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Old 16-12-2012, 11:17   #121
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
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.

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
Thanks a lot, Chris.
However, in my terrible lack of knowledge, I've been suggested by a friend of mine (who's sailing in Guatemala right now) about purchasing the 480SAT, just because "it doesn't need an external AT".

Now, I appreciate what you say about it. However, my friends swears that he can easily operate different bands (don't ask me how) having just a wire up antenna to the mast (not even an insulated backstay). He also operates with sailmail, with a pactor modem.

I am feeling :
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Old 16-12-2012, 11:43   #122
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Ciao Vieux,
1) What Bill and Chris said is all good!!!
Take their advice...


As for specifics on that Diamond antenna...
Quote:
Originally Posted by VieuxMalin View Post
What about this device, which I happen to have?
Diamond BB6W
2) While this may be popular in EU, etc. it is almost unheard of on this side of the pond...


3) What I do know about it, is NOT good....it uses a load resistor in addition to a wideband unun/balun to achieve an "acceptable" vswr to your transmitter, but as such is a VERY inefficient antenna...
Quote:
the resulting losses due to the resistive attenuator, and the impedance mismatch it is masking, results in very poor performance on several bands. Typically 6-12dB worse than when being fed with an Auto-Tuner.
Here are a few tests that might provide further education on this antenna....
Comet CHA-250B - MARTIN - G8JNJ


4) Further this antenna is not designed for, nor would it be a good choice for, maritime / mobile use.....in addition to its poor performance, even if you found a way to properly/securely install it, I doubt it would last long....



5) Bottom line here:
a) Choose a remote auto-tuner (such as SGC-230)
b) Install a good vertical/sloping wire antenna (backstay, shroud, "alternaive backstay", etc.
c) Attach counterpoise / RF ground (KISS, copper strap, radials, etc.) to ground lug of remote tuner



I hope this helps....

Ciao,
John
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Old 16-12-2012, 12:05   #123
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Usually anecdotal / boastful reports of "excelent performance" are notoriously unreliable and should not be taken seriously....
Quote:
Originally Posted by VieuxMalin View Post
However, my friends swears that he can easily operate different bands (don't ask me how) having just a wire up antenna to the mast (not even an insulated backstay). He also operates with sailmail, with a pactor modem.
Further, since it is a FACT that it is possible to communicate around the world on HF radio using VERY simple and compromised antennas, such as just a small length of wire throw out the window, or strung up a halyard, or even just a "wire coat hanger", etc.....even if the evidence of the above-emntioned "excellent performance" is accurate/truthful, that does NOT mean that such an antenna / antenna-tuner / feed system, is even moderately efficient/effective, and that other antennas would not perform significantly better and provide much more reliable communications...

And, even further, since your friend mentioned PACTOR, you should understand the error-correction and "speed-reduction" that can make a "marginal" signal usable.....
And, if communicating on SSB on the ham radio bands, he is most probably communicating with other stations with significantly better antennas (directionl yagis, etc.) which can partially compensate for inferior antenna systems on-board...


I hope this helps...

John
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Old 16-12-2012, 15:58   #124
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Dear John,

thanks a lot, I appreciate it.
So, I will save these suggestions in a file and try to work it out.
My first concern was about (gulp) cutting the main backstay (mizzen mast is out of discussion) in order to create an insulation. I hate the idea, and will try to consider any other option.
But I don't want to lead the discussion out of thread here, so...at the end of the day, KISSifying the system is ok, in a general point of view...but not really cost effective.
Being a total profane, I believe that I can afford a usd 140 expense for the sake of less headaches :-)

As regards the rest of the system, well....taking some pills here, and calling an expert (other expenses).

Ahoy!
Ben
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Old 16-12-2012, 17:52   #125
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Of course the KISS works. Almost anything will work! (Especially with a modern auto tuner)

Speaking of auto, I saw a pic once of two Ford Pintos, bumper to bumper, fed with ladder line as a 15 meter dipole. However, two appropriate lengths of copper wire would have been cheaper than the two cars. Same principle with the KISS. Some ground strap bonded to a bronze through-hull or two is a lot cheaper and might prove to be just as effective as long as it is not a resonant length. Don't buy it until you try the world's biggest RF ground first... the sea. No through hull? Dip about 20 feet of bare copper wire or strap into the water. Try stuff you don't have to buy before buying something that probably works okay but doesnt work any better than tried and true 100 year old technology.
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Old 16-12-2012, 18:05   #126
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Ben,
1) Your are very welcome...



Quote:
Originally Posted by VieuxMalin View Post
I don't want to lead the discussion out of thread here
2) I undestand, and I suggest you start a new thread for further discussion / information, etc...(such as much info on antenna ideas, "alternative backstay antennas", etc.)





