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Old 26-10-2012, 10:53   #16
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
chuckr, How high up the backstay have you mounted this?
And what length is it? Can it be trimmed to fit if it's too long? The GAM website is short of lots of practical details
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Old 26-10-2012, 11:28   #17
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

i have a quest pole on the back of the boat approx 8' high that holds the gimball mechanism for the radar dome - the antenna is above that

i would post a pic if someone would give me directions - somewhat techie illerate - there is a pic of the boat in my gallery - some old ones with only 2 solar panels but now have 3 and have a gps antenna and a vhf antenna and both support my ais unit


just my thought
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Old 26-10-2012, 11:31   #18
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post

i would post a pic if someone would give me directions - somewhat techie illerate - there is a pic of the boat in my gallery - some old ones with only 2 solar panels but now have 3 and have a gps antenna and a vhf antenna and both support my ais unit
a photo would be great. Use the Post Reply button rather than the Quick Reply. Scroll down to "Additional Options," and select "Manage Attachments." You can browse for the photo on your computer, and then don't forget to upload it.

Not too difficult.
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Old 26-10-2012, 12:47   #19
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

Click image for larger version

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hope this worked -- one pic is of SoulMates and if you look at the back stay you can see a thick part of the backstay that looks black and ends about 3/4 of the way up --

the second pic you can see the radar dome on the gimballed mount that is attached to the quest pole and the gam electronics is just above that - by the way what you may not be able to see on either is the gps and vhf antenna that are up there in between the solar panels that feed the ais unit

hope this helps
chuck
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Old 26-10-2012, 14:13   #20
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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...
I always cringe before I post this technique. For 26 years now, on two different boats I have used NO insulators other than the hull. Currently I have a manual tuner, less than 1 metre of "feed line" to a bolt on my shroud chainplate. This makes a random length wire antenna which includes the mast and all the rigging above the deck.

It is sorta crude, but it works. Years of comparative tests show that it gets out about the same as conventional backstay antennas. Seems to be less directional than backstays, and certainly doesn't put weak points in any wires.
....
Another confession: I've done the same. Originally intended to just be temporary, but works so well I've never bothered to change it.
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Old 26-10-2012, 14:27   #21
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

I went with the backstay, primarily because I don't actually know of anyone who's seen a relatively new insulator snap. They still spooked me out a bit, but good engineering is good engineering.
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Old 26-10-2012, 15:31   #22
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

I'd go with one of two solutions:

1. an alternate backstay antenna, fabricated with 3/16" s/s insulated lifeline; a loop at each end; hoisted with a spare or dedicated halyard; tied off to the pushpit on either side of the boat (the most convenient); antenna tuner belowdecks; fed with GTO-15 feedline thru the deck. Lots of ways to connect the feedline to the antenna. Here's one: DSC_0343ps

You don't need to worry about either permanency or windage (on a Moody 54????). Mine has been up for over 20 years and has gone thru 5 major hurricanes in the Caribbean.

You DO have to worry about boom length and mainsail roach, however. Be sure an alternate antenna will clear the boom and the main.

or

2. the backstay, with a single Haydn fail-safe insulator a few feet from the top; fed at the chainplate belowdecks with a short length of GTO-15 from the tuner; tuner connected to the radio at the nav station with RG-213 or RG-214.

The easy RF ground solution for either antenna is the KISS-SSB. You can knock yourself out with other solutions, but the KISS works very very well.

Re: the length of the antenna, longer antennas favor lower bands, shorter ones favor higher bands. Figure out how you'll likely use the antenna and go for it. An overall length of 40-45' is a fair compromise.

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Old 27-10-2012, 13:17   #23
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

OK, Bill, thAt sounds like a plan. One Hayn insulator, and tap the chainplate. KISS ground. NOW all I need is a radio. One would think that good SSB sets woukd be thick on the ground on FleaBay, but guess again. . As little as these are used, one would think that they would be more frequently sold. . . .
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Old 27-10-2012, 13:49   #24
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

Has anyone ever heard of a backstay isolator failing? I never have and really dont much worry about mine ...
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Old 27-10-2012, 14:14   #25
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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NOW all I need is a radio. One would think that good SSB sets woukd be thick on the ground on FleaBay, but guess again. . As little as these are used, one would think that they would be more frequently sold. . . .
Why not go for it and get full ham license.

Save a load on a pactor modem using winlink through a soundcard instead..

