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Old 26-01-2016, 00:17   #331
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

For those using a blocking capacitor ... remember that that capacitor - in some circumstances - is carrying a lot of RF current. So make it an array of good ones.
Me I have a Kiss and it seems to work really well on my setup.
However the only metal I have going through the hull is the propshaft and Rudder. And I didn't like the idea of getting a good connecting to those.
I have not tried the lifelines.
I have tried an array of metal straps in a radial pattern. That seemed to work on the old SSB (icom 700). but when I upgraded to the 802 I got a kiss to try it and it seemed a little better. Now of course with the new Icom GM800 it may all change again..
One other thing that helped SSB was moving to synthetic rigging.
I mostly use SSB for email and weather via Pactor IV. But occasionally I talk.

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Old 26-01-2016, 09:55   #332
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Argyle,
As Paul mentioned there is little effect...and no issue with this....
And what effect there is, is about the same / only slightly less, no matter if you were using a stern mounted whip, or the backstay....as they are both very close (in terms of wavelength) to the mast and other rigging...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle38 View Post
If all of your bronze thru-hulls are bonded together, and all bonded to your rigging (except the insulated backstay) for lightning protection, then wouldn't connecting all of that, especially the rigging, have a negative impact on transmission? You basically have grounded wires, and a grounded mast sticking up in the air along side of your transmitting antenna.

No issue with that?
And, in detail....
Surprising to laypersons, the effect is actually LESS if the mast / stays are grounded, than if they were floated above "ground"...
And, FYI, the effect is in the azimuthal pattern....with almost all sailboat HF installs (backstay or whip) having a slight (approx. 3db) broad null forward....
(if I had the time, I'd post some patterns...to show you..)




And, further on another subject....just for clarification.....the only need/reason for using wide copper strapping is for a low-impedance connection TO your Antenna Ground / RF Ground (as in the "sea water"), not to use them as your antenna ground / rf ground....
If you decide to use an artificial counterpoise as your antenna ground / rf ground (commonly called "radials"), there is no need to use wide copper strapping, as any round wire will work fine...




I hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 26-01-2016, 10:37   #333
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Hi John,

coming back to your previous reply on preferred RF ground systems (in order of preference 1) short copper strap to underwater bronze 2) etc):

I have a mix of 3 of them:

1) 5 feet of copper tape to dedicated sintered bronze plate
2) copper tape from atu ground lug to the pulpit and upper lifelines
3)2 sets of radials (4 wires per side running along the toerail and cut to the "formula" for 40m-20m-17m-15m) - yes I know they will not be really tuned and certainly not when strapped togethher to the eluminum toerail

I have never tried to isolate and try out each system seperately. Maybe 2) and 3) might cause more RFI in the boats electrical wiring than only using 1)?

So my question: is it worthwhile trying out your order of preference e.g. deconnecting 2) and 3) and only test 1)? Knowing that A/B tests are rather difficult in real life testing

or would you say that 1+2+3 will anyhow be better than just each one individually?

Jan
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Old 26-01-2016, 11:13   #334
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Multiple ground paths are ok. Electrons take the path of least impedance which is what you want for a ground system. It's unlikely any problem is created by multiple paths. If it's working leave it as it is.
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Old 26-01-2016, 11:22   #335
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Jan,
In general:
1) If it ain't broke, don't fix it.... (an American idiom that might not translate well...)

2) What you have is great...

3) If you have no (or little) transmit RFI, don't bother to mess with it!!



But, if you wish to do some testing for fun...
a) try Gordo's old way of "switching"...
use a modified 4-position coax switch to switch between the various grounds instantly....and repeatedly...
and, use known good / calibrated receive signal strengths of both other stations and your station, on various bands/freqs...
do this over many days/weeks, etc...

b) Also use my approach and use an RF current meter on the GTO-15 wire to have a measured number to correlate your findings with...


But....
If it were me, I'd just leave it alone and enjoy!

fair winds..

