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Re: [TowerTalk] Ground Radials Insulated or Not

To: "Chuck" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Ground Radials Insulated or Not
From: "Jim Lux" <>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 07:29:24 -0800
List-post: <>
Depending on your location, some work with the yellow pages to call around
to places that sell wire might find large quantities of bare copper cheaper
than the insulated stuff from Home Depot or Lowes.  And, in long continuous
spools as well. The price of wire in commercial quantities changes from week
to week with the price of copper.  On the other hand, HD does buy in
enormous quantities, and, their distribution and markup costs might be

I agree that getting it shipped would probably destroy any cost savings, so
you'd want places that you can go pick it up.

As far as insulated or not.. My gut feel is that it probably doesn't make a
huge difference. You're conducting RF, so DC contact isn't important,
there's a huge area that's buried. The copper will corrode a bit and
probably forms an insulator anyway The field gets there through the open air
in the first place, etc.  On the other hand, I have absolutely no
theoretical or experimental basis for making the statement.  NEC4 does model
insulated wires in the earth, and I've been meaning to run some comparisons,
but haven't got around to it.

 ----- Original Message -----
From: "Chuck" <>
To: "Towertalk" <>
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 4:31 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Ground Radials Insulated or Not

> I think the article by K3LC answers my question about the best number of
radials for the installation in my particular application. The nest question
I have is what benefit if any is there to using bare wire as opposed to
insulated wire in the radial system.
> When I go to the local houses to buy wire it is cheaper to buy 12 or 14
guage spooled insulated wire rather then bare wire. When I look at ordering
it online buying locally is more attractive from a cost point since shipping
has thus far made online orders significantly more expensive then local
> Does direct earth contact buy anything as opposed to insulated radials
with respect to use as the rf ground?
> Chuck WD4HXG


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