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[antennaware] Ground characteristics

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Subject: [antennaware] Ground characteristics
From: (Gary Breed)
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 12:29:33 -0500
Maybe there is someone who can answer this question or refer me to reference

As ground conductivity gets "worse," is there a point at which losses
actually become less -- e.g. acting more like an insulator than a lossy

I have operated in several contests on 80 and 160 meters over the past
couple years, using a simple vertical or inverted-L. My counterpoise has
never been anything close to optimum. At various times, I have used two to
eight elevated radials at about six feet height, or up to 16 on-ground

There is not an obvious performance difference between any of the various
radial configurations, and my on-air performance has been highly competitive
compared to other stations in this general part of the U.S., some of which
have broadcast-grade systems, others with very high wire antennas, as well
as the expected lesser systems. In my view, the results (breaking pileups
easily, getting a decent run, working lots of stations while QRP, etc.) are
too consistent to be attributed solely to luck, propagation or operator
skill (yeah, right!).

My ground is this -- zero to a few feet of Georgia's ubiquitous red clay
over granite bedrock. I have several spots of exposed granite, including one
by the tower that is a 100 x 30 foot oval. I am on high ground, but
certainly not a hilltop, just a top point in rolling terrain.

Broadcast archives aren't much help, since they only address groundwave
performance, which is, of course, terrible for ground like mine.

While I am curious, I am also planning my permanent low band antennas and
want to gather as much data as possible before committing to a final design.

Any help out there?

73, Gary

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