VHF Antenna Mounting: Masthead vs Stern Rail - SailNet Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 05-07-2012 Thread Starter
Member
 
liveincolor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: South Shore, Long Island
Posts: 57
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
 
VHF Antenna Mounting: Masthead vs Stern Rail

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.
liveincolor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 05-07-2012
Old as Dirt!
 
svHyLyte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Posts: 2,935
Thanks: 15
Thanked 129 Times in 122 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
Re: VHF Antenna Mounting: Masthead vs Stern Rail

Quote:
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?

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 6 Old 05-07-2012
Senior Member
 
denverd0n's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,008
Thanks: 0
Thanked 24 Times in 24 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: VHF Antenna Mounting: Masthead vs Stern Rail

RG-58 is not all that bad for a 35' run. You'll lose about 2 dB. Of course, better coax would be... well, better.

Personally, I would put it at the masthead with better coax. You can buy RG-213 for less than a dollar per foot. Add the cost of the connectors and you're still talking less than $50. You really can't afford that?
denverd0n is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 6 Old 05-07-2012
Mermaid Hunter
 
SVAuspicious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: on the boat - Chesapeake
Posts: 3,984
Thanks: 0
Thanked 158 Times in 141 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Re: VHF Antenna Mounting: Masthead vs Stern Rail

Get better coax. RG-213 or LMR-400 are good choices. Get it from someplace like therfc.com (hams are cheaper than sailors) and have them put a connector on one end. Fish the cable through with the professionally installed connector at the masthead. Tape the connector to help keep water out. You'll be glad you did.

sail fast and eat well, dave
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks.com
beware "cut and paste" sailors.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
SVAuspicious is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 6 Old 05-07-2012
Senior Cruiser
 
sea_hunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 512
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 16
 
As high as you can get it installed.
sea_hunter is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 6 Old 05-07-2012 Thread Starter
Member
 
liveincolor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: South Shore, Long Island
Posts: 57
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
 
Re: VHF Antenna Mounting: Masthead vs Stern Rail

I didn't realize I could get the RG-213 for less than a dollar a foot, West Marine sells it for $2.99/ft. It isn't as much a question of affordability as much as taking advantage of the equipment I already have. My natural way is to be as efficient as possible without compromising beyond what seems necessary/safe. Thanks for the feedback everyone, so grateful to be able to learn from so many people willing to share.
liveincolor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mounting outboard on stern rail without a pad AdamHowie Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 3 11-05-2011 05:34 PM
Mounting small outboard on stern rail MarkSF Gear & Maintenance 4 06-21-2011 09:28 AM
Stern lights on HF antenna CliffL Gear & Maintenance 6 10-26-2010 06:56 AM
Chart Plotter antenna rail mounting kit? BigNige Gear & Maintenance 6 03-17-2008 10:11 AM
VHF/AM/FM splitter on my masthead VHF antenna tsenator Gear & Maintenance 11 07-20-2003 04:12 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome