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Old 06-25-2008
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Carbon fiber deck good counterpoise?

I'm about to install a SSB in a boat with a carbon fiber deck. I'm thinking my counterpoise is already in place, a good one too, but I don't feel like experimenting. Any experience out there??
Howard Keiper
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Berkeley
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I doubt it... but no direct experience with it.
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Old 06-26-2008
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Howard, being mostly resin, I don't think carbon-fibre laminates are electrically conductive.

It would be easy enough for you to check by poking the probes of a multimeter set to ohms range into the laminate (let us know what happens!!) - but, no, I wouldn't think it was electrically all that much different to ordinary fibreglass.
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I'm pretty sure you're right...and will let someone else experiment.
Thanks to both.
hk
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I know from experience that a carbon-fibre fuselage on a plane acts like a Faraday cage, so it must have some conductive properties.
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Actually, Carbon Fiber is actually electrically conductive. But maybe not enough to act like a grounding plane for a SSB installation, it is however, used at times to bridge the copper plating to unlike metal (such as steel), but how it is done - I can't remember.

Ref article of general properties: Carbon Fibres and C-C Composites
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I think this is actually a good idea. Carbon fiber is generally a very good conductor.

You don't have much to loose. You can probably make electrical contact to it through some existing hardware bolt. You will need an antenna tuner anyway.

I'd be interested if you give it a try.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I know from experience that a carbon-fibre fuselage on a plane acts like a Faraday cage, so it must have some conductive properties.
To the best of my knowledge, there are no "plastic planes" approved for flight in the world today (yet!) - but there are several crowds working on it.

I'd love to be wrong. You have some personal experience with one???
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While the carbon fiber may be electrically conductive, the binding epoxy is not. That means that you would probably not be using the whole deck but just whatever strands were in contact with the antenna connection. Probably not a good ground plane IMHO.
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Old 06-27-2008
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Yes, I happen to own and race a LS-6b glider, the cockpit and fuselage area behind the cockpit where the original radio antenna was installed is of various plastic components stiffened with a couple of layers of Kevlar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
To the best of my knowledge, there are no "plastic planes" approved for flight in the world today (yet!) - but there are several crowds working on it.

I'd love to be wrong. You have some personal experience with one???
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