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Old 08-03-2021, 23:51   #1
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Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

Hello,
I'm planning to install a SSB MF/HF system on our boat.
The installation will be done in Oranjestad, Aruba.
Nearly the SSB equipment is shipped an on it's way to Oranjestad.
What's missing is a SSB whip antenna.
These antennas are quite large and expensive to ship overseas.

I'm looking for an idea or a recommendation where to buy a ssb whip antenna locally in Oranjestad or somewhere on Aruba.

Any ideas ?

Thanks
Frank
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Old 10-03-2021, 06:49   #2
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

In lieu of a vertical whip, you can install an alternative backstay antenna. This will be a wire (usually of the lifeline material also known as wire-rope) from the stern to the top of the mast. A spare halyard can be used for this purpose. Keep the wire about 2 feet from the top of the mast. Once the wire is installed, connect it to the antenna tuner with GTO15 wire. The GTO wire will a part of the antenna. The recommend length of wire to include the GTO15 would be on the order of 43 feet. However, if you do not have the space for that, any length greater than 23 feet should work.

JMHO
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Old 10-03-2021, 07:33   #3
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

As above.....I ran some GTO wire up inside a 1.5" pvc pole on my transom, this was so nobody could accidentally touch the wire(antenna), should someone be transmitting below. You can get RF burn, touching the antenna wire, if someone is transmitting.

The pvc pole extended about about 6' above deck (above head level) and was lashed to the stern pulpit with braided line. Directly under the pvc pole was the tuner (under the deck). The distance between tuner and GTO wire needs to be as short as possible, in my case about 4". Because my boat was steel, I had an insulator installed at the deck, this is probably good to use on a fiberglass boat as well, but a standard rubber deck gasket will likely work as well..
The tuner had a short length of GTO cable that went to bottom of that insulator and then again GTO wire, thru' the middle of the pvc pipe. to the top, where it exited and was tied (clipped) to the wire antenna.
The GTO wire was clipped to a length of plastic covered 1/8" stainless steel wire (lifeline wire), which was tied to the top of the pvc pole with some braided line, both ends of the stainless steel wire were fitted with a small eye. The lifeline wire is easy to bend around this eye and held in place with a wire clip and led to the top of my mizzen mast (ketch rigged boat) , stopping about 2' short. A small insulator was used here and continued to the top of the mizzen with some braided line.

My mizzen mast was 30' tall, so the total antenna length was around 30'. As above, you need at least 23', more is better, but 23' will work fine.

My setup sounds a little shaky, but it worked like a charm, and I never had problems sending or receiving any where. It lived happily for the 10 plus years I had that boat.

As I had a steel hull, the hull acted as a ground. On my next boat, I had two grounding plates, next to the keel. The ground is just as important as the antenna. That boat had a regular insulated backstay, but both setups worked just fine.

Hope this gives you some idea.
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Old 10-03-2021, 13:04   #4
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

Thank you for the interesting ideas.
Running the wire inside a pvc pole would be kind of a self made whip antenna.
Great Idea.

But still - if someone should have an idea where to get a whip antenna in aruba - please let me know.

The boat is not not mine. I just help installing the ssb equipment. It's a friends boat, an he'd prefere a factory built antenna.
But if I can't find one locally, I guess i'll go for the pvc-pole version and he still can replace somewhere else.

Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2021, 14:42   #5
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

You can do a whip on a sailboat, and I have seen it done....
But....
A whip is 23' long.....that is quite long...the bottom half of the antenna is pretty thick and heavy and does not flex and the upper part is a regular antenna whip, not exactly sure how long, but quite long, I'm guessing 8' or so...maybe longer.

An antenna like that will require at least two braces to mount....ie, the bottom of the antenna is mounted in a shoe attached to the deck, and it will require 2 legs, typically, aluminum, as it needs to be rock solid and set at 90 degrees from each other. Each leg should be about 5-6' long. The upper part of the 23' antenna is the " whip". It is called that because it " whips" around like crazy on a moving sailboat.

In a seaway, that whip will be all over the place, I'm not sure what kind of signal it will put out, as it will be bending and dancing around like crazy. I've seen this. It's doing the tango. Seriously dancing around. If you were to stand on the ground and hold such an antenna in your hand, and move it around for a few minutes, it will likely rip your arms out.

Typically, a sailboat uses an insulated backstay. A sailboat also moves around, but is relatively steady.

