Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-03-2011, 10:10   #31
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,953
Images: 6
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahunter View Post
Really? Good Luck, I hope it works.
I don't have to hope. I KNOW that it will work, because I've done it in the past. Honestly, it isn't nearly as difficult or mysterious as some people seem to think.
__________________

__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2011, 11:31   #32
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: SF Bay
Boat: Catalina C-42
Posts: 168
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I don't have to hope. I KNOW that it will work, because I've done it in the past. Honestly, it isn't nearly as difficult or mysterious as some people seem to think.
I think the assumption other posters on this thread regard a counterpoise as "mysterious" is a stretch. I obtained my ham license in 1967. Worked as an AM broadcast engineer in college (you should have seen that radial system). There has been a lot of antennas built and installed at my various residences and boats since then. Also have installed SSB systems in 4 of my friends boats - all of which have had no complaints and good signal reports.

None of these installations used the KISS system. I am my own guinea pig for the KISS system and so far am very pleased. Worked Finland on 20 meters this weekend. Not bad from N. CA in a marina with the power on the M710 dialed back to 20 watts.

Consider me "de-mystified".
__________________

__________________
rodney_k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2011, 11:42   #33
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 774
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

I don't think there's any mystery with the KISS counterpoise, just that there's no surprise by "revealing" that it's good value for what it does.
__________________

Seahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 06:11   #34
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Hi

I have lost count of the number of SSB / Ham HF installations I've been involved in on boats. Lots of installations from scratch and many many more where I've come in to troubleshoot an existing installation. The installations I have worked on have had every conceivable type of Ground Plane. Copper foil or just a copper wire to one or more Dynaplates, keelbolt, through hull, metal fuel tanks, radials in the bilge, lifelines, toerails etc or acres of copper mesh or sheet in the bilge or lately the Kiss ground plane.

All my own installations used to have either acres of copper sheet or mesh or connections to large metal tanks. Usually many hours of work and usually more than the price of the Kiss in materials. My own boat still has acres of corroding copper sheet under the settees. Apart from the Kiss, these are the only kind of ground planes I've come across that have always worked consistently whether I installed them or they were already in the boat. Most of the installations where I found the ground plane needed improving had copper strap to either a through hull or a dynaplate. I have never installed such a ground plane and never recommended it.

I too was quite sceptical the first time I heard of the KISS ground plane. I did a lot of research online and I found - like is still the case a few sceptical people and quite a few converts. The thing that stuck with me was that I could not find anyone who had actually used it who had any complaints about the performance.

Last year I was working on a non-functional installation on a boat where there were no metal tanks and it would very be difficult to go with acres of copper foil because of difficult access through the hull. I told the customer about the Kiss and Carl's return policy and said let's try it, and if it doesn't work we'll return it go with plan B and I won't charge for the time it took to install and remove the Kiss. After installing the Kiss, this particular sailor went from being totally disillusioned with his SSB to getting a ham licence next time he returned home and becoming an avid DX-er from his boat. He was a convert and so was I. Since then, I have not installed any other ground plane on a wood or fibreglass vessel. In Grenada last year I had my employer import them, but I found that they were charging too much for them, so when I returned to St Maarten, I started importing them myself. They are selling like hot cakes. I want one for Magic, but I still have not been able to keep any long enough to install it.

Will the Kiss work better than a well installed ground using acres of copper sheet or mesh, copper foil to metal tanks or 1/4 wave radials cut and spread out so that they don't detune each other? No, I don't think it will, but in my experience it does consistently work better than dynaplates or through-hulls and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than paying my hourly rates for installing any of the alternatives. And - it doesn't corrode.

I have installed about 15 - 20 Kiss grounds by now and sold several more to people who installed their own. I have not had any returns or complaints and in most cases the user is delighted with the quite noticeable improvement in performance of the radio installation. I have not seen an alternative that works better, but I'm sure it exists.

One quite surprising thing I've seen several times is that when I hook up my cross needle SWR meter and whistle into the mike I often get no more than 70-80 Watts using the existing ground plane on the boat even thought the SWR is well within specs. I disconnect the existing ground and connect the Kiss and when I repeat the experiment I see 130-140W. I know that does not necessarily indicate a louder signal on the air as I would see the same transmitting into a dummy load, but it would seem that 140 Watts going through the coax is going to be heard better at the other end than 80 Watts and I would think the final transistors in the radio would be happier too.

