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Author Topic:   Storing Excess Electronic Cables
NWflyfisher posted 05-21-2001 11:57 PM ET (US)   Profile for NWflyfisher  
OK, I'm new boating and Whalers and this is a dumb question.

I have a GPS and VHF on a Montauk...many extra feet of cable from the transducer and antenna left over after installation. Both manufacturer's directions say not to fold, spindle or mutilate. I doubt stuffing them into the tunnel is an accepted practice though I could be wrong. So the question is, how do I store all this excess cable without sacrificing storage space under the console or affecting performance of either unit?

Tom W Clark posted 05-22-2001 12:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
There are, of course, different ways to deal with this. I prefer to coil the excess in even loops and use two or three cable ties to hold the coil together. I usually put the coil close to the equipment being served and tie the coil to something relatively solid in the console. For example, a GPS mounted on top of a Montauk center console might have the coil attached to the steering cable or control cables high up under the console where it won't be seen or snagged by gear being put into or taken out of the console.

Some caution needs to be exercised with the cable ties. It is possible to get them so tight they will crush or impede some cables or tubes. Speedometer hose is the most easily crushed. Yanking the fair lead of the control cables into the bottom of the control can create extra friction too.

jimh posted 05-22-2001 12:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The excess feedline going to a VHF Marine antenna could be cut off and a new connector installed.

If you don't want to do that, coil the excess feedline into a neat coil about 3-inches in diameter. This will actually have a beneficial effect: the coiled feedline will form a small inductance which will suppress the flow of RF current along the outside of the outer conductor of the cable, reducing the flow of antenna currents back along the feedline toward the transmitter.

NWflyfisher posted 05-22-2001 04:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for NWflyfisher    
Tom & Jim,

Thanks for the advice. Careful coiling it is.

kingfish posted 05-22-2001 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Both the VHF and GPS *antenna* wires can be shortened to desired length and new connectors added - either can be soldered connectors or compression connectors, though over the long haul, soldered is certainly going to perform the best the longest. I have successfully done both types of connectors on both types of antennae. (I have been told by a Garmin techie that DGPS antenna cable should not be shortened as it is tuned to be a functioning part of the antenna - I have no hard evidence either way on this one.)

Transducer cable is beyond my ken...


triblet posted 05-22-2001 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Coiling is fine. The down side is that it
takes up a bit of space in the console. My
VHF lead is just about right, but there are
two big coils of GPS and DGPS lead, and I
keep getting tempted to remove them.

I don't like tying them to steering cables
and such. I use tiewraps to make the coil,
and support it with a stainless and rubber
cable camp bolted to the console wall.

The bit about the DGPS lead being tuned does
not compute on a couple of levels:
- At those low frequencies, the wave length
is huge (a couple of thousand feet) so
wire length is insignificant.
- The GARMIN DGPS antennas have an amplifier
built into the base of the antenna so
carefully tuned cable lengths aren't
- If it were true, the Garmin manual would
say so. It doesn't.


kingfish posted 05-22-2001 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Well, then...maybe I can get rid of that coil of DGPS antenna cable taking up space inside *my* console...I sort of wondered about the accuracy of that techie's statement - he was bound and determined to play word games with me, and if I didn't use the exact, precise terminology that he felt was appropriate in my question, he would invariably answer something else. He felt it was my job to make his job easier; I tend to feel the opposite way...


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