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Old 26-11-2006, 17:26   #16
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Fish, Yes, much of what you write is true but consider this; those that come here asking for advice dont come with a resume of past experience pre- posted. It seems to me that there are ways of answering their questions, like Chuck wrote, that will serve them well and not alienate or overwhelm with jargon. To use your analogy; what if you entered algebra at the third year level? Would you understand the terminology?Tthe concepts? No. But that is precisely what many who answer these questions are giving the poster.

Anything; brain surgery, rocket science, genetics, can be re-stated in clear plain language that informs and teaches so that non-specialists can grasp the fundamentals. You do not need to be a specialist to install an SSB. You just need a little plain spoken help. And it helps to not be denigrated in the process. That, in a nutshell, is my position.

There seems to be a lack of understanding on the part of some who answer these posts, of what constitutes the right level of support vs showing how much you know to the novice.

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Old 26-11-2006, 18:56   #17
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Well I am going to agree with Alan. I don’t think I deserved the reply Bill posted.

FYI Bill…

Tantalum capacitors can only be used in DC circuits, like any other polarized capacitors… They also have lower tolerance which makes them more suitable for a precision circuit.

Old radio’s used a variable capacitor as a tuner. These were made with a number of plates insulated by air. The air in effect is the dielectric.

Well enough about Picofarads and microfarads… your post was uncalled for. I am not some idiot that can not do this, I developed a motion detection circuit using pyroelectric sensors imbedded in scuppers that work to a range of 50 feet, perfect for boats in mooring fields…

But I don’t know anything about a SSB installation or radio electronics other than small shortwave radios I have built using the ne602 chip. That does not mean I can not do it.

Understanding what needs to be done and why AND asking the question in the forum is the place I chose to start… But I was met with your post and attitude but I am not offended because I am a big boy and I understand there are people like you in this world and I try my best to ignore them.

Where I am, getting a license, my nationality, etc, is not relevant to the post. I didn’t ask how to get a license, I asked about installing a radio on a sailboat.

FYI not all countries have a body associated with issuing a license for a ham radio so get off your box and don’t preach to me that I will not use it the right way.

My intended use of this radio is to listen to, but I also want to be able to transmit in case of an emergency. If I need medical attention I don’t give a stuff about procedure or a license and I doubt anyone else but you would care if they knew they were saving a life.

So If I need an insulated backstay then say so, I know I need an insulated backstay and when the new mast is installed I will put one in. So why not tell me how long… Say something like… if you can try to make it 22 ft long because…..

Rather than thinking I am an idiot.

Coot’s reply was very informative, I don’t agree with having a professional install it because most people who work on boats rip you off or don’t know what they are doing.

I want to do it myself so I can go through the learning curve and then I will know how it is done and then I can fix it.

I chose the form as the place to start because here you can ask the actual people who have installed a SSB and they can help with some tips that you can not often find in books.

ANYWAY

Coots message was a good place to start and I am thankful to him for his time for the post. I wish I had more like it.

Thanks to you too Alan for saying in a very diplomatic why what I would not be able to say because I am a very black and white person who is far from politically correct and I could not formulate a post as eloquent as yours without using the words A## H*((*.

I do understand that a conductors surface area is what counts in HF electron transmission so I assume this is why copper foil is used but what exactly is the foil used for????? and can someone please explain the grounding? Why a water ground may or may not be needed.

So can we talk about antennas and grounds for now please…

Thanks for all the posts.

