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Setting Up My New VHF.

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I have been going through a similar issue myself. I started asking why isn't this working, and by the end of my fault finding I was asking how the hell did this ever work. I started with a micro sized aerial at the top of the mast, went down to a improperly sealed join that was full of water, next stop was the stupid cheap amfm/vhf splitter, and to top it all off the middle core of the plug into the radio hadn't been crimped or soldered in (someone had folded it over itself a few times and shoved it in the back of the plug!).

 

Also FYI pacific aerials don't do custom aerials anymore, I went through hi-tec aerials and they made me a whip aerial with a long enough tail to go straight to the vhf, no joins required :).

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An interesting thread. I repair and do installs for boats when in Marsden Cove and water in the coax is a very common problem, here's a trick to stop it. Leave enough coax at the top of the mast to put a couple of loops in it then connect to your SO259 connector 1/2 wave antenna. If water does get in (sounds like a tooth paste add!), it won't run the full lenght of the coax. Even better, cut the coax and add a SO259 joiner with 2 PL259 plugs about a metre from the antenna in a loop with the joiner at the bottom. Now its easy to replace the water logged coax and water can not get into the rest. Sealing is the trick however. After soldering a plug on, crimp or both, paint nail varnish anywhere where moisture can get in. Screw the plug onto the antenna base and use a liquid sealing rubber paint but I have had excellent success with a product called leakseal from a company called rust-o-lean, comes in a spray can. Spray the plugs and coax as UV eats RG59 after a few years although the shakespear coax seems to survive the best.

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Just a foot note..my own personal experience is that radio use when at sea is minimal (when healing over on the rare occasions the wind is not on the nose!) compared to under power approaching or leaving port. Mast mounted antennas are usually a 1/2 wave or small 1/4 wave which have no "gain" (most of the energy goes up into space) which is ideal when healed over but for distance, not that good. A base loaded 5/8 mounted on a transom will generally out do a "unity gain" antenna, is easy to get to for maintenance and the lower height isnt an issue.

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Our antena sits inside clipped on the cieling, works good in the harbour. We bring it outside and tempoaraily tape it onto the side stay if we go further out to sea. One day we might have IAS if it can plot to a cheap tablet or mobile phone somehow.

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