Those whips are generally made for sport fishing boats, trawlers, etc, ie, boats without masts.

You do what you want, but my advice = no whip.
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Old 10-03-2021, 16:17   #6
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

I wouldn’t touch a whip on a sailboat.

If anything build an unun and run an end fed dipole. Cheap and no goofy whips
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Old 11-03-2021, 01:49   #7
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

I guess I should have said, it's a catamaran.
So it should be something like this :

(Example)
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Old 11-03-2021, 05:46   #8
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

That looks to be a 12' (3.6 meter) CB Radio whip antenna,(but could also be a VHF antenna). If it is a CB antenna, it will work on SSB but you may be limited to the higher HF frequency bands only. As you get lower in frequency it will loose efficiency and basically become useless.

So this raises the question is do you want to work just the CB Band (27 MHz) or are you looking to be on the Marine HF/MF Bands? A lot of boaters use CB Radio. Although CB Radio here in the States is not as popular as it used to be, but I think it is still popular in Europe.
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Old 11-03-2021, 05:55   #9
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

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Originally Posted by Brian.D View Post
Although CB Radio here in the States is not as popular as it used to be, but I think it is still popular in Europe.
Do you have some data on where it's popular in Europe?
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Old 11-03-2021, 06:39   #10
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

you can order these on Amazon, they claim free shipping, but not sure if this would include Aruba/

https://www.amazon.com/SSB-ANTENNA-2.../dp/B001447DIS

The antenna will come in two pieces, but you will also need to decide on the mounts, supports, etc....

Like I've said before, I've seen this done, but it is simply not ideal.
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Old 11-03-2021, 06:41   #11
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

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Originally Posted by Joh.Ghurt View Post
Do you have some data on where it's popular in Europe?
I did see some videos showing radio use in Europe on 27 MHz with regards to a product called the QRM Eliminator, and some videos regarding opening up transmitters to work on 27 MHz in Europe. But that was some time ago and my statement may not be 100% accurate.
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Old 11-03-2021, 07:00   #12
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

With cell phone towers now just about anywhere you go, plus sat phones, onboard cell antenna's, etc, the SSB/Ham radio is not as popular as it once was. Still around, off course, but I think the sat phone has eclipsed most of this. Comes at a price off course.

Even Ham no longer requires you to learn morse code as it once did...but you do still have to learn the tests and apply for a license. This puts a lot of people off.

I've been a liveaboard sailor and Ham enthusiast for about 40 years, just trying to pass along my perspective. Knowing what I know, I would not install a whip on my boat.

But, off course, you are free to do as you wish. You've seen the general consensus here, take note.
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Old 11-03-2021, 07:33   #13
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

Quote:
Originally Posted by oprlid View Post
Thank you for the interesting ideas.
Running the wire inside a pvc pole would be kind of a self made whip antenna.
Great Idea.

But still - if someone should have an idea where to get a whip antenna in aruba - please let me know.

The boat is not not mine. I just help installing the ssb equipment. It's a friends boat, an he'd prefere a factory built antenna.
But if I can't find one locally, I guess i'll go for the pvc-pole version and he still can replace somewhere else.

Thanks.
shakespeare makes a 3 piece HF antenna, making it easier to ship.
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Old 11-03-2021, 07:35   #14
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
I've been a liveaboard sailor and Ham enthusiast for about 40 years, just trying to pass along my perspective. Knowing what I know, I would not install a whip on my boat.
Thank you for your perspective.
I have a different one.
Knowing what I know, I still will have a HF SSB system on board.
Cell phone towers and sat phones are - for me - no reason for not using HF and SSB.
I'll check if an backstay antenna would work on this boat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHughV
you can order these on Amazon, they claim free shipping, but not sure if this would include Aruba/

https://www.amazon.com/SSB-ANTENNA-2.../dp/B001447DIS
Thank you.



The question I had was if anyone has an Idea where to get a SSB Antenna in Aruba.
I just keep on looking....
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Old 11-03-2021, 07:38   #15
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Re: Purchase a SSB HF whip antenna in Aruba

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Originally Posted by Brian.D View Post
That looks to be a 12' (3.6 meter) CB Radio whip antenna,(but could also be a VHF antenna).
I is a Shakespeare Style 390 SSB Antenna
23' LENGTH ( approx 7,3 Meters) ,
2-30 MHz HF band with tuner,
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