Knockabout, very interesting antenna will have to look into it as it looks promising. Also in regards the 802 primary antenna I am happy with the setup I have, but thanks for the info and feedback.
You bring up a couple interesting points. The first would sort of be the crux of this thread, however ill conceived, the functionality of HF DSC antennas. As stated above the antenna and port in question is for recieving only. It's entirely possible some people don't bother hooking it up as it does not effect the ability to use the radio or send a distress
DSC or otherwise. A weather
fax antenna will work, why put effort into making sure this particular antenna is as good as it can be other than pinging friends boats. This got me thinking, as a professional mariner, albeit in the bottom end of the boat I have been around through the comms shuffle from SSB and HF only to $11.00 a min Sat phone to GMDSS being required. Probably the biggest fault of the GMDSS system is that it is all encompassing, every couple hrs or so the alarm
goes off the button gets hit the printer spits out a report and it noted a vessel 6,000 miles away is in distress of some kind. People get numb to it and it becomes background noise
. I thought of this and our VHF DSC, when we leave the dock
the VHF stays on 16 all the time, at anchor
or not, with the volume up enough to hear in the cabin
. Around may 1st in the San Juans the DSC alerts start rolling in. For the most part I do the same thing as the guys at work, I look I clear I move on. With 16 going and the USCG local as well as Victoria there is pretty much always something being reported and I always listen. The VHF DSC alerts however are back ground noise that I have not paid much attention to other than reading. So this really got me thinking. I'm all set up and I can hit the Oh Sh@t button on both radios VHF and HF and the cavalry will come. This is when it dawned on me that however unlikely at some point our boat may be the only available cavalry. Yes a big old sail boat is not going to be making tracks anywhere fast but in a big crossing even beating to weather for 4 or 5 days at a snails pace might be the best "worse" option for a fellow mariner. So the question is if you have safety gear
that goes both ways, as a prudent mariner are you obligated to ensure it is functioning at it highest level whenever possible. I think everyone would agree the answer is yes.
In researching your points, and by research
I mean a search on eham.... there was a very good thread backing up your comments on a random wires effectiveness and the importance of isolating noise. I did find it interesting that the general concensous was that a random wire lacking noise will be heard just as effectively as a dipole, however a properly setup dipole with a balum will be louder. So does this make a difference on a short data burst or not? I would guess maybe this is the reason John was fiddling with this route
? Or maybe not.
I am interested to read more about he antenna knockabout linked. In "reading" the 802 manual further I saw something curious, that when sending a routine messege you could direct enter or pick from a programmable list. I wonder if you intend to send to a specific boat will it go out only on this frequency and do they need to have that plugged in? More reading required for sure, I most likely missed something.