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Old 23-08-2016, 09:47   #196
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Thanks ka4waj. Exactly what I was looking for. A straight answer with none of the technical chest pounding BS. I'm getting the 5215 with LMR400 (got it cheap) and will be done with it.
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Old 23-08-2016, 10:23   #197
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Ka4waj, i fully agree with you.

Pe1dhi

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Old 23-08-2016, 12:41   #198
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Wasn't the 5215 grounded?


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Old 24-08-2016, 11:04   #199
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Nick, et al,
--- Both the 5215 and the 5400 are 1/2-wave verticals....(erroneously called "3db gain" antennas, by tradition of exaggerating gain figures!)
--- Both will have similar patterns and gain (within 1/4db)...
--- Neither the 5215 nor the 5400 are "DC Grounded" antennas...
Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Wasn't the 5215 grounded?
5215 Classic AIS Squatty Body® Antenna | Shakespeare Marine Antennas

5400-XT Galaxy Little Giant™VHF Marine Band Antenna | Shakespeare Marine Antennas


I'm NOT a fan of antennas with factory attached coax (like the 5400)!!
And, as such, I do not actually recommend these antennas....but, there are some applications where they do make sense, especially if other (lower loss) coax is used...


I do hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 24-08-2016, 11:29   #200
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Thanks for those clarifications. Seems like I'll be happy with the 5215.
Fair winds
Bob
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Old 24-08-2016, 12:50   #201
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Nick, et al,
--- Both the 5215 and the 5400 are 1/2-wave verticals....(erroneously called "3db gain" antennas, by tradition of exaggerating gain figures!)
--- Both will have similar patterns and gain (within 1/4db)...
--- Neither the 5215 nor the 5400 are "DC Grounded" antennas...
5215 Classic AIS Squatty Body® Antenna | Shakespeare Marine Antennas

5400-XT Galaxy Little Giant™VHF Marine Band Antenna | Shakespeare Marine Antennas


I'm NOT a fan of antennas with factory attached coax (like the 5400)!!
And, as such, I do not actually recommend these antennas....but, there are some applications where they do make sense, especially if other (lower loss) coax is used...


I do hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
Hi John,

The 5400 is a dipole antenna. I think I have the 5215 on my mizzen mast and it grounds the shield to the metal mount, creating grounding loops with the bonding system. I also get a higher noise level than with the dipole. I can't compare range because the mizzen is not as tall as the main mast with the 5400.

I'm not a fan of the attached coax either but couldn't find a dipole without it when I was buying.
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Old 24-08-2016, 13:45   #202
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Nick,
Yes, I know what the 5400 is...

Yes, the 5215 does have its base grounded, hence the coax shield is grounded....but, this should not cause higher receive noise level....

Nor will a coaxial-sleeve dipole receive less noise than a monopole...
(although if you have some RF flowing on ground / bonding system, well, then that would be an issue....but if you don't have that peculiar problem, then well-designed 1/2-wave vertical antennas, should be equal in gain / pattern / noise pick-up....)

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Hi John,

The 5400 is a dipole antenna. I think I have the 5215 on my mizzen mast and it grounds the shield to the metal mount, creating grounding loops with the bonding system. I also get a higher noise level than with the dipole. I can't compare range because the mizzen is not as tall as the main mast with the 5400.

I'm not a fan of the attached coax either but couldn't find a dipole without it when I was buying.
--- A 1/2-wave dipole vs. a 1/2-wave monopole = no difference at all in gain or pattern (assuming each is fed correctly and decoupled from the feedline)

--- The 5400 is a 1/2-wave "coaxial-sleeve dipole" (also know as a "low-impedance-fed" / "current-fed", coaxial-sleeve dipole)...which means the feedline (after being decoupled) continues to run up to the center of the antenna....
The 5400 has a decent designed decoupling / matching section at its base, allowing it maintain a decent pattern across the whole marine VHF band...with little loss in this matching/decoupling section...

--- The 5215 is an end-fed, 1/2-wave monopole....(some also call it a "end-fed dipole", but technically it's a "monopole")...it is a high-impedance / voltage-fed, monopole...
The 5215 has an excellent, low-loss, impedance matching network, that allows it to maintain a decent match across the whole VHF Marine band...(and as the 50-ohm feed is completely decoupled by the high-imped feed, the pattern is clean across the whole band as well..)



The above are the facts...
But, in my opinion, whatever 3' to 4' Shakespeare antenna (or other reputable manufacturer antenna) you choose....it is the quality of the installation, quality of cable / connectors (and their installation), and attention to minimize loss thru the system, that "makes" or "breaks" a marine VHF system...

And, further, in my opinion....way too much attention is paid to the marketing hype of "what works"....rather than looking for the facts...
But, that's just me!

Bottom line, assuming you're talking about well-designed / manufactured antennas, "a 1/2-wave antenna is a 1/2-wave antenna"!





fair winds..

John
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Old 24-08-2016, 17:18   #203
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Nick,
Yes, I know what the 5400 is...

