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hanschristian.org • View topic - SSB installation

SSB installation

Moderators: warmrain, mimoza

SSB installation

Postby jaime365 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:29 pm

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Ground planes were an option on the HC33T

Postby warmrain » Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:40 pm

It just amounts to a braided copper ground strap coming from the ballast, not a grid of copper screen in the hull. It is not very effective. What we did was tie all the stainless tank tops together with 3" wide copper strap and running that to the radio and especially to the tuner. Back in the days of AT&T HiSeas radio service we were told we had a very strong signal.

We also tied in the "ground plane" that HC supplied, why not...

We attached to the tanks by removing one of the lid bolts, punching a hole in the copper strap and using a fender washer to reattach the bolt and hold the copper to the tank lid.
Yacht "Warmrain" 1986 HC33T #123
Built by Hansa Yacht und Schiffbau G.M.B.H. Taichung Taiwan by Herb Guttler (last Hansa hull was #131, built 1987)

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More answers for SSB ground plane installation

Postby warmrain » Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:30 pm

Yacht "Warmrain" 1986 HC33T #123
Built by Hansa Yacht und Schiffbau G.M.B.H. Taichung Taiwan by Herb Guttler (last Hansa hull was #131, built 1987)

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Postby johnrobinson » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:09 pm

Steve; I'm curious . . . the ground to the iron in the keel that you commented on . . . what does it look like and where is it exposed. I have a 4" wide thin copper plate (thicker than the copper foil) that emerges from the hull fiberglas in the lower section of an aft hanging locker and is just cut off there . . . might this be the ground you spoke of ??

Regards, John Robinson, s/v Crossings
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Postby warmrain » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:32 pm

John,

It would help to know the vintage of your HC and which model. I cannot speak for all HCs as they were built in different yards...

On the original Hansa built HC33Ts there is a one inch tinned copper ground strap braid that comes out ofthe hull (if you have the ground plane option) at the forward end of the the starboard settee. At that end of the settee, inside the storage area, there is a box with a plywood cover. That box covers the ducts that run wire from the starboard side of the yacht to the port side. Inside that box is where the optional ground strap exits the hull.

What you describe sounds like the same thing, the ground plane connection point only thing is yours is done the preferred way with thin copper plate.

You should find a way to extend this plate with similar material to the tuner and optional to the radio. The tuner is a must, the radio is nice to have too. I could run 3" copper foil (really thick foil) to the tuner but I could not find a way to the radio and ended up using a ground strap for that... KMI in the SF Bay area (when they existed) always commented on my strong and clear signal from the Seattle area with my old Icom IC-M700 150 SSB.
Yacht "Warmrain" 1986 HC33T #123
Built by Hansa Yacht und Schiffbau G.M.B.H. Taichung Taiwan by Herb Guttler (last Hansa hull was #131, built 1987)

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Ground Plane

Postby johnrobinson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:52 pm

Steve;
I have an '86 43T . . . the thin copper plate comes out of the fiberglas in the small space under the floor of the hanging locker in the starboard aft cabin (now my bosuns locker.) Would connecting this to the antenna tuner with 3" foil be sufficient or do you think I need to tie in the tanks as well . . . the fuel tanks which are in the after cabins would be easy . . . the water tanks forward are more work. Another question, when you installed the foil did you attach it to the hull as you ran it and if so how . . . regards, John Robinson, s/v Crossings
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Postby warmrain » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:06 pm

It all depends... (my favorite accurate answer)...

If it is like the HC33T (a cheap and insufficient solution IMHO) then yes, you need to add some meaningful below water-line (not IN the water) surface area to the ground plane. If, however the builder did it right, and by this I mean the yard not HC - they contracted the work, then you probably have what you need now.

On the HC33T we have fiberglass tanks that are integral to the hull (actuall keel, she is essentially double bottomed) andso we tied the ground plane in such.

