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Old 19-01-2010, 17:43   #1
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Rope Antenna

We are buying a liveaboard cat and want HF radio. Is a Rope Antenna the best form of antenna? We'll be cruising Australian waters, much of which are poorly serviced or not serviced at all by other forms of communication.
Junktocat
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Old 20-01-2010, 02:59   #2
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dont know about the rope thing but i have found the VHF here is excellent with "volunteer" coverage all along the east coast. They are passionate about it. Are you Aussie based or visiting?? Kaz
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Old 20-01-2010, 05:50   #3
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The "Rope Antenna" should work fine with an antenna tuner. Its a convenient though relatively expensive solution. Performance-wise, you would do better with a vertical dipole constructed for each band of interest, but the rope antenna should work as well as the common insulated backstay antenna.
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Old 20-01-2010, 17:42   #4
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Thanks to both respondents.
Kaz, We're back in Aussie now - but 20yrs of living/cruising history mostly based NZ in low tech days. Lots of catching up to do. Junktocat
Any advice much appreciated.
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Old 21-01-2010, 16:12   #5
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So where are you based in Aus. I am near Brisbane. I must be naive but i have not heard of a rope antenna what is it and how does it work and for what? HF VHF FM/AM ?
Kaz
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Old 21-01-2010, 17:25   #6
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Hello,

I like the rope antenna and use one. Saves on expensive insulators in the backstay and can be stowed in bad weather.

I built mine for less than $50 bucks US. Buy a chunk of 10 or 11 MM double braid and a piece of #16 or 18 AWG marine wire. Pull the core out of the rope and pull the wire back into the sheath. Measure your available space so you get the actual antenna length as long as possible but leave the lower connection high enough over the cockpit that it is not a hazard.

I got fancy and reinstalled the core on both ends, then tapered the core off much like a splice taper so the wire and the core overlap a few feet. So the ends of the line are as original and the core holds the wire firmly in place. Then if you wish to get fancy you can splice eyes in both ends. You don’t need the core at all as the antenna will never carry any load and the sheath is quite strong as is.

Um Saudade
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Old 21-01-2010, 17:49   #7
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Actually, you don't even need the rope. Build the same thing with 1/16" stainless steel wire with a loop at each end. Use whatever UV resistant cordage you want to attach to each end and secure the antenna.
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