SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-14-2012 Thread Starter
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SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

Right now the wire is held onto the backstay by a hose clamp. What should I use, any links would be appreciated. Also the wire is a copper wire attached to the SS backstay. Short of replacing the wire is there anything I can do to prevent corrosion?
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-14-2012
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Use a di-electric paste after silvering the copper ends and install with a proper SS antenna clamp.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-14-2012
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

The hose clamp works well, but make sure you cover the end with tape as well.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-14-2012
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

Just do a good job of weatherproofing the connection as I have done here using Scotch 2242 rubber tape (sticky side out) and top layer of Scotch 33+ vinyl tape. This one I did years ago and it's still clean, bright and shiney.

Eric

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post #5 of 19 Old 05-16-2012
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

Wire clamps work better than hose clamps.

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post #6 of 19 Old 05-16-2012
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

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Originally Posted by brokesailor View Post
Right now the wire is held onto the backstay by a hose clamp. What should I use, any links would be appreciated. Also the wire is a copper wire attached to the SS backstay. Short of replacing the wire is there anything I can do to prevent corrosion?
Bill Trayfors, an experienced cruiser and knowledgeable radio technician active on several sailing forums taught me that an effective connection can be made by attaching a ring-connector to the end of the cable between your antenna tuner and the back-stay with an appropriate heat shrink cover to seal the cable; passing a #12 or so bolt through the ring connector and fastening it in place with a couple of nuts tightened against the ring and then one another; bending the bolt 30 to 45 degrees roughly 1/4" to 1/2" past the ring connector/nuts; flattening the side of the bolt opposite the bend with a drummel tool; and, fastening the flattened side of the bolt against the back-stay with a couple of bull-dog wire clamps. Finish the connection with a couple of wraps of self-amalgamating tape (e.g. "Rescue Tape"). This makes for a sturdy, reliable, waterproof connection that will last for a very long time.

FWIW...

"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."
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-17-2012
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

Yes, that will work fine. Here are some pix to show what you've described:

Marine Antennas

(click twice on each pic for full resolution)

I still use this once in a while, but have found that an easier method which works very well is to use s/s wire clamps, sized to the backstay diameter. You just put a waterproof, heat-shrink ring terminal on the end of the GTO-15 feedline, slip the terminal over one of the legs of the clamp, and add another nut.

Most of these fittings these days are metric, so you'll need a metric nut.

This allows for very easy connection and inspection/cleaning/replacement when needed.

If you do the waterproofing well, you won't need a "drip loop", either. Just go straight up to the wire clamp.

I still use the "bent bolt" trick on "alternate backstay antennas", i.e., those made from 3/16" insulated s/s lifeline. Normally, I stick one end of the bolt into a Nicopress sleeve and clamp it onto the standing part of the wire. See last pic on above-referenced page.

Bill
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-17-2012
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Wire clamps work better than hose clamps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
I still use this once in a while, but have found that an easier method which works very well is to use s/s wire clamps, sized to the backstay diameter.
As I said, but Bill had more time to type today than I did. *grin*

Note that this connection is always a maintenance item. Take the tape off every year or so (I do mine as part of getting the boat ready to haul for bottom paint) and check for tightness and corrosion and then retape.

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post #9 of 19 Old 05-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

Thanks! I'll try the bent bolt idea.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-18-2012
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Re: SSB Antenna wire attachment to the backstay

I really don't get the bent bolt idea. Three hose clamps, bolt-washer-nut, terminal lug, and the difficulty sealing this contraption up OR a single hose clamp over the wire. But hey, if you want to make it more difficult than it is, go for it. No disrespect to Bill who generally has good idea's and info

Eric
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