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Grounding for Ham or Marine sideband
|RF (radio frequency) grounding on a Mac can be very challenging. The full glass hull, no metal keel, minimum and poorly grounded engine, no grounding of metal parts on deck make the Mac a real challenge. |
I chose to try an approach that creates as much square footage of copper as possible while not attaching anything to the exterior of the hull.
My Mac 26M has a very dry bilge (or storage area). I chose to line my storage areas (hull side) with copper tape, 1 mil thick. You can buy this stuff from Amazon that is 6 inches wide and comes in 100 foot rolls giving you about 50 sqft of copper ground below water line inside the hull.
Both the total sqft and its capacitive effect with salt water provides for a very adequate ground.
Using a back stay wire antenna, antenna tuner, small amp and Ham radio I have successfully contacted people thousands of miles away with excellent signal reports across the ham bands from 80 meters through 17 meters.
This will work just as well with a marine sideband radio and proper antenna tuner.
Plus, it makes your bilge storage areas a nice shiny copper color!