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Old 28-03-2015, 12:48   #16
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Hi JD1,

Have you considered this type of antenna? Gam Split Lead SSB Backstay Antenna

I just ordered on based on some reviews.
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Old 28-03-2015, 13:05   #17
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

jd-
You might try arrl.org, the amateur radio organization. They've got a lot of sundry information on sailboats and radios and I think last year published a book on some of it. Might be some options in it for you. The typical answer is "no two boats are alike, even two identical boats" so experimentation is encouraged.
Marine Amateur Radio

Selection, Installation, Licensing, and Use.
Item No. 9723 - $12.95
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Old 28-03-2015, 14:48   #18
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

I've done a lot of open water sailing/ cruising around and to the Caribbean and Chesapeake Bay area with marine SSB (for safety) and ham SSB (for safety & fun). So my input is tinted with this background.

If there is a possibility that your sailing will take you similarly off shore, I strongly recommend that you bite the bullet and install a regular insulated backstay. You just don't want to rely on a 'temporary' SSB antenna during an emergency that could come at night and only have minutes to get your call/ position out. Also you don't want any unnecessary/ temporary wires aka antennas hanging from the mast/ lifelines while activity sailing or at anchor where you might have to cut & run quickly. A storm can blow up, especially at night and anything extra runs the risk of restricting the mainsail, crew movements, causing tangled lines, or could break/ foul your prop/ rudder and create a bad situation you otherwise never would have had.

Despite the very slight theoretical reduction in backstay reliability... in my 40 years of sailing (with an insulated backstay) and QSOs with countless other marine mobile sailors and with Caribbean yards... I've never heard of a mechanically failed backstay insulator/ let alone bringing down a rig... but there are plenty of 'had to get into the water to unfoul the wheel from temporary lines/ wires that failed during the worse possible time. Even with a split backstay, if your boat is fiberglass, electrically, you may only need one insulator near the top. The bottoms are already insulated via the fiberglass hull and their terminating bracket/ bolts go through the (insulating) hull which provides an easy/ clean inside means to connect to the tuner. ABYC may nonetheless call for a lower insulator, but practically, if you cover the accessible lower backstays with vinyl covering it is nearly impossible for anyone to have even the slightest sensation, even with firm grasp while you are activity transmitting.


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Old 28-03-2015, 15:34   #19
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

It would have helped if we'd known you had a spit backstay in the first place!

I agree with W3GAC almost completely. You need a real robust antenna, not a temporary or hope-it-will-hold-together one. That's why I suggested the "alternate backstay" made from s/s lifeline.

You can and should try W3GAC's suggestion: just one insulator near the top of the backstay (be sure to make that it's a Haydn fail-safe insulator) and feed the backstay below decks at the chainplate.

Many folks with split backstays do this, and some add a lower insulator in one of the lower backstays just below the junction with the other one. This works very well, and is a proven solution on many boats. Usinig both lower backstays might just work OK, too.

FWIW,

Bill
WA6CCA


Quote:
Originally Posted by W3GAC View Post
I've done a lot of open water sailing/ cruising around and to the Caribbean and Chesapeake Bay area with marine SSB (for safety) and ham SSB (for safety & fun). So my input is tinted with this background.

If there is a possibility that your sailing will take you similarly off shore, I strongly recommend that you bite the bullet and install a regular insulated backstay. You just don't want to rely on a 'temporary' SSB antenna during an emergency that could come at night and only have minutes to get your call/ position out. Also you don't want any unnecessary/ temporary wires aka antennas hanging from the mast/ lifelines while activity sailing or at anchor where you might have to cut & run quickly. A storm can blow up, especially at night and anything extra runs the risk of restricting the mainsail, crew movements, causing tangled lines, or could break/ foul your prop/ rudder and create a bad situation you otherwise never would have had.

Despite the very slight theoretical reduction in backstay reliability... in my 40 years of sailing (with an insulated backstay) and QSOs with countless other marine mobile sailors and with Caribbean yards... I've never heard of a mechanically failed backstay insulator/ let alone bringing down a rig... but there are plenty of 'had to get into the water to unfoul the wheel from temporary lines/ wires that failed during the worse possible time. Even with a split backstay, if your boat is fiberglass, electrically, you may only need one insulator near the top. The bottoms are already insulated via the fiberglass hull and their terminating bracket/ bolts go through the (insulating) hull which provides an easy/ clean inside means to connect to the tuner. ABYC may nonetheless call for a lower insulator, but practically, if you cover the accessible lower backstays with vinyl covering it is nearly impossible for anyone to have even the slightest sensation, even with firm grasp while you are activity transmitting.


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Old 28-03-2015, 18:24   #20
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Burying the wire in a rope works fine, but an easier method has been described.
The wire for your antenna doesn't need to have insulation on it. It just needs an insulator applied to each end to isolate it from your boat. You could, for example buy 40 or 50 feet of stainless wire like you would buy for the forestay on a sailing dinghy, attach some weed-trimmer plastic line or heavy fishing leader to each end to insulate it electrically from your rigging, then attach the GTO 15 from your tuner to the lower end of the wire, tie the lower plastic leader to the toe rail and hoist the upper plastic leader by a radio halyard to the masthead, and bob's your uncle. You don't need to bury it in a rope.
Hope this helps.
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Old 29-03-2015, 17:40   #21
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

I have come up with another 'out of the box' idea ......
Some sailboats with big roaches in their sails have this dohicky on the top of the mast that seems to be there to lift the topping lift line out of the way of the sail. What is this thing called ? One of my issues with running a rope antenna up the mast using the topping lift is that there is some rope that will cross over the backstay possibly causing chafe issues. The rope antenna itself would be attached a bit further down so it wouldn't cross the backstay but would still be pretty close to it. It seems that if I use one of these dohickeys and attach it to the top of the mast then I would have a clear run of the rope antenna and it will also be quite a bit further from the grounded backstay.
Any flaws in this concept ?
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Old 30-03-2015, 15:28   #22
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Found the name for the dohicky ... it's a backstay whip!
Still hoping for comments .....
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