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Old 26-02-2011, 06:25   #46
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

Hi Bill,

I like the idea of have a backup antenna ready at an instant, and may end up going with a whip like you describe. As for right now on the hard, I've got excellent propagation on 20-meters with the make-shift antenna and counterpoise I setup on deck. I did add a measured radial for 14300, but without an antenna analyzer on board, I'm not sure if it actually made any difference.

Yesterday was really noisy, but I was still able to check in, however, I didn't pick up the european stations the net controllers were complaining about. My setup seems to be directional toward the south, Florida, and west, Wisconsin, etc., though I haven't modeled it. It's a sloper pointed south hung from an ungrounded mast that's probably acting as a reflector and adding a bit a gain to the south.

My AA-230 Pro should arrive late next week, so I'll have to wait till then to check my handy work. Maybe I'll see if I tweak it and try to pickup the Waterway Net, it's currently very light in my noise -- are you still a net control?

73...
don
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Old 26-02-2011, 06:38   #47
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

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Originally Posted by nv5l View Post
Hi Bill,

I like the idea of have a backup antenna ready at an instant, and may end up going with a whip like you describe. As for right now on the hard, I've got excellent propagation on 20-meters with the make-shift antenna and counterpoise I setup on deck. I did add a measured radial for 14300, but without an antenna analyzer on board, I'm not sure if it actually made any difference.

Yesterday was really noisy, but I was still able to check in, however, I didn't pick up the european stations the net controllers were complaining about. My setup seems to be directional toward the south, Florida, and west, Wisconsin, etc., though I haven't modeled it. It's a sloper pointed south hung from an ungrounded mast that's probably acting as a reflector and adding a bit a gain to the south.

My AA-230 Pro should arrive late next week, so I'll have to wait till then to check my handy work. Maybe I'll see if I tweak it and try to pickup the Waterway Net, it's currently very light in my noise -- are you still a net control?

73...
don
Slopers work very well, normally, in the direction of the slope. The AA-230 Pro will be a real asset. I have a 259B, not the greatest antenna analyzer, but works most of the time :-)

Yep, still Net Control on Mondays, Fleet Captain on Saturdays, and general kibitzer rest of the week! We often hear vessels from New York, if skip is short enough. N1FH Fred in Mystic is often on the Net. Sometimes he's incredibly strong (I suspect he's really on my roof!) and, a minute later he'll be down in the mud. 40 meters is a hoot in the mornings :-)

73,

Bill
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Old 28-02-2011, 22:02   #48
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

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Hi daddle, You've mentioned RF engineers and best practices in at least a few posts. Am I to understand you are an engineer? Are you also a ham? No worries if you're not, I'm just trying to judge your expertise in this area, but if you are an RF engineer, I'd love to get the modeling results for your antenna system.
I'm a retired electronic engineer. Not a ham. My copy of Terman's antenna text is 7000 miles away mouldering on a shelf. As far as sailboat antenna design, I stuck with the textbook rules. Insulated backstay. Tuner grounded firmly to all significant conductors: toerails, keel, tankage. I believe the connections to be clean, low resistance. Not an indication of field strength by any means, but I have made contacts on various bands at various opportune times from Mexico to Australia. Even on reduced power. While not indicating some miraculous performance it certainly indicates I haven't screwed something up too badly.

I would think it a fools errand to model a sailboat what with all the conductors nearby. The ICOM is what? 250W? That's a lot of power. A majority of that can be wasted, as it certainly is, and still get reasonable results. Receive performance just requires a good ground, clean connections, and an electrically quiet boat (laptops are often the worst offenders...except the well designed MacBook)

As far as the KISS-SSB. Certainly systems made with it can work. How well seems to be untested. Their website can't seem to decide whether it's a counterpoise, whatever that really is, or the lower portion of some weirdly loaded dipole. It can't really be both now can it? As far as wires carrying RF in a tight bundle...heh...too far off the engineering charts. As far as the ham and ARRL world goes, there's plenty of hocus-pocus published therein as well as plenty of actual effective technology. Too bad the two mix together so much.

I'll publish my detailed rebuttal after KISS-SSB publishes their test results in a refereed journal.

Note to the masses: It really helps to have shiny clean connections and be far out at sea, away from the cities, for many reasons, one of them being SSB performance. The worst possible place is in a marina. For several reasons.

Daddle
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Old 01-03-2011, 16:21   #49
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

Hi Daddle:

I've seen several examples of using a single 1/4 wave radial for each band which is what the kiss system claims to be using, but nothing in the way of a technical study. The manual for my Icom tuner also mentions it, and kiss claims to use over 600' of wire, which would be about right for a 1/4 wave radial for each band -- looks like they must use loading coils to make the whole thing so short.

