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Old 08-06-2015, 01:55   #31
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

The LDGs are great tuners... I have an IT-100 between an IC 718 and my dipoles/G5RV here at Casa del Ping but there is the problem... they are designed for use with a coax feed line http://www.ldgelectronics.com/assets...roIIManual.pdf into stuff like that.
Wanting to use a long wire of whatever flavour which seems to be where we are going here? The AH-4 if you only want to tx on the ham bands... if you want to work ham and also marine/ssb one of the 130/140 series would be a better choice.

One of these will also be handy between radio and tuner... Diamond® Antenna ~ SX20C SWR-Power Meter
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:01   #32
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

I don't want to seem like a control freak here, but I'd like to add a few facts that should help everyone??

1) First off, I do NOT want to confuse "Autumnbreeze" with any esoteric discussions nor arguments about "what is best", 'cause he has what he has (unfortunately given erroneous advice by salesmen at HRO), and has budget constraints to work with.....so to Autumnbreeze, use the advice that I gave earlier!!!


2) Secondly, a 27' long antenna is NOT "too short to work"....although as I wrote this length is not optimal for the lower bands (and a triadic antenna CAN be a less than optimal antenna), but this length IS certainly acceptable...


3) Third, the Icom AH-4 tuner WILL tune on the marine HF Bands just fine!! (I've used an old AH-2 in the past, and have heard others using the AH-4)
There is no reason to look for another tuner, for Autumnbreeze's IC-7200 rig...

And, if some do not wish to take my word for it, here's a quote directly from the AH-4's manual...
Quote:
WIDE TUNING RANGE❍❍
The AH-4 provides reliable matching from 3.5 MHz to 54 MHz when using at least a 7 m (23 ft) antenna; or 7 MHz to 54 MHz when using the AH-2b antenna element.





Frequency range : 3.5–54 MHz (with an antenna longer than 7 m; 23 ft)7–54 MHz (with the AH-2b)
4) This is a good choice for a swr/power meter...(and I use the similar Diawa meters)
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
One of these will also be handy between radio and tuner... Diamond® Antenna ~ SX20C SWR-Power Meter
But, not sure the $90 is within his budget....but, if it is, DX Engineering has it in stock..
Diamond Antenna SX20C Power Meters SX20C - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at DX Engineering



Fair winds...

John
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:07   #33
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Another quote from the manual... http://www.icom.co.jp/world/support/...ah-4_eng_2.pdf ...

" Set the desired frequency in an amateur band.
• The AH-4 will not operate on frequencies outside of ham bands."

Maybe something has been lost in translation.....
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:16   #34
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Ping,
I do not see that in my copy of the manual, nor in the one you linked to...
And, I HAVE personally used the AH-2, and have heard others using the AH-4 on the marine bands...

Again, I have no interest in arguing the point...
But, I stand by my words above...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:22   #35
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Top left, first page, under 'operation', above a picture of a radio....

Dunno, never owned one, just going by what I am reading on the PDF. Caveat Emptor Etc

I do know that 130s and 140s work on all frequencies, as do my other tuners....
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:46   #36
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Ping,
Ah, now I see what you are referring to...
And, this is for operation with the IC-7000, which of course will not transmit outside of the ham bands, and therefore the AH-4 cannot tune (as it needs a transmit signal to perform a tuning procedure)...

If you look closely, you'll see what I mean...
Quote:
(eg. IC-7000)
Set the desired frequency in an amateur band.q
q

• The AH-4 will not operate on frequencies outside of ham
bands.
Fact is if you have an IC-7000 or IC-7200, etc. that has been illegally modified to transmit outside of the ham bands, and have an AH-4 connected to it (and have an acceptable length antenna wire), it will tune on the marine HF bands...

Now, I have no idea if Autumnbreeze has any interest in the marine HF bands, nor if his radio (IC-7200) has been illegally modified for transmission outside of the amateur radio bands, but I can say that the AH-4 will work on the marine HF bands...