Owen,
Yacht Magic
St Maarten
__________________
MagicSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 07:04   #35
Registered User
 
cburger's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Nyack, NY
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 1,547
Images: 1
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicSailor View Post
Hi

I have installed about 15 - 20 Kiss grounds by now and sold several more to people who installed their own. I have not had any returns or complaints and in most cases the user is delighted with the quite noticeable improvement in performance of the radio installation. I have not seen an alternative that works better, but I'm sure it exists.

One quite surprising thing I've seen several times is that when I hook up my cross needle SWR meter and whistle into the mike I often get no more than 70-80 Watts using the existing ground plane on the boat even thought the SWR is well within specs. I disconnect the existing ground and connect the Kiss and when I repeat the experiment I see 130-140W. I know that does not necessarily indicate a louder signal on the air as I would see the same transmitting into a dummy load, but it would seem that 140 Watts going through the coax is going to be heard better at the other end than 80 Watts and I would think the final transistors in the radio would be happier too.

Owen,
Yacht Magic
St Maarten
Great practical, well written post Owen.
__________________
cburger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 08:18   #36
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Has anyone actually disassembled it enough to measure each wire, there is only 7.

This KISS
Keep
It
Simple
Stupid antenna is kinda interesting to me
__________________
Happy_Hamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 08:46   #37
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

I could have measured each length, but I felt that would have been misleading, as I don't think the lengths of the individual wires in the bundle are significant.

I finally was able to take some measurements with the KISS in the boat, but forgot to change the reference to 50 ohms instead of 75, so SWR readings are off. I'll eventually post some more info, but what I did find interesting is that the counterpoise significantly affected the actual resonant frequencies of the backstay antenna, with significant differences between the existing copper ribbon foil, a coiled KISS, and a straightened out KISS.

What this tells me is that whatever the thinking behind putting "tuned" lengths of wire in the KISS bundle, the actual end result on antenna impedance of using a KISS is so influenced by how it is deployed (straight or coiled) by nearby conductive structures like fuel tanks and engine, and most importantly by the electrical length of the backstay antenna, that the "tuned" lengths in the KISS bundle are meaningless.

Something else I have concluded is that since the counterpoise - whatever it is - so significantly affects the frequency of antenna resonance, that is could explain why some seem to find better results with the KISS than some outher counterpoise solution. It may have moved the sweet spot for the backstay into an area where performance on a certain frequency or two is much better. On the other hand, it could also do the opposite.

As an example, on my boat the antenna resonant frequency is 3.6 mHz with the existing copper foil counterpoise, which is run extensively through the boat. This is great for use on the 80 meter ham bands. The KISS moves it up well above 4 mHz, so then it would not be as easy to match on 80 meters.

Anyway, none of this actually tells us anything about the actual radiation efficiency of different solutions, it is only one aspect that is actually easily measurable.

Chip
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 08:54   #38
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

My thought on the measurements would be to input the results into EZNEC and create a model and actually "see" what is going on

EZNEC Antenna Software by W7EL
__________________
Happy_Hamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 09:34   #39
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

That might be interesting, but EZNEC is known to be a poor modeler of different ground systems. And a sailboat, with its rigging, fuel tanks, water tanks, lifelines, etc. etc. would be a very complicated model. The much bigger version of NEC from which EZNEC is derived is supposedly better at ground system modeling, but I don't have it and don't know.

I think that what is happening is that a boat counterpoise is acting like something somewhere between an elevated and tuned radial and a ground mounted and effectively detuned radial. Exactly where it will fall is highly influenced by overall length, position in the boat, relation to sea water, and the conductive structures of the boat. Bottom line is that it is going to be nearly impossible to predict what will work best in a given installation, one will simply need to experiment to some degree and see what happens. Even then you probably won't be able to identify with ease the very best possible solution.

Chip
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 10:53   #40
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

I was able to re-reference my AA-230Pro scans to 50 ohms. These scans were made with the GTO-15 from the backstay, and the KISS or copper foil connected directly to the Rig Expert AA-230Pro antenna analyzer. No coaxial cable involved. The boat is a Valiant 40 with a 55 foot mast. The backstay has upper and lower insulators, the upper insulator roughly 5 to 7 feet from the masthead. GTO-15 runs from the just above the lower insulator down into the hold where the AT-140 tuner sits. The boat was sitting in a slip in New England seawater.