Removed one of the many through bolted fasteners that held the tank top to the tank flange in a boiler plate configuration and then ran the copper over the top of the hole, thru punched it and capped it with a fender washer.

You may not need to do this if you have a ground plane that is properly installed (e.g. a heavy copper screen glassed into the hull near or below the water line, preferrably complety around the waterline).

You can leave the tanks out and add them in later. Use a convenient tank to make a connetction point and you can radiate out from there later if required. The same applies for stainless tanks suspended in the keel "void" as long as you find a non-distructive way to attach the copper.
Yacht "Warmrain" 1986 HC33T #123
Built by Hansa Yacht und Schiffbau G.M.B.H. Taichung Taiwan by Herb Guttler (last Hansa hull was #131, built 1987)

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P.S. Attaching Tanks to the ground plane.

Postby warmrain » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:10 pm

So... Yes, take that copper to the tuner! Then, if you can take the copper (or in a pinch ground strap) to the radio. Then if you need more take a connection point to the tanks.

Important to remember that in this case it is SURFACE area not GAUGE of wire that is important. This is why the copper ground strap to the iron keel in the 33 is not ideal and why the 3 or 4" copper is so effective (as are the tank tops). And also why the light copper screen in the hull is so effective.
Yacht "Warmrain" 1986 HC33T #123
Built by Hansa Yacht und Schiffbau G.M.B.H. Taichung Taiwan by Herb Guttler (last Hansa hull was #131, built 1987)

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Postby sv_bruadair » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:17 pm

Steve, I have a couple of questions. My current counterpoise installation is the 'dynaplate' located under the aft cabin berth. 3" copper foil is run to the tuner as well as to the radio. I get reports of good signal strength, but have always wanted to reach further. So today I bought an additional 25' of copper foil to take back with me tomorrow when I return to the boat. I intend to tie in the tank tops and the keel strap if I have one.

So here are my questions. When you tied in the tank tops did you remove the bonding wire to keep the two grounds isolated (rf ground and bonding ground)? What were your thoughts on doing or not doing this. I'm leaning towards removing the bonding wire to keep the two systems isolated but have not made up my mind yet.

Another question. Have you considered attaching the copper strap to the copper water pipe that runs through out the boat for additional surface area? Your thoughts on doing this? do you know if the copper water pipes are bonded?

Thanks Steve
Damon and David
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1984 HC33 #58
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www.sv-bruadair.blogspot.com

Out cruising somewhere in Colombia or Panama
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Postby warmrain » Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:18 am

On Warmrain neither the tank tops nor the water pipes are bonded...

I ran the 3" copper tape back from the tuner (mounted to the outside of the bulkhead (laz. side) that defines the foot of the aft cabin - and thus close to the antenna) forward while picking up all the tank tops (and water pipes) and then to the transceiver.

To mount to the tanks I removed a bolt and punched a clean hole in the copper and laid it across the tank top, and with a fender washer, replaced the bolt (I may have ad to use a longer one...?).

For the copper pipes I wrapped the tape around the pair (where they were very close together) and then punch two holes close to where the main body of the tape ran from the pipes. I was then able to place cable ties through those holes and around the pipes, thus holding the pipes together and the copper tape to the pipes. This strap runs over to the tank top and is connected under the fender washer of the "main" run of tape from the tuner to the radio.

I'm not sure about separating the bonding from the counterpoise... I don't know if there is a reason to, or not to... Though if it were connected, it would just add more below waterline metal (e.g. through hulls).

The dyna plate has a lot of surface area in terms of material, but it is not spread over a great area (as would be a copper mesh glassed into the hull). You may see a significant improvement by adding the tanks, etc.

I intend to add a "keel cooled" refer and one option is to have the keel cooler inside a dynaplate. I intend to do this and add it to the counterpoise...

I hope this helps.

