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Old 28-10-2016, 08:03   #1
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External antenna installation tips

Hi everyone,

I am looking to install an external dual antenna (Iridium/GPS) on my L400S2, and would like to do so as clean and neat as possible.
Planning to put the antenna on the starboard top of the cockpit roof, lead the cables through the inside of the roof into the salon-ceiling and down to the navigation table where I the would attach them to the handheld iridium 9575 docking station.
The main pickle seems to be entering the inside of the cockpit roof (that all seems like one single unit)and going from there into the salon ceiling ...
Has anyone performed a similar installation and can give me some advice ?

Thanks in advance !
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Old 28-10-2016, 12:43   #2
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Re: External antenna installation tips

It's more common to mount on the stern pulpit and run the cable in through the tubing. That often puts the wiring in a hidden location. I'd be real hesitant to knock a hole in the cabin top for that.
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Old 28-10-2016, 15:25   #3
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Re: External antenna installation tips

Can't assist with your antenna position. Saloon roof may hinder and tangle lines?

We will be installing a similiar antenna soon; for Iridium Go, and are thinking of two possibilities. On top of lower mast spreader, with cabling running down inside of mast and routing into cabin with all other mast cabling. Second option is antenna attached to solar panel brackets at rear of cockpit roof and running cables with solar cabling which enter where old stern steaming light was positioned.
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Old 28-10-2016, 15:31   #4
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Re: External antenna installation tips

We have run cables from overhead in cockpit, above the door there is an access point then run cable down behind the helm from the overhead.
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Old 28-10-2016, 16:18   #5
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Re: External antenna installation tips

@capt jgw : the pulpit tubing seems even more difficult to route the cables towards the inside of the saloon, I'd have to go under the cockpit floor then ?

@tuskie : Also thought routing through inside of mast would be a good option, but won't the antenna interfere with the radar when you put it on the lower spreader? and for the second option you suggest; via sternlight cables, you'd have to go through the length of the inside of the cockpit roof, but how ? That roof seems like a one-piece cast, where and how can you acces and feed the cables through ? (Also played with the iridium Go idea but then read this : https://www.morganscloud.com/2016/03...ecommendation/)

@katsumi : would you be so kind to post a photo of the setup/access point please ?

Thanks for the input guys !
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Old 29-10-2016, 02:49   #6
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Re: External antenna installation tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by jugga View Post
@tuskie : Also thought routing through inside of mast would be a good option, but won't the antenna interfere with the radar when you put it on the lower spreader? and for the second option you suggest; via sternlight cables, you'd have to go through the length of the inside of the cockpit roof, but how ? That roof seems like a one-piece cast, where and how can you acces and feed the cables through ? (Also played with the iridium Go idea but then read this : https://www.morganscloud.com/2016/03...ecommendation/)

Thanks for the input guys !
Thanks for the link re. Iridium Go. Not committed yet, so will read carefully.

Not sure about radar interference if mounted on spreader, but I doubt it would be a problem with a metre or so separation. After all, the mast itself causes minimal radar interference. Would pay to ask expert advise, though. I have mounted a cellphone data aerial on our top spreader, with no ill effect. Sat phone aerials don't need the extra elevation, so lower spreader should be fine.

Running cables through cockpit bimini roof is quite easy if you remove round access panels and cover panels over traveler bolts. Go through the traveler support, rather than around it.
As Katsumi advised, also remove ceiling panel inside doorway then route cables down behind helm. I hope this makes sense.

Good luck and please post photos of nice, neat installation.
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Old 30-10-2016, 15:37   #7
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Re: External antenna installation tips

See photo attached, the vinyl covered cover is attached with duel hook Velcro, can be carefully pry off with screw driver covered with a rag. I am not sure if the S2 has the same set up, but we have an overhead panel on the port side of the entrance to the saloon, which can be unscrewed, then a panel on the bulkhead to access under the helm this is also in place with duel lock Velcro.
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Old 14-02-2018, 04:04   #8
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Re: External antenna installation tips

old thread i just found.

