This sure brought back an old memory that caused me to chuckle out loud.
About 25 years ago, my brother (also a ham) and I tried to jury-rig the
"draw knife" idea that Jim mentions.
My brother had just moved to a new QTH and wanted to get on the air. We got
a Butternut vertical, installed it, and then thought about how to tackle the
problem of radials. We decided that radials above ground might get caught
in the lawn mower, so chose to bury them. We brainstormed the draw-knife
concept, constructed one, and decided that the best way to pull it was with
his car (the yard was quite large and flat, so no problem).
Without all the (embarrassing) details, what we found was that we never were
able to get the proper weight on the knife to make the thing work. All that
happened was that I kept bouncing up and down as he slowly moved the car.
His family and neighbors laughed at us so much that we should have charged
He adjusted his lawnmower blades to a "high" setting.
. . . makes me have a much greater appreciation for
farmers/mules/horses/plows. My hat is off to whoever invented the plow that
maintains the correct level below the surface.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Lux" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Michael Tope" <W4EF@dellroy.com>; "AA6DX" <email@example.com>; "tower"
Sent: Monday, 02 June, 2003 19:24
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] EdgeHog
At 03:48 PM 6/2/2003 -0700, Michael Tope wrote:
>Has anyone tried one of these in rocky soil? I thought about getting one to
>do my yard, but I have so many rocks in my soil, I figured it wouldn't last
>very long (one cubic foot of soil area in my yard will fill a bucket with
>to 3" diameter rocks). A pick and shovel works pretty well, but is a
>work (or in my case money since I am paying someone to do it).
>73 de Mike, W4EF.......................
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "AA6DX" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "tower" <email@example.com>
>Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 12:30 PM
>Subject: [TowerTalk] EdgeHog
> > Hey ... you that are wanting to lay some ground wires for your
>check out the Black & Decker EdgeHog ... about 90 bux, at Wally World, and
>you can use it for other "normal" edging, too! Bury them thar
>Pretty kewl, as the grandkids would say ... 73, Mark ... AA6DX
I've tried a bunch of approaches to shoving wires or small tubes into the
ground, including various kinds of knives, power edgers, flat bladed
shovels, etc. A lot depends on how deep you want the wires. If you're
just going to bury them right below sod level, then there aren't as many
rocks, and almost anything works. If you want to go down a foot, it's more
of a challenge.
How much are you willing to disturb the surface? and how straight does the
wire have to be. If you need a straight wire, then you've got to move the
rocks, whether underground or on top. That takes some serious leverage and
I think the best way, in rocky soil, but not having tried it, would be to
make some sort of draw knife with a tube that is somewhat flexible on the
trailing edge to feed the wire to the end of the blade.. You'd load up the
knife with a lot of weight, and use a winch to pull it through the soil.
(think of a farmer's plow, with the blade set straight). It would probably
need to be something pretty sturdy (1/8"-1/4" steel with a sharpened
edge). Hopefully, it would bend and flex to handle the smaller rocks.
Failing that, the easiest way is a gasoline driven trencher. The problem
with this (essentially a big chainsaw for dirt) is that the trench is 4-6"
wide, however, even in really rocky soil, it just chugs on through and cuts
that beautiful 18" deep slot.
See: http://www.mscomputer.com for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless
Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any
questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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