I did a presentation at Dayton a number of years ago showing a way
to put down radials without all of the hassle of cutting and soldering
a lot of individual radials. To the best of my knowledge there is nothing
on the web about my presentation.
(Rich, KE3Q--EXCELLENT MEMORY! Guess there was someone
who was NOT asleep!)
I am in the process of getting a web site going and this will be one
of the things added to it at some point (thanks for asking about it--
made me recall it and think that it might be useful to someone.
I'll try to do a brief verbal description--but it IS true--a word is worth
a milli-picture. This technique is designed so that you will never
have to cut individual radial wires or solder anything.
If you want your radial field to be circular then tie a string in the
center and walk around the site at the proper radius and install
some sort of stake for the end of every planned radial. If it is a
temporary site you can use little wooden stakes or whatever you
have. You can determine the circumference of the radial system
and just pace off the required spacing between each radial.
Nothing critical about 60 or 120. If you end up with 63 or 114
or whatever that is good enough.
The KEY to this project is to make a little fixture for the center
point that will capture all of the radials and make a bundle for the
addition of a ground connection from the coax and a ground
rod for safety.
The fixture can be anything that will "bundle" the radial wires as you
place them at the center.
(Drawing 1 here)
Here is an idea of a wooden one made from 2x4s. Mount two short
pieces of wood standing up from a base made of wood. Each of
these two standing pieces have a hole with a saw cut to the enge--
so that you can insert wire one at a time and not have them pop
back out. Or you can just take any board and screw in two pairs of
lag bolts with their heads close together and with them above the board
enough to be able to "capture" all of the radials. You are just trying to
make a bundle of wires where you can easily attach a connector
for the coax connection. This can be anything from a hose clamp to
a copper split bolt or a ground clamp. And you want to make something
so that the wires will not just "pop out" by accident as you walk
the roll of wire around the radial field.
Tie the roll of wire to the first radial stake and walk to the center and
drop the wire into the slots in the boards or between the lag bolts
that are partially driven into a board. Then continue to the directly
opposite stake and loop around it to the next one and then back to
the center and on to the first side.
The following sketch shows the layout. Once all of the radial wires
pass through the fixture you can bundle them into one cable with
a hose clamp--connecting the coax shield to the bundle at the same
(Drawing 2 here)
This is certainly NOT rocket science (I AM a rocket scientist and I know)
but it saves having to cut individual radials and there is no need to
Since the reflector will probably not handle the drawings I will not
include them. If my words are too confusing I can send two
small jpg files to anyone who wants them.
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