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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #121  
Old 04-05-2013
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Re: forward power problem on ham radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anhinga View Post
We are General licensed Amateur Hams with our first Marine HF radio on
our sailboat. We are not new to receiving, just the transmitting. Our Fort Myers ham club really doesn't have members that is helpful or knowledgeable with our installation on our sailboat. We are hoping to get advice from other sailors.

We have an IC-706MKIIG, my husband has set up our back stay of 33 ft for our HF antennae. We have a separate antennae for VHF/UHF transmission. He has layed out copper grounding strap through out the boat.

Here's our problem. We don't seem to have enough forward power, we
were thinking that we needed more grounding and we finally got a
forward power of 11 watts when trying to transmit on the 40 meter
band. How do we get enough forward power to light off the
intellituner? We tried to transmit to water way net but they could
not hear us.

Any advice, or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. We are located
in Fort Myers Beach, and planning a Bahamas trip in 3 weeks!

KK4MPC aboard Anhinga
Hi Sharon,

Is Anhinga an Allied 39 ketch you bought from Don Rich?

How are you measuring forward power? Remember that in USB or LSB you only get power out when there is a modulating signal, like whistling into the microphone. It's easier to put the radio in CW and key it for full power output.

Describe your measurement process and we can help you better.
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  #122  
Old 04-05-2013
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Re: SSB Installation

Anhinga is a 28 foot Phillip Rhodes sailboat. I am measuring forward power by our intellituner which usually asks us to increase power or it will tune at 11 watts. We usually do this by putting it in the 40 meter band, keying the mike, and saying test.

Before David added more copper strapping it was reading zero, now it's forward power is 11. I believe our antennae tuner requires 20 watts of forward power to be effective.
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  #123  
Old 04-05-2013
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Re: SSB Installation

Try putting it in CW and keying the transmitter. You may be able to key the radio by just pressing the mic button. If not, use a plug in either the key jack or the RTTY jack with a couple of wires.

Do be sure you have the power output set to high. Go through the steps for setting the mic gain as well - you are likely to find the optimum setting is different for you and your husband due to voice frequency ranges. Some compromise may be necessary. Lower gain is better than too high to avoid distortion.

If one of you can sustain a whistle for several seconds, whistling into the mic is better than saying "test."
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  #124  
Old 04-06-2013
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Re: SSB Installation

Carl,

My boat came with a SG-230 Smart tuner but no SSB. Is there anyway to test this tuner for function and if it works which SSB would be best suited for this unit.

Carl #2
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  #125  
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Re: SSB Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvsheppard View Post
My boat came with a SG-230 Smart tuner but no SSB. Is there anyway to test this tuner for function and if it works which SSB would be best suited for this unit.
The SGC tuners will work with anything. Check the connections from the antenna lug to your antenna, and from the ground lug to whatever ground and/or counterpoise system is installed.

If you can track down an accommodating cruiser or perhaps a local ham radio club you can bribe with a beer or two to bring a radio by and hook it up (preferably with an SWR meter) you'll be set.

You can find listings of ham clubs at ARRL.org.
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  #126  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: SSB Installation

Hi

We installed an ICON M-802 transceiver with an ST-140 tuner in November 13, with a KISS groundplane. It has never worked successfully. I did the installation using the ICOM manual, the PowerPoint that ICOM directed me towards for installation and the 'ICOM M-802 Radio Manual for Idi-Yachts' book. On page 16 of the book there is a diagram that shows that you should NOT connect the green wire from the transceiver to the tuner. The Tuner should be connected via copper strap to a groundplane.

We are currently in the Caribbean and I had a local SSB tech look at the system (but he did not have any experience with a M-802) this week. As a result I have some questions:

1. Am I correct to say the KISS groundplane is NOT the same as the tuner groundplane?
2. Is the engine mount a suitable tuner groundplane as we have a fiberglass sailboat with plastic/pvc tanks?
3. The local SSB tech advised me that damage may have been done to the transceiver if the tuner was not properly grounded - is this correct?

Since being installed, all I have received is some very expensive static!

Martin
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  #127  
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Re: SSB Installation

Hi Martin,

I'm sorry you've had trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnet100 View Post
'ICOM M-802 Radio Manual for Idi-Yachts' book.
Not my favorite reference. Marti doesn't always communicate facts clearly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnet100 View Post
On page 16 of the book there is a diagram that shows that you should NOT connect the green wire from the transceiver to the tuner. The Tuner should be connected via copper strap to a groundplane.
Unless you installed an isolator ( T-4 ) in the coax between the radio and the tuner there is already an RF ground between the two: the coax shield. Unfortunately there is also a ground connection through the tuner control cable. Adding a ground-to-ground wire between the radio and the tuner increases the potential for a ground loop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnet100 View Post
1. Am I correct to say the KISS groundplane is NOT the same as the tuner groundplane?
The KISS is a counterpoise and not strictly speaking a ground. In some cases you can get away without one or the other but a proper installation will work better.

Connect the KISS to the ground stud on the tuner and route it as far from other conductors on the boat as you can. If you have to cross another connector, cross at a right angle.

Run a ground, preferably copper strap to a ground point. A Dynaplate is great. Alternatively, drill and tap a small hole in the foot of a bronze through hull and connect to that. Don't count on the engine or tanks as a true ground. Engines "ground" through the shaft and there are rotating connections that aren't very efficient. Tanks are not grounded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnet100 View Post
2. Is the engine mount a suitable tuner groundplane as we have a fiberglass sailboat with plastic/pvc tanks?
No. See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnet100 View Post
3. The local SSB tech advised me that damage may have been done to the transceiver if the tuner was not properly grounded - is this correct?
No. The radio has what is called "foldback circuitry" that automatically reduces the output power of the radio to protect itself. It's pretty hard to mess it up.
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  #128  
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Re: SSB Installation

Thank you so much! Much has been cleared up for me now.

I have identified a through hull which i can tap ito and I am off in search of copper strapping ( .013" thick & 4~6' wide). Two reamaing questions:

1. The copper strap will be connected to the through hull on one end and the other is connecetd to the terminal on theST-120 WITH the KISS counterpoise - is that correct"
2. what is the mest method for termination of the copper strap? Do I fold and roll to fit into a connector or fold and drill?

Once again - thanks

M
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  #129  
Old 05-08-2014
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Re: SSB Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnet100 View Post
1. The copper strap will be connected to the through hull on one end and the other is connecetd to the terminal on theST-120 WITH the KISS counterpoise - is that correct"
Hmm. You have an Icom M802 and an AT-120 tuner? Really? The AT-120 is fine, but I would have expected an AT-140.

Regardless, yes, the KISS counterpoise and the ground strap both connect to the ground stud on the tuner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnet100 View Post
2. what is the mest method for termination of the copper strap? Do I fold and roll to fit into a connector or fold and drill?
I don't know if it's best, but what I do is to fold the end of the strap over so the end of the strap is along the side, like the first step of making a paper airplane. Take the point that's left and fold it over to the opposite side, ending up with a triangle with four layers of metal. Heat the triangle up with a torch and flow solder in. Get it hot so the solder flows - don't make a clumpy mess. Drill a hole for the ground stud (one end) and the tapped connection to the thru-hull (at the other). You may have to trim the apex of the triangle to make it fit.
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Re: SSB Installation

Thanks - you are a champ!

Actually, you were correct it is an AT-140 (I have dyslexic finger!) We are currently in Marsh harbor in the Sea of Abaco, so getting good information and parts/spares is to say the least Ė difficult.

Once I hunt down the copper strapping, I will try the radio again.

Many, many thanks

Martin
S/V ĎAugust Suní
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