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[TowerTalk] Now--- What is the Best Wire for Radials

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Now--- What is the Best Wire for Radials
From: (Tom Rauch)
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 06:15:47 +0000
To: <>
> Date:          Wed, 22 Apr 1998 21:15:19 -0500

> In your opinion, what is the best choice for the wire to be used
> as radials for a vertical antenna.
> (a). Where the radials will be buried.
> (b). Where the radials will lie on the surface of the ground.
> (c). Where the radials will be elevated (6" or more) above the
> surface of the ground.

Hi Tod,

My answer to all three is bare tinned copper buss wire. It's easy to 
solder, cheap, and rugged. Size, at least according to real-world 
field strength measurements from many sources, is almost 
totally unimportant except for reliablility.

I pay just over 2 cents a foot for buss wire (in 5000 ft single 
piece lengths on a reel), so it costs less than most troublesome 

By the way, I just made ANOTHER series of measurements on radials. 
These are actual field strength measurements taken at various 
distances with a 1/4 wl vertical in a clear flat open pasture, and 
also compared that antenna on the air with other antennas.

Four elevated radials were down ~1 dB from sixteen BARE wires 
stapled to the earth, and 60 radials were about 4-5 dB better in all 

The same results appeared in over the air tests, where listeners 
reported the four radial vertical 5-10 dB down from other antennas. 
When 60 radials were added, the difference disappeared.

Base impedance had little to do with ultimate performance, the 
POOREST system was with coil loaded 1/8 wl radials (-7 dB from 60 
radials) . It also had the lowest base resistance.(several ohms lower 
than 60 radials!!).

73, Tom W8JI

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