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post #2 of Old 05-07-2012
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Re: VHF Antenna Mounting: Masthead vs Stern Rail

Originally Posted by liveincolor View Post
I'm faced with a decision that must be made before I bring my boat to mooring. I currently have my vhf antenna mounted on the stern rail. I want to mount it on the masthead (25' high from the deck) to increase my range. I have enough coaxial cable to run to the mast, however, it is type RG-58 and inadequate for a 30'-35' run as I understand. My question is a matter of compromise and opinion as to what is the most beneficial trade off given my scenario.

Should I leave my antenna where it is on the stern rail (3'/4' above water level) and sacrifice some range ? Or should I mount it on the mast head, gaining range, but suffering some dB loss ? As I am not well informed on the extremity of each trade off, I'm turning to you. Thanks in advance, I'm always grateful to have a resource like sailnet and its members.
You radio range is roughly 1.14 times the square root of the antenna height plus a tad for ducting. When you really, really, want to reach out and touch someone, will you be saying to yourself "Gosh, I'm really glad I saved the cost of moving my antenna higher!", or "How could I have been so dumb!". Low loss cable is relatively cheap in such circumstances so what do you think?

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