I got to (uk) advanced in about 6 months, first 2 exams were easy but advanced (which you need for a maritime mobile call sign) was pretty involved. Your supposed to have a marine ssb license to transmit on those freqs but as far as i can make out the advance ham is streets ahead of that so unlikely you'll get into any trouble if you have a chat offshore on the marine ssb bands.

Cue the "illegal to transmit on ssb using ham set"
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Old 28-10-2012, 01:04   #26
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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Why not go for it and get full ham license.

Save a load on a pactor modem using winlink through a soundcard instead..

I got to (uk) advanced in about 6 months, first 2 exams were easy but advanced (which you need for a maritime mobile call sign) was pretty involved. Your supposed to have a marine ssb license to transmit on those freqs but as far as i can make out the advance ham is streets ahead of that so unlikely you'll get into any trouble if you have a chat offshore on the marine ssb bands.

Cue the "illegal to transmit on ssb using ham set"
I have a license good for both VHF and SSB - as a US citizen I'm entitled to a no-exam operator's license. I think about a ham license but wonder whether it's worth the trouble.

I will surely buy a real marine SSB set for legality's sake. Ideal for me would be the ICom M801/802 because of the panel-mount control head and remote black box, but they are d*mned expensive, so I don't know. But at least I have the antenna question sorted - thanks to Bill and others!
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Old 28-10-2012, 01:40   #27
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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OK, Bill, thAt sounds like a plan. One Hayn insulator, and tap the chainplate. KISS ground. NOW all I need is a radio. One would think that good SSB sets woukd be thick on the ground on FleaBay, but guess again. . As little as these are used, one would think that they would be more frequently sold. . . .

Seem to be alot cheaper in the USA, might be worth a visit
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Old 28-10-2012, 03:52   #28
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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I have a license good for both VHF and SSB - as a US citizen I'm entitled to a no-exam operator's license. I think about a ham license but wonder whether it's worth the trouble.
Quite possibly not unless you're into it. But you do learn a lot. When cruising, I'm on a budget so a big driver was getting rid of the satphone line rental without the expense of a pactor modem/SSB and with the freedom a ham license gives as well. 1,000 got an IC7000 off ebay. Bit of work but I certainly don't regret it, now it's done anyway. though if it wasn't for offshore passages i wouldn't have bothered.
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Old 28-10-2012, 06:10   #29
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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Quite possibly not unless you're into it. But you do learn a lot. When cruising, I'm on a budget so a big driver was getting rid of the satphone line rental without the expense of a pactor modem/SSB and with the freedom a ham license gives as well. 1,000 got an IC7000 off ebay. Bit of work but I certainly don't regret it, now it's done anyway. though if it wasn't for offshore passages i wouldn't have bothered.
Well, I would want a real marine SSB radio in any case, so a ham license wouldn't help me there. Seems a lot of trouble just for Winlink (Winlid?) when Sailmail is available, and you are allowed to use Sailmail for business purposes. Are there nets on ham frequencies which are not accessible to marine SSB operators? What is there to do besides logging long distance contacts?
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Old 28-10-2012, 06:57   #30
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Re: Shroud as SSB Antenna?

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Well, I would want a real marine SSB radio in any case, so a ham license wouldn't help me there. Seems a lot of trouble just for Winlink (Winlid?) when Sailmail is available, and you are allowed to use Sailmail for business purposes. Are there nets on ham frequencies which are not accessible to marine SSB operators? What is there to do besides logging long distance contacts?
Quite a lot of it was finance driven, 500 quid odd for the UK SSB course, pactor modem & higher cost of SSB radio plus $250 a year sailmail subscription. Exams to advanced ham license probably cost about 100 and learned masses. Winlkink is free and seems to run fine even surrounded by masts and buildings.
I've never really been bothered by the sailing nets on VHF , offshore might be a bit different, hard to say. But certainly know enough not to cause any bother by having a chat on the SSB nets offshore, radio is opened up to transmit on SSB freqs. And there do seem to be quite a few dedicated ham nets.
World MM Nets - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

Ham does seem more useful is some regards, Jeane Socrotes (Who has just set off *again* for a solo circumnavigatioon! S/Y Nereida sails around the world ) talks of useful fishermans nets and making handy shore contacts before arriving in a new country. Next time I get the bow pointing across an ocean I'll find out
Anyway, I got outgoings for offshore comms down to zero which was what I was after.
Good luck whichever way you go.
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