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Old 29-08-2010, 17:57   #1
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Mahe 36: Communications HF Radio

We are going to install an HF Radio. Thinking about the Icom 710. Has anyone installed one before, if so any tips? Instead of an antenna we were going to try the rope antenna. Anyone use one of these before? Seems like a good alternative for Cats with no backstay and far less expensive than installing antenna in rigging. Any other comments on types/brands of radios or antennas?
Here is a link for info on the rope antenna:

radios.net.au shop - Backstay Antenna (RopeAntenna) - (Powered by CubeCart)
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Old 29-08-2010, 21:05   #2
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You might also want to take a look at the Icom M802; small size with separate control head, power unit and speaker. We're running this unit with an Icom AT-140 automatic antenna tuner to a Shakespeare #390 23' whip antenna. Grounding is via a 6"X18" dynaplate and a run of copper foil all the way around one hull.

We've found the whip antenna works very well, and can be lowered and disassembled if necessary.
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Old 31-08-2010, 22:39   #3
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Tried loading the rig as a delta loop with poor results.
Tried loading the whole rig with poor results.
Bit the bullet and installed an insulator in the shroud which works great on the low bands. (Below 10MHz)
Have run tuned radials all through the hulls for each band. (I don't buy into the dyna plate debate)
Even though the shroud will tune OK on the higher bands, I use vertical dipoles for 10MHz and above with excellent results.
If you have the space, install a whip, but your results are only going to be as good as the effort you put into the installation.
A whip of the same length as the shroud antenna will give identical results and will only work optimal on one band, every thing else will be a compromise, so it's best to cut it to the band most used. A whip is just some thing ells flapping around on deck and some thing else to bugger up. Vertical dipoles are really only practical when anchored, are band specific but will give best performance. Go for a GMDSS rig that you can open for ham bands if you
so desire. I don't think the Icom M802 is legal in Aus or you can buy one here. Only Barret is GMDSS type approved. Keep your power cables heavy, short and direct to the battery.
With a good ground plane or radials the rope antenna will perform just the same as a whip of the same length, but I see it as an easy temporary solution. It's performance will be degrade if it's not vertical also.
Like I said, your results are only going to be as good as the effort you put into the installation.
Good luck
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Old 30-09-2010, 15:17   #4
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I have a ICOM 802 with the AT-140 with the rope antenna and the 400 ohm ladder lines strung along the sides. Ground is thru a DC block cap to the engine block. On 14.3 I had no problem checking in to net control in Wisconsin nor talking to people on 7.268 in the south. I am in Barnegat Bay, NJ.
Bill K2SDV
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Old 09-06-2011, 17:11   #5
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Re: Mahe 36: Communications HF Radio

Finally got the HF installed.
Installed an Icom 802, with an AT-140 Auto tuner and rope antenna. We installed a grounding plate last haul out. The rope antenna is attached to it's own saddle a meter from the top of the mast, and anchored just forward of the stanchion on the outside the port window. Secured with a shackle to a deck plate. The auto tuner was installed on the bulkhead behind the port forward cabin door. Put the nuts through the bulk head from the companionway so it looks nicer. Tuner is grounded to plate which was installed in forward cabin bildge.
Installed radio face in Nav Panel, and main unit in cabinet behind Nav panel. (Will not be using VHF and HF at the same time). Radio wired directly to Battery input (into Port aft fuse box located under bunk). There is a 30 amp inline fuse for power built into power supply.
So far receiving and transmitting fine.
As a suggestion to anyone considering the rope antenna. It is such a simple design, I paid $250 for it in Australia, and feel totally ripped off. Anyone could make the same antenna for a fraction of the cost. It says that it has a patent on it, but hard to believe you could patent something so basic.
Rozzie
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Old 22-06-2011, 17:23   #6
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Re: Mahe 36: Communications HF Radio

Hello all
I to have installed the Icom 802. I am using the 23ft whip antena but am not sure where to install it. Kia Ora you said you used the whip antena could you send a picture and tell us where you installed it.
Al
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Old 24-06-2011, 17:41   #7
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Re: Mahe 36: Communications HF Radio

Al,

The whip antenna you referred to was installed on a Tobago 35, so the configuration of the boat is a bit different than your Mahe. It was mounted on the transom deck with a Shakespeare swivel mount, and an antenna standoff attached to the sternrail. The same type of setup may be able to be done on the Mahe, but the placement of the antenna mount and standoff distance would have to be aft enough for the antenna to clear the boom. West Marine carries an adjustable standoff extension that can add up to nine inches to the standard Shakespeare standoff; that might allow enough room to make it work.

Hope this helps!
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Old 25-07-2011, 13:45   #8
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Re: Mahe 36: Communications HF Radio

Hi All
Have completed my install of the ICom M802. Found a great place for the whip antena ( thanks to Randy of LIPARI ) Have pics of all the installation. Used the KISS system instead of the copper foil, works well and a lot easer to install. If you have any questions please ask.
Al
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Old 26-07-2011, 00:46   #9
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Re: Mahe 36: Communications HF Radio

Hello Al,
Can you tell a little more about the KISS grounding system, please?
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Old 29-07-2011, 14:44   #10
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Re: Mahe 36: Communications HF Radio

The best way to tell you about the Kiss SSB ground plane is go to there web site. Google Kiss SSB ground plane and it will all come up. The black cable is what you run under your floor boards, it is 10 ft long. I picked up the floor boards and drilled small holes in the coming around the floor boards then wire tied the black cable to the holes with plastic straps. There is plenty of room in the hallway between the aft cabin and the foward head. The AT140 is mounted on the back wall of the rear cabin behind the door. The yellow cable is long enough to mount the AT140 about 3/4 up the wall. The rest of the install was not hard but finding the right place for the 23ft whip antena was not easy. The place I chose is right for me and out of the way so no one should ever grab it.

Al
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Old 02-08-2011, 18:17   #11
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Garmin VHF 300i vs 300 (international vs US)

Hello,

Was looking for a place to post what I learnt recently about my VHF. My Mahé has been delivered with an international version of the Garmin VHF so I cannot have the weather channels nor some specific US channels (22A for example). I called Garmin today and they answered that they can do an exchange of my 300i AIS and GHS 10i and replace them by a 300 AIS and GHS 10. These two being the ones for the US and not the international version. I will let you know if it happens fine.
They are asking for the serial number and a proof of purchase. For the proof of purchase, I will ask FP and if this is too long, I will use my bill of sale.

Alex
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