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Old 10-22-2008, 06:07 PM   #1
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Note that I have no interest in this product or their website - this is just of interest to all cruisers.

SSB Antenna that “floats” inside a Halyard.

From their WEBSITE:
  • This amazing Antenna has 1.2 DB Gain compared to a perfectly installed backstay antenna (and even greater gain over most, not so perfectly balanced, Back stays). Why risk altering your backstay when all you have to do is to install a RopeAntenna at a fraction of the price for twice the performance
  • No worries about touching it when using the Radio it is insulated.
  • Perfect for Catamarans (as they have no backstays)
  • The Antenna is sized to suit SSB use, rather than the length that your back stay happens to be.
  • The actual Antenna is insulated its whole length and “floats” inside the Halyard thereby keeping a constant length and is unaffected by mast movements.
See the full description and installation procedure on their website: HERE
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:19 PM   #2
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I've never liked the idea of using the backstay and we had intended to run an antenna on a halyard similar to this product as we have mast height to do so.

I always thought the reason folks used their backstay was because they were seeking the longest antenna they could get and the backstay provided the longest length for the boat. Clearly, the bigger the boat, the more options one has for antenna.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:41 AM   #3
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What were they thinking ?

"Own one for emergency use - if your mast or antenna comes down (heaven forbid) and your backstay is gone, deploy the RopeAntenna to call for help, and be amazed (and thankful) that it works even better that your dearly departed backstay as it an be used effectively strung along the deck." (was that how 'sky hooks' were invented ?)

The best reason for a halyard antenna is having a length that will resonate with the HF frequency that will be used for communicating with other boats, maritime nets, email providers etc.

Backstay antennas are generally less efficient for a number of reasons including the following :-

# 1 Often cut to an arbitrary length.

# 2 Usually not long enough.

# 3 Because the backstay is furthest from the mast - the angle to horizontal is such that the radio wave is neither horizontally nor vertically polarized. There again the further an antenna is from the mast the better - less shielding by the mast..

# 4 The backstay's stainless steel section between the ceramic insulators, although of a greater diameter than is needed for effeciency is not comparable to that of tinned copper hard drawn wire.

If one is looking for a halyard antenna as a back up, then make one or more up - easy enough, cut some wire to the frequencies required - form a small eye at the top end attach 1/4 nylon line, feed it to a pulley somewhere high on the mast, the bottom end attach to insulated copper wire (part of the frequency length) send this to the radio or tuner.

As an alternative to backstay and halyard antennas, go for a vertical whip antenna

(eg : Shakespeare)
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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Another emergency alternative is to make a dipole tuned to whatever band you would use. The advantage of this is it is balanced and does not need a counterpoise or ground and can be connected directly to the HF transceiver, bypassing the (inconveniently located) tuner connection post. In the case of a dismasting , this can be run fore and aft above deck away from grounded lifelines.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
If one is looking for a halyard antenna as a back up, then make one or more up - easy enough, cut some wire to the frequencies required - form a small eye at the top end attach 1/4 nylon line, feed it to a pulley somewhere high on the mast, the bottom end attach to insulated copper wire (part of the frequency length) send this to the radio or tuner.
OK, what are you talking about in "part of the frequency length" here? Please very clearly state what you're up to here. I'm quite interested as we assumed that we'd put up an "insulated wire" cut to 1/4 wavelength but would NOT count the feed line as part of the frequency length.

????

By the way--what kind of HF antenna or antennae to you have on your boat? I expect a backstay isn't in the offing

Fair winds
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