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Electrolysis Aluminum Boat

Old 07-08-2014, 12:27 PM
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Default Electrolysis Aluminum Boat

;?Installing VHF radio in a friend 16' aluminum boat was thinking on using boat as ground plane in antenna design instead of 2 element type antenna use on glass boats. Looking at his boat I see that all wiring is isolated from boats hull, Is this to protect boat from electrolysis. Maybe I'm way out in left field thinking that I can build 5/8 wave length antenna almost as short as a 1/4 wave length antenna using the boat hull as a ground plane for antenna, some help please.
Old 07-08-2014, 07:25 PM
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Unlike your car, which uses the chassis to connect to the ground, a boat's ground is carried on a separate wire, connected to the negative battery terminal and engine block. I'm not sure about using an aluminum boat hull as part of an antenna.
Old 07-09-2014, 07:25 AM
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Yes the hull of the boat will make an excellent ground plane for the antenna however the connection to it must go through a capacitor to isolate any DC voltages but allow radio frequency signals to go through. If it is not already included in the radio antenna ground, the Capacitor is inexpensive, an 0.1 uF at 500 or more volts would do fine.
Old 07-09-2014, 09:02 AM
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Typically, antenna designs that rely on a ground plane are roof mounted, particularly for VHF and above since height is so important. Where were you thinking of mounting your design?

I think co-linear designs not requiring a ground plane have become the norm for some good reasons.

I have no idea if RF coupled to an aluminum hull would cause stray-current corrosion problems (even with the DC component blocked), either...I've never seen it discussed. Would only be a potential issue when transmitting, obviously.

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