SailNet Community - Reply to Topic

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Chat  
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics > SSB Installation
 Not a Member? 


Thread: SSB Installation Reply to Thread
Title:
  

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

Message:
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

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:

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.



Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below


Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below


Topic Review (Newest First)
01-01-2015 08:51 AM
aa3jy
Re: SSB Installation

For those planning on a professional install..suggest to have it done by an authorized reputable dealer preferably a long time established fixed base operator that will stand by its install that will answer his/her phone and or emails if a problem presents itself.

To many 'Fly-by-Nighters' that hang there shingle on internet forums that spout there expertise but when 'S*^! hits the fan they are no where to be found..

..just my 1 and 1/2 cents worth..
12-31-2014 08:24 PM
erps
Re: SSB Installation

So I'm probably going to install one of those KISS doohickies. What are the thoughts on installing a dynaplate doohicky on a swing arm on the transom, so it's only in the water when the radio is being used?
12-30-2014 05:01 PM
hellosailor
Re: SSB Installation

To clarify some of what Auspicious said:

Ham radio is a "Service". Specifically, in the US it is the "Amateur Radio Service".

There are many different "services" and each is allowed and required to use certain frequency bands, according to national and international "band plans" that describe who should be operating, for what purposes, on what frequencies. Sometimes organized for historical reasons that are no longer terribly rational, sometimes organized very well.

So, "marine VHF" frequencies are allocated for short-range maritime communications. In some countries, you need a license for some operators and some vessels, in others, not. In order for you to operate a marine VHF OUTSIDE of your home waters, you'll need a license from Canada, which is then subject to international reciprocal agreements and restrictions.

Your national radio authority can tell you where it is good and under what terms. The US & Canada both tend to make it very convenient and easy for recreational boaters.

You'll find the same international complication applies to all radio services among all nations. All of them DO NOT necessarily honor each other's operators, and some (like China) consider any undeclared or unlicensed radios to be proof of espionage, no joke.

Marine SSB and ham SSB are examples of two different service allocations that are on "the same" frequencies, in the sense that the black and white keys on one piano are "the same". You need separate licenses to operate on the appropriate frequencies for each service, even though they overlap the and the equipment is very similar. Violations are rarely penalized but the penalties can be stiff, $5000+ for simple infringements.

There are also regulations concerning the equipment itself, which typically must be certified for use in a particular service. It is rare for equipment to be certified for more than one service, as some of the ICOM marine+ham transceivers are.

It is also a frequently ignored rule that on a boat, each installation (ham, marine) must be totally separate, separate radio, antenna, tuner, etc. Just be aware, there are always more regulations to consider.

Hams in the US are generously allowed to use pretty much anything for the purpose of saving lives or property during an actual emergency. That permission ends immediately when the emergency no longer threatens lives and property.

So...by all means, get a ham radio study guide. Even if you decide not to pursue it, the basic theory will help you to understand and even repair pretty much any radio on your boat. The ham license for HAM frequencies long distance communications should be useful if you are abroad.

The marine licenses...best explored with your local radio authority, so you can get the exact rules from them. And obviously, useful on the boat.

In the US and Canada there's a lot of generously casual tolerance about marine radio operations. "No harm, no foul" unless someone files a complaint. In the rest of the world, often less tolerance. So it never hurts to have all the paperwork (and equipment) properly in order.
12-30-2014 03:43 PM
SVAuspicious
Re: SSB Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Good post, Dave. I agree 100%.
Thanks Bill.

For SNers, Bill is more than just a technical resource here, on CF, and on the SSCA Forum. Bill is a net control, past Fleet Captain, and past Commodore of the Waterway Radio Cruising Club. Their net on 7268 kHz LSB mornings at 0745 ET exemplifies the best of marine-oriented ham radio nets.

When GGF (my adopted great grandfather) was failing and I was offshore Bill and the Waterway Net read me daily e-mail updates over the air each morning, and sent my response back as well (the boat I was delivering had no e-mail). The Net, all the controls, and everyone else checking in were very supportive during my time of need. Perhaps not an emergency but definitely of aid and comfort to me and to family ashore.

While stuck between two rapidly emerging weather systems, single-handing my own boat between Annapolis and BVI (I wouldn't make such a trip alone on a customer boat), Bill and another friend (Scott WA0LSS) gently kept me from some foolish decisions, something for which I remain grateful to this day. Lesson learned - always listen to people better rested than you.

Thanks Bill.

After tearing a seam in my staysail in the English Channel, ham radio provided the means to have a Quantum loft support repairs over a bank holiday weekend.

