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Category Model Model Year Author Date Posted
Electrical MacGregor 25 1983 cooperstownsailor 2018-07-22
Ham Radio Aboard
Ham radio aboard a sailboat can be difficult because of the all fiberglass hull. Good grounding, that is a good electrical connection to the earth, is not easy while sitting in a body of water, especially in my case fresh water. Salt water conducts electricity so a good connection over the side is easier, even trailing a copper wire in the water is better in salt water than on my lake. I used a combination of connecting to the exposed metal parts, hand rails etc and a counterpoise. A counterpoise is a set of wires cut for various frequencies bundled together in a tube and snaked along the side of the cabin, the longest wire about 20 feet. The end is connected to the ground lug of the antenna tuner. This combination together with a dipole hoisted to the mast top worked well enough to finish 16th in the ARRL Field day, a weekend test of radio in the field. Commercial counterpoises are available, but in my case being a ham, I made my own.
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