SailNet Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any experience with the Dynaplate Ground Plate, or their various equivalents, Newmar Ground Shoe, Wonderbar Ground Plate etc.??
I am about to redo my ground "counterpoise" on my SSB. Icom etc. suggest 100 sq.ft. of copper foil, where I would put it all, Goodness knows!!
Apparently one of these bars is the equivalent, but have not heard of any genuine users, for or against.
Any comments

Davimack
SV Odyssey
 

·
moderate?
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I had both a dynaplate AND the copper foil. Just threaded the 4" wide foil under the floorboards wherever it coulr go. 300 inches of the foil is 100 sq. feet. Can't really comment on the Dynaplate alone as we used both but had good output and reception. The D-plate is pooh pooed by many as unnecessary but I've also heard good comments from those using it exclusively. Bill Trayfors and Nonjy are the ham/SSB techies here and can perhaps lend a little more meat to this discussion!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
Davimack,

IMHO, Dynaplates and their equivalents are the last resort of desperate men :)

Or, more often, they "come with the boat".

Very seldom needed; not great, anyway; costly; much better alternatives.

What kinda boat?

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Dynaplates etc.

Thank you for your replies. Boat is a Young Sun 35. A Bob Perry cutter, but very difficult to get under the floorboards for foil. Am going to lay foil on top of 2 watertanks and fuel tank, but that will only take about 30 ft. so felt the ground plate would be a great idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Came with the boat. Works great. No other counterpoise system other than about 15 feet of foil & copper water pipe used to link the tuner to the dynaplate, the engine and lifelines. 5 & 5 for 150 miles west of San Fran to Texas on 14.3.
 

·
1977 Morgan OI 30
Joined
·
438 Posts
dyna plate ???

Came w the boat...lots of green osmosis/corrosion or reaction stuff on the wires so I replaced wires and dynaplate at the suggestion of my marine electrician and while it looks a lot better and has to be carrying current more efficiently I'm not certain it was worth it... My zincs seem to be almost totally gone at the end of my 5 month season. Though I had not heard of the copper foil I wonder if that might make a difference? "A boat is a hole in the water..." :puke
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
davimack,

Lotsa ways to skin a cat. The "100sq ft of copper" is an urban legend...repeated in many, many places but nevertheless nonsense as is the impreachment that "wires won't work".

What is true is that you need some sort of effective RF ground to serve as the "other half" of the antenna system. This can be as simple as a wide copper strip run from the tuner to the nearest bronze thru-hull. The thru-hull should not be otherwise bonded to the DC system or, if it is, it's a good idea to put some sort of DC-blocking device inline, like a number of parallel capacitors bridging a narrow gap. Type X7R Monolithic Ceramic capacitors, 0.15uF, $0.91 each, Digi-Key part number P4911-ND would do the trick nicely. See Stan Honey's excellent article on grounding here: Grounding

Also, see my post on "RF grounds in the marine environment" here: SSCA Discussion Board :: View topic - RF GROUNDS IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

I don't know the YoungSun 35, but there may be other ways to fashion an effective ground as well, including: stainless steel rub rails (like the IP's have), pushpit/lifelines/pulpit complex, radials under the decks, aluminum toerails, etc., etc.

But, the simplest and pretty effective way to do it is just to run a wide copper strip to the nearest thru-hull. You can add to that later if needed.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I had both a dynaplate AND the copper foil. Just threaded the 4" wide foil under the floorboards wherever it coulr go. 300 inches of the foil is 100 sq. feet. Can't really comment on the Dynaplate alone as we used both but had good output and reception. The D-plate is pooh pooed by many as unnecessary but I've also heard good comments from those using it exclusively. Bill Trayfors and Nonjy are the ham/SSB techies here and can perhaps lend a little more meat to this discussion!
Forgive me, but am I not right in thinking that 300" of 4" foil is only 1200 sq.in. which is 8.33 sq.ft., but maybe you meant 300' of the foil. If not then maybe there's hope for me yet. I can easily get maybe 30' into the bilge etc. maybe that and a Dynaplate if necessary would do the job.
Davimack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I briefly mentioned it in my first post, but I'll expand little on the copper water pipe. If you want the most durable, and RF friendly connection possible (i.e. one that doesn't turn to green dust in a couple years) get 1/2" flexible copper waterpipe. (2" circumference) Route it where you need it and then find battery lugs that fit snug inside the end. Crimp down lightly to hold the lug in place and then get out a propane torch and solder it in. What you end up with is a super heavy duty RF friendly connection that will last forever. The copper foil is far too subject to failure. I only use it where flexibility is needed. I use the copper foil, but I think a lot of the reasoning behind it is no more than black magic. Take a look at the wiring to the ground lug on your tuner... hmm 18 gauge wire. Thats funny, wonder why the manufacturer didn't use a chunk of foil?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
It amazes me that there are so many experts on this subject.
Dynaplates are a very good way to achieve effective RF grounding. Gordon West and Stan Honey both have said so. How much more expertise do you need?
Is a Dyna plate the best way to go? Maybe, depending on your circumstance; not, however, depending on the efficacy of one system over another. Dyna plates work very well indeed, they work all the time every time, and they will outlast most any boat. That's fact, as opposed to opinion. Maybe a few feet of foil really does work better, I just don't know.