Oh and Bill and his glee club, if you can not say anything productive I would prefer you not post in this thread. I have better things to do than to read your dribble.
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Old 26-11-2006, 19:16   #18
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Classycoro, here is the simple dirty method.
1) Buy a radio with a built in auto tuner, 2-back-stay insulaters that match your back stay (one will work, but to avoid addressing all the variables, buy 2
2) locate a place to install it that will stay dry
3) locate a 20-30 (per specs on install instructions) amp DC breaker or other source of 12 volt DC power.
4) install power wire to radio (do not plug into radio yet)
5) Schedule a haul out.
6) Schedule a rigger (Unless you are one)
7) Check to see if your boat already has a foil RF ground. (This will be a long piece of copper somewhere along the hull. Very thin.) When you determine you do not have one, go to the local marine store buy one, and have a professional install, as holes need to be drilled in the hull (unless you are comfortable drilling these holes.)
8) Have the rigger install the back stay insulaters, one at the top, and one at the bottom of the back stay. You will also want to have your antenna wire and a basic routing plan at this time so the rigger does not have to come out a second time.
9) route the antenna lead (wire) from the top insulator to the radio. This will go to the center hole in the antenna connector, or to the single post marked antenna (depending on the radio you get).
10) route a second antenna lead to the terminal on the **RF** ground. (not the DC ground) Secure everything.
11) Use a multimeter to test you power lead, make sure it is hooked up to the proper polarity and is producing over 12 volts to the radio connector.
12) make sure the transmit and vox buttons on the radio are in the off position.
13) plug the power into the radio.
14) At this point, you have a receiver. There should be instructions with the radio that will describe how to arrange licensing for your particular location. If you are in the US, than, yes, it is the FCC. If you are outside the US, I have no idea. Once you complete the appropriate licensing procedures, and locate a copy of the rules for your location, you may transmit on the frequencies allocated to you. At this point, the directions that came with the radio should describe how to "tune up the rig", meaning how to make it work right, and how to fool the radio signal into thinking the antenna is physically longer than it really is. Follow those instructions carefully as transmitting with a mistuned antenna will burn up the radio very quickly.

Installation can not be explained any simpler than that. AND, you can count on quite a few other issues coming up in the process. There are many other options for antennas, seperate tuners, manual tuners, tunable antennas, radials, etc. What you are asking is not as simple as installing a car kit for your cell phone. If that is the level of technology you are after, I would stick with the sat-phone. A complete lack of understanding of radio electronics will make this particular piece of technology more trouble than benefit. Your comments about not knowing what a tuner is indicates to me that you are more interested in spending time at the helm, than fiddling with the electronics. Doesn't mean I do not think you could learn it, but I get the impression you do not want to. For the cost of a SSB ind installation, you could buy a sat-phone, and a short wave receiver, and still have money left over for a few minutes on the sat-phone..
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Old 26-11-2006, 20:14   #19
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Thanks for the good post.. now I am learning something...

Why does everyone think I dont want to learn this??? If I didnt, dont you think I would have hired someone else to instal the radio and been done with it???

Far out fells, you need to start somewhere,

If one more person says I should buy a sat phone I am going to buy one just so I can shove... :-)

AAAAAHHHHAAAAA Politically correct... try to be nice...

I dont need any advice on what to buy other than the radio, I dont want a sat phone for my own reasons.

Stop making assumptions about me and my ability and can we just have a discussion about what I asked... is that REALLY so difficult???

I dont need anyone to drill holes in my boat, I have a cordless screw driver, its a little slow but I am sure I will manage.... I know what 5199 is and how to mix bondo and a little latex bottom paint and all will be fine....

So how is this copper foil attached to the hull? Can I use Duck tape????

A dry place for the radio... Well I wanted to instal it in the cockpit, duck tape it to my pedestal

So if your "Located" in the "middle" of the pacific... would that be... Davey Jones or captian nemo that gives you the license.....

You guys are a riot!!!!
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Old 26-11-2006, 20:29   #20
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And, while Scott addressed the steps necessary to install an SSB and such, *I* will address the attitude aspect of some of the previous posts.

On THIS forum, we do not allow slamming your fellow sailor. We insist on respectful discourse - if you can't do that, then don't post. If you disagree with something, then by all means explain your disagreement and alternative - but do NOT bash the poster of the dissenting point of view.

