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Old 13-03-2013, 15:04   #61
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Dashew always thinks of the die hard cruisers, being one himself. Chances are you probably travel more in M/H Jedi than S/V Jedi, maybe I'll work you from your wheels.

BTW, since I respect your knowledge in all things electronic, RF, sailing, photography, and computers, what do you think of my single antenna plans from that thread? Quad loop for 75 meters, bottom leg 25' off ground and fed with SG-230, top leg 90' off ground. Should sing well on 75, will be curious how it does on all the other bands including 160.
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Old 13-03-2013, 16:02   #62
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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what do you think of my single antenna plans from that thread? Quad loop for 75 meters, bottom leg 25' off ground and fed with SG-230, top leg 90' off ground. Should sing well on 75, will be curious how it does on all the other bands including 160.
I'm not really a HF guy; I've always been active on 3 meters or shorter. What I found with antenna design and build in general is that every installation performs differently and I have seen replica installations perform bad while the original site performs good and the other way around. I think it's a bit organic in that every antenna site needs to grow into something good with a lot of experimenting and changing.

So... I would make sure it's easy to change things. I might even start with a simple delta loop to do some testing. I would certainly use a SG230 autotuner with all that
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Old 13-03-2013, 16:30   #63
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

And that is another reason I like asking advice from you. When your not well versed, you say so instead of blowing smoke. From what I have learned by reading countless articles, when vertically polarized, so much depends on your ground conductivity. You have it good with your counterpoise and its interaction with sea water. I don't have it so good, even by land based standards as my area's ground conductivity is one of the lowest on the USA map. Because of this, and the ease with feeding the quad loop from the bottom, I'll be horizontal, but a saving grace not dependent on ground conductivity. With the bottom leg being only 25' above ground, my angle of radiation will be high, most of it being above 25 degrees, so should be a strong signal at short hop distances. The top leg being 90' above ground will have fairly good radiation below 25 degrees, so should play well at medium hop distances. Man made noise generally is lower on horizontal antennas.

Do you have any pictures of your SG-230? SGC's website only has crappy low res pictures, and only from one side.
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Old 13-03-2013, 17:00   #64
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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I'm gonna need to pull LMR400UF to my mizzen masthead because I'm gonna install a monstrous dual band HAM antenna there
Last time I looked (Sept.), our old Heliax was still sitting out in the boatyard...

You should have let me know about these plans earlier - I am carrying around 50' of spare LMR400UF from our refit that I could have made you a good price on.

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Old 13-03-2013, 17:32   #65
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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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.
Wow, I should have paid more attention. If you substitute "TS-50S" for "TS-480HX" and "AWG8" for AWG10", that is our exact same HF setup (well, we ground through laminated mesh across the bridgedeck instead of the hulls, but you are unfortunately poor one hull and bridgedeck, but it's good to have dreams ).

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Old 13-03-2013, 18:33   #66
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Wow, I should have paid more attention. If you substitute "TS-50S" for "TS-480HX" and "AWG8" for AWG10", that is our exact same HF setup (well, we ground through laminated mesh across the bridgedeck instead of the hulls, but you are unfortunately poor one hull and bridgedeck, but it's good to have dreams ).

Mark
You better watch it because I'm gonna buy two B&G Triton displays The Furuno displays don't fit the coaming and I need more displays anyway so it's shuffled around a bit. Wonder if they can control my Simrad AP25 pilot...
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Old 13-03-2013, 18:37   #67
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Do you have any pictures of your SG-230? SGC's website only has crappy low res pictures, and only from one side.
Just a small piece of it from my SSB grounding project:
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Old 13-03-2013, 18:42   #68
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Thanks. Nice grounding strap work. Is that the DC cabling going into it?
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Old 13-03-2013, 18:49   #69
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Thanks. Nice grounding strap work. Is that the DC cabling going into it?
That is all the cabling it has. The coax is combined in that cable with DC. Use a lightning arrester to couple it to the big coax.

The ground straps are all epoxied onto the hull and then painted.
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Old 13-03-2013, 19:06   #70
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

I learned something. So no SO-239 for a PL-259, just comes with the combo cable on a chassis strain relief and a PL-259 at the end. I'll have to order the optional 25' combo lead. So is the high voltage antenna lead on the other side on a glass insulator?
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Old 13-03-2013, 19:13   #71
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I learned something. So no SO-239 for a PL-259, just comes with the combo cable on a chassis strain relief and a PL-259 at the end. I'll have to order the optional 25' combo lead. So is the high voltage antenna lead on the other side on a glass insulator?
Yep on the insulator; has a wingnut I believe. The coax is actually a short piece of RG-58 with a PL-259 connector already on... i think... it's been a while ago that I installed it. It's pretty neat, top gear.
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Old 14-03-2013, 06:19   #72
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Dockhead have you considered the icom7000 as a ham set. Small form factor


Dave
Yes, I like the Icom 7000 very much, and the forthcoming Icom 7100 even better (it has a remote desktop control head). There are also a couple of Kenwood radios which look really good.

What I haven't been able to figure out is whether or not I need a separate amateur HF radio, or whether I can rely on my M802 for HF comms. I am still waffling; I think there is no real legal problem to using the M802, but a real ham HF radio will have other functions and much better filters, and besides I could do cross band repeating onto HF.

