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Old 24-10-2012, 11:06   #106
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Simon-
"Hey the bumble bee shouldn't fly but it does. "
Engineers here in the Colonies have a rather quaint saying about flight:
"Put enough horsepower on a brick sh|thouse and you can make it fly."

The KISS will work. Whether it outperforms your (dying?) corroded counterpoise, is something else again.

Plain copper roof flashing used to be a good source of copper foil but these days the price of any kind of metal is so damned high.
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Old 24-10-2012, 12:58   #107
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Simon -

I don't think anyone has been saying it wouldn't work. My point in a nutshell is that it is rather costly for what it really is, it isn't exactly what it is marketed to be, its performance isn't likely to exceed what can be done with a few pieces of wire of equivalent overall length, and a more rigorous counterpoise with likely much better performance can be contrived without too much trouble.

Copper foil doesn't even have to enter the picture. Most would agree that it is difficult to work with, usually expensive, and prone to corrosion.

Clearly opinions differ, but no one has presented reproducible data to support the superior performance of one solution or another (barring Gordon West's experiments which did not include a KISS) and it isn't likely to be forthcoming. Meanwhile, many are happy to pay the money and fuggedaboutit.

Chip
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Old 24-10-2012, 15:42   #108
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Simon,
Wishing you well on your project....but perhaps a bit of clarification/information may help you and others....


1) If you were using "foil" rather than strapping, you were asking for a limited lifespan right there....(typically foil is 0.003" thick or less...and starpping is 0.012" to 0.035" thick...I use 0.22"....) You really should be using good quality strapping, and spary it with some laquer/paint to protect it, and it'll last 25+ years....
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I have done the research the best I could, and given the best price I could find for copper foil to replacing my old green and brittle counterpoise (ground) is $155.
2) If you're paying that much, you're paying WAY too much!!!
Georgia Copper has 25' lengths of 3" wide, 0.012" thick, strapping for only $ 69.00.....(and 0.022" thick is $108...)
And, 50' lengths are only $120....

GEORGIA COPPER - Copper ground strap
GEORGIA COPPER - Copper ground strap






2) And, as Chip (and others, like myself) have written many times, it's not that the KISS doesn't work, but that it doesn't work any better than a handful of random length copper wires wadded up into a bundle does....




I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 24-10-2012, 17:53   #109
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

An update on my cheapo $7 counterpoise.
All bands SWR between 1.0 and 1.2
Full RF output power available.
Good signal reports from all contacts so far.
No apparent problems with any of my other electronics, not even the autopilot !!!
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Old 25-10-2012, 03:08   #110
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post

2) If you're paying that much, you're paying WAY too much!!!
Georgia Copper has 25' lengths of 3" wide, 0.012" thick, strapping for only $ 69.00.....(and 0.022" thick is $108...)
And, 50' lengths are only $120....

GEORGIA COPPER - Copper ground strap
GEORGIA COPPER - Copper ground strap

2) And, as Chip (and others, like myself) have written many times, it's not that the KISS doesn't work, but that it doesn't work any better than a handful of random length copper wires wadded up into a bundle does....


I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
Thanks for that but you need to know we pay at least double what you pay in the US for the same item here. Strapping is $2.75 per foot.
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Old 25-10-2012, 06:47   #111
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
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I have done the research the best I could, and given the best price I could find for copper foil...
The whole point is that you don't HAVE to use copper foil. That's sort of the "gold standard" for a counterpoise, but ordinary insulated wire will work quite well enough. In fact, that's exactly what the KISS is on the inside.

What you are buying for the price of the KISS is the convenience of not needing to measure, cut, and then join together all of those wires yourself.
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Old 25-10-2012, 07:45   #112
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
The whole point is that you don't HAVE to use copper foil. That's sort of the "gold standard" for a counterpoise, but ordinary insulated wire will work quite well enough. In fact, that's exactly what the KISS is on the inside.

What you are buying for the price of the KISS is the convenience of not needing to measure, cut, and then join together all of those wires yourself.
Total cost to me was $155.50 Oz$ delivered should be here in 7days. Had I made one from scratch, well it would cost me time and materials, so I am happy to pay it as long as it works and if it is fit and forget all the better.
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Old 25-10-2012, 07:59   #113
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Simon,
Yep, you got me....unusual for me, but I didn't see you were downunder....
Sorry about that...

But, just curious....you mention strapping is $2.75/ft (which actually is about the same here)....and since you should typically have the underwater conductor/metal (Dynaplate/bronze thru/etc.) that allows you to use the sea water as your counterpoise, within approx. 8' feet of your remote antenna tuner, the cost of the strapping should be pretty low...

Just curious how long of a run of strapping you (or others) were considering...as if you were using a quite lengthly run, the facts are that the strapping was acting as much of a counterpoise as the sea water itself was....and while, not necessarily a bad thing, this partially defeats the purpose of using strapping / to use the sea water as your counterpiose...



I really don't want to rehash all of these debates, and I do wish you well with your set-up....
I just wanted to clarify things a but....as 8' of starpping at your $2.75/ft is much less than the cost of a KISS Ground....and since you already had copper foil, I assume you already have decent low-imp underwater metal attachment (Dynaplate/bronze thru-hull/etc.) within the prescribe distance from the tuner....


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 25-10-2012, 08:40   #114
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

John, sorry but I made a mistake on the price Copper strap is $15 p/m or @ $5 p/f. the 2.75 was for 1" copper foil. A Guest dynaplate is $319.

