Rob Atkinson, K5UJ wrote:
>Yes, I also found the job of soldering radials something that would
>come with problems. It might be okay for a few, like 20 or so, but I
>planned to put down 90 to 120. I figured if I had a ring or big lug
>point, I'd be out there on the grass in Oct. or Nov. with a torch or my
>big high watt iron (needing a long cord and having to heat up a big
>piece of metal outside). I pictured myself having to solder and string
>out and anchor the wire, then go back and relight the torch to solder
>the next ones, then there'd be the problem of the ring getting hot and
>some already installed radials coming loose....so I did what you did
>except I omitted the lugs and simply stripped and wrapped the wire
>around the bolts.
>I made a plot of the property and divided it into quadrants and planned
>the layout of the radials with that, so I would not put them down
>piecemeal and wind up doing it wrong. This had to be done because I
>did not have room for full size radials going out in straight lines in
>all directions. I anchored the plate to a ground rod and installed the
>nut/bolt/washer combinations in all the holes. Then with wire
>strippers, socket wrench and C wrench, wire staples, hammer and two 500
>rolls of no. 14 solid, I proceeded to strip about 4 inches from the
>ends of the wire on the two rolls, wrap them around a bolt and tighten
>it, and spool out the wire to 120 feet or the property line whichever
>came first and staple it down. Then I cut it and repeated the process.
>I think the plate made this go a lot faster but it still took about 3
>weeks working in my spare time to get down around 90 radials.
Yet another way...
I made up radials in sets of 8, twisted together and crimped into a
single terminal lug. The crimp connection is totally sealed against
corrosion, by a combination of solder, hot-melt glue and heat-shrink
sleeving. This makes a very solid anchor for the 8 wires.
The sets of radials were all made up on the bench, where quality control
is much better than working outdoors on my knees. This method totally
eliminated outdoor soldering, and reduced the number of bolted
connections by a factor of 8.
73 from Ian GM3SEK 'In Practice' columnist for RadCom (RSGB)
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