Wednesday, August 12, 2009
New VHF & SSB Antennas
When we bought our boat it had the original 15 year old 23' VHF and SSB antennas mounted on the pilothouse roof. When we did an update of the electronics in the winter of '08-'09 we added a second VHF with a Digital Antenna 8dB 6' antenna. On our trip south down the Pacific coast the 23' antennas took a beating and the VHF reception through the 23' antenna degraded greatly to the point that it only received nearby broadcasts. The antenna had obliviously had saltwater intrusion and needed to be replaced. While we were at it I also wanted to replace the matching SSB antenna. Both antennas are Shakespeare brand and 15 years old so I wanted to replace them with the best antennas I could find. After doing some investigation, isn't the internet great, and asking on some forums I decided on Morad brand antennas out of Seattle. Being from the Seattle area I was familiar with Morad, they are made from a distinctive gold anodized aluminum tube and are easily spotted on boats. Most commercial fishing boats in the PNW and Alaska use Morad as does the US Coast Guard.
I contacted Morad directly and after exchanging emails with the owner Ken Holland we decided on the configuration that would best fit our needs and he custom made the antennas with custom milled bases to run the coax out the side and be able to screw into the hinged roof top base. These are not the cheapest antennas on the market but for about 50% more than a Shakespeare they are truly a quality product that is far superior to the cheap fiberglass antennas on the market. Here's what we got -
VHF-156 HD "Hot Rod" HD Style VHF 6dB Gain
9130 WH-23G-UPS SSB Unloaded 23' Whip Antenna, Gold - UPS Shippable
9130 WH-23G-UPS SSB Unloaded 23' Whip Antenna, Gold - UPS Shippable WITHOUT FIBERGLASS TIP
999 8" ALUMINUM ADAPTOR - CUSTOM MADE
1203 RG-213 Coaxial Cable 35'
The 9130 SSB antenna without tip is used as a base for the VHF-156 HD antenna. We haven't been out of the marina since installing the antennas so I haven't been able to give them a good test but I'm very impressed with the initial results.
Link - Morad Electronics