Originally Posted by Richard Selman
Martini - what aerial would I be better using?
Richard, mines made in Norway by a company called Comrod
, bulletproof but expensive!
If you're thinking about taking your new one back and replacing it with something else, my advice would be to speak to Malthouse
on here. He's quite knowledgable on antennas and can do you a very good deal on a new one. You might not get a reply for a couple of days though, he's meant to be on a yacht delivery at the mo.
As for the cable, the most suitable would be mini-8 (aka RG8x), very low loss for it's size, RG213 performs better but it's half inch diameter and doesn't like going round corners and through conduits! After much searching the best one I've found is made by Ancor
. It has 96% braid which is better than most and reduces the signal loss. It also has a tinned centre conductor as well as tinned braid which improves corrosion resistance. It's available at various places but I buy all my cable from a US company called Genuinedealz
Moving on to connectors
There's a small UK firm called WH Westlake
that do a good quality PL259 and can supply a reducer to suit the Mini-8 cable. They also do a PL259 that's specifically for mini-8 but don't buy this as it's the screw on type which is no good. Connectors really need to be soldered, if you're going to all the trouble of sourcing the right components, you don't want to spoil it by using screw-ons.
As for the soldering, there's a right way to do it and several wrong ways. Sounds extreme but if you don't feel up to it and don't know anyone who does, you could run the cable, cut to length, then post it with connectors to me. I'm happy to solder them for you FOC. In fact I'm fairly sure I've got some 259's in stock, I'd just charge you what they cost me plus postage back.
Seems like a lot of work for something you may hardly use but IMO apart from your lifejacket, your VHF is probably the most important bit of safety equipment onboard.
A very wise, old engineering tutor once told me "All things are only as strong as their weakest point." Remembering this statement has served me well throughout my career as a steel fabricator as well as many other circumstances!