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  #11  
Old 09-07-2011
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I am (VE9RIK) and have not had the rig on the boat in four years. Actually thinking of selling it.

I never used (nor seemed to need) a back stay antenna. I used super Ham Sticks mounted on the stern rail - talked to England on 10 W one evening - talked all over Europe.





Trying to decide if I need the rig anymore or what...

Rik
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  #12  
Old 09-07-2011
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Casey,
I'm getting back into radio after an almost 20 year hiatus, and am saddened to see some of my old gear in photos of what "hams used to do"! The new digital applications and DSP is the stuff we only dreamed about 2o years ago. I still have a place in my heart for the old analog dials and meters, Heathkits, and collins rigs.

Rik, nice pix. Since most of my sailing is on a lake with good repeater coverage, I'm considering a rig very similar to yours.

Was wondering if the HF dipoles would work in an inverted-v configuration up and over the mast? Just out of curiousity.
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2011
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Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
Casey,
I'm getting back into radio after an almost 20 year hiatus, and am saddened to see some of my old gear in photos of what "hams used to do"! The new digital applications and DSP is the stuff we only dreamed about 2o years ago. I still have a place in my heart for the old analog dials and meters, Heathkits, and collins rigs.

Rik, nice pix. Since most of my sailing is on a lake with good repeater coverage, I'm considering a rig very similar to yours.

Was wondering if the HF dipoles would work in an inverted-v configuration up and over the mast? Just out of curiousity.
20 years ago I operated a ham radio on a yacht. Antenna was a 30 foot wire I hoisted up the masted with a haylard. Used a MFJ tuner- worked fine. Anything you can insulate will work with a tuner- might have to get a good ground if you do not have one (I was on a steel boat). You may need to run some wires as a counterpoise in the bilge area. Do some google on SSB marine radios and their installation. There are some books availble also.
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2011
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I regularly operate SSB and CW from Auspicious, mostly on 40, 30, and 20. A little bit of 2m and 440 in urban areas and near home. Some APRS on 2m and 30m.
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2011
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I am frankly AMAAAAZED at the question, and at some of the responses.

There are literally HUNDREDS of hams on cruising boats, hundreds of posts on this Board, CruisersForum, SSCA, and others pertaining to the use of ham radios on boats, and dozens of articles in ham radio magazines and in sailing magazines. There's even a book or two.

Yes. Ham radio on boats is very much alive, and the community is growing. There are ham exams each year at cruiser's gathering spots (like Georgetown in the Bahamas and Marathon, FL) which do license exams for new hams, and dozens of cruisers pass them. We just completed a ham course at the Capital Yacht Club in Washington, DC and signed up a bunch of new hams.

Two of the most active ham nets are:

1. The Maritime Mobile Service Net which operates on 14300 kHz most of the day, followed by the Pacific Seafarers Net; and

2. The Waterway Net on 7268 kHz each morning beginning at 0745 Eastern time (been operating daily for well over 40 years).

A list of ham nets -- as well as marine SSB nets -- can be found here:
Net / SSB Frequencies

As to equipment, antennas, and ground systems there are literally dozens of options. Many of them have been discussed on this and other Boards.

Your setup aboard can be very simple and inexpensive, or as complex and expensive as you want it to be. The only limit is your own ingenuity.

Good luck to you, and by all means go for it!

73,

Bill
WA6CCA

Last edited by btrayfors; 09-07-2011 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
Casey,
I'm getting back into radio after an almost 20 year hiatus, and am saddened to see some of my old gear in photos of what "hams used to do"! The new digital applications and DSP is the stuff we only dreamed about 2o years ago. I still have a place in my heart for the old analog dials and meters, Heathkits, and collins rigs.

Rik, nice pix. Since most of my sailing is on a lake with good repeater coverage, I'm considering a rig very similar to yours.

Was wondering if the HF dipoles would work in an inverted-v configuration up and over the mast? Just out of curiousity.
Yea, I guess you know you are getting old when the music you heard in you 20's is now on the oldies station. I still have my Drake TR-7 that I bought in 1979. On the TR-7 brochure Drake used a pic of the Space Shuttle, that is now retired.
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  #17  
Old 09-07-2011
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Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
.........Was wondering if the HF dipoles would work in an inverted-v configuration up and over the mast? Just out of curiousity.
Almost anything will "work". The question is, how well? And the answer to that depends on what you're trying to do.

Inverted-V antennas are great where space is limited and where you are primarily interested in short- and medium-distance communications. They have a pretty high vertical angle of radiation. Not quite NVIS, but almost :-)

I've been using, installing, and writing about dipole use on sailboats for well over forty years. A monoband dipole for the higher bands (20, 15, 10 meters) -- turned on its end and rigged with lower insulator close to the deck -- is about the most effective DX antenna you can put on a sailboat. It's performance is absolutely amazing, due to the fact that a vertical dipole close to the ground (or, in this instance, water) puts out a huge lobe very close to the horizon...right where you want it for DX. And, of course, a monoband dipole tuned to the desired band does not require a tuner!

For most sailboats, a backstay or backstay-like antenna with an automatic tuner near its base will be best for use on all bands, including marine. On power boats, you're pretty much stuck with a whip antenna, again with an automatic tuner near its base.

Here are some options for marine antennas:

MarineAntennaChoices2

Bill
WA6CCA
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  #18  
Old 09-07-2011
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Almost anything will "work". The question is, how well? And the answer to that depends on what you're trying to do.
Bill
WA6CCA

Bill,
Spoken like a true ham! And a very enthusiastic one at that. Thanks for your insightful replies. I am happy to hear of growing numbers, especially in regards to the merging of two of my passions. As you may know, hams are as a whole, an aging group. I am doing my small part to introduce my boys and their friends (boys and gals) to radio, and keep it alive. The silent keys list gets longer and longer with each QST, and we need to make sure the "new keys" are taking their places.

And yes, I and many other once-young hams are testimony that ANY antenna will sling off a few waves! I shudder to think what was happening inside those little boxes as I was tapping out code through salvaged, discarded, spliced coax going to fence wiring or whatever wire we could find as kids. When we could finally add our piggy banks together and get a Tandy SWR meter, we got a horrible idea. I think our transmitter was emitting more waves than our antennas!

Well, to keep this sailing related, I'll tell ya that wifey and I were looking through some 24' keel boats today down at the lake. As she was commenting how cramped it would be with the kids trying to find adequate berth......I'm scanning for space to mount a dual-bander and antenna tuner!

Dave
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