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Old 11-03-2013, 17:24   #46
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Dockhead have you considered the icom7000 as a ham set. Small form factor


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Old 11-03-2013, 18:20   #47
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The Kenwood ts2000 does not have APRS; same for ic7000. Also the ts2000 takes up the same amount of room than the ts480 plus d710 so that combi of two radios is king and queen of maritime mobiles and nothing gets even close. If something does, it is from Yeasu.
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Old 11-03-2013, 19:14   #48
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Stay with the steel whip. It is less sensitive to high heel angles. Put your money in low impedance coax. It will make a big difference. Use it also for the AIS. I raised the wind speed and direction instrument to get away from turbulance. I also raised the Windex - same reason, use a carbon fiber arrow shaft from the archery shop.

BIG 10-4 on the LED lights. Here is my Aquasignal conversion steaming with deck light and spreader light. marinebeam.com

Also, Aquasignal Tricolor conversion to LED (note the sharp dividers added between colors) I also added peel & stick SS tape to the black plastic to enhance the output.

Also, BEBI custom Windex donut goes on the Windex stalk. (not installed in the photos) I have SR #1 & #2 of this light ever made. You need the upside-down shade or it looks like a mast head anchor light. Blow up the dark photo to see the night view. This light is not shown on the BEBI site but they will make you one if you ask. Tell Michael that Mark sent you. Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)!
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Old 11-03-2013, 19:45   #49
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Stay with the steel whip. It is less sensitive to high heel angles
I'm assuming that is just a brain fart

But okay, I'll fall for it, please tell me why this is so? Does the steel generate a magnetic flux that makes it bend back straight up so that the radiation donut pattern becomes horizontal again? I've read many cool things about what the flux can do recently
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Old 11-03-2013, 20:10   #50
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

I forgot to follow up on some questions on the mount of the 5400 antenna: it is not a motorboat mount, it is a standard marine 1" threaded mount, just like used for GPS antennas and other sensors etc. I decided to put a big heavy & strong base on top of my mast because a hurricane had taken away my flimsy steel whip and I want to prevent that next time. I was lucky that my mizzen still had it's antenna.

However, you can buy a simple base that mounts to the side of the mast that has the 1" threads just like the mount of a simple steel whip, except that it is stronger and costs more than the steel whip.

With things like this it really is quality for money. I do realize that most boats will never be in hurricane force winds so they might not need a sturdy antenna, but that doesn't mean that a flimsy antenna is better: it's not, but it is cheaper.
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Old 11-03-2013, 21:04   #51
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Now I'm going to have to reconfigure my masthead -- separate windex, new mount for the cool Shakespeare Galaxy bipole antenna, junction box . . . .
Yikes. Sounds like you need a thicker mast.
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Old 11-03-2013, 21:24   #52
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Here is a pic of a suitable masthead mount; just ignore the U-bolts that come with it:
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:29   #53
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I'm assuming that is just a brain fart

But okay, I'll fall for it, please tell me why this is so? Does the steel generate a magnetic flux that makes it bend back straight up so that the radiation donut pattern becomes horizontal again? I've read many cool things about what the flux can do recently
That would be Flux Capacitor. I'm afraid I generalized. Here is a link to WM where they discuss VHF antennas. You can find a lot of discussion regarding materials, lengths & gain in other places as well. The important decision is gain. A high gain may not be as useful on a sailboat. The broadcast plain is narrow. The transmission is lost as the boat pitches. Typical low gain antennas are SS whip and known as "sailboat antennas" The West Advisor: VHF Antennas

You can certainly use whatever you like but the fiberglass antennas are fragile relatively and placement on the mast top can swing them around a lot. Assuming your mount is solid, the SS Whip should be durable and stay with you. If you can afford the space for a second antenna, a high gain for flatter conditions might be nice.
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Old 12-03-2013, 19:39   #54
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
That would be Flux Capacitor. I'm afraid I generalized. Here is a link to WM where they discuss VHF antennas. You can find a lot of discussion regarding materials, lengths & gain in other places as well. The important decision is gain. A high gain may not be as useful on a sailboat. The broadcast plain is narrow. The transmission is lost as the boat pitches. Typical low gain antennas are SS whip and known as "sailboat antennas" The West Advisor: VHF Antennas