Now, if any wishes my recommendation, it is:
buy an Icom AT-140....a better, "heavier-duty", HF remote auto-tuner (and much better QC / reliability than present-day SGC tuners!)....certainly a better choice than the AH-4....but double the price (or more) of the AH-4, and with budget constraints, an amateur radio transceiver already on-board, etc. the AH-4 is a good choice....(not my first recommendation, but for this sailor and his budget, a good choice)







Fair winds...

John
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:39   #37
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

I ordered some GTO-15 from Amazon on Saturday (love the same day delivery!) so I am ready to go this morning. The rigger is expected today or tomorrow, need to call shortly and confirm.

Now I'm trying to wrap my head around what I need to do to splice this silly LDG control cable it came with, taking it from 1ft to around 10-15ft. I've got the wiring diagram, what I'm trying to wrap my head around is what the smallest wire gauge I can get away with is.

I was going to try the LDG before buying the AH4, but if the AH4 is a simpler wiring job I will probably just buy it and add the LDG to the sell list.
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Old 08-06-2015, 15:13   #38
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I ordered some GTO-15 from Amazon on Saturday (love the same day delivery!) so I am ready to go this morning. The rigger is expected today or tomorrow, need to call shortly and confirm.

Now I'm trying to wrap my head around what I need to do to splice this silly LDG control cable it came with, taking it from 1ft to around 10-15ft. I've got the wiring diagram, what I'm trying to wrap my head around is what the smallest wire gauge I can get away with is.

I was going to try the LDG before buying the AH4, but if the AH4 is a simpler wiring job I will probably just buy it and add the LDG to the sell list.
The reason its only 1 foot long is that those tuners are meant to sit next to the radio. Look at the back of it...... coax in, coax out... not designed to hook up to long wire type ants unless you have a balun in there.. from the book... " If use with longwires or ladder-line-fed antennas is desired, an external balun is required. The LDG RBA-4:1 or RBA-1:1 is ideal, depending on the antenna and transmission line used."
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Old 08-06-2015, 21:08   #39
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

I bought the Icom AH4.

So any advice on any RF isolators or anything else I need to get?

So far the plan is:
add isolators to the triatic
add isolators to the upper mizzen shroud
isolate the mizzen spreader
install the ah4 near the chainplate (going to be fun finding a spot... the spot I had in mind is just a little too small)
Run GTO-15 through the deck (crap I need to order that deck gland)
and connect it to the isolated upper shroud
Run GTO-15 to connect the triatic and the upper shroud
I've got some penetrox and self amalgamated tape for the connections
I've got the KISS on the way... I know... you said I could make one for less... I tried... I wasn't happy with my experiment. I just don't have the time to experiment more.

thanks all for the advice, tips, and info!
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Old 08-06-2015, 22:43   #40
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Have you priced those insulators for your rigging yet?...4 will probably cost as much as the rest of your radio station give or take....
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:53   #41
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Autumnbreeze,
I've got a meeting to get to....I will answer in detail later....
John
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Old 09-06-2015, 17:39   #42
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Autumnbreeze,
1) First off, good for getting the AH-4!!
Install / hook-up as directed, and you'll be pleasantly surprised on how easy/seamless this will all work...


2) Secondly, PLEASE read these earlier posts again...
Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

And, you will see what my (and Bill's) recommendations are....mine haven't changed...
I highly recommend that you rig a test antenna, which is simply a piece of copper wire, strung up by a halyard....or if you choose to try to use the shroud and triadic, string the wire up by both a main halyard and mizzen halyard, and then down to the AH-4 (sitting on the deck, or lashed temporarily to a stanchion, etc.), using lifelines, etc. as your counterpoise....
This will take no more than 10 - 15 minutes to rig, and will allow you see how well it works....and allows you to quickly/easily make changes...

Follow the installation recommendations in this thread and in the Sailmail Primer...and you'll be in good shape...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

SailMail Primer


Here are some specifics in red...

