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Old 11-24-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Ssb grounding voters poll......

Just purchased an ICOM 700 pro and AT-130 tuner with a 23 ft antenna.
Next is installation and grounding. After asking and googling around concerning the various grounding techniques I've received numerous suggestions such as lining the whole boat in foil, painting the boat with 13 1/2 coats of copper paint, attaching a dynaplate, and there's a guy on ebay selling an 8 ft heavy copper wire who says just to attach it to the radio and thats it.*I'll be able to hear and transmit to Siberians. Guaranteed.
Anyway, lets have some feedback before my boat sinks under all that copper paint and foil I'm told to install. I promise to install it according to the majority vote

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Old 11-24-2009, 03:42 PM   #2
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City: Sidney, BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Penta
Vessel Model: 36' 1961 Sather ex-Gill Netter
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Re: Ssb grounding voters poll......

The first choice would be to, if your vessel has keel coolers, attach the ground from the tuner to them. If you do not have keel coolers by far the best alternate solution would be a ground "plate" such as a"Dynaplate" or equivalent block on the outside of the .
There are 100 and 1 other ideas out there however after spending in excess of 40 years in the radio communications business I have determined that there are really only these two ways that "really" work.
I have seen installations where the radio ground was attached to the engine with the shaft coupling strapped to provide continuity so that the shaft and prop were the "ground" and others where there was a sheet of copper attached to the hull interior, below the water line, as a ground plate and others where the radio was connected to the vessel bonding system.
While these sort of worked they could be improved upon drastically by temporarily hanging a hank of about 100 ft of bare wire over the side, connected in addition to whatever existed for a ground.. This is a good test for any existing ground system - quick and easy.
Any ground system should be connected via a good grade of capacitor such that there is no DC conductivity to the ground system thereby reducing the chance of stray current paths.
On our wood hull trawler with keel cooling I use the coolers and with an identical radio set up have communicated, on the ham bands, with most points of the world from the Pacific Northwest and even trailing about 300 feet of bare wire overboard did not make any improvement over this existing system.
Good luck

John Tones MV Penta
Sidney, BC

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Old 11-24-2009, 04:36 PM   #3
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Ssb grounding voters poll......

If you want some good info on HF radio have a look at
Start out simple. Run a 3" copper strap, found at any roofing supply, to a bronze thru hull from your tuner. Do not connect the tuner and radio as Icom recommends. You should now have a working SSB with good reception and transmission. Then fine tune the ground from there. Good luck. Chuck

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Tuesday 24th of November 2009 06:37:17 PM

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Tuesday 24th of November 2009 06:40:41 PM
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:47 AM   #4
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Ssb grounding voters poll......

* I spoke with a radioman who said that he fiberglassed heavy, 4"*copper foil to the inside of the hull, in the bilges.* The foil was tied together with a single wire going to the tuner.*

* To do this properly, the copper foil needed to be cut to specific lengths to help the antenna become resonate.* If you were on different frequencies, you would have 2 or 3 different lengths of ground strap.

* None of this "ground plane" touched salt water.* Hopefully this made it more reliable.


-- Edited by Monterey10 on Sunday 29th of November 2009 01:51:30 PM
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