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Old 31-12-2011, 15:33   #16
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Re: SSB advice

Insulated backstay with a KISS SSB counterpoise. We also carry a 2 piece 27' SSB as a spare.
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Old 31-12-2011, 15:45   #17
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Re: SSB advice

NorthPacific, you have been getting some good advice here. As Bill suggests, and I would like to emphasize, you don't have to kill yourself trying to install the best possible setup. Hook up something reasonable, and use it. The most critical part of using your SSB or ham radio is learning to be an effective operator. Practice is the way you become effective. Along the way you might find pieces of your installation you wish to improve, but don't worry too much about that now.

You can't go wrong with an insulated backstay (not the absolute best, but definitely good enough). Long verticals, wire/rope/halyards usually do the job too. The GAM can work, but some boats I know haven't had good results with this (or the problem may have been with the ground / counterpoise.)
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Old 31-12-2011, 15:59   #18
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Re: SSB advice

we have a gam electronics antenna and love it - we have been out going on 5 years and no issues - i am a ham and receive and send email, gribs, wxfax and voice from a multiple distances - have acted as a relay and net controller for various nets -
no issues at all and we did not need to cut the back stay and introduce another point of failure

just our thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmates
currently in panama
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Old 31-12-2011, 19:50   #19
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Re: SSB advice

Jedi, you say not a 3 piece whip. Any reason? ANy max min height away from waterline? How about hear to Radar dome or other metal stuff.

SO Bill,with the Kiss you don't need a grounding plate? and it attaches to a throw hull from the tuner?

Once again thanks to many for taking the time to explain to a new-by.

Next question any bibles like Ham or SSB for Dummies that can help with installation and operation :-)
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Old 31-12-2011, 20:39   #20
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Re: SSB advice

Yes, with the KISS you do not need a grounding plate. And no, it does not attach to a through-hull.

You attach the KISS to the "ground" connector of your antenna tuner. It serves as a counterpoise, which some people call the antenna "ground."
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Old 31-12-2011, 22:57   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthPacific
Jedi, you say not a 3 piece whip. Any reason? ANy max min height away from waterline? How about hear to Radar dome or other metal stuff.

SO Bill,with the Kiss you don't need a grounding plate? and it attaches to a throw hull from the tuner?

Once again thanks to many for taking the time to explain to a new-by.

Next question any bibles like Ham or SSB for Dummies that can help with installation and operation :-)
The 3-piece whip is weaker... The 2-piece will last longer. On Jedi, the base is mounted on the transom, about 3' above waterline. But Mark on Reach has it on his arch and that works fine too, so it isn't crucial. What is more important is the wire from tuner to the antenna... keep the inside-the-boat part very short, like 1-3' maximum.

The KISS looks like a 20' long hose with a piece of wire coming out. You attach that wire to the ground lug on the tuner, stretch the other 20' and fasten it and you're done.

I liked to read the SGC-230 manual. It has info about different antennas on boats etc. Otherwise it's all the same as HAM radio.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 31-12-2011, 23:06   #22
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Re: SSB advice

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The 3-piece whip is weaker... The 2-piece will last longer. On Jedi, the base is mounted on the transom, about 3' above waterline. But Mark on Reach has it on his arch and that works fine too, so it isn't crucial. What is more important is the wire from tuner to the antenna... keep the inside-the-boat part very short, like 1-3' maximum.

The KISS looks like a 20' long hose with a piece of wire coming out. You attach that wire to the ground lug on the tuner, stretch the other 20' and fasten it and you're done.

I liked to read the SGC-230 manual. It has info about different antennas on boats etc. Otherwise it's all the same as HAM radio.

cheers,
Nick.
And that 20' of hose can be simply stretched out in the bilges?

I am about to do the same thing. I'm having a hell of time figuring out what to do about an antenna, as my backstay is too thick for a regular insulator.