I think I might take it slowly and start with a VHF/UHF set plus the M802 and see how it goes and what is fun (or whether it's all uninteresting). I think that the minimum amateur radio mission -- using HF for maritime nets, Winlink, and mobile maritime service, can be well fulfilled by the M802 and maybe I won't need anything else for HF.
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Old 14-03-2013, 06:48   #73
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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I think I might take it slowly and start with a VHF/UHF set plus the M802 and see how it goes and what is fun (or whether it's all uninteresting). I think that the minimum amateur radio mission -- using HF for maritime nets, Winlink, and mobile maritime service, can be well fulfilled by the M802 and maybe I won't need anything else for HF.
Jedi came with an Icom 710-RT and that was all I used for the first couple of years. Now that I have added the Kenwood TS-480HX I am always comparing the two radios; most of the time I hear no difference. Only when a nasty interfering cross modulation tone comes up the HAM radio can filter that out with a DSP notch filter that the marine radios lack... but they are very high standard and very hard to beat otherwise.
I also love the digital recorder which allows me to rewind the last 30 seconds of what was received; this feature is now being introduced to marine VHF I believe.

On transmit it's another thing; the HAM radio has a good audio compressor and equalizer. The compressor takes care of a higher average output power while the equalizer can be adjusted so that your particular voice is adjusted to "news-reader quality" you used to need a gene for that, now it's a button on a radio This basically makes every word you speak be heard on the other side, even if you speak in a normal non-radio way with low volume words mixed in as the compressor makes it all loud. Still, I never made a contact with the HAM radio that could not be made with the SSB radio.

In the EU I don't think I would bother, but when you go out cruising full time, yes then I would consider adding a radio. Also, think about the Pactor modem, to which radio do you connect that; you don't want to swap radios with it too much.

An APRS VHF/UHF HAM radio puts you in immediate contact with the local HAM community wherever you go. In cruisers paradise they are all very welcoming and relaxed about your foreign callsign especially when you use your MM Maritime Mobile suffix in voice mode, which I always do. In APRS I put that in the "comments" field and I never needed to apply for a reciprocal license yet. In many 1st world countries this won't do because they will lookup your callsign immediately and try to find fault as if it's CF debate

Right now I'm looking at my radio and I see APRS messages coming by from weather stations (live weather sensor data), the local 2m and 70cm repeaters (press "tune" button and you're using the repeater with correct offset, tone etc.), and a HAM get together event next week. When I switch my radio on after a couple of months of downtime, I get "welcome back" messages, invites to use their repeaters, phone patches and to call or send an APRS message if we need help. It's worth more than any local SAR station and many long-time cruisers will call for help on HAM bands rather than marine bands because they have proven to work better in the tropical cruising grounds.
Oh yes, and my marine VHF stays off because the D710 does that too... simultaneously.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 16-03-2013, 07:46   #74
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Jedi came with an Icom 710-RT and that was all I used for the first couple of years. Now that I have added the Kenwood TS-480HX I am always comparing the two radios; most of the time I hear no difference. Only when a nasty interfering cross modulation tone comes up the HAM radio can filter that out with a DSP notch filter that the marine radios lack... but they are very high standard and very hard to beat otherwise.
I also love the digital recorder which allows me to rewind the last 30 seconds of what was received; this feature is now being introduced to marine VHF I believe.

On transmit it's another thing; the HAM radio has a good audio compressor and equalizer. The compressor takes care of a higher average output power while the equalizer can be adjusted so that your particular voice is adjusted to "news-reader quality" you used to need a gene for that, now it's a button on a radio This basically makes every word you speak be heard on the other side, even if you speak in a normal non-radio way with low volume words mixed in as the compressor makes it all loud. Still, I never made a contact with the HAM radio that could not be made with the SSB radio.

In the EU I don't think I would bother, but when you go out cruising full time, yes then I would consider adding a radio. Also, think about the Pactor modem, to which radio do you connect that; you don't want to swap radios with it too much.

An APRS VHF/UHF HAM radio puts you in immediate contact with the local HAM community wherever you go. In cruisers paradise they are all very welcoming and relaxed about your foreign callsign especially when you use your MM Maritime Mobile suffix in voice mode, which I always do. In APRS I put that in the "comments" field and I never needed to apply for a reciprocal license yet. In many 1st world countries this won't do because they will lookup your callsign immediately and try to find fault as if it's CF debate

Right now I'm looking at my radio and I see APRS messages coming by from weather stations (live weather sensor data), the local 2m and 70cm repeaters (press "tune" button and you're using the repeater with correct offset, tone etc.), and a HAM get together event next week. When I switch my radio on after a couple of months of downtime, I get "welcome back" messages, invites to use their repeaters, phone patches and to call or send an APRS message if we need help. It's worth more than any local SAR station and many long-time cruisers will call for help on HAM bands rather than marine bands because they have proven to work better in the tropical cruising grounds.
Oh yes, and my marine VHF stays off because the D710 does that too... simultaneously.

cheers,
Nick.
I read all the Kenwood manuals from cover to cover on the plane yesterday from Nice CDA. I had not known how involved and multifaceted APRS is. So I think that settles it - I'll give myself a D710 plus one Kenwood APRS HT for my birthday this year , and play with that for a while. Ham HF on the M802 for the time being. The other thing I had not realized about the D710 is that it also has a remote head - so it will be easy to mount. An important consideration as my four instrument panels are already chock-a-block.
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:55   #75
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Where are you going to buy those? I recommend the US versions because opening up only requires removing connetions while I think the EU version might require adding a diode, which is a pain because it's micro SMD.
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