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TOPIC: VHF radio and antenna install...finally

VHF radio and antenna install...finally 16 Aug 2017 19:42 #1

  • Nickdixon
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Just went out to the boat to size openings, assess access, etc. and I have a couple of questions.

First, I have a Shakespeare Galaxy 5400XT 4 foot antenna and it came with 15 feet of coax. I really only need about 5 feet. Any implications in terms of losses, mismatches, etc?

My radio is a Standard Horizon GX1700, so...

Second, although obviously I could splice wire onto the positive and negative power leads provided and go all the way to the battery or battery switch, could I use...should I use, the aux switch block? Or an empty spot on the fuse block but I'm not sure what is positive and what is negative (yeah I can measure, but thought someone might know). I'm attaching pics of both. Apologies for poor focus on the fuse block

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Bayliner 195 Bowrider 2013 4.3l 220hp MPI
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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 16 Aug 2017 20:55 #2

  • diveguy
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With regards the antenna wire it would not hurt just to neatly coil the access. You could also buy a new marine grade coax connector and make a shorter run from the antenna to the vhf.

You can wire the positive(red) to an empty spot on that fuse block but I don't see where the grounds are located. Do you have a separate terminal strip elsewhere for the grounds?
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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 16 Aug 2017 21:26 #3

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diveguy wrote: With regards the antenna wire it would not hurt just to neatly coil the access. You could also buy a new marine grade coax connector and make a shorter run from the antenna to the vhf.

You can wire the positive(red) to an empty spot on that fuse block but I don't see where the grounds are located. Do you have a separate terminal strip elsewhere for the grounds?


I don't see a ground strip. Gotta be one, though. As far as coax goes, I have to solder the connector anyway, so may as well cut it.

Thanks!

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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 16 Aug 2017 21:39 #4

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When it comes to 12v systems the shorter the run the better. You should be able to trace ground wires from other components to find where they go. Keep us posted.

A better pic of that fuse block may be helpful as well but there doesn't appear to be any grounds attached to it.

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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 17 Aug 2017 00:23 #5

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Will keep you posted

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Bayliner 195 Bowrider 2013 4.3l 220hp MPI
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2012 Toyota Highlander V6 4wd with tow package
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MMSI: 338234042


Beware the men of measured merriment
(Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith, paraphrased)
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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 19 Aug 2017 16:26 #6

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Some progress.

1. Radio mounted with mike holder...not much room at all on my little 195 dash, but I managed.

2. That fuse block does have a common negative terminal but you've got to be a monkey to see it. So power connections will be no problem.

3. Antenna mounted. Need to drill a hole for the coax and then solder the connection to the radio, dress up wires and should be done. Need to get MMSI number and enter in, as well.

4. Will take and send pics later today.

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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 19 Aug 2017 18:34 #7

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Some pics of progress to now. Functional but need to dress some cable up.

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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 19 Aug 2017 22:08 #8

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Looks good. We'll done!
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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 19 Aug 2017 22:37 #9

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Thanks, diveguy. Cables tied off and MMSI enabled. Ready to go!

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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 20 Aug 2017 22:23 #10

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It's a bit late now, but I would have gone with the factory connection from the antenna. it would have been well sealed and warrantied, which it now won't be. 15 feet of cable would diminish your power by a very small factor. It's not until you start getting into much longer lengths, like those required to reach an antenna mounted on top off a sailboat mast that drop your signal significantly.

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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 20 Aug 2017 23:22 #11

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bhawes wrote: It's a bit late now, but I would have gone with the factory connection from the antenna. it would have been well sealed and warrantied, which it now won't be. 15 feet of cable would diminish your power by a very small factor. It's not until you start getting into much longer lengths, like those required to reach an antenna mounted on top off a sailboat mast that drop your signal significantly.


The factory delivered cable/antenna had no connector, just the kit, which I used. I'm sure it won't last long but I've done a lot of them, so I don't mind that. The problem I may have is abrasion at the site where I led the coax into a compartment (which has never been watertight). A grommet would have helped, but none that I had was thick enough. I will find one before the inevitable connector failure.and it will be easy to put in when I replace the connector.

I'll get a radio check from a nearby CG station in a couple of weeks and let everyone know if I have a problem. Receive mode works well for weather stations...much better than my handheld.

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VHF radio and antenna install...finally 10 Sep 2017 18:51 #12

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Used this clamshell thing from West Marine to protect the compartment below and eliminate abrasion on the cable. Easy to install but it's a bit bulky.

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Bayliner 195 Bowrider 2013 4.3l 220hp MPI
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2012 Toyota Highlander V6 4wd with tow package
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MMSI: 338234042


Beware the men of measured merriment
(Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith, paraphrased)
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