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Discussion Starter #1
My new Icom SSB, AT-140, Pactor III, and KISS ground cable has finally arrived (yea!). I'd like to know if other 34 owners have installed the KISS cable and if so, where did you place the Tuner and KISS cable. As I survey locations for this equipment, I'm leaning toward mounting the Auto Tuner at the very aft end of the starboard quarter berth (will be used for storage not sleeping) and drill a hole down (avoid hitting water tank) and then run cable forward along side the water tank and ending under nav station seat. This distance is only about 8 feet so the KISS cable would need to curve around the last 2 feet. I had considered installing the SSB unit in the compartment under the Nav Station seat but having the counterpoise cable terminate there sounds questionable to me. My other option is to cut a hole in the bulkhead to the engine compartment and then run the cable under the engine down into the bilge. Any suggestions are appreciated.
 

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Maine Dub
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I put my tuner in the starboard laz, and the kiss wrapped around the water tank in the bilge. The ant wire from the tuner goes from the laz into the Q berth and out through the little storage bin in the cockpit. If you remove the headliner from the Q berth you can Do the installation much easier and toss in a galvanic insulator if you don't have one yet. If it doesn't work I can tag on to the copper embedded in the hull in the aft locker. My tuner needs repair so I havn't tested my installation yet.:)
 

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Here's one option.

Install the tuner where you are thinking of doing it (I did). Drill a hole near the tuner directly into the lazerette locker so that it comes out as high as possible above the anchor rode storage area. Hang the KISS cable underneath the deck in the locker using the bolts hanging down from the caprail to hang nylon cable clamps from. Also attach cable clamps with wood screws to the forward bulkhead in the locker underneath the deck to hang the forward side of the run to. String the KISS cable around the run. The advantage of this location, other than ease of install, is that the KISS counterpoise is directly under the backstay antenna that it is the counterpoise for, which in my guess is an ideal location electronically. It also avoids placing the cable near any large interfering metal objects like water tanks or engines. Fill the hole between the quarterberth and the lazerette with sealant to keep propane fumes out of the interior (if you use it).

Dave Mancini
PSC34 #305 SWAN
 

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One other note. I ran the antenna wire from the tuner through another hole into the lazerette locker. Also stringing it underneath the deck, I attached it directly to the highest of the backstay chainplate bolts. I disconnected the lightning ground (useless with the insulator) and copper foil ground (I bridged that).

This avoids having the antenna wire attachment above deck in the weather, which is always a corrosion issue. I also have only one insulator (aloft). Yes, it is not ABC and we need to remember not to touch the backstay when we're transmitting on the SSB/Ham (what are the odds of doing that anyway?!). But, it's much cheaper (priced an insulator lately?), corrosion free, trouble free (one less insulator to break), the antenna is longer and it works great (our signal reports have always been excellent).

Dave
 

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We installed our tuner in the aft end of the quarterberth as well, but ran the cables up above the headliner and back to the nav station. The SSB is mounted inside the table and I built a small cabinet that mounts on top of the nav station to house the control head, speaker, and AIS.

Dave,
Interesting antenna setup. We are replacing the rigging this summer and I may just adopt that same approach.

I am curious about the KISS CP. I thought PSC installed a copper foil and dyna plate counterpoise as standard equipment. Why add the KISS cable?
 

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Hi Brian,

I AM using the installed copper foil CP. I am not using the KISS at the moment. I have it aboard as a spare and for test purposes. Carl Nichols, the inventor of KISS, is a good friend and I have seen a number of installs. We are both old hams. The way I described is the slickest way to do it on a PSC as far as I'm concerned. In that configuration the results are comparable to that of the installed CP in my experience.

I have seen some PSC's without the copper foil installed, so I am guessing it has not always been standard, but was an option at one time. So the KISS is a cheap and easy way to fill the gap when it is absent.

I also ran the coax and control cables from the radio (inside the chart table) to the tuner by way of the space above the headliner the way you did. Very clean way to do it. If they ever award a Nobel prize for the method, we can share it.