Offshore on delivery over Valentine's day, the fine people on the Maritime Mobile Service Net (14300 kHz USB shared 24/7 with the Pacific Seafarer's Net and the Intercontinental Net), a nice gentleman in Connecticut ran phone patches for our crew of six to our respective partners while we were about 400 miles East of Georgia. Lesson learned by Janet - always answer the phone while Dave is offshore, regardless of caller ID. *grin*

Ham radio has been a tremendous contribution to my cruising experience and more than once truly a lifeline.
12-30-2014 03:07 PM
btrayfors
Re: SSB Installation

Good post, Dave. I agree 100%.

Bill
WA6CCA
12-30-2014 12:28 PM
SVAuspicious
Re: SSB Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by longjonsilver View Post
so, i guess the takeaway on this thread is (for me) that i should go ahead and get my ham license so i can operate both VHF and SSB on a boat? would y'all agree with that statement?
Donna gave good answers, so I'll stick to being the vocabulary police. *grin*

VHF is a range of radio frequencies within which the marine VHF band (a band is a range of frequencies also).

SSB is actually a mode. SSB is used on low frequency (LF), medium frequency (MF), high frequency (HF), very high frequency (VHF), and above. What is conventionally called "SSB" in the marine community is SSB on marine MF and HF bands. "SSB" or "marine SSB" is just wrong (*grin*) but too late to fix. It isn't worth fussing about, but useful to understand the difference.

So let's talk about licenses. For marine VHF on a US boat sailing only in US waters there is a license waiver so you don't need anything at all. If you leave US waters (and technically if you talk to a non-US flagged ship in US waters) you need a ship station license (for the boat) and a restricted radio operators permit (for you). If you use marine HF/SSB you need those same two licenses. Good news - they come with an MMSI number that goes in the international SAR database. There are no tests, just an application and a fee.

Ham radio is a separate thing. Your ham license (a station license and operators license in one) gives you privileges on LF, MF, HF, VHF, UHF, EHF, SHF, ... on different bands (remember - ranges of frequencies) than your marine licenses.

The value of ham radio is two-fold: first, passing the test is an indication to yourself that you understand some fundamentals that will serve you well on a cruising boat. Second, the marine-oriented nets on the ham bands are, in my experience, better than those on the marine bands. The reason is that retired cruisers have moved ashore and bought big radios and huge antennas and coordinate among themselves to provide coverage and support to cruisers. It is truly outstanding and all supported by volunteers - no cost to you.

To be clear, in a bona fide emergency you can use any frequency. 1. Wouldn't you like to have the technical background to understand how to make contact? 2. Wouldn't you like to be practiced at communicating with the net before you really need them? 3. An emergency means an EMERGENCY. Having your watermaker membrane blow a hole is not an emergency. Your boat flooding beyond what bilge pumps can keep up with or the boat on fire is an emergency.

When you have a ham license you still may not use the ham bands for issues in which you have a pecuniary interest. That means you can't talk to (or e-mail) your broker or employer or customer. You may arrange for parts and reservations. I have used ham radio to keep track of the status of a dying relative while I was offshore, arrange for sail repairs, get information about parts availability, and consult with friends ashore about evolving weather.

Hope this helps.
12-30-2014 08:58 AM
DRFerron
Re: SSB Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by longjonsilver View Post
so, i guess the takeaway on this thread is (for me) that i should go ahead and get my ham license so i can operate both VHF and SSB on a boat? would y'all agree with that statement?
I would. We have our Tech class license and are currently studying for General and Extra (U.S. licenses). By going through the licensing training we learned much more than just how to operate the radio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by longjonsilver View Post
secondly, if i get my ham license in say, canada, can i use radio all over the world?
...
It depends on the country and what level of license you obtain. Here are some links to get you started:

https://www.rac.ca/en/amateur-radio/...ntry.php#recip

Reciprocal Permit
12-29-2014 07:13 PM
longjonsilver
Re: SSB Installation

so, i guess the takeaway on this thread is (for me) that i should go ahead and get my ham license so i can operate both VHF and SSB on a boat? would y'all agree with that statement?

secondly, if i get my ham license in say, canada, can i use radio all over the world?

sorry for the dumb questions, you guys have taught me a lot. thanks
jon
12-12-2014 10:15 PM
svclanguage
Re: SSB Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Coupla things re: the KISS-SSB system:

1. It works! Literally thousands of satisfied users, including me and my clients. Virtually no complaints among users. Criticism of the unit has mostly come from would-be RF engineers who don't fully understand how radials (or RF ground systems for that matter) actually work in the real world, as contrasted with theoretical constructs and modeling software.

