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[TowerTalk] Braided Ground Strapping

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Braided Ground Strapping
From: (
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 23:00:58 EDT
In a message dated 6/18/01 6:33:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
    Copper roofing is all the rage for commercial buildings and some high-end
 private residences, so my local scrap metal dealer always has a bunch of
 leftover pieces on hand from the commercial roofers, who sell him all their
 copper roofing scraps. I buy it for $1 a pound, and 5 pounds is a lot of
 copper roofing, in pieces 6"-12" wide and 3 to 4 feet long. Cutting it with
 tin snips works fine, but will leave an edge you could shave with, so
 getting it roller-cut into 1" strips or whatever at a sheetmetal shop might
 be a good idea. I just clamped the strips between two pieces of wood in a
 vise and cleaned the dangerous edges up with a file. Took a few minutes, but
 no big deal. That was one of the several times I wished I had a power
 nibbler. I saw a 100' roll of 2" at HamCom in Dallas, the guy wanted $150
 for it.  Sheesh.
 73, Jerry W5KP
A local radio store here called Supertronics has copper sheet 6" wide on a 
roll fairly cheap.  This would good to lay right on the radio table then run 
outside--into the ground without any connections.  Take a post hole digger 
and dig a hole say 6-8' deep.  Run this foil into the hole and pack the dirt 
in around it. You will have 6 sq ft of area in contact with the ground.  With 
a ground rod you have only about 1 sq ft. It's easy to solder any other wires 
to it also and there is no change of inductance.  This foil in the ground 
would be a great way to make a ground for a tower also.

In the 30's it can be seen in old ARRL Antenna Handbooks where they used 
copper broilers they used for boiling cloths in for buried grounds.  There 
was at least 15 sq ft of copper area--on both sides.  That's what I call a 
I used to buy copper sheet 3' wide 35' long from Alaska Copper and Brass here 
in Seattle also.  I'd cut strips of copper that I coated with contact cement 
and the element and wrapped it around the elements to eliminate joints and 
increase conductivity. I rotated it slowly in the lathe and wrapped it with 
plastic tape.  Shrink on tubing is too expensive.  It's a "Higher Q Permanent 
Element."  It lowered the Z of the beam.  Someday I'll "Silver Plate" the 
copper sheet and lower the RF resistance even more.  k7gco  

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