SSB ground plane
If you build a new boat and intend to use a SSB for communications its recommended that you build in a ground plane. This involves a certain square footage of copper laminated into the hull. Usually its included in the last layer of the hull layup. The problem becomes when you wish to retrofit a SSB to an existing boat. Trying to find enough area that you can get to and lay out the required copper is very hard.
An interesting fact re ground planes is that receiving on a SSB is not effected by the ground plane, but transmission is. So if you are having transmission problems, the ground plane could be an issue.
This new simple length of tube is a counterpoise. This is a radial counterpoise consisting of varying pre measured lengths of wire. From the KISS-SSB materials; “ Right now the most commonly used tuner is the Icom-AT-140 and if you look on page two you will see the principals used in our KISS-SSB Ground Plane System. The system of using exact pre-measured counterpoise ground radials is even suggested in every Icom, SGC Smart Tuner”
Installing the tubing is simple. The lead is attached to the tuner and the remaining 10 feet of tubing is stretched throughout the boat. There are hundreds of feet of wire of varying lengths stuffed inside the 10ft long hose. You can weave the tube from the Nav station behind cabinets, up to the bow or anywhere convenient.
I cannot vouch for the system but it does make sense and I have seen various reports online of satisfied users. It is easy to install and fairly cheap, especially if you consider the labor of installing the copper ground. If this works then why have we been installing copper ground all this time?
The KISS-SSB counterpoise retails for $145.
Are you confused with SSB grounding on your fiberglass or wooden boat? If you read up on installing a ground plane for your SSB radio you will be confused, seems nobody is agreeing on what is the best.
As seen in the magazines: Cruising World, Lats and Atts, Sail, Lattitude 38, 48 Degrees North.
The KISS-SSB is a self-contained counterpoise radial ground system that is the perfect answer for trouble free Marine SSB communications. This is not anything new, but very rarely used, why we do not know. The word "GROUND" could be the problem it should be "COUNTERPOISE" The system of using exact pre-measured counterpoise ground radials is even suggested in every Icom, SGC Smart Tuner, and Furuno Auto-Tuner manuals. Right now the most commonly used tuner is the Icom-AT-140 and if you look on page two youll see the principals used in our KISS-SSB Ground Plane System. Using the lifelines, engine, tanks and other metal is the most common cause of RF interference and static, and it can upset other electronics.
Plus you do not want your expensive radio gear connected to the water in the case of a lightning strike?
Taken from the Icom AT-140 Manual:
Counterpoise (An excerpt from the Icom AT-140 manual) Here is what they say:
If your ship is made of FRP(fiberglass or wood) , etc. and a good ship’s ground is not easily available, connect a counterpoise.1⁄4ë (quarter wavelength) radial for each band. Install the counterpoise directly below the AT-140s ground terminal. This is taken directly from the Icom AT-140 Manual page 2 !