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Old 12-10-2014, 13:44   #1
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Best setup for SSB on cat

Would like to add an SSB and Pactor modem to Lagoon catamaran and since there is no backstay would like to hear what other folks have done for antenna tuner etc... Thanks
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Old 12-10-2014, 14:13   #2
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Well a long whip should look after you.....
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Old 12-10-2014, 17:48   #3
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

We have fitted running back stays, one with insulators in it, to the top of the mast. Last Friday we were running down wind so pulled them forward of the rigging, but when we are at close haul they can be left tensioned. The other advantage of putting these stays on is that you can fit a mast head spinnaker halyard to the top of the rig which gives you much more power and range in light air. We have an Icom with a pactor 4 modem, our set up seems to be working just fine. Some people have a temporary back stay they just pull up with a halyard when they want to receive and transmit, otherwise it's a big 5 meter whip antenna hanging off the back of the boat. We've opted for running back stays. If your rigging size is small enough, you can put insulators in your upper cap shrouds/stay, but you would need to talk to your rigger what is the biggest insulator you can get.
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Old 12-10-2014, 17:50   #4
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Shroud
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Old 12-10-2014, 18:21   #5
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Hello, Old School Radio Operator here.... Old KB6KFX, and N6NHK and VK6 Outback radio and MM Maritime Mobile... Mickey Mouse Net...

On the Rig, if you are not Commercial, the easy way is full band transmit, clip one diode on the HAM rigs in Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood, and you could select the frequency you want based on the time of day and destination of your call... It was easy, made to do on the older rigs like the Kenwood 440. Check with your local HAM Club on the newer Rigs... And if they tell you it is Illegal, remind them of the International Rule Number 1) All rules go out the window in an emergency....

On antennaes, in the old days an insulated backstay is easy if it is the right length with a good auto-tuner but I have a long whip on the back now. I steady with whip with it mounted low near the step in on the Helia cat, but have a triangulated brace mid whip off the coach roof extension... Works well with a tuner.

I hope this is a help, Helia 44
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Old 12-10-2014, 23:56   #6
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Am planning on using an Icom 706 MKIIG that I have and was going to use either an SGC tuner or the Icom tuner. Is there a particular brand of whip antenna that folks prefer? As for the backstay I'll talk with a rigger but seems like that might be quite a bit more effort then a whip do you recall what the cost of that setup was. However I do like the idea of running a big spinnaker too.
Have never used Pactor can I get a recommendation on the modem to use and what software folks are using. Primary use will be to send email and get weather reports during an Atlantic crossing.
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Old 13-10-2014, 01:20   #7
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Use "Sailmail" and choose between a Pactor 3 or 4. 4 is the fastest and latest unit but we use the 3 and it does more than an adequate job on emails and grib files.
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Old 13-10-2014, 07:20   #8
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

There is nothing magical about whip antennas - they are just a piece of wire inside some fiberglass that can support itself in various ways (free standing, single support, multisupport). So pick the type that suits your installation. Make sure it is long enough - 23-28' will cover the full range you will want.

You can even make your own with wire and fishing pole tubes.

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Old 13-10-2014, 08:00   #9
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikold View Post
Have never used Pactor can I get a recommendation on the modem to use and what software folks are using. Primary use will be to send email and get weather reports during an Atlantic crossing.
Pactor is the best, but is an expensive purchase. An alternative for the Pactor is the SignaLink USB Interface and an alternative for Sailmail is Winlink Global Radio Email
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Old 13-10-2014, 10:34   #10
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

$109 for SignaLink vs $1400 for Pactor?!

Seriously, what's the catch?
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Old 13-10-2014, 11:09   #11
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

i also am a long time ham....ham/usb marine bands on a sail boat...i used a mobil ham antenna setup, on our westsail 32, worked ok, then i added a piece of copper house wire, to drop into the water for a ground when we were anchored! what a diff it made! people in the mid west, or further, would`nt believe i was calling from a small boat in a small bay in se alaska! the ground wire in the water made the difference...when i got the backstay insulated, i still used the gnd wire in the drink. when our westsail 42 ws built, they put a wide sheet of copper all the way around the hull from the radio location for the ground...worked fine with my kenwood and tuner...with a good tuner, you could almost use a barb wire fence for an antenna! [on land]...clyde
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Old 13-10-2014, 16:52   #12
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Second that Clyde,

And I remember the Westsail 32's and 42's, you must be from California... heh he

I had three inch wide copper foil all the way around the bilges, bonded to all through hulls and to about an 8" bronze plate ground system on the outside of the hull.. My insulated backstay had a range that got out the early Chernobyl news, and from the West Coast of America talked to Russia, China, Japan, and as far south as a New Zealand Lighthouse Tender... I even did radio/phone patch for Antarctica at one point..

Wow, that brings back memories...

Helia 44
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Old 13-10-2014, 18:01   #13
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by yardie View Post
$109 for SignaLink vs $1400 for Pactor?!

Seriously, what's the catch?
Do the reading, there is a few "catches". Speed is the biggest one, Winlink is not as fast as Pactor. Only you can be the judge if the tradeoffs are worth it.
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Old 13-10-2014, 18:05   #14
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

I went and found a link to this PDF... It will help you understand Winlink and Winmor...

http://www.dtreg.com/Getting_Started...and_WINMOR.pdf
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Old 14-10-2014, 00:33   #15
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Re: Best setup for SSB on cat

Quote:
Winlink is not as fast as Pactor.
I suspect that you really meant Winmor, not Winlink in that statement, for Winlink is a system run by amateurs that uses (primarily) Pactor protocols to transmit data.

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