Best Advice on Radio

Locate the Transceiver as far from the engine room and pumps, inverters as possible. Mine is at the forward end of the salon and forward of the mast position and some 3 feet distant from the mast (which is part of the lightning conductor.) The 12V power to the Radio comes from a 32 A-H AGM battery that sits within two feet of the radio and has #6 ga wires from battery to the fuse panel next to the radio. There is a power switch located near the battery to disconnect the radio from power. Adjacent to the fuse panel is a voltmeter and a solar charger. A single 55W Siemens solar panel above the deck keeps the battery charged through a 7 Amp charge controller.

Beneath the radio is a copper strip 4 inches wide that runs straight down to a bronze seacock, only two feet from the radio. This is the RF safety ground for the radio. There is no connection from this seacock to any part of the boats grounding systems. This is simply to keep the radio from getting “hot” due to stray RF currents in transmission.

There is a VSWR meter at the radio (separate from that built into the radio) then a short co-ax to an RF switch that allows me to select the transceiver I am using, and route the RF to the back of the boat where the antennae are located. And another RF switch under the bimini which enables me to direct the RF to various antennae.

The outer part of the co-ax is connected to the Bimini which an aluminum assembly 10 feet by 4 feet, which also mounts 8 Siemens 55W solar panels, 7 of which charge the house and engine batteries, and one charges the isolated navigation battery (radio battery.) This bimini is part of the ground plane of the antennae. The ground plane includes the bimini, copper strap to a seacock (4 feet long) and the sea itself around the base of the antenna.