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Glomex Ground Plates improve antenna performance

by Martin Flory Group 17 Oct 2019 01:17 PDT

A ground plate is a necessary bonding interface between onboard electronics, generators and the water to ensure electrical continuity. It improves the transmission and reception performance of the vessel's communication devices by reducing radio-frequency interference. High-quality Sintered Bronze Ground Plates from Glomex, the leading global manufacturer of commercial and recreational marine antennas, deliver 15% more surface area than the competition—up to 5.75sq m.

Glomex Sintered Bronze Ground Plates consist of fused microspheres that create a surface more than 10 times its actual size. This not only provides increased strength but also superior antenna performance.

Available in round or rectangular models, Sintered Bronze Ground Plates have an exclusive edge shape that resists fouling and limits drag. Bronze hex nuts and bolts made of the same material as the plates are included, along with plastic spacers. Glomex offers six sizes, 55mm and 128mm round, and lengths from 155mm to 455mm.

On a powerboat, Glomex Sintered Bronze Ground Plates should be installed on the aft third of the hull, close to the centerline. On a sailboat, the ideal location is between the keel and rudder. For both vessels, the area should be as flat as possible; any gap over 3mm should be avoided. Mounting on the transom isn't recommended nor is immediately forward of a knotmeter or transducer due to the slight turbulence created by the plate.

Installing a ground plate is straightforward, two-person DIY job. After ensuring the mounting location offers unobstructed access inside the hull, the device is used as a drilling template. Technical drawings are included for precise dimensions and hole sizes.

Once the area is clean and dry, a bead of underwater caulking sealant is applied to the inside of the hull around and in each hole. Ensure the sealant doesn't coat the back of the plate. The hex nut and plastic spacer of the bolts are then tightened by hand—do not overtighten.

Finally, the electrical ground connection is made by connecting #8 gauge minimum size stranded copper wire with a ring terminal to one of the bolts, securing with the included bronze nut. Use a wire equal in size to the negative battery cable to connect the negative post of the battery to the ground plate.

To connect the plate to a copper band, a 50mm minimum size copper band should be used. The best performance is obtained by going straight to the radio antenna coupler.

Maintaining ground plates is easy. Barnacles and marine life won't attach themselves to the metal, so they only need to be cleaned with bleach and a stiff brush, and never be painted.

For more information contact Glomex s.r.l. at Tel: +39 0544500377. Email: or visit

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