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Old 12 September 2012, 09:43   #1
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Which VHF Antenna

Looking for a replacement VHF antenna as mine is now broken.

The Rib has an a-frame which is where the old antenna was mounted. It was a 1m stainless antenna but I have no idea what make.

The critical factor other than actually working properly is that it has to be either detatchable or have the ability to fold down as the a-frame only just clears the rafters in my garage.


What would people recommend?
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Old 12 September 2012, 13:03   #2
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Pacific make a superb quality removable antenna but their UK distributor is having trouble, they can be imported but shipping is pricey.

Have a look at the Metz, they are excellent too. It does not fold but it can be unscrewed from the frame.
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Old 12 September 2012, 20:08   #3
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I originally had a Rib Raider fitted which I replaced with a Metz which I replaced with a Pacific from Mr Channel as above, all in the space of two years and 70 hours use.

I have not tried the Pac yet as I only recently fitted it, but it is well made. Only thing I would say is check how long your coax needs to be as I had to join mine to the old antenna coax in a damp space under the seat which is far from ideal. I think the coax is 5m long but that is not long enough to reach the console through under-deck trunking on a 5.8m RIB. As it is a captive cable and sealed into the antenna mount you have no choice but to cut the supplied plug off and join it if it won't reach - mine was about 1m short. However it is good quality and easily removable leaving about a 1" projection from the A frame which is supplied with a rain cap to keep the water out when the antenna is off.

Previously the Metz I had performed well except that the stainless mast kept coming loose (it's held in to the antenna base with a compression fitting and an olive, and the mast kept working its way out of the olive even when tightened very tight). When I eventually bit the bullet and tightened it enough to retain it, something turned inside the base and though it looked OK it never worked properly after that. Great antenna performance ruined by a poor mast retention design which isn't up to the banging around it gets on a powerboat. Salty John who I bought it from were very good to deal with as well - first class service as is Channel Ribs.

People knock them but the old RIB Raider I had worked well... until it fell off. Seems to be a feature of boat aerials - if you have a 4x4 you can buy an antenna for 15 that lasts for 10 years but stopping things falling off boats seems to be hard work
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Old 13 September 2012, 05:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Channel Ribs View Post
Pacific make a superb quality removable antenna but their UK distributor is having trouble, they can be imported but shipping is pricey.

Have a look at the Metz, they are excellent too. It does not fold but it can be unscrewed from the frame.
for Pacific
If you find a source just make sure you select the detachable version and appropriate base.
I think they are still called the 'Pro' versions
Pacific LongReach Pro S/Steel Antenna Mount P6159
Pacific LongReach Pro VHF Antenna 2.5m P6122 6dBi

Jeff
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Old 13 September 2012, 05:57   #5
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Pacific are good.
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Old 13 September 2012, 06:14   #6
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If the Metz is a good antenna could you solder the whip bit to the base to stop it working loose
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Old 13 September 2012, 11:16   #7
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As a result of BogMonster's experience Metz now uses a beefier ferrule under the compression nut. We have had one whip loss experience since but on an older antenna; we didn't really have many whip loss experiences before - except for BogMonster. Must be the cold down there, or he goes out in crazy weather!
In 7 years we'd sold 5 whip kits, none in the past two years, and a couple of those went with the antenna as a spare - so whatever the size of the problem we're pretty sure it's zero now. We'll address it again if it should recur.

As for folding the antenna down on a regular basis, the only option with the Metz is to use a standard 1" ratchet mount and the Metz 1" conversion kit.
For end-of-season removal you can remove the antenna by unscrewing the base nut but I think it would be a bit tedious to have to do this every time you put the boat away.
If it's rail mounted, no problem, the rail mount bracket de-mounts without tools.
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Old 14 September 2012, 05:06   #8
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Ah well it's just me then even the replacement mast used to work its way up through the ferrule over the course of a few trips out.

It did perform extremely well until I broke whatever I broke inside over-tightening it, so if they've fixed that problem then I'd definitely recommend it and it looks 'right' on a RIB too. And Salty John is highly recommended for backup even at this considerable distance of half way around the world
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Old 27 May 2013, 08:52   #9
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Hi all. Just to say I've recently replaced my Rib Raider antenna with the Metz from Salty John and the improvement is amazing. Coast stations I'd not heard before all come in all the time now.

Exactly the same setup and location apart from the antenna. I'd question whether it was worth getting anything cheaper, especially for those times when you want your signal to be as strong as possible. Seriously thinking about replacing my AIS antenna with a Metz too now.

Hope this helps

Steve
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Old 27 May 2013, 08:55   #10
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Interesting. Have you got a photo of the mount?
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