I had occasion this Summer to outfit a Single-Handed Transpac contender..a Pearson Electra, something like 22-23'; no engine, no thru hulls, no water or fuel tanks, and no room, but a reqirement to check in every day via SSB, which he did....quite handily, too. Excellent reports all the way...until he was dismasted some 600 miles from Hanalei
Icom 710 (I think), AT-140, 400+AH, and single Dynaplate.
Howard Keiper
Berkeley
 

·
the pointy end is the bow
Joined
·
6,265 Posts
I briefly mentioned it in my first post, but I'll expand little on the copper water pipe.
The water pipes in my boat are copper. Could a person connect a wire to the existing water pipes? or do you start setting up an electrolysis situation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I can see from all the replies that I have to use foil. Is it important that the foil be 2" to 3" wide or is the width not important, but the overall square footage is important??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I can see from all the replies that I have to use foil. Is it important that the foil be 2" to 3" wide or is the width not important, but the overall square footage is important??
I reaffirm my convictions that the use of foil is purely a form of black magic ;)

When I originally installed my radio there was no more than a 6 gauge wire connecting it to the dynaplate and engine. I was also using a coax fed short wire antenna hoisted parallel to the backstay. As far as I can tell that system, coupled to an LDG-Z100 (overpowered by 75 Watts!) at the radio, worked just as well as the bonefied tuner and backstay setup, with foil connecting the ground lugs, that I have now. Hook it up and see if it works.. if it doesn't receive your antenna sucks. If it receives but doesn't transmit well your counterpoise is fubar. Keep connecting & tieing in things until it works, and then make those modifications permanent.

Edit: forgot to ask: do you have keelbolts? If so those can be a very effective part of your counterpoise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
The water pipes in my boat are copper. Could a person connect a wire to the existing water pipes? or do you start setting up an electrolysis situation?
Well, your entire DC electrical system is included, you could have your lifelines tied in... May as well tie them in. Most people also include their metal tanks, engine, anything else metal etc etc... Use capacitors to avoid any corrosion possibilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Stopped by the old boat today and grapped a pic of my dynaplate setup. I use a 200 Watt Kenwood with a SEA autotuner. Only really use it on 14.300 or 14.313. I have tried a couple other bands on occasion and seemed to get decent results.
The brown color is corrosion inhibitor that seems to be working quite well.
Shown here is:

(no the goldenrod isn't touching anything!!)
1) copper water pipe (from the radio at the nav station)
2) foil from the tuner. This also makes stops at the mounting bracket for my windvane and one of the pushpit bases, thus including the lifelines and another path to seawater via the windvane rudder.
3) 6 gauge wire to the engine block. I felt using wire here was prudent since my engine is on flexible mounts and would probably make quick work of any rigid material. The shaft has a shaft brush which is electrically connected to the engine block only.

It works. Don't know if I could improve it or not...

The counterpoise is then extended by via the engine ground (4 AWG) to the DC electrical system, which is also bonding system including my metal fuel tank. Just about everything metal inside the boat. There are only three surfaces in contact with seawater which are the dynaplate, propeller, and windvane when in service.

Edit:

For comparison my original setup utilized the copper pipe and engine only, the tuner was at the nav station, thus there was no foil that tied in the new tuner, lifelines and windvane. That setup worked equally well.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thank you all for your really valuable input. Have decided to combine your advices. Am installing copper sheeting in the bilge, linked with copper foil to the throughhulls, and also add in a groundplate. Seems Dynaplate, Wonderbar and Newmar Ground shoes are all very similar. Only question remains is this. I hae a deck stepped mast with a compression post. Have found that by including the post in the ground plane, I get lots of Interference on my stereo. Any thoughts??????
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top