Dave
 

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Thanks Dave,
I thought I was missing something. The KISS looks like a great idea - maybe PSC will incorporate it into the new boats. It would be a lot less work than the current foil system.

As to the backstay arrangement, I thought about using the GAM split lead system in order to avoid adding insulators. However, I think enclosing the stainless backstay in a plastic sheath worries me more than added swages. Seems too similar to plastic coated lifelines with the associated corrosion issues. If it's not a good idea for lifelines, I wouldn't think it would be a good idea for the standing rigging.

I like your setup much better - clean and removes at least 2 swages.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Al, Dave and Brian,
Thank you for your input, I'll closely review those options. Right now I really like Dave's suggestion and our local guru (Marty) likes it too. He has been very adamant about having the tuner as close to the antenna as possible and the counterpoise as far away from the electronics and cables as possible. He's the reason I'm concerned about routing the KISS cable back toward the Nav station. That length below the Q berth (8ft) is doable but the space behind the headliner is only about 6ft long and narrow since my shallow cockpit locker penetrates this area. I would have to curl the CP back onto itself and the instructions from the manufacturer states no coils less than 3ft in diameter. Brian, the copper foil on my vessel is exposed high up on the hull just aft of the breaker panel and I still may use it but opted to follow Marty's advice and go with the KISS CP as he seems to be acknowledged as the local guru and I'm asking him to ensure the system works properly. I've noticed in some post that others have connected their tuners to both the copper foil (or some other grounding method) and the KISS CP which is discouraged by the manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Brian,
Sorry, I misread your post. You were referring to running other cables behind the headliner and not the CP itself since it sounds like you are using the foil. I was so fixated on the route of the CP, I was reading that into everything.

Dave,
I forgot to say "Hi" to you from a mutual friend, Brian Stipak (s/v Ubiquity) We live just a few miles apart and I was on his boat yesterday looking at his windvane installation.
 

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Brian,

I agree completely with you about the GAM.

Carl,

Please say hi to Brian for me. He also has a KISS. Carl brought it to Ubiquity when he visited us in Port Angeles while Brian was there with Ubiquity. Small world.

Dave
 

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Hi Brian,


I have seen some PSC's without the copper foil installed, so I am guessing it has not always been standard, but was an option at one time. So the KISS is a cheap and easy way to fill the gap when it is absent.

I also ran the coax and control cables from the radio (inside the chart table) to the tuner by way of the space above the headliner the way you did. Very clean way to do it. If they ever award a Nobel prize for the method, we can share it.

Dave
The copper foil CP was an option when we ordered Crazy Fish in late 1988. I knew I would install a HAM or SSB radio at some point so included the option.
I believe it was $500 at the time. I have helped to install copper foil CP on a few boats and it was well worth having it installed at build time.

The current Kenwood TS-450 sits (this is a 37) behind the nav station above the quarterberth in a area originally occupied by by a couple of chart tubes. The coax runs above the quarterberth headliner to the SGC auto tuner located just forward of the propane locker with just a short run to the backstay. Even with this isolation and ferrites everywhere it still interferes with the WH autopilot. If I am underway and on the radio I tend to put the boat on the Monitor windvave or have someone else handsteer. With the Icom install I will likely put the control head and probably the radio in the same place as the TS-450 so that I can hand steer the tiller and talk on the radio at the same time.

System used to work well but the TS-450 has problems after sitting on the boat for 15 years. Will replace with Icom 802 at some point.

With the short run and ferrites everywhere it still interferes with the WH autopilot. If I am underway and going to be on the radio I tend to put the boat on the Monitor windvave or have someone else handsteer. With the Icom install I will likely put the control head and probably the radio in the same place as the TS-450 so that I can hand steer the tiller and talk on the radio at the same time.

Also need to come up with a new way to do the antenna (formerly had 2 insulators) as the backstay is now dyneema dux. Some have run insulated 14 awg up inside the dyneema and I will likely use that or the GAM but need to do more research.

Regards
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
 
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