Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-05-2013, 10:32   #151
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,867
Images: 4
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
test2 seems to show that even an open connection outperforms your existing ground?! Very weird results.
Yes. Did the "Open" and "Existing" columns get swapped in the Test 2 results?

But overall, a very nice experiment, with actual data. Thanks!
__________________

__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 10:49   #152
Senior Cruiser
 
Roy M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA
Boat: Searunner 40 trimaran, WILDERNESS
Posts: 3,042
Images: 4
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

So, thank you, all of you, for the exhaustive testing and curiosity you have displayed. Now, as one of the great unwashed, what recommendation would you offer to those of us who haven't yet installed a HAM/SSB radio, automatic tuner or counterpoise? My bilge is easily accessed to install copper mesh, or bands, or whatever. I have simply been overwhelmed by the arguments presented by those more learned in the dark arts of crafting the counterpoise, and I'm getting ready to dive into the cloudy, somewhat muddied concept of proper grounding. And I haven't even, yet, come to connect the concept of a lightning ground into this milieu. None of my bronze seacocks are bonded, and the only ground connection I have between my batteries and the real world is via the engine case, the shaft and prop. So far, so good, after thirty-five years, but now I'm looking, potentially, at a bigger issue. Any help here?
__________________

__________________
Roy M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 11:17   #153
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
My ground is a copper mesh which is laminated into the aft end of the hull and the only electrical contact is with the ground studs of two antenna tuners/couplers. I can't imagine a better solution but it is a big project to install this afterwards. Big, but doable.

If you decide to use copper tape instead, make sure to epoxy it onto the fiberglass and paint it with BilgeKote or similar product. If you don't, the copper will deteriorate or get damaged quickly.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 12:26   #154
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

I favor start simple and improve as needed from there. I would run a copper strap to the nearest seacock and see how that works. Once you are on the air and have a baseline to operate from, you can experiment more to make improvements.

An easy first experiment in improvement is to run a set of wire radials length-tuned to various bands. Doesn't cost much as a prototype (can probably find free wire in the trash bin) and is easy to install/remove as a temporary test.

Some cheap aluminum or steel screening from Home Depot can be used to evaluate the worth to you of the trouble of installing permanent copper screen or copper strapping. Yes, I know that aluminum and steel do not have the properties of copper for this application, but it is cheap and will provide a good experimental evaluation for moving forward.

(BTW, our entire counterpoise is simply our aluminum bimini frame - aluminum and round tubes. We boom - go figure. We have copper screening laminated across our bridgedeck connecting the hulls, but it doesn't add any measurable improvement, so I have it disconnected).

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 13:46   #155
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Gordon West did a neat test. I had always used acres of copper in the bilge before going to and external copper plate.It works great...and no...I don't use GTO wire...my bad.
http://www.kp44.org/ftp/SeawaterGrou...GordonWest.pdf
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 16:44   #156
Senior Cruiser
 
Roy M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA
Boat: Searunner 40 trimaran, WILDERNESS
Posts: 3,042
Images: 4
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

This is very cool info. Especially the Gordon West article. Thanks to all of you! Does anyone have a photo of the attachment of the copper foil to the auto tuner and the thruhull? I imagine it's just folded and a hole drilled, but it's better to see it than screw it up.

And since that section at the aft end of the hull gets dust, rather than drips, does it really have to be secured by embedment?
__________________
Roy M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 17:41   #157
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
This is very cool info. Especially the Gordon West article. Thanks to all of you! Does anyone have a photo of the attachment of the copper foil to the auto tuner and the thruhull? I imagine it's just folded and a hole drilled, but it's better to see it than screw it up.

And since that section at the aft end of the hull gets dust, rather than drips, does it really have to be secured by embedment?
I thought it wasn't needed, so some years down the line I had to do it again incl. buying the copper again... Here is when I did it right:
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 18:48   #158
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

That's a strange valve on that thruhull - Dutch manufacturer?

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 19:25   #159
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
That's a strange valve on that thruhull - Dutch manufacturer?