Quote:
Originally Posted by VieuxMalin View Post
Being a total profane, I believe that I can afford a usd 140 expense for the sake of less headaches :-)
3) I'm not sure if this will translate to Italian evry well, but trying to be perfectly honest here...
To be accurate and clear, I am NOT recommending a KISS-SSB-Ground....NOT at all...
I am merely answering your questions on "where" to connect a counterpoise and on how well an internal antenna tuner would work...

For even more details on the "KISS", read here...
SSCA Forum • View topic - KISS-SSB Counterpoise




Good luck and Fair winds...

John
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Old 17-12-2012, 01:06   #127
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
Of course the KISS works. Almost anything will work! (Especially with a modern auto tuner)

Speaking of auto, I saw a pic once of two Ford Pintos, bumper to bumper, fed with ladder line as a 15 meter dipole. However, two appropriate lengths of copper wire would have been cheaper than the two cars. Same principle with the KISS. Some ground strap bonded to a bronze through-hull or two is a lot cheaper and might prove to be just as effective as long as it is not a resonant length. Don't buy it until you try the world's biggest RF ground first... the sea. No through hull? Dip about 20 feet of bare copper wire or strap into the water. Try stuff you don't have to buy before buying something that probably works okay but doesnt work any better than tried and true 100 year old technology.
Yeah GM, but.....what if someone (me) doesn't even know how to build a kiss-a-like stuff?

Ask me to sail a vessel to the atoll of Nauru, only by means of astronav...or fly an Airbus A330 from Rome to JFK, but don't ask me to understand the mystical secrets of a HAM radio installation

Fair winds to you
Ben
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:06   #128
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by VieuxMalin View Post
Yeah GM, but.....what if someone (me) doesn't even know how to build a kiss-a-like stuff?

Ask me to sail a vessel to the atoll of Nauru, only by means of astronav...or fly an Airbus A330 from Rome to JFK, but don't ask me to understand the mystical secrets of a HAM radio installation

Fair winds to you
Ben
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Well, essentially it is just a wire connected to an RF ground, that RF ground being the sea. It really isn't complicated. Copper ground strap, either the braided wire type or the flat solid type, will work just dandy. Or even copper wire, the bigger the better. An old welding cable would be super. Sand a bright spot on a through-hull and hose clamp your ground strap or wire to the bright spot, with as much metal to metal contact as practical. Or just dangle it in the water, for temporary or testing purposes. Ashore you could do the same thing, using a copper ground rod driven into the ground, (that's where the term "ground" came from) or bond to a cold water pipe. (not the plastic kind, though!) Your automatic tuner will take care of the details. It is actually much simpler than either of the two tasks you mentioned above. Give it a try! If it doesn't work for you, for whatever reason, if your pockets are deep, get the KISS gadget. It ought to work, I just consider it an unnecessary expense, what with beer getting more expensive every year.
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Old 14-01-2013, 07:28   #129
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Update of my re-instal using the KISS SSB. Spoke with New Zealand Taupo Maritime radio from Brisbane Australia on 8297.0 clear as a bell 5x5. I am happy with this counterpoise. Thanks to all those that gave their input. Distance was 1127 NM
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Old 14-01-2013, 17:23   #130
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Simon,
1) Good to hear that everything is working well and that you're happy with your results...
(on a side note about propagation, I also have worked NZ and Aus coast stations / HF communications stations on 8mhz and 12mhz....from my boat tied to the dock here in Florida, USA....with excellent signal reports....distances of 8000 - 11,000 miles...it's mostly about propagation... and a little bit of skill...





2) For those looking for some hard facts about real world antenna couterpoises/radials/KISS, etc...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
.... 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....
...Please have a look here for some detailed test results.....
SSCA Forum • View topic - KISS-SSB Counterpoise




Fair winds...

John
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Old 20-01-2013, 02:38   #131
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

A 9:1 Unun would probably be a better choice. Balun designs makes a 9:1 UNUN specifically for long wires.

Despite this recommendation to use a 9:1 UNUN there is no guarantee of success.

Using a random length wire vertical still requires judicious wire length selection for
optimum results and optimum match. Frankly it takes careful experimentation or measurement to find that magic antenna length that will work on all marine and ham frequencies. This problem is not hard to understand since even automatic tuners have this problem, and using a automatic antenna only hides the issue rather than really solving it. We dont see the impact on efficiency when using an automatic tuner. We happy because we see a good VSWR which is no indication of efficiency of the match.

At least when you using a UNUN, if the match is high its telling you that your antenna
impedance is no good or far from optimum!

There is a HAM in Portugal who makes a long wire antenna that is used with a 9:1 UNUN. Its called a EZWIRE. If you visit his web you can see chart there that recommends a optimum length for the matching unit. While most of these length are impractical for yachts and they do not cover the marine frequencies. You can see the point about having to chose the optimum wire length.