I am also somewhat nervous (sorry for the thread drift) that there will be no one to talk with. It seems that more and more sailors I know are foregoing SSB in favor of a satphone. But I just don't think a long range cruiser should be without a radio shack. It just don't seem right to me. I do have a satphone, but the purpose and functionality is different.
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Old 31-12-2011, 23:14   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead

And that 20' of hose can be simply stretched out in the bilges?

I am about to do the same thing. I'm having a hell of time figuring out what to do about an antenna, as my backstay is too thick for a regular insulator.

I am also somewhat nervous (sorry for the thread drift) that there will be no one to talk with. It seems that more and more sailors I know are foregoing SSB in favor of a satphone. But I just don't think a long range cruiser should be without a radio shack. It just don't seem right to me. I do have a satphone, but the purpose and functionality is different.
Yep, just tie-wrap it securely and that's it. Your boat would do well with a vertical whip too, no problem. I really tried to beat it but only succeeded with directional antenna's meaning the whip is as good as the backstay.

There is a lot going on, on SSB and HAM. We have a satphone and rarely use it.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 01-01-2012, 00:13   #24
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Re: SSB advice

The KISS-SSB Radial Ground System consists of a 10' length of hose (not 20') with a 4' length of AWG10 yellow wire extending from one end. You connect this wire to the ground lug on the tuner.

Re: backstay insulators, no backstay is "too thick". Insulators come in any size you want. Best is the Hadyn fail-safe insulator, and I've installed them on up to 1/2" stainless rigging.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

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Old 01-01-2012, 00:25   #25
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Re: SSB advice

Ok Nick so now I have the kiss attached to the Tuner. The Tuner is attached to the radio by, a copper band?

The wire run from the tuner inside the boat should be as short as possible. outside the boat no problem?

Steve

Happy New year from BC
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Old 01-01-2012, 00:53   #26
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Re: SSB advice

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Originally Posted by NorthPacific View Post
Ok Nick so now I have the kiss attached to the Tuner. The Tuner is attached to the radio by, a copper band?

The wire run from the tuner inside the boat should be as short as possible. outside the boat no problem?

Steve

Happy New year from BC
The tuner is connected to the radio by a length of 50 Ohm coaxial cable. The tuner has a ground connection (a threaded stud / washer / nut to the Kiss or other R.F. ground system), and an antenna connection threaded stud / washer / nut. The antenna is usually connected to the tuner with a section of "GTO-15" high-voltage wire. Your antenna actually starts at the tuner, and the GTO-15 is part of it. This why it's best to route this wire a few inches away from any metal bits (until you attach it to the backstay / whip / GAM / etc.)
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:04   #27
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Re: SSB advice

Yes, Paul is correct.

The 50-ohm coax from the tuner to the radio can be any length. While RG8X coax will work, it's often best to use RG-213 or RG-214 for their physical properties. The PL-259 UHF connectors on the coax should be properly attached and taped or otherwise protected.

The GTO15 wire from the tuner to the antenna should be kept as short as possible. That's why it's generally best to locate the tuner belowdecks somewhere close to the base of the antenna.

Happy New Year,

Bill
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:31   #28
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Re: SSB advice

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Vertical antennas work but they are very prone to corrosion on a sailboat. They may need frequent disassembly and cleaning of the contacts between the sections. Not that big a thing but an embarassment if it happens when you need to get out.
That has not been my experience of 13yrs with a vertical whip.

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Old 01-01-2012, 06:36   #29
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Re: SSB advice

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... no macho tilt.
But it is a French boat - isn't macho tilt mandatory on them?

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Old 01-01-2012, 06:40   #30
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Re: SSB advice

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...make sure you get the 2-part whip (not the 3-part), that you don't forget the upper support bracket...
If you have problems mounting an upper support bracket, there are also free-standing versions. Ours is a 28' freestanding.

Also, a vertical whip is nothing more than a fiberglass tube with a wire inside. You can make one if you wish (old fishing rods, etc).

Mark
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