Mark
Yep and bone dry as you can see it's the magic plugaleak cloth
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-05-2013, 20:39   #160
Senior Cruiser
 
Roy M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA
Boat: Searunner 40 trimaran, WILDERNESS
Posts: 3,042
Images: 4
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

So, fold and bend, double fold at the attachment point, and drill. How did you adhere the copper? Might as well extract all the secrets in one shot. Thank you Jedi master.
__________________
Roy M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2013, 05:51   #161
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
So, fold and bend, double fold at the attachment point, and drill. How did you adhere the copper? Might as well extract all the secrets in one shot. Thank you Jedi master.
Just some epoxy thickened with a bit of cabosil (coloidal silica). Mask where it goes, sand it, glue it down, let it cure and then paint it.

Fold a point at the end and then fold that point back on itself to double it up again and get a blunt end of the size you want. This is for that thin foil they sell everywhere; there is also much thicker stuff around ($$$) that does not need that much folding.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2013, 06:36   #162
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

why not use a wide braid, more robust, plenty of 'skin' area

Copper Braid Products for flexible copper braid, braided connectors and flexible woven copper connectors

or similar
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2013, 11:55   #163
Registered User
 
SeaBuffalo's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Galveston, Texas
Posts: 72
If someone wants to do a simple install a KISS ground is ok. But if you want to invest a few hours a really good grounding system can be build pretty easily.

Direct bonding to seawater can yield impressive performance. I live on a canal lot and have ground fed long wire from my dock to the 2nd story of my house. So my antenna is pretty close to a backstay.

First I tried stapling a bunch of radials along the dock and bulkhead for my first ground. Then I tried just four copper toilet tank floats brazed to a copper pipe floating in the water with a copper braid to hook to antenna base.

I set up my IC-706 at base and had the grounds on a knife switch to isolate.

The results between on the air testing and antenna analyzer showed the floats had noticeably better performance on transmit and receive and was easier to match on the tuner than the wire radial system.

Not saying to drag some toilet tank floats behind the boat just proof that direct bonding works really good with minimal surface area.

Just some food for thought.
__________________
SeaBuffalo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2013, 12:02   #164
Registered User
 
Viking Sailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: Fantasia 35 - s/v Feeling Good
Posts: 1,074
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

What, for some time now, has boggled my mind is that sailors think nothing of using stainless steel backstays for antennas -- but refuse to use stainless steel foil tape or flat braid for their ground connections. At HF frequencies and above it is the metals surface that conducts the RF current. So, although copper is a better conductor, a wide enough piece of SS will provide an equivalent path to conduct the RF current to ground. Plus, it doesn't rot!

__________________
Viking Sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2013, 14:29   #165
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Rick, et al,
1) I'm surprised that this thread is STILL going!!
Two and a half years ago, Chip did a wonderful thing starting this thread, and with the many tests results posted (here and on the SSCA Disc Boards), it should be clear to all by now that while the old adage is true "anything will work to some extent", the main goal here abouts is to make things work BETTER (and hopefully without spending a lot of $$$)......

When HF radio, radiowave propagation, etc. are discussed, I usually try to steer clear of anecdotal reports / on-air test results, as these can not only be flawed on their own, but also stir up much confusion and controversy....
As, Bill T. and I (and many others) have said/written time and time again....
"Anything will work to some extent"......

In my mind, it's just a matter of degree and how much it costs you to get the performance you desire/need....
Fact is, you can communicate around the world with NO hf antenna counterpoise at all....but, if you can make your signal better with one, then by all means design/install one.....and if you have the information to figure what works better, and the costs are...well now you're cooking!!!

And, that is pretty much the gist of this thread, and others like it....

Learn what works, what works better, and what the costs and complexities are for various designs/installations....
Then make your decisions accordingly.....
But, do NOT believe the marketing hype / advertising BS!!!


Further, please understand that nowhere have I (nor anyone else of experience/knowledge) stated that you must use a "resonant" counterpoise!!!
Not at all!!!
In fact over almost 40 years, all of the HF antenna radials / counterpoises that I've used for maritime and/or ham radio on-board boats, and in my ham radio career on land, etc. have all been non-resonant....
It is only the KISS marketing that mentions the importance (sic) of resonant radials, and a few people here abouts have referred to that....

So, while some may wonder what all the fuss is about, spending all this time testing, etc....
In my mind, the fuss was:
a) simply to prove the lack of significant resonances of the KISS-SSB ground...
and...
b) simply to show how you could build your own "random-wire" radial counterpoise for FREE, in a couple minutes time...and have it work better than the $150 KISS...
and....
c) Lastly, I did my own on-air tests last year, and while I didn't post all the wonderful detail that Rick did, my results found my use of the sea water as my counterpoise (direct copper strap to underwater metal / Dynaplate) to be far superior.....(but these anecdotal results aren't too convincing to others sometimes, hence the analyzer tests/traces...)