News

A 9:1 UNUN is widely used on the Military and Navy Marine antenna tuners. Its also
the preferred UNUN for broadband antennas like the half rhombic and T2FD and other
traveling wave antennas.

If you do some research on the ham ZERO FIVE antennas you will see that the
problems arise on UNUN fed multiband vertical antennas. Bottom line is that its a tough nut to crack.

Coming up with a vertical antenna that works on all frequencies that has a simple matching scheme is every engineers dream. There are antenna design techniques that can mitigate these issues. However these solutions are beyond the ability and caring radar of most sailors.
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Old 23-01-2013, 09:23   #132
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

The search is over! Here is a great broadband HF antenna:

GVARC's Titan Missile Page

The Battleship Missouri has a similar one on its bow, but I think it will be hard to mount on our sailboats....

Chip
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Old 23-01-2013, 09:47   #133
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
The search is over! Here is a great broadband HF antenna:

GVARC's Titan Missile Page

The Battleship Missouri has a similar one on its bow, but I think it will be hard to mount on our sailboats....

Chip
Well, it's big alright, but I wouldn't call it a "great broadband HF antenna". The discone is a no-gain antenna, i.e., about the same as a horizontal dipole.

A much better broadband HF antenna is the log periodic beam, directional with about a 6-7db gain. There was a wonderful one on a Navy facility up the road from me, mounted atop a 100' plus tower. Looked to be about 4mHz on up. They took it down last year, though, so I don't have to lust after it anymore when I drive by :-)

Bill
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Old 23-01-2013, 17:45   #134
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Interesting antenna and they sure do work especially over sea water. There are more modern solutions that would work like this. STEALTH 9320 HF Marine Autotune Whip Antenna 1.6-30 MHz 200W Stealth Telecom Outside of the USA this style of antenna is widely deployed and used by people whose daily life routine depends on HF communications both on land and the sea. The technology used in these antennas are proven. These antenna designs offer a neat installation for yachts and other pleasure craft. My experience using these antennas from other manufacturers has been pleasant. I am impressed by the performance. However anecdotal perceptions are not measured results! A big bonus of this design and other designs like it, is that if you lose the top whip you can simply attach a piece of wire to the top of the tuner. This does 2 things to the performance. Depending on the length of wire, it decreases the highest frequency of operation and improves the lowest frequency of operation. The antenna installed on my 4 wheel drive I dont even use a whip 99% of the time. When I am in remote places I just attach a piece of wire and string it up on a fiberglass pole. This increases the efficiency. The design has potential for cruising sailors. From an installers point view,f installing one of these types of antennas who be a lot less work than a conventional HF antenna installation. I must however caution that we do have to use these dirty swear words. RF GROUND or COUNTERPOISE. These antennas simply dont work if your grounding act is not perfected. Something like a KISS would be worst possible scenario because the last thing that you would want is a counterpoise with some kind of resonances in it. I am staying out of the grounding frying pan.However I do know enough about HF to know that something like a KISS ground would be the worst thing to use on automatically tuned short vertical. Dont worry I know!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
The search is over! Here is a great broadband HF antenna:

GVARC's Titan Missile Page

The Battleship Missouri has a similar one on its bow, but I think it will be hard to mount on our sailboats....

Chip
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Old 23-01-2013, 20:32   #135
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Re: The KISS SSB Counterpoise - Revealed ( with Pics )

Lets keep it simple
Marine HF antennas perform best when they are long and high in the air, particularly at frequencies below 15mhz

If you use an antenna like the Stealth 9320 you will have diminished performance versus a backstay antenna. The difference may not be significant on frequencies above 15 mhz but will be very significant on lower frequencies.


Antennas like the Stealth are commonly used in land mobile applications. In a car, you simply just don't have the option to install a physically larger antenna so there is little compromise in performance (ie with the small vehicle footprint the performance of this antenna type is the best you can possibly achieve).

On a pleasure craft however you have the significant advantage of having a tall mast at your disposal. This allows you to install a long antenna (10 metres or more) at a very nice height. If cars were allowed to get about with 10 metre poles protruding from their roof I can assure you that every commercial / military antenna would be strung from the top of this pole.

Simply put, there are no miracles in physics - if you are using a short antenna like the Stealth, or a KISS-SSB counterpoise you are significantly reducing your system performance. As a HF radio package is expensive to install and as its primary function is to save you in an emergency I just cannot understand why a user would compromise system performance by using the gimmicky products listed in this thread.

Be on the look-out for my soon to be released "coat hanger" antenna - looks like a common wire coat hanger from your closet but has the miraculous power to function like a full size HF antenna without any system ground (it actually is just a 2c coat hanger, but with the aid of some fancy marketing talk I am sure I can get it to defy the laws of physics)

Cheers
Paul - vk4ma
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