I installed iridium antenna as per original jugga plan in first post. Quick and easy. See pic.

Anyone else put antenna in this spot ? If yes, any interference from sail sheets or anything else ?
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Old 14-02-2018, 11:15   #9
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Re: External antenna installation tips

Looking good ! Still havenít installed mine, have been using the portable iridium puck antenna whenever I needed a weather report, even while crossing the atlantic ocean. But one day Iíll grow up and get to a decent installation ...
Arsenelupigo, while you say quick and easy, I am very interested in how you eventually did it : do you have more photos of the installation, and some tips on how you ran the cables, how long are they etc ? Thanks !
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Old 14-02-2018, 12:56   #10
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Re: External antenna installation tips

here you go, instructions

i used metric tape to drive mouse line from first hole near starboard post to next small hole under roof towards kitchen. From this hole, drove line to opening above kitchen - see pic for exact location. then used same technique to drive mouse line from that point to the port side. Then i had to make little opening in cover panels to allow 2 cables to exit. That was the only drilling needed.

I have managed to duplicate 12 V charging station, from 12 V ouitlet near driver seat. Simple procedure, that I replicated from panel on navigation desk ( i am really bad at electricity although should be good as physicist)

Used around 1/2 hour to drive mouse line, and then 5 min to install cable, by myself.

Also holder for antena is currently PVC. May live it at that to bend if some reefing line sneaks behind it and not damage antenna. Not sure about this part yet... it was intended as prototype so screws will be changed.

My wife likes it. Initially she was all against any hole drilling but now quite happy with aesthetics.

See pics, for clarification, any questions, let me know.
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Old 14-02-2018, 15:11   #11
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Re: External antenna installation tips

I couldn't install in that position as it would interfere with the boom preventer that I use when deep reaching. We run this fom the end of the boom to an aft cleat, so it would take out an antenna on the aft hardtop corner. I'm a gentleman cruiser, so prefer downwind rather than to go to windward. ☺

We have been using the Iridium Go! on and off for over a year now, and haven't needed an external antenna. Ours has worked as well as others with external antennas, just using the inbuilt antenna and sitting on the window shelf in front of our nav station. From what I can tell, these devices, or more correctly, the cable connection has caused more issues than they prevent.
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Old 14-02-2018, 15:34   #12
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Re: External antenna installation tips

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Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
I couldn't install in that position as it would interfere with the boom preventer that I use when deep reaching. We run this fom the end of the boom to an aft cleat, so it would take out an antenna on the aft hardtop corner. I'm a gentleman cruiser, so prefer downwind rather than to go to windward. ☺

We have been using the Iridium Go! on and off for over a year now, and haven't needed an external antenna. Ours has worked as well as others with external antennas, just using the inbuilt antenna and sitting on the window shelf in front of our nav station. From what I can tell, these devices, or more correctly, the cable connection has caused more issues than they prevent.
I am going to test once internet plan activated. And compare. If no gain with antenna, will get rid of it. Based on what predictwind says it is essential.

Re preventer, I use mid cleat for prevention and consider using front cleat so pulling-up forces on cleat are further minimized. Back cleat gets lots of stress, i would think, as force is close to vertical.
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Old 14-02-2018, 18:42   #13
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Re: External antenna installation tips

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Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
Based on what predictwind says it is essential.
It probably is essential on some boats and I'm sure that there's a profit motive as well.
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Old 15-02-2018, 19:10   #14
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Re: External antenna installation tips

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Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
It probably is essential on some boats and I'm sure that there's a profit motive as well.
will let you know test results.

iridium will position like yours without external antenna, and will compare transfer time when using antenna. I am hoping to see 2x faster transfer rate. If difference marginal, will get rid of this expensive bit of equipment.
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Old 15-02-2018, 19:20   #15
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Re: External antenna installation tips

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Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
will let you know test results.
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