A reply to an old discussion (mid-March) ...
> with poor reports, running 600 watts. I worked US hams at about 200
> miles with good reports. However, I think that I can lay much of the
> blame for the reports on the fact that I have a single radial, slightly
> shorter than 1/4-wavelength. Once I establish a good mechanical
> connection and a reasonable SWR, I will add radials (aiming for 60) and
I have no personal experience with verticals (aside from engineering at AM
radio stations long ago), but from what I've read elsewhere, even a single
radial is OK *as long as it is not buried* or on/close to the ground.
Elevated above ground, it's a counterpoise, you want it to be a quarter
wavelength long, and you need only one (though having only one might make
the antenna a little directional). But once it's coupled to the ground, the
soil detunes it and ground losses go way up ... unless you've got a lot of
So to improve your signal, you could either run your single radial elevated
above ground, or bury 60 of them.
The nice thing about buried radials, is that they can be shorter (about 0.1
wavelength) and they don't need to be tuned.
Antennaware mailing list