You can certainly use whatever you like but the fiberglass antennas are fragile relatively and placement on the mast top can swing them around a lot. Assuming your mount is solid, the SS Whip should be durable and stay with you. If you can afford the space for a second antenna, a high gain for flatter conditions might be nice.
Ah, gain. You are misinformed. The Galaxy 5400 is a single dipole so it has a 3dB gain just like the steel whip so that the radiation pattern is exactly the same. Also, it is much, much stronger than any steel whip antenna. In fact, when the boat start moving at open sea, a stainless whip will whip itself silly which badly impacts it's performance while the 5400xt will only move with the mast without any amplification of that movement.

A dipole is the most basic and technically perfect antenna. It's all good.
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Old 13-03-2013, 08:25   #55
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Ah, gain. You are misinformed. The Galaxy 5400 is a single dipole so it has a 3dB gain just like the steel whip so that the radiation pattern is exactly the same. Also, it is much, much stronger than any steel whip antenna. In fact, when the boat start moving at open sea, a stainless whip will whip itself silly which badly impacts it's performance while the 5400xt will only move with the mast without any amplification of that movement.

A dipole is the most basic and technically perfect antenna. It's all good.
My Digital Antenna 222-VW does not "whip," and it's as sturdy and weather resistant as any masthead antenna out there. With LMR400UF coax, I'm very happy with its performance.
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Old 13-03-2013, 09:51   #56
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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My Digital Antenna 222-VW does not "whip," and it's as sturdy and weather resistant as any masthead antenna out there. With LMR400UF coax, I'm very happy with its performance.
Yes I'm sure you are happy with it. It looks like the US equivalent of the EU Metz antenna. It is a flexible whip though, not a rigid fiberglass antenna and it does have a base coil like all the masthead GP antennas.

I'm gonna need to pull LMR400UF to my mizzen masthead because I'm gonna install a monstrous dual band HAM antenna there

ciao!
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Old 13-03-2013, 10:08   #57
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Yes I'm sure you are happy with it. It looks like the US equivalent of the EU Metz antenna. It is a flexible whip though, not a rigid fiberglass antenna and it does have a base coil like all the masthead GP antennas.

I'm gonna need to pull LMR400UF to my mizzen masthead because I'm gonna install a monstrous dual band HAM antenna there

ciao!
Nick.
Not so flexible--the "whip" is triple the diameter of typical antennas, and the tinned copper coil is entirely potted in sealant. It's much more rugged than the Metz or Shakespeare 3db wire whip models. It also won Practical Sailor's range tests (your antenna was not included in the test).
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Old 13-03-2013, 10:20   #58
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Not so flexible--the "whip" is triple the diameter of typical antennas, and the tinned copper coil is entirely potted in sealant. It's much more rugged than the Metz or Shakespeare 3db wire whip models. It also won Practical Sailor's range tests (your antenna was not included in the test).
Okay, I did not realize the whip was much thicker.

Range is primarily a function of antenna height. When they talk about range while comparing different brand antennas, they have entered in commerce, where they think (and are probably right) that everybody chooses the antenna with best range.
They should compare VSWR readings instead.
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Old 13-03-2013, 12:47   #59
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Nick,

I've always like the way you do things. Are you active on HAM HF?
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Old 13-03-2013, 13:49   #60
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Nick,

I've always like the way you do things. Are you active on HAM HF?
ha! let me guess: you're building your HAM shack and antenna park and we can talk on HF soon! I know, it's cheating because I read your antenna thread

My HF is a bit complicated by not having backstays. I have a vertical (whip antenna) that is connected to an Icom AT-130 tuner which connects to an Icom 710-RT which has a Pactor-3 modem attached.

I also often hoist an AWG10 wire which connects to a SG230 tuner which connects to a Kenwood TS-480HX with all the options installed and computer controlled.

The two tuners share a ground which is a copper mesh laminated into the aft end of the hull (Dashew did that during the hull lay-up, very spiff). It is a decent ground by itself but also capacitively coupled to the sea. It works really well.

While in the marina here it's best to just give up on any HF work. I do manage a Winlink session now and then but it's all very tiring with the hundred or so other HF antennas within 100 yards.

When we're out I'm on HF all the time
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