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Old 25-11-2019, 11:34   #226
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
How does something like this match if its imported into country?

https://www.saltyjohn.com/product-ca.../metzantennas/

John will also sell any length of RG8 you need. Just bought 5m from him so our AIS antenna could also double as a spare VHF if the mast came down.

Well regarded on YBW.

Pete
Over $200 vs $90 for the glomex
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Old 25-11-2019, 11:44   #227
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I recommend you reconsider your pick and look at the CELmar0-1 antenna.

PDF: https://acantennas.com/sites/default.../CELmar0-1.pdf
That's more like it.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CELmar0-...-/132571766314

$95 and some cable, about $120 in total delivered, I can live with that
Thanks
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Old 25-11-2019, 13:18   #228
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Fair enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
How does something like this match if its imported into country?
Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I recommend you reconsider your pick and look at the CELmar0-1 antenna.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Over $200 vs $90 for the glomex
Here in the US the Metz Manta 6 is available on Amazon for around $60. The antenna S/V Jedi pointed to has the same important characteristics although I don't know the brand.

You can get RG-8X for about .38US/ft. That's okay. I usually use RG-214 but I'm fussy. You can get the coax from somewhere like Home | RF Connection (tell owner Joel Knoblock I sent you). I would get the coax with a PL-259 silver Teflon connector installed on one end. That end goes on the top of the mast. Feed the tail through the mast and to the radio and terminate that end. DO NOT USE THE SHAKESPEARE CRIMP-ON CONNECTORS. They cost too much and are cr@p.
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Old 09-11-2021, 17:14   #229
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

I still use the antenna that came with the boat 40 years ago. My AIS picks up signals from buoys 55 miles away.
Mast head whip ss antenna. Never had a lightning strike. Think that antenna is the reason. 63 feet off water.
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:21   #230
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Some years back, Gordon West, penned, a very long and detailed article on vhf radios and antenna's. He has several Youtube video's relating to antenna's, ham radio, etc, that may warrant a looksee.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:46   #231
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Some years back, Gordon West, wrote a pretty detailed analysis of vhf radio's and antenna's, as well, as ham setups.

He also has several Youtube video' expounding the pro's and con's of carious setups.
Might be worth a looksee.

You can google the name Gordon West and be directed to umpteen video's and documents where he describes everything you will likely ever need to know.

Back when I got my ham license, he was a recognized authority on all things radio.
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Old 10-11-2021, 14:52   #232
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Max,
With respect to Hugh (and Gordo, whom I've know and respected for decades), there are other sources of information that are usually a far sight better than Youtube!

And, yes....yes, this is coming from a guy who does recommend his own Youtube videos....
So, I do realize that this sounds a bit like "the pot calling the kettle black", but what I'm trying to say is:

If you desire some basic tips in operating, repairs, etc., youtube is good....but, if you desire the nitty-gritty nothing beats books!
I know, I know....this is the 21st Century and this is the internet after all....so, I do grasp that 95% of sailors here will just read some comments / recommends from fellow sailors, and watch some videos and be happy!
(and, no worries here)
But...
But, if you want more, there is a LOT more available to you...for free! (some of it here on Cruiser's Forum!)


So, in that vein of "more"...
Here are a few facts and some brief experienced recommendations..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max1980 View Post
I still use the antenna that came with the boat 40 years ago.
Max, on shore I do have a few antennas / coax that are a couple decades old and still working fine....and, on-board, some are ~ 10 years old....BUT...
But, you'll be amazed at how well new coax (with PROPERLY assembled connectors) will improve things for you....(and, no, you do NOT need some expensive/exotic coax...RG-213 is fine, or even some new, high-quality [not marine-store-grade] RG-8x, will do).....and replacing your 40+ yr old antenna with a new antenna, like mine and your 3' SS whip, will be a great idea!!



My AIS picks up signals from buoys 55 miles away.
Max, please remember that many of those "AIS buoys" don't actually transmit from the buoy! Many (most/all?) are "synthetic" AToN's, meaning the AIS signal is transmitted from a shore station (usually covering a rather wide area, like a USCG tower, or NOAA weather tower), others are "virtual" AToN's (meaning the AIS signal is transmitted by the same shore station, but there isn't even a real-world buoy there in the water)
Here's just the first Google result:
https://www.professionalmariner.com/...virtual-buoys/

Also, please remember that VHF radiowave Propagate in many ways, that are not only "line-of-sight"...
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ge-149499.html



Mast head whip ss antenna.
I also use a masthead 3' SS Whip....and it does work well....(as I've said for decades as long as it is fed properly "a half-wave antenna is a half-wave antenna"


Never had a lightning strike.
Count your blessing....
Think that antenna is the reason. 63 feet off water.
But, I doubt the antenna is the reason....maybe
because your mast is well grounded? Or maybe just good luck? (probably more luck and the Grace of the almighty!)

Any way, just wanted to make sure you understand that just because you have good VHF system results with your 40 yr old antenna (and coax) doesn't mean this is typical, and certainly not recommended!

Oh, and btw....I do really hope you have a newer radio?
'Cuz VHF-DSC radios have been with us now for > 20 years....and all you can buy for about 15 years now....


Hope this helps?
Fair winds.

John
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Old 22-03-2023, 23:58   #233
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

For the VHF/UHF dual band antenna, I would recommend the Diamond SX400. It is a low-profile antenna with a wide bandwidth and a high gain of 4.2dBi. It is also designed to handle high wind loads and is made of durable materials.