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
So any advice on any RF isolators or anything else I need to get?
Yes, for the past 15 - 20 years, I have always recommend a "line isolator" be placed in the coaxial line, at the tuner end of the coax....
Whether "Radio Works" or "DX Engineering", either one is fine...
(btw, if you read the Sailmail Primer, which I've posted about before, you'll see that I'm not alone in my decades-long recommendation in this..)
See a LOT info on these and other things in this thread....
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)



So far the plan is:
add isolators to the triatic
add isolators to the upper mizzen shroud
isolate the mizzen spreader
I'm assuming you are referring to insulators??
These are going to cost you plenty of $$$ for all of those...
(yes, this is can make a good antenna....but it will be expensive, and you've mentioned multiple times the cost of even the AH-4 was going to be prohibitive...so, not sure how much you want to spend here...)

Have you simply given up on feeding the rig uninsulated??
As this just may be a solution for you...depending on how well it works for you...

And, have you give up on trying a test antenna??
Which is what I've recommending all along!!!

Or, an "alt stay antenna" or "rope-tenna"???
As, these may be the best solution....excellent performance and inexpensive!!
(an "alt backstay antenna" or "alt sidestay antenna" is a NON-structural piece of rigging, as Bill has described many times...usually a piece of SS lifeline wire.....and a "ropetenna" is that, a copper wire antenna inside a double-braided polyester line...and both can be moved / adjusted as necessary as they are NOT designed to hold-up the mast, but are strong enough to last decades!)



install the ah4 near the chainplate (going to be fun finding a spot... the spot I had in mind is just a little too small)


Run GTO-15 through the deck (crap I need to order that deck gland)
and connect it to the isolated upper shroud
Run GTO-15 to connect the triatic and the upper shroud
I've got some penetrox and self amalgamated tape for the connections
Again, assuming you're talking about "insulated"....
Yes, this is a workable solution, but pricey with all the rigging insulators, etc. you'll need...


I've got the KISS on the way... I know... you said I could make one for less... I tried... I wasn't happy with my experiment. I just don't have the time to experiment more.
Yeah, I gave up commenting on the KISS a longtime ago...but maybe I should've given more emphasis to my recommendation to read the thread about it!!
Re: KISS-SSB Counterpoise

Perhaps I wasn't clear...sorry about that!
There is NO need at all to "experiment"!!!
Just cut a few scrap pieces of wire, at some random lengths between 14' and 35' long, crimp them onto one ring terminal, and you are all done!!! That's it!!
No experimenting at all!!
You've just made an artificial RF ground / counterpoise for an HF vertical antenna, that will work as well (or better than the KISS, depending on where you run the wires thru the bilge, or even better along the gunwhales / under the deckliner, etc...)

If you add more wires, and select some specific lengths, you'll have one that WILL be better than the KISS!!

An even better approach is to connect your lifelines, stanchions, alum toe-rail (use a tapped screw, etc. to connect to the alum toe-rail below the anodizing), etc....and you have an excellent rf ground / counterpoise that is much better than the KISS...

And, the best approach....run a 3" wide copper strap from the tuner to the nearest underwater thru-hull / grounding plate....and you're in great shape!!!

Please re-read this page...
And, PLEASE understand that an antenna will work WITHOUT any rf ground / counterpoise at all....so what works isn't the question, but rather what works better / best!!
Re: KISS-SSB Counterpoise



thanks all for the advice, tips, and info!


Autumnbreeze, PLEASE do not take offense to this last part....
I'm a nice guy who REALLY does wish to help, but I also really need to be blunt, especially for others that may read this..

In multiple messages, you've mentioned that you could not spend the $$$ on an AH-4, saying that you had a budget....and now have decided to use the AH-4....this is GOOD!
But, instead of taking the advice offered here (by myself and others) to try various approaches to save you $$$ that you said you needed to save, you are spending $$$ on a KISS and many rigging insulators, rather than spending 5 minutes to build-your-own counterpoise and/or trying some less expensive antenna ideas...
This is just odd to me....and makes me wonder if I'm wasting my time???

Again, not trying to be rude in anyway, just being blunt....we've been trying to help, but it seems the story changes along the way....and it gets a bit frustrating...



