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Speak Easy

by Gordon West, Posted February 19, 2010
Terry Rugg of Santa Barbara, California, asks:"The SSB insulators on my Islander 36 are coming off. Any ideas for a new setup for my straight wire backstay?"Gordon West replies:You have several alternatives. A stern-mounted 18-inch white whip antenna, from either Shakespeare or Digital Antenna, will transmit a good signal down to 12 MHz,

Tracking Cool

by Gordon West, Posted January 19, 2010
Ralph Furman of Newport Beach, California, asks:"I use wireless sensors aboard my Hunter 45DS to monitor temperatures for my refrigerator, freezer, engine compartment, engine-cooling system and air conditioning. My system works fine except for two hours a day when the engine compartment and refrigerator readings go blank. But during the other 22 hours everything is fine.

AIS Anxiety

by Tim Bartlett, Posted December 20, 2009
William Solberg of Los Angeles, California, asks:"You have done a great job keeping us up to date on the new AIS technology, but I’m wondering whether it is better to use a masthead antenna with a splitter or a dedicated antenna mounted aft on the rail. Your suggestions regarding the installation of a secondary dedicated AIS antenna seem to put it on the aft rail or on

Mozart Mumbles

by Gordon West, Posted December 15, 2009
Robert Hall of Stuart, Florida, asks:"My stereo system works perfectly, but at a certain time in the afternoon, when the volume is set low, I can hear an annoying tic-tic-tic sound in the speakers when I’m listening to my classical-music station. When I turn the volume up a little the sound goes away. Someone told me it was because I had a cheap audio system so I went out

Clear Eyes

by Gordon West, Posted October 14, 2009
Robert Miller of Port Isabelle, Texas, asks:"If I don’t bother to clean my radome when it gets covered with dried salt spray, dirt and dust, will that have any effect on the efficiency of my marine radar antenna?" Gordon West replies:It could be significant, which is why you should always keep your radome as clean as possible. Soot, dust,

Clear Channel

by Gordon West, Posted September 20, 2009
Henry Meyer of Chicago, Illinois asks:"I'm thinking about getting a satellite radio receiver so I can download all the marine weather products that are available these days. But I'm curious: Will I have to mount one of those softball-sized antennas above my deck?"Gordon West replies:Before you do anything about mounting the antenna, first

VHF Alarm System

by Gordon West, Posted July 20, 2009
D.B. of Marina del Rey, California, asks:"Not long ago I received a phone call from my dockmaster telling me a loud alarm was coming from my boat. I told him I’d be right down, and to keep an eye on things until I arrived. When I went aboard I found the sound was coming from my RayMarine Ray 240 marine VHF. How could it possibly go into an alert mode after being turned

Wet and Worried

by Gordon West, Posted June 20, 2009
J. Hillier of Sausalito, California, asks:"I bought what I thought was a waterproof handheld VHF radio, but when I dropped it in some water in the bottom of my inflatable it died. It was only in the water for a few seconds before I picked it up, and even though it did work for about two hours it went dead after that. What do those specifications really mean?"

See Dog

by Gordon West, Posted May 20, 2009
Jack Hammond of North Carolina, asks:"Reception was good on my analog TV using a Shakespeare SeaWatch 2025 amplified omni-directional masthead antenna. But I’ve been told the new digital converter box won’t work with this antenna and that I should get a new TV. Is this right?"Gordon West replies:The antenna is fine but make sure the converter

Analog to digital

by Sail Staff, Posted May 19, 2009
"Reception was good on my analog TV using a Shakespeare SeaWatch 2025 amplified omni-directional masthead antenna. But I’ve been told the new digital converter box won’t work with this antenna and that I should get a new TV. Is this right?"-- Jack Hammond, North CarolinaGordon West replies: The antenna is fine but make sure the converter box is on the TV
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