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post #1 of 20 Old 07-30-2014 Thread Starter
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VHF mounting advice

I will be installing all the final goodies on my mast when I finally get back from offshore, I have had some questions regarding it.

First, my mast is 65' and the line from mast at keel to radio location is probably 15' or so. So well say 80' total run of wire. I initially ran RG-8x up the mast but soon found out too much loss(It will just be a spare for another antenna). So I'm ordering Beldon 9913F7 wire with Amphenol 083-ISP connectors from theAntennaFarm. I should be correct in this, yes?

The main question, I am using a GAM SS-2 whip antenna, and will be located at the top of the masthead, on the side of the mast. My concern is that I will also have a 3' aluminium pole with my red and green all around lights (red up top, green mounted near the bottom). I have read that you shouldn't mount the antenna near metal objects like this..

Am I OK with this or do i need to make a carbon fiber pole to mount the lights instead? Or will this be negligible and shouldn't worry about it. It's coming down to crunch time and I need to get the mast stepped.

Note: I chose to use red/green lights instead of a tricolor, as I think tri's are not a visible as the former option. As a profession mariner, this is my professional opinion and I already bought the lights.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-30-2014
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Re: VHF mounting advice

The metal pole for your lights WILL interact with your VHF antenna. Not recommended.

Off the top of my head you have two options. Best would be returning your lights and getting two red 180 degree lights and two green 180 degree lights. You can mount the reds on either side of the mast at the top and the greens on either side of the mast 1 meter down. Alternatively you can use the carbon pole you asked about. Note that the power wires running up the pole to the red light WILL interact with your VHF antenna.

Interaction is likely to be directionality as much as anything. That means you may think you have good performance because you can hear traffic from reasonable distance in some directions without realizing that you are missing pretty closely located traffic in other directions.

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post #3 of 20 Old 07-30-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF mounting advice

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
The metal pole for your lights WILL interact with your VHF antenna. Not recommended.

Off the top of my head you have two options. Best would be returning your lights and getting two red 180 degree lights and two green 180 degree lights. You can mount the reds on either side of the mast at the top and the greens on either side of the mast 1 meter down. Alternatively you can use the carbon pole you asked about. Note that the power wires running up the pole to the red light WILL interact with your VHF antenna.

Interaction is likely to be directionality as much as anything. That means you may think you have good performance because you can hear traffic from reasonable distance in some directions without realizing that you are missing pretty closely located traffic in other directions.
I see, well I looked at the 180 lights, I suppose I could return the 360 ones for exchange. Only thing now, would you recommend putting the lights on port/stbd or fore/aft on the mast? I was thinking port/stbd as the sails would cover up the fore/aft lights much more. What you think? I would spend slightly more on the lights but I would save time of fabricating the pole mount, especially if I had to do carbon. Plus not having transmission issues I would say it's even..

A picture with friends my mast head.
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-31-2014
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Re: VHF mounting advice

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Only thing now, would you recommend putting the lights on port/stbd or fore/aft on the mast? I was thinking port/stbd as the sails would cover up the fore/aft lights much more.
Port/stbd. The biggest issue is avoiding interference with halyards and stays. Besides, that is what the superyachts do. *grin*

I have a combo tricolor (incandescent) and anchor (LED) light on Auspicious that has worked nicely for me offshore. I've often thought of fitting red over green lights and would definitely do port/stbd 180 degree lights. The idea is pretty far down my project list.

For the record (not relevant to you BoatyardBoy since you won't have a tricolor) red over green sailing lights may only be shown with deck-level navigation lights and NOT in combination with a tricolor.

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-31-2014
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Re: VHF mounting advice

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Originally Posted by BoatyardBoy View Post
I see, well I looked at the 180 lights, I suppose I could return the 360 ones for exchange. Only thing now, would you recommend putting the lights on port/stbd or fore/aft on the mast? I was thinking port/stbd as the sails would cover up the fore/aft lights much more. What you think? I would spend slightly more on the lights but I would save time of fabricating the pole mount, especially if I had to do carbon. Plus not having transmission issues I would say it's even..

A picture with friends my mast head.
An Isomat spar?
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-31-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF mounting advice

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Port/stbd. The biggest issue is avoiding interference with halyards and stays. Besides, that is what the superyachts do. *grin*

I have a combo tricolor (incandescent) and anchor (LED) light on Auspicious that has worked nicely for me offshore. I've often thought of fitting red over green lights and would definitely do port/stbd 180 degree lights. The idea is pretty far down my project list.

For the record (not relevant to you BoatyardBoy since you won't have a tricolor) red over green sailing lights may only be shown with deck-level navigation lights and NOT in combination with a tricolor.
That's what I figured, just verifying said thought. Thanks, I'll post some pictures when it's done. Much appreciated.

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Sure is, the NG-105, the big one. Do you have one as well?
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-27-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF mounting advice

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Port/stbd. The biggest issue is avoiding interference with halyards and stays. Besides, that is what the superyachts do. *grin*

I have a combo tricolor (incandescent) and anchor (LED) light on Auspicious that has worked nicely for me offshore. I've often thought of fitting red over green lights and would definitely do port/stbd 180 degree lights. The idea is pretty far down my project list.

For the record (not relevant to you BoatyardBoy since you won't have a tricolor) red over green sailing lights may only be shown with deck-level navigation lights and NOT in combination with a tricolor.
Just to show you how I mounted everything... The VHF and the maretron wind sensor aren't mounted yet as I was going to hook that up before I stepped it. Also, the windex isn't mounted either.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-28-2014
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Re: VHF mounting advice

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Originally Posted by BoatyardBoy View Post
Just to show you how I mounted everything... The VHF and the maretron wind sensor aren't mounted yet as I was going to hook that up before I stepped it. Also, the windex isn't mounted either.
If the mast is still down you might want to make some Starboard spacers between the lights and the mast. Just an idea.

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post #9 of 20 Old 11-28-2014
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Re: VHF mounting advice

Just a note re metal verses carbon fiber mast - carbon fiber is no better - it also is a conductor and will interfere with the radio. Now how much I am not sure but I wouldn't be concerned on my own boat If the SWR (standing wavw ratio) was within limits for the radio.

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post #10 of 20 Old 11-28-2014
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Re: VHF mounting advice

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
The metal pole for your lights WILL interact with your VHF antenna. Not recommended...
I'm glad you brought this up awhile ago - it's timely for me. I have a masthead whip antenna mounted against the port side of my mast, with a windex behind it. I've ordered a wireless wind transducer that I was hoping to install on an arm in front of the masthead assembly, and I'll also be replacing the manual windex since the PO mangled it a bit. I also have a small masthead anchor light as well, but it's short enough that it probably does not shadow the antenna.

I'd appreciate your advice on how to mount these things to avoid interference. I have all winter to fabricate extension arms, brackets, etc., to make sure both wind gadgets are not interfering. Just let me know what you suggest.


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