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Old 22-06-2008, 10:13   #31
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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Try disconnecting the antenna cable from the radio. Does the static go away? if so, then it is either locally generated by stuff on or around the boat, or is probably atmospheric noise. Try some of the suggestions here to eliminate the local sources (although it sounds like you've done a pretty good job of this already). Often local interference has a characteristic modulation (hum, click, buzz, beep, etc.) to it that can help you track it down.
I just tested this. If I disconnect the Antenna from the antenna tuner, the static does go away.

I guess this means that there must be local HF sources. However, I have no idea what it could be, since I tried it with everything off on the boat already.

Is it possible that a battery equalizer can create HF interference? This is the only device that I could not switch off, since I have 24V batteries only (and the Icom needs 12V). The equalizer I have is a Vanner 65-60A.
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Old 22-06-2008, 10:21   #32
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Almost certainly... I believe that contains a DC-DC converter which is very difficult to keep quiet. Can you borrow a 12-volt battery and run it directly from that as a test?

If that is indeed the case, there are some noise-isolation tricks that can be applied at the source, though it's never easy.

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Old 22-06-2008, 11:04   #33
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If indeed it is a battery equalizer that you have you can shut it off for the test. A battery equalizer is used to keep 2 - 12 volt batteries equalized in a 24 volt system when you draw 12 volts from 1 of the 12 volt batteries.

It's doubtful, although not impossible that you actually have 24 volt batteries. If you do you would use a DC/DC converter to deliver your 12 volts.
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Old 22-06-2008, 16:42   #34
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OK, I've made some progress! I connected the radio directly to a spare 12V battery, and then shut off everything else again. This time, the static was much less, like one or two bars. Even if I switch on A/C or certain other loads, the static is still lower than it was before. It only goes up when I switch on my 12V and 24V system (which activates the digital voltmeters and ammeters, as well as the battery equalizer).

Now I wonder if I can somehow connect the radio directly to one of the two 12V batteries, so that the equalizer does not kick in. But it appears this is not possible: as soon as the equalizer detects a load on one 12V battery, it will start to equalize. It does not have an on/off switch.

One solution would be to add a switch to disconnect the equalizer, but this is a rather complex solution. So is adding a separate 12V battery just for the SSB, especially because I would then require a separate 12V battery charger, as my alternator only delivers 24V. Why can't they built these radios in a 24V version? :-/

Any ideas? :-)
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Old 22-06-2008, 16:55   #35
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Install a 24 to 12 volt converer to run the HF. It will have to be a beefy one and ss already mentioned, some of these are noisy (RF noise) so choose carefully. Also, you will still need to quieten down the equalizer.
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:22   #36
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You don't know for sure whether the problem is in the equalizer or the digital volt/amp meters. They can be very noisy and located much closer to your radio than the equalizer I imagine. Not sure of the layout, but the equalizer is most likely located close to the battery bank in the lazarette, am I right?

Perhaps some filter capacitors and ferrite beads on your power feed to your radio. I think you said you had tried ferrite beads but try more than one.

I'm very surprised that the equalizer doesn't have a way to disable it.
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:41   #37
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You don't know for sure whether the problem is in the equalizer or the digital volt/amp meters. They can be very noisy and located much closer to your radio than the equalizer I imagine. Not sure of the layout, but the equalizer is most likely located close to the battery bank in the lazarette, am I right?
It's quite possible that it's the volt/amp meters. I will test this in the next days.

My layout is as follows: Everything is located in a crawlspace under the flybridge, except for the controller and speaker, which are located in the pilot house. The crawlspace hosts two 12V batteries, dedicated to navigation electronics, i.e., engine and house batteries are separate. They are connected in series, with the equalizer right next to them. Both the transceiver and the tuner are located in this crawlspace, too. They are mounted right next to each other. (Someone from this forum told me in a PM that this might actually be a problem, i.e., that the two should not be directly next to each other.) The antenna is also located right next to the tuner and transceiver. All cables (except for the controller and speaker cable) are very short.

Quote:
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Perhaps some filter capacitors and ferrite beads on your power feed to your radio. I think you said you had tried ferrite beads but try more than one.

I'm very surprised that the equalizer doesn't have a way to disable it.
I didn't try ferrite beads yet.

The only way to disable the equalizer is to disconnect it. It does not have an on/off switch.
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Old 22-06-2008, 19:11   #38
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I wasn't doubting your statement that the equalizer couldn't be shut off, just voicing my surprise.

I don't know how far from the equalizer you can move the tuner and transceiver but the further the better I guess. I don't think that having the tuner and transceiver close to each other is a problem, but having the tuner as close to the antenna as possible is good. Does the tuner ground run close to the equalizer?

I would buy a bunch of ferrite beads for the different sized cables in the cct. and try them out. And I have about come to the end of my suggestions.

Have to talked to other Krogen 58 owners? Or to the Krogen service dept?
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Old 22-06-2008, 20:25   #39
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I don't know how far from the equalizer you can move the tuner and transceiver but the further the better I guess. I don't think that having the tuner and transceiver close to each other is a problem, but having the tuner as close to the antenna as possible is good. Does the tuner ground run close to the equalizer?
The ground and the tuner is about 8 feet away from the equalizer.

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I would buy a bunch of ferrite beads for the different sized cables in the cct. and try them out. And I have about come to the end of my suggestions.
Thanks, I will give this a try.

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Have to talked to other Krogen 58 owners? Or to the Krogen service dept?
I didn't have a chance yet to discuss this with other Krogen owners. Unfortunately, Krogen service couldn't help me with SSB, but suggested that I talk about this with a marine electronics company. However, that's not easy. SSB doesn't seem to be very popular anymore, so it's difficult to find any company which has experience with this.
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Old 22-06-2008, 20:35   #40
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Well I know of one Krogen 58, Spectra has ham and marine SSB. If there is a Krogan owners group maybe you could get in touch with them.
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Old 17-08-2008, 13:01   #41
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I think I have everything installed correctly now, including a decent ground, eliminated RF interference, clean 12V power, etc.

Now I need somebody to test it with I'm located in North Palm Beach, and I think for a first test, it might make sense to try to speak to somebody not too far away from me.

It would be great if someone with a working SSB radio in my area could PM me his contact information (email and/or cell phone), to set up a time for a test.

Thanks,
Marc
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Old 17-08-2008, 13:17   #42
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Marc, Odds are not good for you to test someone close by. Your signal will skip right over them. Check in on the Cruiseheimers net one morning at 8:30 AM on 8152 and see how they hear you. Keep in mind that propagation is always a factor in how well you hear others and they hear you.
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Old 22-08-2008, 06:20   #43
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I didn't have much luck with Cruiseheimers --there is too much interference here at my boat dock on the channel that Cruiseheimers uses.

However, I was successful with SSB packet radio (using a pactor modem). I signed up with www.sailmail.com, and it works great. I was able to connect to stations as far away as Panama (from Florida). For SSB experts, this probably isn't a very large distance, but given my small antenna and the high level of RF noise at my boat dock, I'm quite happy with the result.
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Old 22-08-2008, 07:48   #44
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You should have even better results when out sailing. In my experience, the SSB hardly works at all in the midst of a forest of masts in a marina setting.
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