DIY VHF Marine Radio Antenna




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Shane Kennedy: RG-58 is 50ohm. RG59 is 75. No tuning required on a half-wave antenna. If it is less than half wave, then yes. If you have a broken fibreglass.(not carbon) fishing rod, a hollow section of that is much better than PVC. I don't believe that running the screen parallel to the upper element is right though ! I have built a composite aeroplane, where the antenna consists of two strips of copper in-line in the vertical fin, with the cable connected in between them, core to the upper element, and the screen/return to the lower one. There is no positive or negative !
 If you slip some close fitting copper tube or work the braid down over the cable for the lower (same length) element, you can make an effective dipole. A balun (ferrite bead) or two, close to the separation point makes a big difference too. If you do that on a dipole, it would need to be around the cable, not the folded back screen or copper tube. A tube for the upper element makes for slightly better performance at the upper and lower ends of the frequency band.

Dustin Apple: hey Doug.....getting my boat together and getting my GPS and VHF hooked up. I'm stumped do I need to tune my antenna on my radio like I would a CB? can I use any swr meter? antenna isn't tunable but of course coaxial cable length is what I'm concerned with. all I got from Shakespeare is keep it longer than 3'.

Mike Peirson: Great video, really interesting

Sean Ingram: Just curious.  Isn't the Coax center conductor supposed to be stranded for Marine radios, instead of the solid center conductor? :)

Paul Johnson: Well, it will work nicely on two metres - which is what you cut yours to, not Marine band! 19 ½" is the right length for the lower frequency band the hams use. Too much wrong info in this topic too. The person who suggested rolling back the braid onto the outer sheath is creating a sleeve dipole, and that's probably the neatest. It has 0dB gain. It is a dipole. Dipoles have no gain - because gain is always measured by improvement over ..... a dipole. The simplest antenna that can be reliably created and made to work. The comments on the correct way to put on a PL-259 connector are right, with certain connectors. It's a dreadful RF connector really, just popular. If you can attach one so it's electrically sound, and has no bits of braid shorting out, they work. What lets them down often is the mechanical issues when the cables get wiggled and vibrated. RG-58, or at least proper RG-58 without the foil screen (used because it's cheap!) is ok for modest runs at VHF. If you want a base station antenna with longer cable lengths than say 30 feet, then spending money on thicker decent cable will preserve what the antenna collects, and deliver it to the radio. If the antenna has no gain, losing any down the cable is bad! Just cut it to the right length - about 17 ½"

optheatre: Hi, thanks for this video! I made one and it works somuch better than the manufactured one I was using. It did cost me a little more though as the cable wasn't cheap.

One question I have I don't know if you can help me with though. I'm using the antenna on land. Which is better? To use an antenna outside where it exposed or put it inside a roof space which is higher up but enclosed? Thanks

dbldvr navyvet: Need to solder the shield or what he calls braiding as well. that pl259 if it works at all won't work for long. very unprofessional install

boashna: nice

Maxid1: At 8:53 PVC of the devil.

Tim Rochford: Thats an SO239 .

Stuart Duncan: Enjoyed that a lot.Always great to see husband and wife teams.

Sean Ingram: The connector on the back of the radio is a SO-239 Connector.  The connector on the coax is called a PL-259.

Jack Everett: You did not mention flux, what you have there looks like plumbing flux, Your should with tHat size tip heat the connector tip and the copper wire at the same time, then apply solder  with flux core,,, "electronic" type solder. Look up proper soldering techniques, military soldering instruction.  Also the shield should be folded over the ferrule piece that screws in to insure contact or as others suggested solder it. What you have is foil shielded with drain, not braid. As some one else suggested, get the correct cable RG58U that is a braid. This will also give you much more wire for the ground side and terminate in the connector better.  The 2 sides should be matched in length or the center length adjusted for frequency.  the feed should come in at the split.  But for emergency this will at least let you receive and possibly trans a short distance

NICOLAS79: cool video .

Gordon Foster: It needs an RF choke on the bottom end to stop common mode currents flowing back to the transceiver.  9 turns on RG58 about one inch dia should do it.

Steve Wright: Hey buddy, good on ya teaching people stuff!  Suggestions - solder the braid inside the plug, or else it will corrode up pretty quick and it will be hard to diagnose that fault.  Any ol coax from the junkbox will be perfectly fine, and some of the 75ohm cabletv coax is actually a really high quality item!  Try also to use flexible inner instead of solid, coz it will snap off inside the plug etc.  Keep the vids coming! :)

tom7601: The cable plug a PL-259. The mating socket is an SO-239... :)

Shannon Duffy: Hi there it be interesting on learning to build a uhf antenna with simular stuff. How would i be able to do it?

Mr. Midshipman: LOL, I like those 99 cent serrated "Harbor Freight" scissors you got there.

Shannon Duffy: thats cool i got a 1 meter 10cm pvc pipe a 15mm and some coax cable will try and let you know how i went

Schools: Learn how to get phlebotomy training in California! The job pays decent money for the amount of schools needed to graduate.
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DIY VHF Marine Radio Antenna 5 out of 5

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DIY VHF Marine Radio Antenna