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Old 09-28-2021, 12:13 AM   #1
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Single Sideband advise

I have not utalised SSB since the 70s early 80s so I am a bit lost installation wise.
I have installed a Kenwood TRC-70 primarily for receiving however believe if it is installed it should be able to transmit. There is no additional aerial tuner ie directly from SSB to antenna. I also installed a KISS Ground kit.
My query is what weight/size copper wire should I be using from the TRC-70 to the antenna. The antenna is a Pacific Aerials SSB product. I am past offshore work so for coastal work only.
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Old 09-28-2021, 02:08 AM   #2
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The gauge of the wire is important, but not as much as the length of the antenna. A tuner adjusts the "electrical length" of the antenna to the frequency. Without a tuner you will be limited to a narrow band of frequencies which match the physical length of the antenna. The closer the frequency and antenna length match the more efficient the entire system. If you are receive only, this is not a big deal. But if you transmit, and the wave length is longer than the antenna you will get a lot of return power (reflected wave) back to the transmitter. The more reflect power, the less power out of the antenna and also not good for transmitter.

Even on receive only you will have better signal strength when antenna and wave length match. This is called reciprocity, an antenna which has higher signal gain in receive also had more of its power directed of of the antenna.

This is a very simplified explanation. My question is why do you want HF? We used it on our sailboat because 15 years ago satellite was expensive and HF was an inexpensive way to get weather and email while at sea. Now, satellite time is much cheaper and if you are doing coastal cruising cell phones are so much better.
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Old 09-28-2021, 02:12 AM   #3
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Here's a chart. https://messi.it/en/comparison-chart...ower-ratio.htm
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Old 09-29-2021, 11:20 PM   #4
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All the above taken on board and appreciated. I am unable to locate a Kenwood ATU in New Zealand, what else would do the job without having to mortgage the boat, are there any after market units worth chasing up Im a geriatric slow learner but nearly there
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Old 09-29-2021, 11:50 PM   #5
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Sorry Ken, ATUs are the best option. You can physically cut some antennas which are tuned to a set of frequencies, but that would be really cumbersome on a boat.
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Old 09-30-2021, 01:31 AM   #6
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Ebay might be worth a look.
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Old 09-30-2021, 03:53 AM   #7
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Although I presume like me you’re not a licensed ham. However, that cult of people are very enthusiastic. I was able to have such an individual walk me through getting the most out of my 802 and teach me how to troubleshoot the device. Perhaps there’s a local ham group near you. If so would chat them up on how to proceed getting this done inexpensively but we’ll.
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Old 09-30-2021, 03:58 AM   #8
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Although I presume like me you’re not a licensed ham. However, that cult of people are very enthusiastic. I was able to have such an individual walk me through getting the most out of my 802 and teach me how to troubleshoot the device. Perhaps there’s a local ham group near you. If so would chat them up on how to proceed getting this done inexpensively but we’ll.
Hippo - what mid/long range comms are you considering for you next boat given shift from offshore to coastal cruising? I confess I never really learned all the ins and outs of SSB beyond casual use. I have IridiumGO that seems to work well but has no entertainment value to while away nighttime passages.

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Old 09-30-2021, 04:38 AM   #9
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Last one had a 802 SSB plus pacnor 4 so that was great fun and allowed chatting with chris Parker for weather. It was supplemented with a KVH fleet one sailor. The fixed satellite phones with a dome over a mobile directional antenna are such a huge step up from any handheld device. Before had a globalstar and it was a pain to get a enough bars for long enough to get data. Even getting a short weather email (not even gribs just text) often took multiple attempts.
So this time thinking of a handheld iridium in a mount with a permanently mounted external antenna. Know it won’t be as reliable as a v30 or fleet one sailor but for coastal it should be enough. Talking with the folks at OCENS about this. Not a fan of the InReach. Enough to wet your whistle but still leave you thirsty. Part of me says just wait. There’s enough of a commercial market for individual use outside the major consumers that the low satellite network should be available in a year or two at a fraction of current costs.
Don’t see the need for SSB in a coastal setting. The SSB works great offshore but both reception and transmission are difficult when coastal. Especially if surrounded by other boats. Think SSB is harder to do on a powerboat. Easy to instillate a backstay for an antenna , have a copper strip in the hull as a equipoise and go to town with a sailboat.
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Old 09-30-2021, 05:03 AM   #10
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Last one had a 802 SSB plus pacnor 4 so that was great fun and allowed chatting with chris Parker for weather. It was supplemented with a KVH fleet one sailor. The fixed satellite phones with a dome over a mobile directional antenna are such a huge step up from any handheld device. Before had a globalstar and it was a pain to get a enough bars for long enough to get data. Even getting a short weather email (not even gribs just text) often took multiple attempts.
So this time thinking of a handheld iridium in a mount with a permanently mounted external antenna. Know it won’t be as reliable as a v30 or fleet one sailor but for coastal it should be enough. Talking with the folks at OCENS about this. Not a fan of the InReach. Enough to wet your whistle but still leave you thirsty. Part of me says just wait. There’s enough of a commercial market for individual use outside the major consumers that the low satellite network should be available in a year or two at a fraction of current costs.
Don’t see the need for SSB in a coastal setting. The SSB works great offshore but both reception and transmission are difficult when coastal. Especially if surrounded by other boats. Think SSB is harder to do on a powerboat. Easy to instillate a backstay for an antenna , have a copper strip in the hull as a equipoise and go to town with a sailboat.
The install issues - specifically grounding - on a powerboat has been why I just can't get excited. Not insurmountable, but enough of a barrier to keep SSB off the list of projects.

I too went with permanent mount for IridiumGO. All-in, around $1k. Their plans can be paused for a standby fee, or you can semi-avoid the fee by shutting the service down and restarting. Requires a new SIMM card at $10. Also means a change in phone number which isn't as bad as it seems as most folks only give the number to one or two shore side people as a relay point. Given access to full wx info, the $140/mo IridiumGO "unlimited package" (cough-cough - severely limited due to speed) is an excellent value. There have been several recent threads that touch on coastal cruising within 3 day wx windows. Having reliable access to weather forecast products is essential.

I purchased my system from PredictWind which worked out well. Install is simple - easier than VHF since antenna is connected by thinner cable. I haven't used it much. PredictWind is a different thread - I like it just fine, but not a full replacement for full synoptic charts which are also available via IridiumGO.
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Old 09-30-2021, 07:27 AM   #11
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Sounds like a plan. Thanks Peter.
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