John
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Old 27-01-2016, 02:09   #336
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Thanks John & Dan,

well experimenting, testing and improving is 80% of the fun for me..... but it is indeed rather difficult to A/B/C testing in a standardised and reliable way.

Our marina is a very bad environment for that, not only because of the noise level, but it is surround by high walls on 3 sides.
So ideally I would have to be at sea, on the anchor, and with the boat fixed in one direction for enough time, minimal rolliing, etc....

I'm sure I will find the right day for that, and using the extra measures usually advocated by Bill Trayfors - some cold BELGIAN beers at hand - I'll try that out!

Enjoy the winter sleep and good winds for the rest of 2016!

Jan
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Old 27-01-2016, 11:33   #337
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

The RF ground system for a vertical monopole (backstay, whip) in your boat provides a return path for the RF current that "mirrors" the antenna current. This has to be equal to the RF current going into your antenna. The worse your RF ground, the more of that return current finds its way back in wiring that you do NOT want to see carrying RF. So the better and more manifold those return paths (your intended RF ground) the less it will be in other wiring where it can cause trouble.

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Old 27-01-2016, 14:07   #338
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Luddite here:
Assuming that I only use the radio when in port, or calm seas (as is likely the case) and mostly to pick up weather forecasts .........

Could I just drop a bare copper wire/foil/bar overboard (into salt water) of some length and achieve a counterpoise/ground??

BTW: I'm installing/setting up a SGC 2000/230 that I took off a damaged Tayana that I bought and putting it on our Challenger. Right now I'm setting it up in our home/cottage surrounded by snow, wolves, deer and the odd bear. Have made a approx 50 foot rope antenna, have the radio making noises but no external reception, steel roof!!
No copper to ground on (used PEX in plumbing) but 10 feet from fresh water.

Bill






Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
The RF ground system for a vertical monopole (backstay, whip) in your boat provides a return path for the RF current that "mirrors" the antenna current. This has to be equal to the RF current going into your antenna. The worse your RF ground, the more of that return current finds its way back in wiring that you do NOT want to see carrying RF. So the better and more manifold those return paths (your intended RF ground) the less it will be in other wiring where it can cause trouble.

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Old 27-01-2016, 16:43   #339
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
The RF ground system for a vertical monopole (backstay, whip) in your boat provides a return path for the RF current that "mirrors" the antenna current. This has to be equal to the RF current going into your antenna. The worse your RF ground, the more of that return current finds its way back in wiring that you do NOT want to see carrying RF. So the better and more manifold those return paths (your intended RF ground) the less it will be in other wiring where it can cause trouble.

Chip


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VERY well said.
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Old 28-01-2016, 01:48   #340
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
The RF ground system for a vertical monopole (backstay, whip) in your boat provides a return path for the RF current that "mirrors" the antenna current. This has to be equal to the RF current going into your antenna. The worse your RF ground, the more of that return current finds its way back in wiring that you do NOT want to see carrying RF. So the better and more manifold those return paths (your intended RF ground) the less it will be in other wiring where it can cause trouble.

Chip


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Thanks Chip. That was more or less clear to me, but yoy will agree that on a sailing boat the situation is far from simple and ideal...I couldn't imagine installing my 10m monopole with elevated radials (I have one) 1 meter away from the front of the house and inclined towards it, with radials wires running through the house.... I think it is inevitable that the rigging and wiring pick up the RF leaving the anten... I do have 2 large ferrite toroids of the right at the entrance of the SGC-230 ATU, 10 turns of the coax to the rig and 10 turns of the atu steering wire through the other. I have a tiny bit of the "Xmas-tree" glowing on my breaker panel, varying with frequency, but that will be inevitable.

My main concern is (was) that my previous and new Raymarine AIS blacbox got faulty without any explanation, probably since I started using a dedicated AIS antenna wip at the stern (3 m away from the base of the sloping end-fed wire HF antenna). Maybe due to RFI, never confirmed. Received a new AIS receiver under warranty and since then I switch off the AIS when transceiving on HF + switch its antenna entrance to a 50 Ohm dummy load.

