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Old 26-06-2014, 17:36   #1
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Question on SSB Antenna Install

I am getting ready to reinstall my GTO coax cable from the antenna tuner to the backstay. I had always heard that and complied with the idea that the coax has to be kept off the lower part of the backstay until connecting to the isolated part of the wire. (Backstay). In the past I had accomplished this task by making up little teak blocks about 2" in length and wiring them to the backstay and then wiring the coax over these isolators until getting it to the connection point just above the lower insulator. So I find this to be a little weak as a method to keep the coax off the lower un-insulated part of the backstay, would there be any problem with finding a very small diameter plastic tube and using zip ties to affix to the stay and then running the GTO cable inside of that until the connection point, thought it might be a more secure clean way to accomplish the mission?
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Old 26-06-2014, 17:46   #2
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

Your idea is ok from a safety standpoint. And it will work. If your back stay chain plate is bonded to the sea it would be better to use your teak blocks or what many use is a few short pieces of PVC pipe held to the back stay with zip ties. Except the pipe is perpendicular to the wire. The zip tie goes around the wires (GTO and stay) but passes through the PVC pipe. So the PVC acts as a standoff holding the GTO away from the stay. The zip tie needs to be UV resistant.
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Old 26-06-2014, 18:10   #3
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

Not worried about burning a person considering backstay goes to boomkins 4' off the stern. My understanding is that because the backstay ties into a stainless crosspiece then stays down to tangs that are at the water line and potentially submerged that without isolation of the standoffs this could effect signal quality. Hope this is clear.
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Old 26-06-2014, 18:52   #4
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

We did something like that with ours and it worked just fine for 17 years. we used the plastic tube as a standoff that came off the stay at a 90 degree angle and the zip tie ran inside the tube, around the stay and around the GTO. Depending on what the tubes are made of, you may have to replace some from time to time. The cable needs to be at least an inch off the stay until it is attached. Chuck
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Old 26-06-2014, 18:58   #5
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy View Post
We did exactly that with ours and it worked just fine for 17 years. Depending on what the tubes are made of, you may have to replace some from time to time. Chuck
We also did exactly that and it has worked flawlessly since 1999. We used a small diameter tube around the GTO and a larger diameter tube around the smaller tube for double security and UV protection.

I still put out a strong clean signal with very low SWR. I can talk to HAMS all over the world at 50 watts.
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Old 26-06-2014, 18:58   #6
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

Thanks, don't think I will be around for another 17years. Can anyone recommend a fitting to clamp to the backstay rather than a stainless hose clamp?
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Old 26-06-2014, 19:05   #7
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

We used a bronze clamp that is available from any electrical supply store, including Home depot, that is used to attach ground wires, etc. Don't remember what they are called. They are tightened with a wrench and fit over the stay with the GTO sandwiched between. Align the GTO so it loops up and then points down where attached to the stay. This keeps water from wicking in. Wrap the entire connection with cable protector tape or grease well. Chuck
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Old 26-06-2014, 20:38   #8
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

I think they're called "bulldog" clamps.
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Old 27-06-2014, 06:07   #9
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

T N, You are correct. Chuck
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Old 27-06-2014, 07:22   #10
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

I think you are talking about a connector called a Split Bolt Connector.

electrical split bolt connector - Google Search
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Old 27-06-2014, 10:09   #11
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

You don't need coax from the tuner to the antenna/backstay. Use GTO antenna connection wire. I've used rigging tape to tape the GTO to the back stay. Has worked fine though do need to redo the tape occasionally. Been doing it that way for many decades without a problem. The wire is insulated so electrically won't connect to the non inulated part of the back stay.
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Old 27-06-2014, 21:35   #12
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

cburger,
1) First off, please take note that GTO-15 wire is NOT coax....although a casual look from the outside does show a resemblance to RG-8x coaxial cable, understand that it is not coax...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
I am getting ready to reinstall my GTO coax cable from the antenna tuner to the backstay.
It is simply a tinned copper stranded 14 ga wire, with a hi-voltage PE dielectric and an outer PVC or PE jacket, that allows for its 15,000 volt rating....





Further, you've gotten good advice already....perhaps I can add just a few tidbits...

