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post #1 of 4 Old 06-18-2001 Thread Starter
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ham radio ground

I am in the process of replacing the fuel tank . while it is out I have the chance of drilling down in the incapsulated keel,which i can now get to. And place a bolt into the iron ballast ? Has anyone tried this. This would make a good ground for the SSB an I would hate to miss the opportunity Also I made a male plug out of 1/8 door skin and 3/8 ply ,which the fiberglass fabricaters are making the tank from it was about 6 hours cutting the steel tank out ,and about 5 hours to make the mold .The six months of thinking about it was worse than the job .s/v girovaga unionpolaris 36
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-21-2001
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ham radio ground

Ahoy, Not sure how the keel is ground in your electrical system? Or if you mean ground plane for the antenna? Either way your there so try it buried as you say who''s ever to know if it dosent work though I suspect matching will be a problem.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-24-2001
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ham radio ground


You''ve got the right idea, to be sure. If you can run foil (4" or wider; available from Defender by the foot...) from the tuner ground to an encapsulated keel, you will probably find zero need for add''l ground plane. But a couple of thoughts...
1. Are you sure you mean an *iron* keel which is *encapsulated*? I''ve only heard of encapsulated lead keels & external iron keels.
2. Attaching foil to an external iron keel, using one of the keel bolts would be ideal (perhaps a top-hat nut cramping down on the foil).
3. Don''t get confused between the 12V negative ground & the rf ground plane; they should be kept separate if possible, to reduce the amount of rf running around in your 12V system. Powering the SSB directly from the batteries via individual fueses or breakers is a big help here, too.

I ran 4" foil from the tuner, thru the bilge below the waterline, to the bow, using a lag bolt to anchor the foil in the encapsulated lead keel along the way. Super signal reports and excellent SWR under most conditions, with no other rf ground sources. Hope that''s somewhat encouraging...

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post #4 of 4 Old 09-11-2008
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Hello Bernie,
Your post was quite some time ago but I have just done the same thing you did, remove the fuel tank from my Union 36 Moonshine. I though am replacing the tank with 3 aluminum tanks of approx 30-40 gallons each. Many benefits of doing this as I can keep nearly the same total gallons, and can have a smaller tank to use for costal cruising. Then when off shore can fill all three and have them isolated from each other in case I get a load of bad fuel somewhere along the way.
As to your "counterpoise" I am also have a ham (K1JRL) license and am considering using the iron keel as a counterpoise. I'm right now in the process of getting information from as many sources as possible to make the decision of how to go about it. Obviously running copper foil from the keel to the radio and to the tuner seperately and keeping this RF ground completely isolated from any other grounding.
Anyone have any thoughts our experience in this?
Also any other Union 36 owner please visit a site I set up specifically for Union 36 boats. Just google UnionPolaris.
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