Best, Cars
Yacht "Warmrain" 1986 HC33T #123
Built by Hansa Yacht und Schiffbau G.M.B.H. Taichung Taiwan by Herb Guttler (last Hansa hull was #131, built 1987)

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Postby sv_bruadair » Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:26 am

Thanks Steve. Sounds like my plan is very simular with what you have done. My thinking in keeping the rf ground and bonding ground seperate has to do with potential lightening damage. Our friends on Revid were anchored about 100 feet away from us last month and though they didn't get a direct lightening strike they did get residual damage from a lightening strike that hit water close to them (and thankfully we didn't). Their bonding system and rf ground were seperated. Everything that was located underwater suffered severe damage, including the tuner, depth sounder (transducer), keel cooled refrigerator and so on. Had the bonding system been tied in with the rf ground I'm wondering if there would have been more damage. All his through hulls were plastic so were not included in the bonding ground.

So I'm wondering if it would make a difference having the two grounds connected or not. I will more than likely disconnect the bonding wires from the tanks. And adding the copper tubing seems like a great idea.

thanks again.
Damon and David
s/v Bruadair
1984 HC33 #58
www.bruadair.us
www.sv-bruadair.blogspot.com

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Postby warmrain » Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:12 am

The lightening issue is understood, not much of a factor here...

I'm certain out tank lids are not bonded. I wonder if that was a production change or something a previous owner did...
Yacht "Warmrain" 1986 HC33T #123
Built by Hansa Yacht und Schiffbau G.M.B.H. Taichung Taiwan by Herb Guttler (last Hansa hull was #131, built 1987)

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Postby sv_bruadair » Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:19 am

Off the top of my head I can't recall if my tank tops are in fact bonded, I'm just assuming that they were. I'll be back on Bruadair by Friday night so will have to check.

As a side note on ground planes I thought I would share what my friend on Griffin does. It's actually quite simple. Hal's tuner is located in his lazarette by the lid (but protected from spray). He has a 12 foot piece of 3" wide copper foil attached to his tuner, neatly rolled up. When he is at anchor he unrolls the copper foil attaches a dive weight to the unconnected end and tosses it in the water. He is ablel to close his lazarette door and the foil is not in the way at all. That's his ground plane. Very simple. And I should add that he has one of the best signals I hear on the NW Caribbean Net. When Hal's in the Rio Dulce (as he is now) he is usually the only boater we can hear from the Rio when we're in Honduras. When he's underway he rolls it back up and stows it.

Now I don't know what he does when he's underway, if he deploys it or not, but for being at anchor it really works great on for his system. He has an Icom 706MKIIG. Sometimes the simplest solutions produce great results. If I had some extra copper foil I wouldn't mind keeping my counterpoise in place while at the same time mimicing his idea.

I have thought about running a piece of copper foil from the tuner located in the cockpit locker to one of the bolts on a stanchon in the cockpit, attaching it from under the toe rail. I've hear some people having great results tying in their life lines. But then this might be over kill. We actually get out very good with lots of people commenting on our transmissions so I probably won't do this. I think tying in the tank tops will give me that extra punch I'm looking for.

Thanks for the comments Steve, as always it's much appreciated.
Damon and David
s/v Bruadair
1984 HC33 #58
www.bruadair.us
www.sv-bruadair.blogspot.com

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Tuner Location

Postby mitchk » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:28 pm

On Camino our tuner is mounted on one of the removable shelf boards directly under the helm seat. If I open the helm seat I am looking straight down at the top of the tuner, I have been trying to decide where to mount the tuner? any suggestions would be appreciated.
Mitch and Deb Karlson
SV Camino
1986 HC33T #104
Seabrook, Texas
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Postby warmrain » Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:03 pm

We put ours at the Nav station. We wanted to save some of the upper shelf for navigation related books that are too tall for the shelf over the starboard sette... Also you'll see the radar there. As much as people tell you that it is too confusing to not have it oriented in the direction of travel, I find that to not be true. Also since I never single hand, it has never been a big deal to go to the nav station to take a look...
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