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Old 12 January 2019, 16:14   #1
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Shakespeare VHF antenna

Looking to prob the wisdom of you folks that tinker with antennas.

I'm wanting to put a pair of these- 5401-XT Galaxy Little Giant„VHF Antenna | Shakespeare Marine Antennas on my RIB, the problem is the cable isn't long enough so ideally I want to replace it all.

Question is, has anyone ever opened up a Shakespeare GRP antenna or thinks this could be done, or are they potted internally at the base or the like? I could put a join in but trying to avoid that.

Original plan was to just put another procomm VHF stainless whip on the boat (as that is what RC use) but the performance is substantially less than some other antennas I've been trying for AIS range.
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Old 12 January 2019, 17:59   #2
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Sorry Paul dont mean to throw you a spin ball. But Ive you thought of Metz Ariels? John at saltyjohn Im sure would make you up a couple to suit your requirements. Cheers
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Old 12 January 2019, 20:53   #3
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Had one before bud, be ideal for this as I would like a proper AIS antenna and VHF one that look the same but they are just too springy, be smashing into my mast light and possibly each other. The last one I had was literally like a spring on the loose.
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Old 12 January 2019, 22:54   #4
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Shakespeare VHF antenna

Im a big fan of Shakespeare antennas. The nice lady I talked to on the phone after I forgot to put my antenna down and drove it into a tree the first day I took my newly refurbished zodiac out a few years ago thought it sounded like a warranty issue and sent me a new one :-).

No idea about the cable but you might call them and ask. hopefully theyll be as helpful to you as me.
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Old 13 January 2019, 04:19   #5
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Here is another option which I have done with my rib. Which was based on the logic if my aerial gets damaged I could easily replace without having to run entire lentgh of new vhf cable through hull.

Fit aerial to a frame and run cable through into a suitable location in the transom / rear of boat, use a good quality end connector of the soldered type and use a type of fixed housing that holds that connector in place attached to suitable point, then run another cable of suitable length from console through hull and connect using other gender connector into the other connector. As long as your using decent quaility connectors then you should have no loss of signal. Using this method yes there is a break in the cable but decent quality stuff should not be a problem and if you damage your aerial you only need replace up to that connector point.
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Old 13 January 2019, 04:34   #6
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That is plan B thanks buddy.

However, you lose 5-10% of performance for every connection (assuming it is a good one), so if I can open the antenna up and go inside I will definitely do that. I'm going to all this effort so may as well rule out another connector if possible.

I've already ordered 20m tinned 96% coax for the job.

I will call Shakespeare UK and see lay of land.
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Old 13 January 2019, 05:12   #7
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I've got two, one on the boat and one broken in the loft somewhere, fitting of cable to the antenna seems pretty well sealed, so I joined mine.

Biggest problem I had was the type of cable, as it comes with RG8X, which I couldn't seem to find tinned in the UK as we appear to be on RG58 which is a bit thinner.
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Old 13 January 2019, 05:17   #8
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Saltyjohn has rgx8 tinned if you need some in UK.

RG58 tinned is fine for a rib.
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Old 13 January 2019, 11:26   #9
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Got a broken (at top ) 5104 in shed ,just been down to check out for you ,this is what i found .............. if you pull the grommet out where the wire enters it reveals quite a large hole , what you can then do is push a loop of cable into the hole and out through the bottom (where the mtg thread is ) ,the loop or cable then allows you to pull the whole internals of the areil out of the fibreglass whip , revealing a wire joint onto what looks like two copper rods (one short and one long ) the joint is heavily protected with inch or so of sturdy heatshrink ,there is no potting in this aerial ,the copper rods are protected by foam ,there was no problem pulling the internals of the aeriel out to rework joint .
i will try and take a picture or two tommorow if you need ,hope this helps !
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Old 13 January 2019, 11:32   #10
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If you need to joint cable and don't want to be messing about with a junction box or PL type connectors, you could use these:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Waterproo...t5Q:rk:28:pf:0

I've used them often and I've even got them buried in the ground without a problem. You can discard the screw terminal connector and make a proper co-ax soldered joint and then simply close the gland nuts.
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