Fair winds...

John
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Old 09-06-2015, 18:11   #43
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post

...

I'm a nice guy who REALLY does wish to help, but I also really need to be blunt, especially for others that may read this..

....and makes me wonder if I'm wasting my time???

...
Fair winds...

John
John,

You are not wasting your time. Nor are the others who have offered advice.

Thank you.

I pay attention when you post since it is obvious to me that you know what you are talking about and I very much appreciate the time you obviously take to write up your responses. Your posts, on a variety of of websites, have been very informative and helpful. I really appreciate your YouTube videos.

This info in this thread was helpful and I learned quite a few things though I had to Google on some subjects to know what the heck ya'll were talking about.

I am sure quite a few people read these type of posts and learn from them.

Thank you,
Dan
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:10   #44
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Re: Recommended coax for triatic stay HAM antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Autumnbreeze,
Autumnbreeze, PLEASE do not take offense to this last part....
I'm a nice guy who REALLY does wish to help, but I also really need to be blunt, especially for others that may read this..

In multiple messages, you've mentioned that you could not spend the $$$ on an AH-4, saying that you had a budget....and now have decided to use the AH-4....this is GOOD!
But, instead of taking the advice offered here (by myself and others) to try various approaches to save you $$$ that you said you needed to save, you are spending $$$ on a KISS and many rigging insulators, rather than spending 5 minutes to build-your-own counterpoise and/or trying some less expensive antenna ideas...
This is just odd to me....and makes me wonder if I'm wasting my time???

Again, not trying to be rude in anyway, just being blunt....we've been trying to help, but it seems the story changes along the way....and it gets a bit frustrating...

Fair winds...

John
Sorry... I guess I missed a few posts. Let me bring you up to speed.
I tested the chameleon antenna vs a long wire in various configurations and various grounds. I talked to a guy in TN from CA, I talked to a buddy at a local island, etc. I wired a 35' long wire halyard to the LDG and was able to tune it on most of the bands I needed. The chameleon worked as well. For ground I tried various things, including the 14awg wire to the bonding system, 4" AL tape over the rail into the water, and my home brewed KISS antenna. I was able to get it working with the radio and tuner grounded, and I was able to get it working with just the antenna and counterpoise (radio ground not even connected).
I made my wanna be KISS antenna out of cat5e cable. I found these radials described in another post:
2x 12 ft
2x 15 feet 6 inches
2x 5 feet 8 inches
2x 33 feet 8 inches.
So I used that as a guideline. Cat5e is 4 pairs of wires twisted together that are then twisted together. Each radial on this ground was a pair of wires, except for the short 5'8" radial, I used all 4 pairs of a cable for that one. Did it work? Yes. Was it better than the 4" AL? Not sure, didn't test it extensively, but my buddy said no. Will it work better or worse than the KISS? I will let you know!

I am self employed--so my budget can go up and down... 3 months until we leave and I'm still running my company and trying to finish refitting the boat... it's taking it's toll on my sanity and health.

I enjoy the HAM, I just hate having to rig/de-rig my antenna... so I called the rigger out... and he's like "Oh yeah, $400-$500 and we're good." and then the quote came back at $800... and now it's up to $1500... and I still have other rigging work to do.

I know... if this cruising crap was easy... everybody would be doing it.

Lighting up the whole rig to see if it would work as an antenna isn't really appealling to me... the thought of pumping 100w of power into the grounding of all the boat electronics...
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:59   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannc View Post
John,

You are not wasting your time. Nor are the others who have offered advice.

Thank you.

I pay attention when you post since it is obvious to me that you know what you are talking about and I very much appreciate the time you obviously take to write up your responses. Your posts, on a variety of of websites, have been very informative and helpful. I really appreciate your YouTube videos.

This info in this thread was helpful and I learned quite a few things though I had to Google on some subjects to know what the heck ya'll were talking about.

I am sure quite a few people read these type of posts and learn from them.

Thank you,
Dan
I second that...
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