For the coaxial cable, I would recommend RG-8X. It is a low-loss cable and is designed for use in marine and other outdoor applications. It is also very flexible and can be bent into tight shapes.
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Old 23-03-2023, 07:11   #234
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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For the VHF/UHF dual band antenna, I would recommend the Diamond SX400. It is a low-profile antenna with a wide bandwidth and a high gain of 4.2dBi. It is also designed to handle high wind loads and is made of durable materials.

For the coaxial cable, I would recommend RG-8X. It is a low-loss cable and is designed for use in marine and other outdoor applications. It is also very flexible and can be bent into tight shapes.
Diamond sx400 is a power meter…
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Old 03-05-2023, 18:39   #235
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Good evening y'all,

For a sailboat with masthead VHF antenna and separate AIS antenna on 12' on the stern arch, is a Shakespeare Phase III antenna worth the nearly double price over Galaxy?

Shakespeare Phase III 6400 R, $280
Shakespeare Galaxy 5400 XT, $160
Shakespeare Classic, 5104, $55.99

Shakespeare Phase III 6396-AIS-R, $350
Shakespeare Galaxy 5396-AIS, $170
Shakespeare Classic 5215-AIS, $54

To some extent, there might be a "you-get-what-you-pay-for" factor, but where does one draw that line? The price difference between Classic and Galaxy is 3x and almost double for Galaxy vs Phase III. Does a Classic have the same "range and quality" of a Phase III and if not, why pay 6x? Do the higher-priced models have longer live, less susceptible to corrosion?

This same question applies to other brands, I am using Shakespeare as the example. I read over the marketing material, but I do not understand the advantags of one feature over another. For example, does it matter that Phase III is foam filled; whereas, Galaxy is not filled, but has foam doughnuts that keep the core centered? How advantageous is it to have "Silver-plated elements" in the Phase III, but only "Thick brass and copper elements" in the Galaxy. The Classic only has "Brass and copper elements provide standard range and reception". There is no mention of thickness differences between Classic and Galaxy, so if Galaxy element is .001" thicker, there is no lie, but the difference is meaningless.

What is "standard range and reception"? That sounds like marketing BS because range is dependent of quality of cable, power delivered to the antenna, and interference from nearby sources. Or am I missing something because of my ignorance?

Thanks
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Old 03-05-2023, 19:19   #236
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

It isn't a matter of "range and quality." The antennas are for different applications. For example, the 6400 has a 150W power handling. It would be better suited for a land-based installation with high power to reach further from the coast.

There are probably other difference, like does the antenna need a ground plane, to be grounded to the boat, or is that not necessary?
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Old 04-05-2023, 00:27   #237
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

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Originally Posted by scherzoja View Post
Good evening y'all,

For a sailboat with masthead VHF antenna and separate AIS antenna on 12' on the stern arch, is a Shakespeare Phase III antenna worth the nearly double price over Galaxy?

Shakespeare Phase III 6400 R, $280
Shakespeare Galaxy 5400 XT, $160
Shakespeare Classic, 5104, $55.99

Shakespeare Phase III 6396-AIS-R, $350
Shakespeare Galaxy 5396-AIS, $170
Shakespeare Classic 5215-AIS, $54

To some extent, there might be a "you-get-what-you-pay-for" factor, but where does one draw that line? The price difference between Classic and Galaxy is 3x and almost double for Galaxy vs Phase III. Does a Classic have the same "range and quality" of a Phase III and if not, why pay 6x? Do the higher-priced models have longer live, less susceptible to corrosion?

This same question applies to other brands, I am using Shakespeare as the example. I read over the marketing material, but I do not understand the advantags of one feature over another. For example, does it matter that Phase III is foam filled; whereas, Galaxy is not filled, but has foam doughnuts that keep the core centered? How advantageous is it to have "Silver-plated elements" in the Phase III, but only "Thick brass and copper elements" in the Galaxy. The Classic only has "Brass and copper elements provide standard range and reception". There is no mention of thickness differences between Classic and Galaxy, so if Galaxy element is .001" thicker, there is no lie, but the difference is meaningless.

What is "standard range and reception"? That sounds like marketing BS because range is dependent of quality of cable, power delivered to the antenna, and interference from nearby sources. Or am I missing something because of my ignorance?

Thanks
The Galaxy Little Giant is a very good antenna… I’ve been using it for the past 15 years. It has one weak point, namely that it has a cable attached permanently. The workaround is to make it short and use a coupler to connect the long cable through the mast.

The Phase III has a connector and is a marvel of engineering. But I bought a different model, namely the wideband version which is sold for under $200: https://www.milltechmarine.com/shake...f-antenna.html

Please note that you need to order the optional double female ferrule. This antenna is good for VHF and AIS.
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Old 04-05-2023, 05:40   #238
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

From my understanding, the Phase III is a slightly nicer antenna internally, but the big difference is, as Jedi pointed out, the connector on it instead of an attached cable. For use in applications with a long cable run, that's a big benefit, as you can run lower loss coax than the RG8X included with the Galaxy antennas.
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Old 04-05-2023, 06:07   #239
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

Here’s a picture of our installation of a Galaxy Little Giant (in black) on our main mast head. The white coax is the long cable going down the mast to the radio and the black thin coax is just 12” long from the antenna. Both ends have an Amphenol plug and are joined with a coupler, then taped, then covered with glue lined heat shrink, which is hiding behind the lamp.
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Old 04-05-2023, 06:26   #240
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Re: Please Recommend a Quality VHF Masthead Antenna

vhf signal range is basically "Line of sight" so higher is aways better.....but there is more to it than that, radio gain is another factor, ie, with a higher gain (dB) when the boat is heeled over, a portion of your signal goes off into the sky and the other portion, but your signal is stronger. A lower gain provides a better spread a the cost of less range.

Read here if you want to understand more:

https://www.freewaycom.ca/pages/how-...ge-information
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