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LuvToSail 24-02-2010 15:18

Optimum Insulated Backstay Antenna Length
Can anyone suggest an optimal length for a backstay radiating element for HAM/SSB? I am re-rigging the standing rigging on the main mast and my rigger suggested that 33 feet was a good length for the radiator but is a self admitted non-HAM.

Also what configurations have others found ideal? I imagine two insulators, one high enough off deck to avoid burns. Are two insulators always required?

btw...I have an Icom 735 radio.

btrayfors 24-02-2010 16:12

Just about any length over about 23' will do. Longer lengths favor the lower bands; shorter lengths favor the higher bands. Somewhere around 40' is a good compromise for both ham and marine band use.

Re: insulators, you don't need two in many situations. Sometimes, it makes good sense to put one insulator at the top, and feed the antenna directly from the chainplate belowdecks, with antenna tuner mounted closeby. This works very well, indeed. And, if you're worried about potential RF burns, you can cover the lower portion of the backstay with a nylon or PVC boot.


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