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Old 25 July 2016, 03:46   #1
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Vhf antenna replaced

Morning all,*

Looking for opinions particularly from Menai/Anglesey mob.

I replaced my broken Glomex antenna with a Metz whip as suggested on here.

So I did a couple of radio checks with Holyhead coastguard this past weekend. From in the strait (just off Ty Calch) and on full power the response was “broken and barely readable”. I tried again by the outer mark off Caernarfon Bar and the response was “good, readable”. Now I never used to routinely do radio checks before so I don’t know if this is ‘normal’, but I can’t help feeling it isn’t.

The Metz has a plug connecting it to the cable whereas the Glomex was ‘hardwired’ to the end of the cable. The Metz is also considerably shorter than the Glomex, but with it’s mount etc, the tip *is probably only 50cm or so below where the tip of the Glomex would be.

Thoughts?
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Old 25 July 2016, 03:51   #2
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Did you solder the cable connectors?
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Old 25 July 2016, 04:11   #3
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I tried, totalled a plug, then got someone else who knows what they're doing to do it for me.
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Old 25 July 2016, 04:17   #4
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Mine wasn't the best until it was soldered up at both ends...

I do find though with VHF its so patchy regardless of antenna or unit - I have been sat next to people who haven't picked things up but i have - and then drift a little further and its opposite.

Let me know how you get on Dan.
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Old 25 July 2016, 05:30   #5
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Just a few thoughts, did you check the gain of your new antenna against the old one to have a valid comparison, 5ft above the water is a bad height for an antenna - if it's in this range try and get it higher, connections must be good - check the installation with an SWR meter - one designed for CB radio will be fairly inexpensive and, contrary to popular myth, will work well enough.
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Old 25 July 2016, 08:17   #6
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Tbh, I didn't check the gain. Looking at the Glomex website it seems most are 3db except really long ones. 3db is what the Metz is. The base of the Ariel is about 6ft off the water . Which puts the tip at 9 or 10. Can't really get it much higher without installing a mast!
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Old 25 July 2016, 09:23   #7
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Keep in mind, with a higher dBi, it flattens the TX wave out which can make it difficult for clear communications in rough seas. Your receive will be amazing thanks to the longer radiating whip, but RX and TX are two different animals.

The Metz has a more "donut like" pattern. Yes, there's more wasted power heading both up and down, but it'll make it easier to communicate with a SAR Helo or in rough seas.
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Old 05 January 2017, 04:24   #8
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Dan - Did you ever get to the bottom of this? Mine seems to be losing performance recently?
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Old 05 January 2017, 07:50   #9
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I didn't tbh mate. It seems to work OK out over the bar but in the strait it's poor. Holyhead CG says I'm weak but readable in the strait but I've had a couple of occasions when they haven't responded to my test.

Not sure what I'm going to do next tbh.
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Old 05 January 2017, 08:10   #10
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I have had issues where i am in line of sight and my hand held is getting it loud and clear and my fixed unit is barely readable - my issue seems to be Rx - I dont do that much chattering so not 100% sure on Tx - but I haven't had any complaints.

I have spoken to Navico about my unit, and also Salty John about the Metz - They have both given me things to try and test but I still am not much better either.

Salty John is sending me some other bits to try, failing that I will try a new cable and plugs (£20), and if that hasn't improved anything then it will be a new antenna (£60+) failing that new VHF(£???)

One thing I did get asked about was LED nav lights, as apparently they can cause issues (when powered on) - I am not posh enough for them though...
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