These are THE RULES of this forum. You can read them at any time.

thank you.
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Old 26-11-2006, 21:59   #21
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Roy,

I recommend contacting ICOM America Marine Technical Support @ 425-454-8155 and asking them for someone they would recommend you call to learn about SSB Operation and Installation. Chances are they will tell you to call me...
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Old 26-11-2006, 22:15   #22
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S/V Elusive, I urge you, under the circumstances, to re-read carefully the original posts including and most importantly "btrayfors" second post to this thread wihch was uncalled for and frankly deserved the anger elicited by classycoro.

It is precisely that kind of snide and deameaning post that should be removed, not the response from the original poster angry over being treated like an idiot. Many folks are here to help and do so admirably, but there is more than one way to "flame" someone and Mr. Trayfors has that down to an art. That is why I took the time to respond as I did in this thread.

I am for calm and reasoned discourse. However, I feel that there has to be a point when we stand up to the well concealed ,snide, demeaning and hurtful comments as evidenced by Mr. Trayfors in his second post. That is where the problem originates and that is where the solution should be applied. Please understand that there are clever ways to "bash" another poster, not just in the direct and angry way classycoro responded to Mr Trayfors. His anger was well justified, if not his intemperate words.

Kai Nui showed that the question could be answered in a complete and concise way without the histrionics. Although not a complete manual, it does give one a very good place to start.

Now maybe we can all start over.

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Old 26-11-2006, 23:19   #23
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First, classycoro. Glad I could help. My remarks about hiring a pro, were in no way an insult to your abilities, but a clear suggestion that certain procedures might require special skills. No need to get snippy with me, as I am trying to give you what you asked for. As for the Satphone, just suggesting a cost effective alternative to SSB based on your description of your needs. Don't want it, don't get it. No problem. If you wish to continue to discuss this subject in a polite and informative manor, I welcome you to do so, and will do my best to help. If you insist on insulting everyone who trys to help out, and making jokes of the information provided, feel free to PM me, and we will discuss it further off the forum.
And to answer some of the questions in your post, that did not show when I started mine, the length of the the back stay is not critical, but if you can make it a quarter wavelength for one of the bands, that would be best. The tuner will do the rest. As for the ground, that is a bit more involved. Since your posts have gone between I know all about electronics to "What's a tuner", I am not sure how I could explain it without taking a chance of either talking over your head or being condecending. Bottom line is, you need it. And the easiest way is to buy a commercial grounding stip, and mount it. The ones I have seen do not include very detailed descriptions as to how to install them, so that will require some enginuity on your part. Good luck and feel free to ask any additional questions you actually want an answer to.
Alan, I agree that this thread started off on the wrong foot. I also agree that we need to just move on. This really is a good topic, and I would hate to see it degenerate further. So, lets just start with some accurate basic info and move on.
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Old 27-11-2006, 00:39   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanperry
Coot does a nice job in expaining the basics but I disagree that you can't install a workable system yourself. You can, and many have, with great results.
I did not say that you CAN'T install it yourself, but that a professional installation is a better answer for some people. My point is that you may be one of those people if you have absolutely no idea where to start.

Another possibility is that you have absolutely no idea, but would like to learn a lot about radios and antennas. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, though it is not a fast way to get your radio installed.

I suggest arrl.org, where you can get the license manual for the "General Class" license. Even if you don't intend to get a US amateur radio license, there is a lot of good technical overview. (Or you can buy the same book from Amazon.)

There is at least one book specifically about marine SSB available from marine booksellers, and another book specifically about amateur radio on boats. (No, I don't remember the titles. Try amazon.com, search for "marine ssb")

I have read installation manuals for Furuno and Icom by downloading from their web sites. There is certainly useful information there.

I know I have seen web sites with information about installing a marine ssb, but I don't recall where. A google search might turn some of them up, though I note that "install marine ssb" doesn't result in great joy. Again, hf amateur radio deals with many of the same issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by classycoro
Why does everyone think I dont want to learn this??? If I didnt, dont you think I would have hired someone else to instal the radio and been done with it???
I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself.