There's nothing magical about 1/4 wavelength radials other than longer ones don't add much. Shorter ones help as well, and as a matter of fact, most signal loss due to ground resistance is within the first .1 wavelength anyway. Screen is the best, but the more radials you use, of any length, the better, however, they must be spaced more or less evenly to be most effective.

Since neither screen nor radials are particularly easy to add to boats, other equivalent methods must be used. The methods you've described seem appropriate, but since the first .1 wavelength is the most important, I'd concentrate on that first, e.g., adding screen under the cockpit. Also, since seawater is such a good conductor compared to regular ground, the job is somewhat easier, but the data I'm referencing comes from studies over dry land -- haven't found anything done specifically over saltwater.

Personally, I wouldn't buy the kiss system either, though, I'm sure it gives acceptable results for most people or they wouldn't like it so much.

Btw, I plan to construct my own multi-band coax-trap dipole for use whenever I need to make a long range connections and the backstay performance isn't up to par. The traps should make it short enough to hoist on a halyard and tie off the ends to the bow and stern pulpits. My boat's too small for a full-size dipole, so coax-traps are about my only option.

take care and 73...
don
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Old 01-03-2011, 22:51   #50
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

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Btw, I plan to construct my own multi-band coax-trap dipole for use whenever I need to make a long range connections and the backstay performance isn't up to par. The traps should make it short enough to hoist on a halyard and tie off the ends to the bow and stern pulpits. My boat's too small for a full-size dipole, so coax-traps are about my only option.

take care and 73...
don
Don,
I'd be interested in what you come up with on this. I've used a 20 meter dipole hoisted about 8 meters up in the middle and with the ends lashed to the backstay and a boathook stuck in the bow pulpit. Works better than my usual antenna, which is the whole rig, mast grounded at the base, fed at the base of one shroud, especially in marinas where noise is a big problem. Would be nice to have one for 40 m as well, but as you say, boats don't come in that size (for regular folks anyhow).

So, please post your results when available!

73 de Jim N9GFT/VK4GFT
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:43   #51
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

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As for connecting it, you can fold the copper over and into a little triangle at the tip, and then punch a hole in it and attach it to a bolt or screw.
Hi,
here is the novice again...
no way as I canĚt access the bolt of the lever...can I instead use a jubilee clip to which I will srew/solder the copper and then fix it to the bronze valve?
Thanks again for your good advices.
ON3CHD
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:43   #52
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

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Don,
I'd be interested in what you come up with on this. I've used a 20 meter dipole hoisted about 8 meters up in the middle and with the ends lashed to the backstay and a boathook stuck in the bow pulpit. Works better than my usual antenna, which is the whole rig, mast grounded at the base, fed at the base of one shroud, especially in marinas where noise is a big problem. Would be nice to have one for 40 m as well, but as you say, boats don't come in that size (for regular folks anyhow).

So, please post your results when available!

73 de Jim N9GFT/VK4GFT
Jim,

Your dipole would work much better -- especially for DX contacts -- if you'd rig it vertically, with the lower end near the deck. A vertical dipole puts most of it's power out in a huge lobe located within about 5-10 degrees of the horizon....exactly where you want it for DX ... while an inverted-Vee (which I believe you now have) is a high-vertical-angle radiator, much better suited to short-distance contacts.

73,

Bill
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Old 02-03-2011, 16:46   #53
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

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Jim,

Your dipole would work much better -- especially for DX contacts -- if you'd rig it vertically, with the lower end near the deck. A vertical dipole puts most of it's power out in a huge lobe located within about 5-10 degrees of the horizon....exactly where you want it for DX ... while an inverted-Vee (which I believe you now have) is a high-vertical-angle radiator, much better suited to short-distance contacts.

73,

Bill
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G'Day Bill,

Right you are! There are a few physical difficulties in getting it all the way up, but I ought to give it a try one of these days! Not being into DX per se these days (gave that up in much the same way that I gave up racing my boat!), there hasn't been a big incentive to set it up.

The horizontal "almost a dipole" seems to be somewhat quieter (RFI wise) in the marina setting than my "almost a vertical" rigging antenna. We don't spend much time in marinas, so it isn't all that big a deal, but when my days as net control (Comedy net on 7.087, 2040 Z) roll around whilst incarcerated in one, I wish for a horizontally polarized 40 m antenna. Hence my request to the above poster.

Cheers, and thanks for you interest.

73 de N9GFT/VK4GFT
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Old 02-03-2011, 18:01   #54
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Re: SSB Counter Poise

Hi Jim:

I'll be happy to let you know how it goes, but I probably won't be able to start working on it till later this summer -- got my hands full with my transmission and rigging right now. But until then, here's an example of one online: coax-trap dipole. It's essentially the same as the examples in the Antenna Book, with each half around 30.6' long for a 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, and 80 meter multi-band dipole. You could add loading coils to make it shorter if needed.

hth, 73...
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