2) On fiberglass (or wooden) boats, typically it is unnecessary to space your GTO-15 wire away from the lower end of your stay (the part below the lower insulator), as typically this part is easy to isolate from ground/the sea (by removing any ground/bonding wire on the chainplate, etc.)...and even if you don't remove this ground wire, the amount of transmit energy that is shunted to ground, by this minor coupling is minimal....
And in real world tests (mine and those done by techs at US Naval Academy), there is little, if any, loss in transmit signal strengths....(even though "stand-offs" have been "recommended" by many for years, in actuality most have found little to no reason for them...)
So, your concerns are probably unnecessary!





3) However in your application...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
considering backstay goes to boomkins 4' off the stern. My understanding is that because the backstay ties into a stainless crosspiece then stays down to tangs that are at the water line and potentially submerged that without isolation of the standoffs this could effect signal quality.
You may find some minor advantage in some additional separation of the GTO-15 wire....and the idea you wrote about, using tubing/hose, is a good one that many have found to be useful in improving the longevity of the system as well...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
...would there be any problem with finding a very small diameter plastic tube and using zip ties to affix to the stay and then running the GTO cable inside of that until the connection point, thought it might be a more secure clean way to accomplish the mission?
So, yes...this is a useful / effective solution...and won't cost much....and will be sturdy/aesthetically pleasing...




4) And finally, please have a look at this thread, where you'll find plenty of info/videos, explaining how-to use/program/optimize your marine HF radio...(even if you don't have an M-802, many of the videos apply to general on-board, maritime HF communications...)
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call




I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 29-06-2014, 06:52   #13
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

Thanks to all here for the great help. I have also seen the GTO connected to the back stay with a small stainless hose clamp. Since most of the wiring is in place and I am just refitting am trying to get the whole install done today. I am wondering about the attachment point for the copper ground strap and have the option of going to a bronze thru hull that is closer to the antenna tuner or a large Dynaplate that is a couple of feet further away and presents a much larger surface area under the water, recommendations where to tie the strap into?
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Old 29-06-2014, 07:22   #14
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

cburger,
Understand that there are many opinions on this....so you will probably get various comments here...
But, here are my recommendations...

1) Actually I'd run copper strapping to both...but, I'm a radio fanatic!


2) If you wish to choose which one:
As long as your run of copper strapping is less than 8' long, then you probably would not have any difference...and, if choosing between two similar underwater metal items, the general rule-of-thumb is, closer is usually better...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
I am wondering about the attachment point for the copper ground strap and have the option of going to a bronze thru hull that is closer to the antenna tuner or a large Dynaplate that is a couple of feet further away and presents a much larger surface area under the water, recommendations where to tie the strap into?
But, in the case of a smaller thru hull vs. a larger flat plate....I'd opt for the larger flat plate....again, assuming it is NOT too far away, say less than 10' of copper strapping...(if it was a grounding plate up by the mast step, then the closer bronze thru-hull, would be the correct choice!)

You'll find that the larger plate to be easier to keep clean (free of barnacles), and still have adequate surface contact area even if somewhat fouled with marine growth....also the actual connection of the copper strapping to the plate is easier, and easier to waterproof/maintain...



3) Finally, whichever item you decide to use as your direct sea water rf / antenna ground connection....you should use a conductive grease to improve the copper strap to bronze connection's reliability/longevity and weatherproofing...
Use it on the entire connection surface and the threads/nuts/washers, etc..
I've been using Penatrox-A for > 30 years....it works great...(it's messy, but it works great!)
You can buy it on-line, or in most electrical supply houses...

DX Engineering Penetrox A Anti-Oxidants DXE-P8A - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at DX Engineering

Burndy P8A Oxide-Inhibiting Joint Compounds PENETROX A, 8 oz Container Size, Squeeze Bottle Container Type: Polyvinyl Acetate Adhesives: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific



I hope this helps...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 29-06-2014, 08:32   #15
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Re: Question on SSB Antenna Install

The 'ground' needed for a radio is not the same as an electrical ground. IA radio needs a ground plane and does not need to be in contact with the water or anything that would normally be associated with an electric circuit ground. Used strips of copper strapping that run along the edge of the deck on my current boat and it worked fine for both voice and data on a TransPac. That's the reason the KISS ground works without contact with water or any 'grounded' hardware. Doubt that the distance from your tuner will make a lot of difference as the copper strapping itself helps as a ground plane but I'm not an RF radio expert. Have heard of people getting an acceptable signal running to a single through hull.
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