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Old 08-12-2008, 23:57   #1
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Ropetenna opinions sought.

Hello,

working out the plan for installing my new to me Icom IC-M700 and AT-120 tuner.

Was planning on buying the GAM antenna (no desire to cut up my backstay) but it seems that Rope Antennas, Single Side Band antennas for Sail boats, powerboats, SSB antennas has a product that I might be able to use the same way as the GAM. I have friends who are using the GAM and are very happy with it but I know nobody who is using the Ropetenna. Anybody here have any experiences or opinions to share?

Thanks very much in advance,
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Old 09-12-2008, 00:51   #2
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I've been using the rope antenna for two years and it's worked well. Since we have a cat (no backstay), there weren't many options and the rope antenna seemed the simplest. Happy with it so far...
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:22   #3
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Rope antenna

With all respect for the company making this "Ropeantenna" but what is the added value of what they offer? That the radiating wire is threaded inside a rope... and what happens when that rope is very wet or wet and freezes up?

It offers nothing extra to a length of strong zincked isolated copper wire or stainless steel small gauge cable, with HF isolators (easily found in a HAM shop) on both sides, and the top side indeed attached to a spare halyard, and then run from the mast to the side of the stern eg. the lower isolator attached to the pullpit. From there GTO-15 wire or the inner conduct wire of a RG-213 coax cable (outer isalation and mesh braid removed) leading to a through-deck isolated lead and from there with the shortest strecth as possible to the automatic antenna tuner.
Your total investment: not more then $60.00 with the through-deck isolator-connector the most expensive part...

With these advantages:
- you can easily and cheaply choose and tune the wire length according to your situation
- strong, simple and cheap
- certainly as effective as the commercial offer
- a thinner wire will have less windload than a full length rope-like stretch like this Ropeantenna.

I'm sure Bill Trayfors can fill in all the details on making your own, on the do's and don'ts and some practical design.

Jan
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:23   #4
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We have an rope-antenna on our lagoon 440 Tara, we have done the atlantic crossing with it.
It worked perfectly on the crossing and still.
I broke mine once, after an bad connection, and they give me an new one.
So they have an verry good service.
Good luck with it.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:25   #5
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I use the ropetenna as an emergency back up should my main longwire antenna fail.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ON3ZTT View Post
With all respect for the company making this "Ropeantenna" but what is the added value of what they offer? That the radiating wire is threaded inside a rope... and what happens when that rope is very wet or wet and freezes up?

It offers nothing extra to a length of strong zincked isolated copper wire or stainless steel small gauge cable, with HF isolators (easily found in a HAM shop) on both sides, and the top side indeed attached to a spare halyard, and then run from the mast to the side of the stern eg. the lower isolator attached to the pullpit. From there GTO-15 wire or the inner conduct wire of a RG-213 coax cable (outer isalation and mesh braid removed) leading to a through-deck isolated lead and from there with the shortest strecth as possible to the automatic antenna tuner.
Your total investment: not more then $60.00 with the through-deck isolator-connector the most expensive part...

Jan
This "alternate backstay" antenna has been discussed alot here and at SSCA. I did one as well. My disagreement with your post is the cost. The idea sounds inexpensive and in reality may not be. GTO is approaching 2 dollars a foot, whatever you choose to use as the element is going to cost, you might need to mount a block at the mast to get the line through to haul the element -- that hardware costs, as does the nicropress fitting, and so forth. Mine ran about 200$ and frankly at that price I considered the GAM Antenna.

I took a couple of shots for album here. I know Bill also has some pictures how to mount the element to the rail and connect the GTO.


Michael
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Old 09-12-2008, 13:22   #7
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Cost for alternate backstay antenna

Come on Michael!

- If you want to haul the Ropeantenna you will also need a block in the mast (using one already there or a new one). This can really be a lightweight block since you only haul a wire antenna that does not need a strong tension
- the (real) antenna wire can be some 40-45 ft of thin S/S cable or any copper or litzwire wire - the former is certainly not expensive ($1 to $2 per meter)
- 2 end isolators: 1.30/piece so I guess the same price in $
- GTO cable: you can easily use the inner conductor of RG 213 coax cable; typically you will need about 1.5-3 meters at 1.50/m
- the only really expensive item - but you will also need it for the Ropeantenna and the GAM antenna is a good quality through-deck connector (about $100 from MAT marine)

So the typical wire antenna costs (ex the through-deck connector) will average: $ 25 + cost of a lightweight (second hand) block and some light duty halyard rope. Far from your $ 200!

Jan
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Old 09-12-2008, 20:50   #8
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Jan

We live in different parts of the world -- and my experience was vastly different than yours. I do not agree with your pricing -- mine was different. What can I say? I did not say you were "wrong" and that it could not be done, I merely said I disagreed with the pricing in your post.

I used 40 feet of stainless steel life line with a new block and other odds and ends. I used real GTO wire. I shopped at Westmarine. I did not get pricing at 1-2$ per meter (LOL!) I likely did everything wrong, BUT by the time I added up all the odds and ends (including the new line to get the lifeline up, it knocked on a couple of C notes.

And as far as a through the deck connector, I drilled a hole and gooped the the damn thing! No 100+$ through hull connector for me!

Michael
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:36   #9
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cost alternate backstay antenna

Hi Michael,

well you were shopping in a marine store and you must know how prices and margins taken are over there! That is the same over here in western Europe.
I bought my stuff in DIY and HAM stores.
So there is a learning here: get your radio and antenna parts in specialised stores, not marine stores...

Jan
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