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Old 17-04-2011, 05:54   #1
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SSB Radio

To keep things as simple as possible could someone with SSB knowledge tell me if the following combination would work?

Icom IC-710 radio
Icom 130 antenna tuner
Gam backstay antenna
Kiss grounding system

I have read the opinions on the costs for the Kiss grounding system and that is irrelivent for the question I am asking. All I am asking is will these components give me a workable system with a 3000 mile range?
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Old 17-04-2011, 06:01   #2
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Re: SSB Radio

Yes, that'll work OK.

I'm not a fan of the Gam antenna...there are better solutions, IMHO...but it will work.

I am a fan of the KISS-SSB radial ground system; works as advertised.

On any SSB system, distance potential also depends on frequency band and propagation, time of day or night, etc.

Bill
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Old 17-04-2011, 07:43   #3
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Re: SSB Radio

Sounds. like a good set-up. About the same as mine except, having a ketch, I use the spring stay instead of back stay

Basically the same, just different location.

Welcome aboard and enjoy CF.
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Old 17-04-2011, 08:07   #4
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Re: SSB Radio

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Yes, that'll work OK.

I'm not a fan of the Gam antenna...there are better solutions, IMHO...but it will work.

I am a fan of the KISS-SSB radial ground system; works as advertised.

On any SSB system, distance potential also depends on frequency band and propagation, time of day or night, etc.

Bill
Could you please explain? I've been thinking of connecting a tuner to one of the backstay chainplates inside the hull, the ss bolts come right thru. I'd like to avoid any stay insulators if possible but I expect I'll have to fit one near the top of the stay. I'm wondering about just trying it without any insulators, will I be transmitting power to the whole rig? Actually, when I look at the stays, shrouds and mast I see that all together they make up one insulated unit and would only touch water in heavy seas. Of course that would be the time when radio contact might be most important.
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Old 17-04-2011, 08:13   #5
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Re: SSB Radio

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Could you please explain? I've been thinking of connecting a tuner to one of the backstay chainplates inside the hull, the ss bolts come right thru. I'd like to avoid any stay insulators if possible but I expect I'll have to fit one near the top of the stay. I'm wondering about just trying it without any insulators, will I be transmitting power to the whole rig? Actually, when I look at the stays, shrouds and mast I see that all together they make up one insulated unit and would only touch water in heavy seas. Of course that would be the time when radio contact might be most important.
nial
You could try it without the insulator, but my preference would be to install a good insulator (e.g., the Haydn "fail-safe" insulator) about 38-40' above the deck on one of the backstays. If I remember correctly, the Catalina 400 Mark I has split backstays which reach all the way to the truck of the mast, so this should be an easy and a good install.

Bill
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Old 18-04-2011, 09:48   #6
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Re: SSB Radio

Wow, I was just about to ask a similar question. I too wish to go with an unisulated backstay, however, my question concerns potential problems with my Metz VHF antenna mounted on the masthead. It's currently grounded to the rig which acts as it's counterpoise.

If it's a problem (which I think it is or I wouldn't be asking) I could insulate it (VHF) and add a small dedicated counterpoise, but I'm mainly wondering what the other folks who use uninsulated backstays do.

Didn't mean to hijack the thread, but this might also be an issue for you too.

thanks...
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Old 18-04-2011, 10:35   #7
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Re: SSB Radio

Don,

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I'm NOT advocating the use of uninsulated backstays, shrouds, or other standing rigging. Sometimes they work out OK...not great...but it's very much dependent on the boat. Quite frankly, it's a crapshoot.

Rather, I would advocate the use of backstays, shrouds, etc. which have an insulator near the top. One insulator only. Providing, of course, that the chain plate isn't grounded or attached to another shroud (sometimes, catamarans and others share a common chainplate).

While the VHF and HF frequencies are far apart, the effect of HF loaded to the entire rig -- to which the VHF counterpoise is attached -- would have unpredictable results and, IMHO, could conceivably damage the front end of the VHF.

Bill
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Old 18-04-2011, 10:45   #8
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Re: SSB Radio

Hi Bill:

I didn't misunderstand, I just want to try it before cutting my brand new backstay. Your last point was mainly what I was after. In particular, there are several people on this site who successfully use uninsulated backstays, so I wanted to know if they had any issues with their VHF antennas.

73...
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Old 18-04-2011, 10:47   #9
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Re: SSB Radio

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Hi Bill:

I didn't misunderstand, I just want to try it before cutting my brand new backstay. Your last point was mainly what I was after. In particular, there are several people on this site who successfully use uninsulated backstays, so I wanted to know if they had any issues with their VHF antennas.

73...
don
Don,

Understood. How about an "alternate backstay"?

Bill
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:04   #10
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Re: SSB Radio

Replaced my insulated backstay with a one piece specifically to get rid of the four additional potential failure points created by using insulators. I do not trust them. You can't see what's inside to check them and just the fact of having to trust four swageless(or swaged) connections makes me nervous. I use a split lead antenna that works just fine, slides over the stay and is removable very easily. It is easily rolled up and stored out of the weather when the mast is lowered. Also, should the rig come down, it could conceivably be reset on a jury rig to make the radio function again.
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:12   #11
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Re: SSB Radio

Sure, that's a possibility, but I'd really like to talk to someone with an uninsulated backstay first -- I'm a measure twice, cut once sorta guy... ;-)
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:57   #12
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Re: SSB Radio

Don,

I have used an uninsulated backstay as an antenna since 1986. The rig is grounded at each chainplates including the backstay. The trick is to attach the feed point 6 to 8 feet up the backstay. This arrangement has always worked well for me.

The ground system uses a large external ground plate located near the backstay. This is connected with stainless steal (not copper) strap to all of the thru-hull fittings, engine, 12 volt ground, rigging, tuner and HF radios.

I have never had a problem with the masthead mounted VHF antenna, lights or instruments.

Paul
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Old 18-04-2011, 12:11   #13
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Re: SSB Radio

Thanks Paul. Actually, I just found out that my Metz VHF antenna doesn't require a ground plan at all, so I might just add an insulator for my own piece of mind before I step the mast next month.

thanks very much...
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Old 18-04-2011, 12:55   #14
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Re: SSB Radio

I take it you are aware of the shock hazard from SSB output.
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Old 18-04-2011, 14:55   #15
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Re: SSB Radio

Shock hazard?

That's why I use a spring stay, harder to reach and better radiation pattern.
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