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Author Topic:   VHF Antenna placement for CC with Bimini Top
jcswpa posted 04-14-2004 07:45 AM ET (US)   Profile for jcswpa   Send Email to jcswpa  
For a center console (such as 22 dauntless) with a bimini top, where does one put the 8 ft VHF antennna? You cant put it on th center console as the bimini is there. I imagine somewhere near the stern but where do you run the cable?
kgregg posted 04-14-2004 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for kgregg  Send Email to kgregg     
I put 8 ft antenna on stbd rail of my Outrage 19. It is on a swivel mount and lays flat on gunnel when trailering boat. It takes patience to fish cable through to center console but it can be done. Get a fish tape (no, this is not something used to catch fish [grin]). Good luck, Kevin
jcswpa posted 04-14-2004 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jcswpa  Send Email to jcswpa     
I see some posts in the forum suggest a 3 ft which is an option, any pros and cons if operating in a closed bay (chesapeake)
wayne baker posted 04-15-2004 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for wayne baker  Send Email to wayne baker     
"Height is Might" the taller the antenna the further you talk. Look in behind your access ports on the inside of the gunnells. you should find a chase back to the center console and probably some backing on the topside of the gunnell for a flush mount base. I belive my chase on one side was behind the flush mounted fire ext. box.
Steve M posted 04-16-2004 12:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Steve M  Send Email to Steve M     
On a 220 dauntless, the best console mounting option with the factory bimini is up on the grab rails, using an off the shelf rail-style antenna mount. Regardless of height, this solution requires the antenna mount to be installed so as to allow the antenna to be ever so slightly tilted off vertical towards the bow so as to clear the front of the top. The number of alternatives are limitless, but as I have mentioned in a previous post, this is what I chose for my boat. No question that height is important, but I am satisfied with my short antenna that I can fold down (so it is literally pointing into the deck) out of the way when covered. I have the fishing package, which for 2003 meant I have aft and forward side rails. I could see mounting the eight footer to the port side rails, forward of the bimini, and then snaking the coax cable part of the way back to the console mounted radio via the pathway used by the gas tank vent. It would likely have meant a significant amount of cable exposed/routed between the mount, and where it is passed into the vent tunnel. It would require careful planning of how you would want to store and transport the boat. Where would the antenna lay, and what are your restrictions with regard to the bimini. It would be nice to have a connector right after the mount, so that the mount and antenna could easily be removed if needed, but this has to be traded off against the loss of signal by having that extra connector, and the increased level of exposure to corrosion in comparision with the connector interface at a flush mounted radio. A well thought out 3' grab rail mount can makes up for at least three feet over the side rail mounted option by being mounted higher to start with.
duckear posted 04-20-2004 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for duckear  Send Email to duckear     
Steve M
What kind of range do you get with your 3 foot antenna setup?
AQUANUT posted 04-20-2004 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     

this I should know well...TEN a Radioman in the us navy,,,,,5 years as a Microwave technician at a Cable Television company,,,,,3 years as a satellite dish dealer
now I do what I enjoy....I RIG

vhf [very high frequency] is considered line-of-sight communications...effective from you to the horizon..on the ocean on a totaly flat sea condition,,,,,from you to the horizon is approx 15 miles....[due to the curvature of the earth.]although the vhf signal continues beyond the 15 travels in a straight line into the atmosphere...for a short distance..then actually bends and conforms somewhat to the curvature of the earth and terrain.

technically speaking, a full wave antenna...{8' ft} verses a smaller wave [half-wave] 3 or 5 footer will show any noticable difference in range. height is an issue..
but not as critical as one might assume...a difference of a few feet at the transmitter sight can make a difference in the half wave antenna mounted at the same height as the full wave will achieve the same range.

I personally have used vhf to a distance of 150 miles once..
I also via skip in the "F" layer of the ionosphere had comms at distance of 9000 miles using a 25 foot whip antenna in the middle nothing is chisseled in stone..

I personally use a 3 foot on my montauk170

Steve M posted 04-22-2004 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Steve M  Send Email to Steve M     
duckear, not sure. I can communicate with anyone on the same lake as me, but that is only proving a range of 5 miles. I expect to have an opportunity to use the boat by the coast in a couple of months, so I will try to test range then. (It should be easy with DSC) An inland lake is a different environment then the open sea, and may warrant a different antenna choice. For me the benefits of extra range with the eight foot was outweighed by the 3 foot antenna's storage capability.
BEACHPANDA posted 04-25-2004 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for BEACHPANDA  Send Email to BEACHPANDA     
I had to put my 8' on the Starboard Gunnel. I would have like to place it on the upper grab rail of the CC, but couldn't. This was due to just plain physical limitations.

I have a Bimini that extends over the CC. If I were to fish the antenna through the Bimini every time I went out, I 'd have to also take it down, and re-mount it everytime I went under a bridge. Where I am, there are a lot of low lying bridges... 7'-10' clearance depending on the tides.

When I mounted my antenna, I put it just outside the grab rail, so that the Bimini wouldn't interfere with me collapsing and extending the antenna.

Good Luck.


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