Still holding its own - HF Radio - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 23 Old 09-14-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

I am looking to replace the copper foil as it has deteriorated in a couple of spots, I like the sound of the KISS-SSB counterpoise. But I am skeptical, it goes against all I have learned over the years. Convince me please, as I plan to replace the copper in December.

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post #12 of 23 Old 09-24-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

I met the designer of the KISS system at the Seattle Boat Show. I'm no HAM myself but I can usually smell bull$h!t marketing and this guy seemed totally legit. Not a whiff of snake oil anywhere. He's done some impressive sailing as well and pioneered a new route from New Zeland back to the USA West Coast via Easter Island. It's apparently now a well-enough used route by cruisers. He has been a ham for something like 50 years as well. I think the KISS system has been around a while. You might ask over at CF if you go there and see what people say about it. I recall doing some research recently on it and the reviews of owners seem to be glowing.

I was able to handle the KISS thingy myself. It's as simple as could be and basically looks like a longish coiled vinyl coated wire. Apparently you connect it up, and toss it in a locker, or stretch it out (doesn't matter) and Robert's your mother's brother.

Simon, You mentioned going to the Kimberlies. That's an area I am really looking forward to sailing when we get back down under. What resources are you using for trip planning? Books, websites, blogs? Can you let me know by PM or post where to look for that info? Thanks!

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post #13 of 23 Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

Med-
" I think the KISS system has been around a while."
There's a saying among ham operators that you can use a lawn chair or a light bulb as an antenna and either one works fairly well. That doesn't mean they are GOOD antennas, it just means they can be made to work.
I think the KISS autopsies have proven beyond any doubt that if someone is afraid to use a tape measure and wire cutter, the KISS antenna is a very nicely made solution. Just connect it, and it will outperform the lawn chair or the light bulb.
Does that make it a good antenna? Depends on how you subjectively define "good". Does that make it a cost-effective antenna? Depends on how much you value your time, or fear of tape measures and wire cutters.

Some folks can't change a flat tire, they call the AAA. For that crowd, the KISS antenna is probably a very reasonable solution. For those who want substantially higher performance levels and don't mind doing a little work, there are other solutions. There's no debate, no mystery, involved here. What it is, and what it can do (on a relative or absolute scale) are all simple physics. Which of course is a mystery to many folks.
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post #14 of 23 Old 10-24-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

I have done the research the best I could, and given the best price I could find for copper foil to replacing my old green and brittle counterpoise (ground) is $155. The Kiss-ssb seems to win price wise, and given that no one has stated it wont/does not work, and a lot of folks who have and use it, say it works great for them. I have ordered it and it will be in Brisbane when I get there from my travels. How it works I still don't know, Hey the bumble bee shouldn't fly but it does. I will let you know how it goes.

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post #15 of 23 Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

I have all the parts and was about to re commission the Hf (Icom 802). BUT as the kiss-ssb is a sealed unit and is attached to the ground point on the auto tuner (icom AT-140) How or do I still need to ground the unit to a boats ground? Both the tuner ground and the transceiver ground are grounded to each other via a wire and would normally be grounded via copper foil fixed to The though hulls. As the kiss-ssb is not technically/physically grounded, should I run a grounding wire to say the rudder stock. Will this counter the KISS-SSB.

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post #16 of 23 Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

I think the whole point of the Kiss is that you don't have to ground it to anything. If you do, I'm not sure it would be better or worse.

Any way you can test it both ways? Transmit and see if the Martians respond with KISS and see if the beings from Jupiter respond when the KISS itself it grounded?

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post #17 of 23 Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

Simon, the whole purpose of a counterpoise device (the KISS) is to replace grounding and make it unnecessary. More is not necessarily better. If the instructions it came with were unclear, I would suggest contacting the company directly to ask them if they think it should be used alone, or with other grounding connections.
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post #18 of 23 Old 12-09-2012
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Smile Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

Hello Simon

As I understand it and as I've done with my boat, you only connect the KISS to the tuner ground and NOT to the ground plane you may have already. The KISS is stand alone here to form the counterpoise with no interconnection to anything else.

However, the transceiver chassis must be connected to a thru hull etc for a ground. I've cnnected the chassis via a 3" wide copper to a thru hull. The ground between my tuner and transceiver is not connected.

My system works great!

Cheers
Wayne
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post #19 of 23 Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

I would second what HelloSailor suggested. I met the designer of the Kiss system and talked with him for quite a while at the Seattle boat show. I bet he'd be happy to answer your questions.

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post #20 of 23 Old 12-10-2012
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio

I chatted with the maker of the KISS, and found him to be very helpful. You can tell from the way he runs his company, that he really believes in his product and was very responsive to questions.

My question to him was similar to SimonV's question. The response I got back was you only have to hook up the KISS to the tuner, and don't need to run foil between the transceiver and tuner, or connect anything by foil to any ground. As the manufacturer of the KISS pointed out, on the ICOM M802 the tuner and the transceiver are already connected via the control cable and there is no reason to ground everything using foil. I was a skeptic, but gave it a try and it did work. And very well at that.
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