You ask how to install the radio, but exhibit none of the knowledge I would expect you to have if you had any background in this area. That tells me you are starting from nothing, which in turn tells me that you have a lot to learn. Your question also contains no obvious indication that you have read much background information, say from a book or a web site. (I would have expected different questions if you had already seen an overview of the process.)

So, the question at hand is this: Do you want a working radio installed, or do you want to spend a lot of time learning about how radios and antennas work? The tone of your first message suggests that you want a working radio. If you really would rather learn about radios, try some of the sources I mentioned above.

If you want to learn a little, but not a lot, maybe start with the installation manuals for a few ssb units. That might give you some framework for asking more detailed questions.

Quote:
So how is this copper foil attached to the hull? Can I use Duck tape????
The point of the copper foil is to ground the antenna tuner to the sea water. One method to do this is to punch a hole in it, put it over a bolt, and screw down a nut on top of it. I've heard that some people use their keel for the ground connection, so screw down the tape onto the keel bolt. Other people use a "grounding shoe", which is a porous metal block that you bolt on to the outside of your hull; the bolt sticks through inside the hull, which is where you connect your ground. (Note that you don't unscrew the nut holding it on - put a second nut on the bolt.)

Once you have made the electrical connections, you can use duct tape to hold the copper foil down and protect it from dings.
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Old 27-11-2006, 17:15   #25
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I apologise for the post and attack of Kai Nui, I was just a bit pissed off after reading some of the posts to a simple reply.

anyway enough is enough.

So I know the tuner tunes the antenna to compensate for the short length as some of the wavelengths would require a really long antenna

So the copper foil is inside the boat from the radio to the bolt you describe? and there is a bronze plate or strip outside? My keel/mast has been grounded for lightning, 4/0 cable goes from each chainplate in a straightline to the keelbolts so I have ground... would this be a problem to ground the tuner to this?

So for the antenna... if size does not matter great but I would like to know if there are any ideal sizes or moreso preferences, from what i have found out, 22 feet is a good length but I dont know why.

I am splitting the backstay but I am sure I would still have more tha 20 feet.

If anything I would like to make the antenna while the mast is being redone so I would like to know the cable to run in the mast and the antenna ground and any special needs to at least have this in place then I can look for the books you mentioned.

I need to go and read the posts again because I think the cable was mentioned.

Any other reccomendations?

The boat is out of the water and I will be ordering the new mast/rigging soon.

Thanks!!!!!!
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Old 27-11-2006, 18:24   #26
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OK, go to this page

http://www.icomamerica.com/downloads/manuals.asp

look for the M710 even if that is not your radio. Disregard most of the pages and concentrate just on the installation section for now. Read it over a couple of times and study the illustrations. Give the forum a break for a day for everybody to settle down. Make notes of what you don't understand in the install manual and anything that you feel is not clear or needs more explaining. Come on back here and ask away and I would bet you will get all of your questions answered in a straightforward and civilized manor. The installation is a fairly generic layout for most but not all radios. Good luck.
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Old 27-11-2006, 20:01   #27
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Classycoro, no worries. Takes allot more than a little rock throwing to hurt my feelings I am hesitant still to get into ground installation, as there are as many opinions on this as there are people to express them. As for the length of the antenna/backstay, the longer the better, but, as I mentioned before, get as close a possible to quarter wavelength on one of the bands. A radio frequency allocation chart should be available, and with a little internet searching you can find the formula to convert frequency into wavelength.
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Old 27-11-2006, 20:26   #28
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Classycoro,

I came across this Navy manual which will cover the basics, and in the spirit of cooperation, I'd like to make it available. This is an unclassified document.

Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series

Module 10 Introduction to Wave Propagation, Transmission Lines, and
Antennas

http://thepracticalsailor.com/Files/...anual_Navy.pdf

Rick in Florida
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