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Thread: Which Antennae

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Which Antennae

    I have had problems with the radio in my hewes since I purchased it new. I took it back to the dealer and had them put a new cable on the antenna because the old cable was cut and was only about 3 feet long. That seemed to help a little but not much. I don't know whether the cable leads and antenna in a marine power boat application requires tuning but I am going to do a little research on the topic with my good friend mr. google.

    Now the antennae is broken where the fiberglass meets the metal (I left it up while towing one time which may have done that so I am going to replace it on my own).

    What db antennae are you guys using? 3db, 6db, 9db ? What brands seem to hold up the best?

    I am kind of leaning towards a shakespear 6db model mariner 8900 - they seem a little spendy but I am tired of not having good radio reception.

    I was out by Aialik (seward - seal rocks actually) last weekend and could not get the weather station.....once I get past port wells out of whittier I get no radio weather station either.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Reading up a bit and see this "Coax Cable length. It is permissible to cut coax if it is too long, however, you must make sure the antenna is at least 3ft from the radio. This is an almost universal requirement from most radio manufacturers. At any rate, you probably won't want the antenna that close to you when you transmit. If you decide not to cut the coax, you can loosely wrap up any excess into a large coil if you wish. Coax cable does present some signal loss, and that loss is greater the longer the coax is, so you can improve the performance of your system by ensuring you do not have excessive cable. This loss is highly dependant on the coax type being used, but a good rule-of-thumb for the RG-58 coax that is commonly used by antenna manufacturers is about -3dB loss for every 50ft."

    at this www http://www.boat-project.com/tutorials/vhfant.htm

    My radio is mounted right next to the antenna. Literally the base of the antenna is within a foot of the radio - maybe that is part of my problem ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post

    My radio is mounted right next to the antenna. Literally the base of the antenna is within a foot of the radio - maybe that is part of my problem ??
    The simple answer is no it not part of your problem.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Buy a Morad antenna and most likely you'll only buy it once. Mine are 20+ years old and still talking fine. I know if you have a bad stick and you key the mike a lot of times it screws up the radio, something about no "load" on the radio or stick.
    http://www.morad.com/

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    The simple answer is no it not part of your problem.
    So you think that the coax only needs to be 3' long is what that means? (that is what I thought).

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Buy a Morad antenna and most likely you'll only buy it once. Mine are 20+ years old and still talking fine. I know if you have a bad stick and you key the mike a lot of times it screws up the radio, something about no "load" on the radio or stick.
    http://www.morad.com/
    Steve - did you use the 10db (670$) model VHF 156 10db Part # 9117 $658. 10db gain, Marine frequency or their regular VHF 156 HD Part # 9120 $157. 6db gain, "Hot Rod" Marine band or VHF 156 FG Antenna or Part # 9119 $131. 6db gain fiberglass 8' whip with 20' coax cable, 156MHz

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    I need to look into Morad, too. The 8' 6 db Digital (brand name) whip I use really pulls in the signal. I think they are a couple hundred bucks. They've gone up $50 since I got mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post

    My radio is mounted right next to the antenna. Literally the base of the antenna is within a foot of the radio - maybe that is part of my problem ??
    I was talking about the physical distance between antenna and the radio not the length of the coax.

    When it come to the proper length of the coax I refer to the installation instruction.

    I used to sell a VHF marine antenna that come with a 6 foot cable that is per cut and tune for the antenna that could go to the back of the radio or add any length needed to reach the radio.
    I also sold other antennas that the length did not matter.

