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Another Method of Installing Radial Wires

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Subject: Another Method of Installing Radial Wires
From: (
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 17:23:10 -0600 (CST)
24 DEC - 1700 CST

I have just returned to this group after an absence of almost three 
months and I see another discussion about radial wires.  Here is another 
variation for installing ground radial wires.

I live in a fairly cold location where the frost line has been known to 
go as deep as 3 or 4 feet before the winter season has expired, and 
trenching or slotting in radial wires is at best a big back ache.

I pin down my radial wires using custom made hair pins about every 18 
inches.  Properly done, one can walk over the wires, even run a lawn 
mower over them right after they are put down.  And after one growing 
season, they are there forever.

These hair pins are fabricated from the wires used to hang a suspended
ceiling grid.  They are long enough and the wire guage is heavy enough
that they can be pushed into the soil - as long as it is not too rocky.
These ceiling grid suspension wires can be purchased in bundles of 500 
or more for a very small cost at a nearby lumberyard or perhaps at one 
of the new super do-it-yourself stores like Home Depot, Menards, etc.

Obtain a small piece of hard wood dowel about 1/2 inch diameter and 
clamp it horizontally in a vise.  It is then very easy to lay three or 
four wires over this dowel and bend them into long "hair pins".  I 
recommend a minimum finished length of 8 inches.  Longer is better 
depending on your soil type.

The best time to install these radial hair pins is right after the frost 
leaves the ground, or after a thorough soaking (all night) of your lawn.

Depending on the depth of the soil freeze in a given season and the 
length of your hair pins, you may have to walk your radials in the very 
early spring and step on the tops of the hair pins as they may pop up a 
fraction of an inch during the winter.  Using 8 inch pins, I have never 
seen them pop up more than 1/2 inch - and after a couple of years, they 
can be removed.

Merry Christmas to all on this reflector!

73 - Dick Isely, WD9GIG

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