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4' VHF Antenna Shakesphere or Digital Antenna?

Old 12-25-2017, 08:52 AM
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Default 4' VHF Antenna Shakesphere or Digital Antenna?

The Shakesphere has a cable that goes thru the hardtop while the Digital comes with a connector, at the antenna, not sure if this remains exposed on the hardtop? Also gain appears better on the Digital antenna, models 528/828 or Shakesphere 5400 XT Galaxy Little Giant.

Using ratchet mount, CV driiled a hole on the ratchet base for cable entry to the hardtop legs.

Currently reception appears ok, GPS,AIS Signals received but transmit appears problematic,SH VHF.
Old 12-25-2017, 02:24 PM
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The Digital comes with a mini VHF connector attached to the cable that connects to the radio. There is no exposed connector at the hardtop

The Shakespeare requires you to add the connector to the cable after routing the cable
Old 12-25-2017, 04:25 PM
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The Gam-ss2 4 ft whip is the best I have used. I have owned all three and the gam outperforms the other two significantly.
Old 12-25-2017, 06:06 PM
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On the Digital can the supplied connector be cut off [will not pass thru CV drilled hole in the ratchet mount] and than the cable routed thru the hardtop legs and than resolder a PL259 at the radio?
Old 12-25-2017, 11:19 PM
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Performance wise one is no better than the other. Digital gets the nod because its pretty much plug and play as long as you don't have to cut and splice the cable going to your radio due to any obstructions or limited access. However Shakespeare sells a few different kits to aid in those who need to piece together their VHF kit. I've used it several times and it works like a champ. My only recommendation is to use a marine grade heat shrink over the length of the repair to keep out unwanted moisture as secondary precaution.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/shake...BoCQToQAvD_BwE

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/shake...xoCRdkQAvD_BwE
Old 12-26-2017, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by renagade69 View Post
The Gam-ss2 4 ft whip is the best I have used. I have owned all three and the gam outperforms the other two significantly.
Either this or the Metz Manta 6 which is also a SS setup. GAM makes an adapter kit that either of these antennas can use to fit on a standard ratchet. Cut the existing wire and solder on a new connector and you would be all set.

Before you do this though, have you tested the VHF to make sure it's ok?
Old 12-26-2017, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
...can the supplied connector be cut off...[and] the cable routed thru the hardtop legs and [then] a PL259 [be soldered on the cable] at the radio [end]?
Yes--there is nothing magic about the connector that was pre-installed. If you want it to go away, remove it.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirhc View Post
...Performance [of] one [antenna] is no better than the [performance of] other [antenna]...
There is nothing intrinsic in antenna manufacturing that makes them all come out the same. There are antennas that work well and antennas that do not work well. The difference is in their design and construction.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
On the Digital can the supplied connector be cut off [will not pass thru CV drilled hole in the ratchet mount] and than the cable routed thru the hardtop legs and than resolder a PL259 at the radio?
Yes, but the connector has been designed to be small enough to be pulled without cutting it off in many cases.
Old 12-26-2017, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
On the Digital can the supplied connector be cut off [will not pass thru CV drilled hole in the ratchet mount] and than the cable routed thru the hardtop legs and than resolder a PL259 at the radio?
The connector is really no bigger then the cable. No need to cut it.
Old 01-01-2018, 09:35 AM
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I've owned Digital Antennas for over 15 years. I have seen their quality outshine the Shakespeare antennas on a boat I rigged 15 years ago. The finish outlasted the Shakes 2 to 1. The boat had a Shakes 5225, and a 529 Digital installed on it. Id like to say the reception and transmission is better, but there are too many factors to that claim.
Old 01-01-2018, 10:27 AM
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Went with the Digital, thanks to all that replied, I'll post up the results in a couple weeks.
Old 01-01-2018, 11:40 AM
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Actually either will work just fine, I prefer to install the connector at the radio end, I also prefer the wire end without the micro connector as easier to route and pull though pipe or conduit.

As VHF is basically line of sight any possible differential in gain between the two is not perceptible in actual operation.

Jim

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