morning, probably got a good 600 miles. Not bad for a crumbcake install. I'll noodle with it and get it better over time but this stuff isn't a nuclear reactor.
Rebel Heart:

What I don't get here is how you connected the coax between the tuner and the backstay ?

Do you have a non marine tuner with a coax connection for the output ?

If it's a standard marine tuner then there is only a single terminal for the output; So, how did you connect the coax at both ends: shield and core both attached to the tuner output lug ? Shield and core both attached to the backstay ? That could be an acceptable substitute for GTO15 which you probably can't get there. Other possibilities may work but would be causing some unnecessary degradation of your output.

I enjoy your blog.

Cheers,
JM.
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Old 30-04-2013, 10:09   #39
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If you cannot find GTO you can use coax IF you strip the outer black jacket and gold shield off of it leaving you with a foam covered center conductor.
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Old 30-04-2013, 10:17   #40
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Re: My SSB Install Was a Breeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
Congrats Eric!
When I set my system up, I talked to 6 different 20 year plus hams including Celestial Sailor. I read two books. I got 6 different answers on antennas. I got 4 different answers on ground planes. I started a fight on the dock between an old guy who had spent his career on radar and aircraft radio communications and another old guy who was a ham for 45 years.
I took most of Celestial Sailors advice. I used his ground plane theory 100%. i used part of his antenna advice except the coax part because I didn't have any good coax or any money.
My system works perfectly.
So far, with my limited use, i've been equal to or stronger than everybody else.
I'm really happy with that.
You guys can stop fighting now.
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Ya Steve...but now apparently you are also in the wrong category. Shame on you. But hey...I always thought you were a bit of a mad scientist anyway.
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Old 30-04-2013, 10:20   #41
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Re: My SSB Install Was a Breeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
You are utterly clueless on RF. You have been doing it wrong for 20 years and now you wish others do it wrong too so you post and defend mad science. Your signal reports prove that short wave radio is resilient enough to overcome errors in installation. What you fail to understand is that they could have been much better for all those years if you would have used a piece of GTO15 cable instead.
Thats ok Jedi...Do it your way. No one is stopping you. I applaud your passion for the subject.
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Old 30-04-2013, 10:29   #42
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Re: My SSB Install Was a Breeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by NahanniV View Post
Rebel Heart:

What I don't get here is how you connected the coax between the tuner and the backstay ?



Cheers,
JM.
I believe he only uses the center wire attached directly to the backstay then ran to the back of the tuner. Works for me also.
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Old 30-04-2013, 10:44   #43
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Re: My SSB Install Was a Breeze

I used some #8 wire from the tuner to the backstay for about 10 years, until someone in the next slip got some GTO-15 and gave me some for helping him out. I replaced the #8 wire with GTO-15 and guess what happened to my signal---NADA!

My neighbor's signal improved dramatically when we re-routed the antenna feed wire from running INSIDE his fabricated aluminum arch to outside with stand-offs. Running it inside the arch tubing was kind of like using coax.
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:12   #44
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Re: My SSB Install Was a Breeze

The magic of GTO-15 wire is the "15". It stands for 15,000 volts, which is the voltage it will withstand before breaking down.

There are high voltage points along the antenna and its feedline....nothing like 15,000 volts....but still potentially troublesome. These could cause insulation breakdown and arcing in the proximity of standing rigging. Hence the prescription to use GTO-15 which is CHEAP and READILY AVAILABLE from West Marine, many online sites, etc. It's essentially neon sign wire, so you could find some at any electric sign shop.

Most GTO-15 used in SSB installations has a single AWG14 stranded wire conductor. Thus, any AWG14 or larger feedline could easily carry the 150 RF watts. It's just that plain old stranded wire doesn't normally have insulation which will handle the higher voltages without the potential for breakdown as well as GTO-15.

High voltage points and high current points are distributed all along the antenna feedline and the antenna itself, with the highest voltage point being at the very end. With a 100-150 watt transmitter such as those in common SSB use, these can be as much as several thousand volts. They are normally much lower along the antenna itself, but typically are still several hundred volts.

Bill
WA6CCA

Sent from my boat in a freshwater marina where I just checked into the MM Net on 14300 kHz using a vertical dipole antenna on the bow and where I always receive very strong signal reports....you can't beat a vertical dipole!

For comparison, I asked the Net Control Station in Minneapolis (KC0YHM)for a comparative signal report, using first the vertical dipole and next the traditional backstay antenna. He said, "Night and day; you were S9 on the vertical dipole, and S3-4 on the backstay antenna".

B.
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:19   #45
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No one is saying that 8 awg wire won't work or that GTO will improve your signal. The reason for GTO is because of the thickness of its insulation. When you put the network of capacitors and inductors of a modern antenna tuner in the line you can end up with several thousand volts of RF on the feed wire and backstay. This is why you need such thick insulators and why the back stay can give someone a good shock when transmitting.

EDIT. Just saw Bill beat me to the punch.

Bill when you saw vertical dipole can you give specifics like length, center fed , commercial made support structure and a picture.
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