2) And, Rick, please accept the heartfelt thanks from someone that understands what a sometimes thankless task it is to actually DO testing....and the grief you sometimes get from others, who don't like your test results...
So Rick, THANK YOU!!





3) Also, I assume that many here have not taken a look at the detailed (too much detail perhaps) spectrum analyzer traces (and explanations of them), of the KISS-SSB Ground, that I posted late last year in the SSCA Dic Boards...
http://forum.ssca.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13490&start=75

I did reference them earlier in this thread (posting #126, #130, etc.) but perhaps some have overlooked them???

There are many traces (dozens and dozens), in many configurations.....as well as traces of "random-length wire" radials, and some "cut-to-length" radials...all in various configurations, including strung in the air, clear of obstructions....laying on the ground....and actually in my lazarette (in various configurations...)

When I've tried to add to the knowledge base / answer questions, by copying and pasting here to this forum, it has raised some confusions and caused some frustrations....so I usually just simply post links to other threads and/or sources of info.....
(And, while I have no interest in getting into long running arguments here, perhaps it's time I just posted it all here??)


There are over 3 dozen (40??) traces that I posted in the SSCA Disc Board thread, "KISS-SSB Counterpoise"....
http://forum.ssca.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13490&start=75
And, I'm not going to repost them all here!!!
Have a look, if you desire.....(below here is just a sampling)


All traces are from 1.5mhz to 28.5mhz.....and are shown at 2db/div....with the most prominent results of each trace highlighted by markers, showing the return loss ad VSWR...



First, here for reference, is a trace of my home-brewed dual-band (12mhz and 14mhz) coax fed antenna....(strung up, out in the clear)
Which shows what an actual antenna resonance looks like.....
(note that this is a "closed-spaced" parallel-wire antenna with the wires about 3/4" apart....and as such there is significant mutual coupling present, as well as higher than average coupling to surrounding structures.....this was NOT an easy-to-tune antenna.....and it is only for 2 bands/freqs, as you expand to attempt to make even more resonances appear across the spectrum, the difficulties rise....)
Further please also note that while sharp, steep, and well-defined...as well as having an actual decent return loss (low SWR)...typical antenna (low-Q) traces are not as sharp/steep as filter skirts (hi-Q) would be.....and this particular antenna being a close-spaced dual-freq antenna, it's even a lower-Q piece of kit...






Next, here is a trace of the KISS....(strung up, out in the clear)





And, next here is a trace of a single "random length" (18') wire....




And, here is a trace of single "random length" (16' long) wire....





And, here is a trace of another "random length" (33' 6") wire....



The traces above are just for reference as they are with wires / KISS out in the clear....
These following few traces show real-world results, with the wires or KISS, actually IN my lazarette....
(more details, and many more traces, in the SSCA Disc Board thread...)


And, here are 3 traces of four "random length" wires (~ 33' 6", 18', 16' and 14'), laying in my lazarette.....(first stretched out as best as could be, then scattered about pretty well, and finally just laying in one big bundle...)
These were "scrap" pieces of wire that were free (NO $$$ spent, except for a couple of crimp-on ring terminals)....









And, for direct comparison, here are 2 traces of the KISS-SSB Ground in my lazarette (first, stretched out in a long "L" or "U" shape, and next in one large 4' dia coil/loop...)







Again, I'm NOT panning the KISS......and I'm not going to get into a long-running argument here....but I think it is clear that while the KISS-SSB Ground is a nice looking piece of kit, it does NOT represent anything close to what it is marketed as....
As it is NOT a "precisely-tuned" resonant radial system, and it clearly does NOT provide much (if any at all) useful resonance at all....


One of the better discussions of the KISS is that SSCA Disc Board thread I referenced above....
There are some learned / experienced folk that posted some very helpful and worthwhile info there last year....
If you wish to read further on this, and/or gain a further understanding of antenna counterpoises, etc. it is a good place to start....
Here's the beginning of that thread...
http://forum.ssca.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13490





Fair winds,

John
s/v Annie Laurie




P.S. Rick, good show!!!
Here are a few minor comments / clarifications....