2. Radial systems are not new. They've been used for many decades by commercial broadcasters, hams, the military, and others. Radial systems do not need to be resonant at user frequencies. They work quite well at random lengths. The KISS is NOT resonant on most user frequencies. It's akin to a bunch of random length insulated wires.

3. It is NOT necessary to make actual contact or capacitative contact with seawater or with the ground. That is pure bunk which has been repeated ad nauseum for many years. In reality, elevated radials -- those above the ground -- work better than buried radials or those lying on the ground. This has been proven hundreds of times by amateurs, commercial broadcasters, and others. The literature is rife with examples. I've personally used them for many years in many locations around the world....ashore and afloat.

4. Sea water contact is not necessary for good RF propagation from a boat, whether using a radial system or other RF ground system. An example: one of the most effective RF radiators from a sailboat is a plain old vertical dipole -- a center-fed dipole turned on its end and rigged low down to the deck. These antennas will out-perform virtually any other antenna you can put on a sailboat and they don't require a seawater ground or any other RF grounding scheme. When properly tuned, they don't even require a tuner. But, of course, these are for a single-band only, mostly 20m and above unless you have a giant sailboat with a 70ft or higher mast.

4. Sea water contact is good for bleeding off some static charges and, of course, for DC (not necessarily RF) grounding. That's why Gordon West found that a short length of copper foil tied into a nearby bronze thru-hull fitting is a pretty good RF ground. No need for the classic "100 square feet of metal" as has been touted by just about every author on SSB for decades, including those who should know better, resulting from an ancient U.S. government recommendation on radio installation on ships.

5. At the frequencies we're talking about here for SSB, RF energy simply doesn't travel well thru seawater. In fact, it is attenuated sharply in just a few inches of water. The only reason to use a deep-in-the-water ground is to heat the adjacent seawater with wasted RF energy. Why do you think HF is not used for submarine communications? Tie in your keel? Why?

6. Contact with the SURFACE of the surrounding water is good. In particular, salt water is a good conductor of RF energy ON THE SURFACE....not more than a few inches below the surface. It helps to collect un-radiated RF energy, channel it back to the antenna feed point, where it can be re-radiated with a tiny time-lapse and thus increase the effective radiated power (ERP).

7. There is considerable confusion as to why seawater is often touted as a "near-perfect" ground. Yes, its SURFACE is great for collecting and returning un-radiated RF energy. But, the main advantage is its incredible REFLECTIVITY, i.e., its ability to bounce transmitted energy off into the ionosphere. You don't have to have physical contact or capacitative contact with seawater in order to realize this second -- and in my opinion most valuable -- property (see dipole example hereinabove).

8. Bottom Line: The KISS-SSB is a good radial ground system. However, it is not a great system, nor is it the best you can fashion on your boat. I've said that numerous times. But it IS robust and well constructed, very easy to install, and simply works quite well. It works on boats, in portable situations, in land cruisers, and in my basement shop.

Disclaimer: I'm a dealer for the KISS as a convenience for my clients. It's certainly not a profit center for me, and it's the ONLY product for which I am a dealer. I install, use myself, and recommend these systems because they work quite well.

FWIW,

Bill, WA6CCA
YachtSense
s/v Born Free
“”””1. It works!””””
All should know that testimonials are no proof in a field as subjective as HF radio. RF engineer or not you should apply theory where you can, , that is a fundamental part of the scientific method.

“”””2. Radial systems are not new.””””
While you are correct that they are not new, the problem is the Kiss does not function as a set of radialS, but as a single radial with resonance near 15mHz only. This is based on testing not speculation or theoretical -- BTY it is consistent with what radio theory predicts. In fact, at low frequencies you can disconnect the Kiss and observe no change in SWR. To be clear that is without re-tuning. If there was RF current flowing in the Kiss it would affect the SWR, no current in Kiss, then it has no effect.

“”””3. It is NOT necessary to make actual contact or capacitative contact with seawater or with the ground. That is pure bunk””””
Bunk is a bit of a strong word, it is a good idea if you want real good performance, especially if operating at low frequencies.
“”””elevated radials -- those above the ground -- work better than buried radials or those lying on the ground.””””
What does this have to do with radials? The goal of capacitive coupling to water is to approximate direct coupling.

“”””4. Sea water contact is not necessary for good RF propagation from a boat, whether using a radial system or other RF ground system. “”””
Again, it is a good idea if you want good performance, especially if operating at low frequencies. If you have good and or multiple connections to water, capacitive or otherwise, no need to add radials.
“”””An example: one of the most effective RF radiators from a sailboat is a plain old vertical dipole “”””
Balanced antennas such as dipoles are good, and I agree in most cases impractical on boats like most of us have.

