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, 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..
Originally Posted by Max1980
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:
Also, please remember that VHF radiowave Propagate in many ways, that are not only "line-of-sight"...
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
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?