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Old 22-01-2015, 09:03   #1
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Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

A hand held Raymarine 101e is the boats only vhf radio. We are now in Turkey and it's not easy to buy a new vhf or I would. So due to my own lack of organisation the boat has no areal/ antenna. we set sail with or without In 3 days. I could maybe buy an aftermarket antenna but how would I connect it to the hand Held? Does anybody have any ideas.

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Old 22-01-2015, 09:48   #2
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

Here is a listing of marine stores in Turkey. Just take the radio with you and test the various antennas for compatibility. Should not be a problem.

Marine Suppliers in Istanbul, Turkey - Marine Supplies Marketplace
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Old 22-01-2015, 09:58   #3
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

You can make a passable dipole antenna out of a piece of coax. Some discussion and details here.

But geez, a decent basic marine VHF radio can be had for under US$100, masthead antenna around $35, some coax... possibly the best $200 you could spend on your boat right now.
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Old 22-01-2015, 10:32   #4
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

"we set sail with or without In 3 days"

Allowing the schedule to override safety is mistake. It's frequently the beginning of a story that culminates badly. Your boat is not in a fit condition to set sail. I wonder what else is wrong if this is your attitude.

You should set sail when you've got a working, fixed VHF installed with a proper antenna.
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Old 22-01-2015, 15:39   #5
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

Thanks for help and advice guys..
Im going to fit a big boat antenna to the top of mast and run a cable down. As for mating it to the vhf not quite worked that one out yet but will do it some how... This issue with buying a new one here is you need paperwork and licensing or something plus because they have a 70% import tax everything is almost twice the price and I'm just a penniless pirate. Plus boat has no batteries or charging system so its got to be handheled.

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Old 22-01-2015, 15:49   #6
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

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Originally Posted by 20ft cruiser View Post
Thanks for help and advice guys..
Im going to fit a big boat antenna to the top of mast and run a cable down. As for mating it to the vhf not quite worked that one out yet but will do it some how... This issue with buying a new one here is you need paperwork and licensing or something plus because they have a 70% import tax everything is almost twice the price and I'm just a penniless pirate. Plus boat has no batteries or charging system so its got to be handheled.

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The handheld VHF frequencies are similar to 2 meter ham band radios. Maybe one of the other cruisers there has a 2 m. handheld antenna that he would loan you or the short term, if it fits your h/h. Seems unlikely, but it might be a "save".

I believe those little radio antennas are carefully matched to the radios, and doubt that you'll be able to use the antenna plus coax from a "normal" radio setup on your handheld.

Maybe one of the guys who is more technically savvy than me can help you here?

Ann
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Old 22-01-2015, 17:31   #7
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

Ann said/asked:

"I believe those little radio antennas are carefully matched to the radios, and doubt that you'll be able to use the antenna plus coax from a "normal" radio setup on your handheld."

This is not the case. You can use any antenna (be it it rubber whip, antenna for 'stationary use', ...) designed for the maritime mobile freqs on VHF with the handheld.
Getting the right coax cable connector used on the handheld will be the biggest challance.

Regards,

Carsten
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Old 22-01-2015, 17:39   #8
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

I think the problem will be the loss up the coax to the top of the mast. Handhelds are only 6W and unless you are using low loss cable, you won't have anything left to transmit by the time it gets to the top of the mast.

Remember, hard mount VHF are 25W so they have much more power to asborb the losses.

The cost of low loss cable would almost pay for a used hard mount VHF.
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Old 22-01-2015, 18:36   #9
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

The Raymarine 101e uses a SMA antenna connector. This is a popular screw-on coax connector on marine and ham VHF handhelds these days. I have two handhelds which use this connector for the rubber ducky: a Standard Horizon HX851 marine VHF and a Yaesu VX-170 ham VHF.

You can read all about the SMA connector here: SMA connector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It should be easy to find a spare antenna at any ham store or even an electronics outlet.

FYI, you can also find a SMA-to-PL259 adapter like this one for about a $1. This would allow you to connect the mast-top antenna to your handheld and, unless you used bad coax, would greatly improve your reception AND your transmission range.

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Good luck.

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Old 22-01-2015, 18:53   #10
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I think the problem will be the loss up the coax to the top of the mast. Handhelds are only 6W and unless you are using low loss cable, you won't have anything left to transmit by the time it gets to the top of the mast.

Remember, hard mount VHF are 25W so they have much more power to asborb the losses.

The cost of low loss cable would almost pay for a used hard mount VHF.
What you say relates primarily to larger vessels.

However, the OP has a Jeanneau Sunfast 20 --- a very small boat.

At a maximum, he'd need 25' of coax to reach the top of the mast. The attenuation of even RG-58 cable at marine VHF frequencies and 25' would be less than 2db.

So, the masthead antenna would make a big difference in range.

Bill
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Old 22-01-2015, 19:19   #11
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

Look around for any sport fishers, & or mid-sized Gucci, luxury yachts (anything with a flying bridge). Often enough, they've got more toys than they know what to do with... And also, if you've got a Silver Tongue, or Guardian Angel, one of them might sell you one of the tall, stern whip antenna's, some coax & fittings.

They actually have better gain than your typical sailboat antenna, but their beam pattern is narrower, which cancels out their theoretical dB gain (due to sailboats rolling & heeling). Otherwise you'd see them more on sailboats, but in a pinch, they may have a spare. And or they may have a spare, shorty, "emergency" antenna & some coax along with.
You know, the little ones that are 1' (30cm) long, that you use if you lose your masthead antenna. If they do, in addition to whatever they want for it, take'em a case of cold ones (beer) if you can find it.

Also, ask around to see who might have a copy of Nigel Calder's book handy, if you don't. And shame on you if you don't, BUY ONE.
I'm pretty sure that it covers DIY emergency antennas, perhaps someone with their copy handy can confirm this.
Some guys can even make functional antennas out of a coat hanger, but my notes on such are MIA. Sorry.
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Old 22-01-2015, 19:57   #12
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
What you say relates primarily to larger vessels.

However, the OP has a Jeanneau Sunfast 20 --- a very small boat.

At a maximum, he'd need 25' of coax to reach the top of the mast. The attenuation of even RG-58 cable at marine VHF frequencies and 25' would be less than 2db.

So, the masthead antenna would make a big difference in range.

Bill
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Ahh I didn't realize his mast was that short.. Alright then, continue on...
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Old 22-01-2015, 20:17   #13
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Also, ask around to see who might have a copy of Nigel Calder's book handy, if you don't. And shame on you if you don't, BUY ONE.
I'm pretty sure that it covers DIY emergency antennas, perhaps someone with their copy handy can confirm this.
Some guys can even make functional antennas out of a coat hanger, but my notes on such are MIA. Sorry.
You are correct sir!

in Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual (3rd edition), an emergency antenna is described on page 350

Spoiler Alert: it's a 19-inch length of wire... such as a coat-hanger.
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Old 22-01-2015, 21:08   #14
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
You are correct sir!

in Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual (3rd edition), an emergency antenna is described on page 350

Spoiler Alert: it's a 19-inch length of wire... such as a coat-hanger.
Exactly as I thought, I just couldn't check, as I'm 4,000km from my sailing reference library. BTW, does it specify if the same DIY antenna will work for hand held's too? I'd reckon it would, the physics of the waves being the same & all.


Thanks Lake-Effect!
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:37   #15
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Re: Panic!! I lost my vhf antenna. Any ideas?

DIY one works great. Tried and tested. This old Turk built it in his little shop. He also had a draw full of antennas that he had taken from fudged hand healds so I got both.. Thanks for help and discussion guys.

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