Yes, the 5215 does have its base grounded, hence the coax shield is grounded....but, this should not cause higher receive noise level....

Nor will a coaxial-sleeve dipole receive less noise than a monopole...
(although if you have some RF flowing on ground / bonding system, well, then that would be an issue....but if you don't have that peculiar problem, then well-designed 1/2-wave vertical antennas, should be equal in gain / pattern / noise pick-up....)


--- A 1/2-wave dipole vs. a 1/2-wave monopole = no difference at all in gain or pattern (assuming each is fed correctly and decoupled from the feedline)

--- The 5400 is a 1/2-wave "coaxial-sleeve dipole" (also know as a "low-impedance-fed" / "current-fed", coaxial-sleeve dipole)...which means the feedline (after being decoupled) continues to run up to the center of the antenna....
The 5400 has a decent designed decoupling / matching section at its base, allowing it maintain a decent pattern across the whole marine VHF band...with little loss in this matching/decoupling section...

--- The 5215 is an end-fed, 1/2-wave monopole....(some also call it a "end-fed dipole", but technically it's a "monopole")...it is a high-impedance / voltage-fed, monopole...
The 5215 has an excellent, low-loss, impedance matching network, that allows it to maintain a decent match across the whole VHF Marine band...(and as the 50-ohm feed is completely decoupled by the high-imped feed, the pattern is clean across the whole band as well..)



The above are the facts...
But, in my opinion, whatever 3' to 4' Shakespeare antenna (or other reputable manufacturer antenna) you choose....it is the quality of the installation, quality of cable / connectors (and their installation), and attention to minimize loss thru the system, that "makes" or "breaks" a marine VHF system...

And, further, in my opinion....way too much attention is paid to the marketing hype of "what works"....rather than looking for the facts...
But, that's just me!

Bottom line, assuming you're talking about well-designed / manufactured antennas, "a 1/2-wave antenna is a 1/2-wave antenna"!





fair winds..

John
John, you are repeating this info about gain and radiation pattern but nobody is claiming otherwise. I stated that I *can't* compare range, not that the 5400 has more range.

I did measure the difference in noise level between the two and it was significant and changed with switching on inverter, charger, alternator and even refrigeration. All that had no noticeable impact with the 5400 but did with the 5215. My AC ground is connected to the bonding system but the DC negative is not. I agree that this noise is carried by the grounding system, but this is fact of life for many boats and the dipole fixes that by just picking that antenna instead of a monopole.

Another significant difference is the physical quality of the two. The 5400 is part of the Galaxy range with very high quality UV stable polyurethane finish and mine looks as good 10 years old as it did when installed. Not so for the 5215 that was installed the same day and looks like it needs replacing even though it still works fine.

I would still like to compare the two in a test but it is too much hassle for me to be bothered with it.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:53   #204
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

So your killing me with all this. Simple answer, I'm a newer boat driver. I just purchased a 25 watt Standard MarineAIS/GPS, gx2200. And an eight foot Shakespeare marine antanna.

Not the best but sufficient for my needs right now. My intent was to install it on my solar panel stand. I'm reluctant to mount it, on top of the mast, as A I'm not planning to drop the mast, anytime soon, and B I'm concerned about clearing bridges and lines.

My mast is pretty tall for hull length. Boats a HR33.

So is it exceptable to mount on the stern on the before mentioned solar stand, or should I revisit this installation, location.

Thank You, in advance.

Dirk
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:13   #205
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Mounting it on the stand will certainly work, and be MUCH easier to install.

After you've used it for a while, if you decide you need more range (most people don't), you might consider installing a shorter antenna at the masthead. (Installing an 8-footer at the masthead is a LOT of windage!)
The other reason for using a shorter antenna on a sailboat is that the "gain" antennas like your 8-footer have a radiation pattern that is "flattened" toward the horizon - but on a sailboat, things like heeling make this less than ideal! If you experience less-than-optimal range off to the side while sailing, this is the cause.

73 DE Hartley
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:19   #206
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Williams View Post
So your killing me with all this. Simple answer, I'm a newer boat driver. I just purchased a 25 watt Standard MarineAIS/GPS, gx2200. And an eight foot Shakespeare marine antanna.

Not the best but sufficient for my needs right now. My intent was to install it on my solar panel stand. I'm reluctant to mount it, on top of the mast, as A I'm not planning to drop the mast, anytime soon, and B I'm concerned about clearing bridges and lines.

My mast is pretty tall for hull length. Boats a HR33.

So is it exceptable to mount on the stern on the before mentioned solar stand, or should I revisit this installation, location.

Thank You, in advance.

Dirk
Dirk,

It all comes down to how much range YOU need and WANT. Obviously, the higher the antenna location, the better range you will get. You can mount the antenna anywhere YOU want.

Bottom line, whatever works for you.

My suggestion, if you are unsure of the locations you envisage, do a temporary and if you wind up liking it, make it permanent.

If you find it not to your liking, move it until you find the sweet spot.
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