    Unless your going to run several hundred feet of RG-56 or roll it in a tight loop you can not tell the difference in reception. trust me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Steve - did you use the 10db (670$) model VHF 156 10db Part # 9117 $658. 10db gain, Marine frequency or their regular VHF 156 HD Part # 9120 $157. 6db gain, "Hot Rod" Marine band or VHF 156 FG Antenna or Part # 9119 $131. 6db gain fiberglass 8' whip with 20' coax cable, 156MHz
    I think it was the 9120 that went on the end of the gold color 10' extension pole they sell. It was more than 20 years ago so i'm a bit foggy on part numbers. Call them and they'll tell ya what you need. We had 45 watt tuned/scrambled vhf's and i could talk to guys in my group over on the copper river flats, i would be in front of the hatchery on ester or down by main bay. Its the stick just to the right of the #7 on the bowpicker and its on the lobsterboat now with a radar reflector stuck on it below the loaded part.
    http://www.amazon.com/MORAD-connecto...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

    deception pws.jpgsquall with sail.jpg

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    I believe I have the 8900 on my boat. It took a few tries to get the connector on correctly after I cut my coax shorter, but my radio really works well. Mount the antenna as high as you can too.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    The mount on my OP is up at the top of the cabin. I might add a 12 or 18" extension to it though. It will be a while before I have time to get a new one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    The mount on my OP is up at the top of the cabin. I might add a 12 or 18" extension to it though. It will be a while before I have time to get a new one.
    Antenna height is everything. Unless you are getting the antenna above a metal structure adding 12 or 18 inches is not worth the effort in your application.

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    Randy don't you have a radar arch? That's where I mounted mine. Adds more separation from the radio too.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I don't have a radar arch right now. I plan to build a rod holder/roof extension this winter which will stick up a little bit. Right now the mount for the antenna is about 4 inches below the roof of the boat. Wouldn't hurt to have the whole antenna above the roof.

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    Hmmm. Give Mark a call at South Central radar here on the Spit. He's pretty sharp and can come down the boat and in a minute can tell you what's going on if you have the boat down here.
    I have 3 radios on my boat (2 vhfs and a CB) one of my VHF radios is the cheapest I could find and the cheapest 4-5' antenna as well mounted to the side of the cabin roof. It receives and transmits nearly as well as my high end Standard and 8' antenna mounted up on the radar arch.
    Is the radio powered on its own circuit or sharing something else? Crimp on or soldered connector?
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    deweys put on a new connect and cable last year when I told them the radio was not working correctly. I had put one on myself prior to see if that was the problem. I'm not sure what they put on. It is powered from the helm fuse panel on its own circuit.

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    I'll look to see if I have one laying around to check the radio. Is the problem both transmitting & receiving? The connectors are pretty important and I've used both the crimp on type that pierces the cable and also just replaced a bad antenna and did the solder type connection myself, it's important to get it right, as in if the very fine shielding wires (even just one strand) touch the inner cable, it'll be a problem.
    Honestly I think you can totally get away with a non-expensive Antenna, 6db I think is what I have.
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    Morad. Look at any CG or naval vessel or large commercial vessel. . Saw one on the con of an aircraft carrier. I've got two on the roof and radios always works great. Thrown away several Shakespears.

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    This was on another site i'm on and i suggested to get a Morad
    "OK...so the Morad (the "+6db" model) is mounted and hooked up. I will say that performance is considerably better than the Shakey. I've noticed that even on low power I'm sometimes getting out up to 3-4 mi. (maybe not a great thing in itself - I like low power occasionally to keep transmissions semi-private). I will also note that when I called the factory (Oregon?) the owner of the company actually got on the phone personally and spent a good 45 minutes talking about various aspects of his products. I suspect you won't get that kind of attention at Shakespeare".

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    This was on another site i'm on and i suggested to get a Morad
    "OK...so the Morad (the "+6db" model) is mounted and hooked up. I will say that performance is considerably better than the Shakey. I've noticed that even on low power I'm sometimes getting out up to 3-4 mi. (maybe not a great thing in itself - I like low power occasionally to keep transmissions semi-private). I will also note that when I called the factory (Oregon?) the owner of the company actually got on the phone personally and spent a good 45 minutes talking about various aspects of his products. I suspect you won't get that kind of attention at Shakespeare".
    Which model did you get Steve?

    VHF 156 HD Part # 9120 $157. 6db gain, "Hot Rod" Marine band

    VHF 156 FG Antenna
    Part # 9119 $131. 6db gain fiberglass 8' whip with 20' coax cable, 156MHz




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