But I'm rather curious to find out how the setup will behave with only the seawater connection. Waiting for the right windstill summer day with my admiral suntanning with her white wine and me fumbling with RF-ground connections
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Old 28-01-2016, 06:41   #341
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Goudurix is correct that the problem is non-trivial. Each path added to the ground return collects some current and brings it to the tuner "ground". This current has to be induced into the wire by an electromagnetic field. The ground wires act as electromagnetic field "attractors" and running them, willy nilly can cause more problems than it cures. For example, it would not make sense to run a ground strap parallel with the boat DC wiring and connect it to the boat DC negative terminal block. It may help the SSB signal but it will likely play havoc with the rest of the boat electronics.

My experience is that in radio as well as life, simpler is better...until it isn't.
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Old 28-01-2016, 08:37   #342
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

I don't agree with transmitterdan's "attractor" theory, and have seen nothing in my experience to support it, but RF can be a perplexing bedfellow without a doubt.

Godurix is right that even a near perfect RF ground won't cure ills caused by induced current from the antenna. I wonder if you could construct an effective high pass filter for that AIS receiver?

The bottom line really is that experimentation can be the RF "engineer"s best friend.

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Old 28-01-2016, 09:39   #343
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
I don't agree with transmitterdan's "attractor" theory, and have seen nothing in my experience to support it, but RF can be a perplexing bedfellow without a doubt.
I have seen and run many electromagnetic field simulations. For sure the wires "concentrate" the fields. The "ground" wires are no different in this respect than the radiator wire. The fields are more concentrated closer to the radiator and the same thing happens at the ground wire(s). It isn't perplexing, it's just Maxwell's equations at work. But then Maxwell's equations are perplexing to me so I take back what I said. It is perplexing...
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Old 09-04-2016, 20:51   #344
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Part #1/2

Last week I measured the grounding currents differences between a conventional sintered bronze groundplate, a KISS and a metal plate 80x50 cm. They where mounted at the same ship with the same SSB equipment.
Well, I did not measure pure currents, but actually the RF power trough the ground wire between the antenna tuner and the grounding system. The idea was, conform the 1st law of Kirchoff, that current/power which flows through the ground, also flows trough the antenna. How bigger the value, the bigger the efficiency and radiated power. Because it was a relative measurement, a certain failure or mismatches are equal for all grounding systems .
After we modified the system with the usual amount of ferrite's it start to work properly.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...1&d=1460256183

We can see that the antenna is his 1/2 wave values around 8 and 18 Mhz.
At a 1/2 wave antenna length the antenna impedance is very high, about 3-5 kilo Ohms. No big currents can flow.
- Blue -
The bronze ground plate is average at all frequencies.
- Red -
The KISS works very bad at the lower frequencies from 1.7-8 Mhz. between 8 to 18 Mhz is works very good, but above 18 Mhz is works average.
- yellow -
Surprisingly the metal plate is very good at the low frequencies, from 8-18 Mhz it works average and above 18 Mhz is works poor.
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Old 09-04-2016, 20:54   #345
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Part #2/2

Although the KISS was rolled out at the floor, we did not have any RFI into the equipment. actually We did expect that.

We made two Winlink test connection to LA3F at a distance of 462 NM at 7042 Khz. The time between the both tests was 2 minutes to minimize the propagation difference.
With the KISS, the speed did not go higher than 200Bps and no proper connection.
With the Bronze groundplate we achieve 1400-3200 Bps without any problem, and less (industrial) noise.

The used measurement layout was as follows:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=122412&stc=1&d=1460256 797

I can not say the KISS is not working, but compared to a conventional bronze groundplate it has a limited frequency range. The lower radio bands are very poor covered with the KISS. So called NVIS connections (short skip up/down) <8 Mhz are practically not possible as we noticed.

The strange fact is that we did never see any measurement or figures from Mr.KISS himself.

At the higher radio bands I can not deny it works,

If in the future ships are passing by with a kiss, I try to do more measurements.

(I did not managed the pictures in place)
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