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Old 25-10-2012, 10:18   #115
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
Had I made one from scratch, well it would cost me time and materials, so I am happy to pay it as long as it works and if it is fit and forget all the better.
And that's fine. Nothing at all wrong with putting a value on your time.

I was simply pointing out that if you want to make a cost comparison to other sorts of counterpoises, then comparing it to copper strapping is comparing apples to oranges. The comparison should be to making your own bundle of ordinary wires--not to copper strapping.
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Old 16-12-2012, 10:18   #116
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Hello folks,

I've been reading the whole thread with much admiration and gratefulness to all of you, who seem to understand pretty well this matter.
I am just a sailor and totally profane about HF.
However, just because I am planning to leave the Med to "cross the Pond", I've purchased a Kenwood TS480SAT HF radio.

My vessel is a ketch, and I am trying hard to figure out what kind of antenna and how to set it. But this is not in the topic.

My questions are:

1) If I wanted to KISSify my system, where should it be attached...giving the fact that the Kenwood has an internal AT, and (from what I can see) a single "earth" outplug ?

2) Once plugged, where is the KISS gear supposed to be placed? May I lay it in the counter-roof? Or all the way down to the bilge ? Or maybe along the side (behind the forniture) is ok ?

Forgive my less than amateurish way of speaking, but there's a lack of competence here, and also a "linguistic" difference (I am italian).

Many thanks and Best Wishes to all
Cpt Blood
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Old 16-12-2012, 10:57   #117
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

The internal tuner in the 480 may or not be enough for you, depending on what kind of antenna you choose. Internal antenna tuners generally have limited capacity to tune non-resonant antennas; they are designed for, e.g., dipoles.

In any case, you'll most likely end up with an end-fed antenna on your ketch, either an insulated shroud or backstay or a separate wire fed from the bottom. It is unlikely that your Kenwood internal tuner could handle this well on all desired bands.

Most likely, you'll need to acquire a good 4:1 UN-UN (unbalanced-to-unbalanced) device -- very similar to a balun -- and install this near the base of the antenna. That is also where the KISS-SSB radial ground system should be connected. From the UN-UN, you then run a 50-ohm coax like RG-8X back to the radio.

A good UN-UN which many of us use is one from Balun Designs (Balun Designs LLC - High quality baluns and ununs at reasonable prices). Once you've decided on an antenna, it would be good to contact them and ask which model would be best for your situation.

Bill
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Old 16-12-2012, 11:06   #118
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Thanks Bill.
Still quite confused, but some clouds have been dissipated.
What about this device, which I happen to have?

Diamond BB6W
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Old 16-12-2012, 11:12   #119
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

We have a ts480SAT on our boat. It is a great radio. The tuner, however, will NOT tune a random length long wire antenna. Rather, it is designed to fine tune an already "Tuned" antenna, such as a dipole antenna, or a long wire cut to a specific length for a specific frequency. If you plan on working with a single antenna, and want to work various bands, then you will need an external tuner. We use an SGC tuner that works with any radio - it has served us well. In this case, you attach the KISS to the tuner. We have one of those as well, and we simply mounted the tuner in the back of the boat, and then laid out the KISS in the aft bilge (underneath the quadrant, etc). If you use an external antenna tuner, then the placement of the tuner will dictate where the KISS goes. If you create specific antennas for different frequencies, then the KISS will need to be near the radio - again dictated by were the tuner is, in this case the one in the radio ( Edit - or to the Balun, like Bill posted above.)

You can get a Signal Link USB sound card, and then use WINMOR to send and receive simple email, gribs etc with the TS-480. Works great (As long as the band is open at the time). eBay also has a serial to usb cable that works with the Ts-480 to provide somefware control of the radio.

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by VieuxMalin View Post
Hello folks,

I've been reading the whole thread with much admiration and gratefulness to all of you, who seem to understand pretty well this matter.
I am just a sailor and totally profane about HF.
However, just because I am planning to leave the Med to "cross the Pond", I've purchased a Kenwood TS480SAT HF radio.

My vessel is a ketch, and I am trying hard to figure out what kind of antenna and how to set it. But this is not in the topic.

My questions are:

1) If I wanted to KISSify my system, where should it be attached...giving the fact that the Kenwood has an internal AT, and (from what I can see) a single "earth" outplug ?

2) Once plugged, where is the KISS gear supposed to be placed? May I lay it in the counter-roof? Or all the way down to the bilge ? Or maybe along the side (behind the forniture) is ok ?

Forgive my less than amateurish way of speaking, but there's a lack of competence here, and also a "linguistic" difference (I am italian).

Many thanks and Best Wishes to all
Cpt Blood
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Old 16-12-2012, 11:13   #120
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

I'm not familiar with that device, but it appears to be designed for use with long-wire antennas. That usually means 100' or more.

Also, it's unclear whether they're really intended for end-fed long-wire antennas (the classic definition), or just a long dipole antenna; the picture seems to indicate the latter, in which case it would not be a good solution for your boat, though it would likely work fine with your Kenwood at a location ashore where you could put up a long wire or long dipole antenna.

The UN-UN works with the type of end-fed antennas you can put on a cruising sailboat. And, it costs a fraction of the cost of the device you referenced (about $80-90 in the U.S.).

Or, as Chris suggests, you can buy a good external antenna tuner like the SG-230 which will work with any radio. About $499 new.

Bill
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