I would post the SWR graphs, but the software graph only shows SWR up to 6:1. Instead I'm showing the scans as "Return Loss" - kind of a reciprocal of an SWR scan.

Copper Foil Scan
KISS Straight Scan
KISS Coiled Scan


In these graphs, an SWR of 2:1 corresponds to a Return Loss of 10 db, while 20 dB is an SWR of about 1.2:1. Without a tuner, almost all radios will be happy with an SWR of 2:1 or lower (a return loss of 10 dB or higher). With the limited range built-in tuners found in many Ham radios, an SWR of 3:1 or lower (a return loss of 6 dB or higher) can be tuned. Wider range external tuners, like the SGC-230, Icom AT-140, or MFJ manual tuners, can tune a much higher SWR, but I don't know what their real limits are likely to be.

Its very interesting to me that minimum SWR is at 3.6 mHz with the copper foil, and at 12 mHz with the KISS, yet all three show four minimums in roughly the same places. Its also interesting to note that the width of the minimums (or return loss maximums) is largely the same between the different scans, so all the different lengths of wire in the KISS bundle are not somehow acting like independent radials tuned for specific bands. It looks to me like the KISS is acting like a single, shorter length detuned radial - despite what the marketing material implies.

Chip
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 14:18   #41
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Chip,

First, congratulations for your efforts thus far and the interesting information. Always good to add grist for the mill.

I would, however, submit that while your tests may be interesting in terms of what the TUNER SEES, they are less so in terms of what the RADIO SEES and, especially, the effect of the radial systems when connected to the antenna/GTO-15/tuner. The tuner, of course, radically alters the antenna impedence presented to the radio. The radio sees 50 ohms. It is likely, therefore that the action of the ground system will be different when played against a 50-ohm impedance than against the raw-and-variable impedence of the backstay antenna and it's GTO-15 feedline alone.

I realize that it would be very hard if not impossible to do a scan when the tuner is in line, since the tuner needs to tune to each frequency independently. However, without its being in-line, the results may be somewhat misleading.

Would it be possible for you to somehow do a few scans at selected frequencies with the tuner in place and tuned to those frequencies, then to compare against the results you already have?

If that's not possible, it might be interesting to do a scan with a 50-ohm dummy load in-line rather than the backstay, which would tend to isolate the effect of the various ground systems.

Or....am I just too tired after a workday on the Bay to think clearly??

Cheers,

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 14:40   #42
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,830
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Bill,

The dummy load test is an excellent suggestion, removing another variable.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 19:56   #43
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

I think the best suggestion came from John, KA4WJA. Take two KISS, form them into a dipole, and compare that to a simple wire dipole. This would take just about everything else out of the equation. But, I don't have two of them.

I think you would find them to be very much the same, basically an 18 mHz dipole with perhaps with a broader resonance due to the larger effective diameter of the KISS bundle of wires. It would be interesting, anyway.

Next time I'm on the boat I'll look at doing the dummy load test, and the through the tuner tests. I don't think either will be illuminating, but not hard to do either.

Chip
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 20:10   #44
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,830
Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Taking that further, I suppose an infinite number of them would come close to making an isotropic radiator.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-06-2011, 14:44   #45
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 )

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
I think the best suggestion came from John, KA4WJA. Take two KISS, form them into a dipole, and compare that to a simple wire dipole. This would take just about everything else out of the equation. But, I don't have two of them.
Chip,
Well again, thank you for doing all of this.....

And, I have a bit of a short cut idea for you, that wouldn't take much time/effort.....

That is....
Simply string up the KISS-Ground vertically (from a halyard, etc.) and operate it "against ground", just like any (short) vertical antenna (such as whip, backstay, etc.)......
Use your existing rf ground / counterpoise (copper strapping to a direct sea water connection, I believe???) as ground, and the KISS-Ground as the "antenna" under test...
Test / scan it there.....and see what the resonant freq is.....

Although both your rigging and your counterpoise will have an affect on its resonance, this would be the case on any sailboat.....so...
So, this should resolve most of the questions, without the need for purchasing another KISS-Ground.....


Thanks again....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
__________________

__________________
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 19:19.


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.