Quote:
Originally Posted by svclanguage View Post
With radio frequencies, parallel conductors placed in close proximity behave like one conductor due to mutual inductance and capacitance.
Actually that is only the case in some specific instances.....in others, these can make effective tuned circuits....
But, in any case, stuffing lots of wire randomly down a hose and expecting to maintain (or acquire) any resonances is foolhardy at best....







Quote:
Originally Posted by svclanguage View Post
Testing described here and performed by others using antenna analyzers shows that this device has significant resonance only in one band closely related to its overall length. There is no reason to believe that it has properties not detectable with antenna analyzers.
We need to define what "resonance" and "significant resonances" actually are in regard to this discussion about counterpoises...

Without going into the intricacies of what actual resonance is, for antenna work, I make a general assumption that anything with return losses less than 6db / VSWR over 3:1 is NOT resonant all.....and anything with return losses of 9 - 10db / VSWR of about 2:1 is semi-resonant / nearing resonance....
And, in my opinion, "significant resonance" must be much better...in regards to antennas / counterpoises, I'd place it at VSWR's of less than 1.5:1...

So, if we use these definitions, I do not see any significant resonances at all!!
And, only a one or two semi-resonant points (in the upper part of the HF spectrum)...please see all my traces for details / variables...

Here again, just a minor clarification....






Rick, I applaud your efforts, and my less scientific on-air tests from last year parallel your findings....
But, I advise caution when posting precise results...Because of the rapidly changing aspects of the ionosphere, on-air sky-wave communications tests are fraught with issues...
Quote:
Originally Posted by svclanguage View Post
Test 1
Receive and transmit signal reports.....
.....This test shows strong trend indicating Kiss has significantly less antenna gain for RX and TX 2 S units corresponds to 12db change which is a factor of 16x more effective power with existing counterpoise.
Your Test 1 seems similar to the Gordon West tests from many years ago, testing a direct sea water counterpoise vs. a capacity-coupled counterpoise.....
BUT....
While I'm not surprised by your results, in my opinion, I'd use caution in assuming that an "S-unit" (or "bar") is 6db....not since the days of Collins and Drake ham gear have accurate / calibrated S-meters been around....






Not sure I understand what Test 2 is actually testing.....or maybe I'm not reading Test 2 data correctly???
Quote:
Originally Posted by svclanguage View Post
Test 2






Quote:
Originally Posted by svclanguage View Post
Test 3
Test 4
Cool Tests!!!
I never thought of doing test 3!!!
Great idea....







Rick, here again, cool tests!!!
I love 'em!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by svclanguage View Post
Test 5
Test 7
Your tests 5 and 7 point again to the vagaries of on-air testing, and to a reason that some claim good results from the KISS...
They are:
a) The KISS does radiate...
and
b) Variations in antenna radiation patterns (caused by the radiating and coupled KISS), combined with variations in ionosphere, can cause both predictable and unpredictable/weird results....







See my detailed postings and all the spec analyzer traces, in the SSCA Disc Board thread, referenced earlier....
Quote:
Originally Posted by svclanguage View Post
Test 9
I hook up my antenna analyzer and found similar results as Chris noted in posts on http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/the-kiss-ssb-counterpoise-revealed-with-pics-56551-3.html. I connected the analyzer ground to the existing ground and the Kiss to the center lead. The Kiss has 2 detectable peaks for return loss, one at ~15mhz and the other at ~16mhz. Above and below these frequencies the return loss was less than 0.3 db indicating no resonance above or below these frequencies. Did the same test with wire and saw only one peak at ~16mhz. While it is not exactly the same as a piece of wire it is practically the same.
Not sure how the MFJ characterizes "return loss"??? Probably different than I do???
But, aside from that I concur that the KISS isn't a resonant radial system!!!


Again, fair winds...
73,
John
__________________

__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
counterpoise, radio, ssb

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
'KISS' SSB Ground PamlicoTraveler Marine Electronics 26 25-02-2011 09:22
KISS - SSB Ground CAELESTIS Marine Electronics 28 02-07-2010 15:09
Black Box Secrets - Revealed! btrayfors Marine Electronics 6 13-08-2008 10:11
counterpoise layout Wahoo Sails Marine Electronics 30 16-05-2006 11:43
counterpoise captjohn360 Marine Electronics 2 01-06-2005 00:10



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:17.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.