“””””4. Sea water contact is good for bleeding off some static charges and, of course, for DC (not necessarily RF) grounding. “”””
Very unlikely that static charge exists. On the most popular tuners, with SGC the exception, the tuner ground terminal is connected to coax and tuner control cable which, on the vast majority of radios, is connected to the negative supply, so it is a rare case where this will be an issue.
“””””"100 square feet of metal"”””””
I agree no need for this, unless you want it to be great not just good, but Just about every boat has lots of opportunities to use existing structures as FR ground/counterpoise. All that is needed it to electrically connect them RF wise.

“””””5. At the frequencies we're talking about here for SSB, RF energy simply doesn't travel well thru seawater. “”””
The goal is not to have the signal propagate through the water no more that it is for a ground based station signal to travel through the earth. The goal is to connect direct or capacitively to the water to use it a low impedance sink and source for current in the antenna where the transceiver is the pump (a useful working model).
“””””In fact, it is attenuated sharply in just a few inches of water. The only reason to use a deep-in-the-water ground is to heat the adjacent seawater with wasted RF energy. Why do you think HF is not used for submarine communications? Tie in your keel? Why? “””””
Again, the goal is not to propagate the signal through the water, but is to use it as source and sink for RF current.

“””””6. Contact with the SURFACE of the surrounding water is good. In particular, salt water is a good conductor of RF energy ON THE SURFACE....not more than a few inches below the surface. It helps to collect un-radiated RF energy, channel it back to the antenna feed point, where it can be re-radiated with a tiny time-lapse and thus increase the effective radiated power (ERP).”””””
Don’t know what this is about, would like to know reference for this.

“””””7. There is considerable confusion as to why seawater is often touted as a "near-perfect" ground. Yes, its SURFACE is great for collecting and returning un-radiated RF energy. But, the main advantage is its incredible REFLECTIVITY, i.e., its ability to bounce transmitted energy off into the ionosphere. You don't have to have physical contact or capacitative contact with seawater in order to realize this second -- and in my opinion most valuable -- property (see dipole example hereinabove).””””
Agree for the reflection part, but see 6 for the other.

“”””8. Bottom Line: The KISS-SSB is a good radial ground system. However, it is not a great system, nor is it the best you can fashion on your boat. I've said that numerous times.”””””
Bottom line is that testing I and others have done to determine the Kiss SSB RF properties show is not an effective counterpoise except in a narrow frequency range near 15mHz. The money we paid for our tuners is worth it they are great at what they do, but we also need to understand that achieving a good tune is possible even with inadequate RF ground or counterpoise, and that will result in poor performance.
“””””But it IS robust and well constructed, very easy to install, and simply works quite well. It works on boats, in portable situations, in land cruisers, and in my basement shop.”””””
I agree it is well constructed, but there is a problem with the design and that is: the elements or the so called radials are folded and in tight proximity, approximating a single conductor of length similar to over length of the assembly. This is what radio theory predicts, and what instruments such as antenna/impedance analyzers measure, and what change in SWR, or absence of change, when disconnected indicates.

“””””Disclaimer: I'm a dealer for the KISS as a convenience for my clients. It's certainly not a profit center for me, and it's the ONLY product for which I am a dealer. I install, use myself, and recommend these systems because they work quite well.”””””
I assume this is here so that you can consider motivations behind ones assertions and beliefs: I am a retired engineer, a cruiser, and an electronics and radio enthusiasts for nearly 50 years. Not in the business, no clients, just friends that allow me to help once in a while.

For full Kiss SSB test results and other info on marine HF SSB radio see: Radio
11-20-2014 11:48 AM
JonEisberg
Re: SSB Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I don't disagree with Bill often, and when we do differ I go back and check my facts and assumptions.

Usually we find there are only perspective or vocabulary differences. I presume that will turn out to be the case here.
More great info, thanks for taking the time, Dave...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I am not a dealer for major electronics. For things like new SSB radios I recommend Gary Jenson at Dockside Radio.
I'll second that recommendation, bigtime... Purchased a Pactor modem from Gary a few years ago, but had a fair bit of trouble - being the computer dumbass that I am - configuring it to work with my Mac at the time... Gary walked me thru it all, his patience with me was amazing, he even called me back a month or two later just to follow-up, and see how I was making out...

GREAT guy to deal with, HIGHLY recommended...
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:07 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.