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  Proximity Limit to VHF Antenna?

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Author Topic:   Proximity Limit to VHF Antenna?
davej14 posted 07-23-2006 12:08 AM ET (US)   Profile for davej14   Send Email to davej14  
Is there reason for concern about the distance from a VHF antenna? The manual for my Standard Horizon PS1000 VHF radio warns that it should be at least two feet from people to meet FCC limits. This is hard to do on a small center console boat without an extension mast. How much of a real concern is this?
jimh posted 08-01-2006 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Radio frequency (RF) energy is radiating from the antenna. The Federal Communications Commission has established limits for exposure to RF energy. The greatest concern is for possible heating effects. RF energy used to be commonly used as a therapy to provide "deep-heating" (diathermy machines).

These days the entire population of the planet is walking around with a small radio transmitter (cellular telephone transceiver) held next to their eyeballs, and so far the long term effects have not been demonstrated, although, listening to some popular music I am beginning to think there has been a decline already.

The concern is only when transmitting, and for most boaters the amount of time the radio is transmitting is miniscule. There is probably more danger from poking yourself in the eyeball with the tip of the antenna whip, particularly on a center console where a short stainless steel whip antenna is used.

davej14 posted 08-02-2006 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
I can't tell you how many times I was glad I wear glasses!!

Here is the result of adding a 2' SS Shakespeare antenna extension. For a smaller center console boat this works pretty well. I can lower the antenna inside of the bimini when it is stored forward so I do not need to remove the whip to put up the bimini. It is vertical when the bimini is up. I wanted to keep it attached to the center console so it wouldn't interfere with fishing poles on the perimeter. After getting some experience with the new setup I plan to install the GAM antenna as part of next season's projects.

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