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Re: [TowerTalk] Radials & dirt

To: "mryan001" <>,"Lee Buller" <>,"TowerTalk Reflector" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Radials & dirt
From: "Orcena Lyle" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 19:00:36 -0600
List-post: <>
I have a peculiar pattern of radials.  No specific pattern actually.  A small, 
narrow, strangely-shaped yard so I just put radials where I can find room for 

I just added five radials which I had used for portable operating.  14g str. 
insulated wires 60 feet long.  I had soldered the ends of the radials together, 
along with a short tail (between two - three feet long) in a clump of solder.  
I have attached the tail to a 6g solid wire which runs a little ways along the 
back of the house between a section of radials near a vertical and a section of 
radials near a long wire. 

I like to put my radials just below the surface of the ground and figured that 
the solder clump would be eaten if it was touching the earth.  I protected it 
just like I would protect a coax connector above ground.  Scotch #23 fusion 
tape covered with Scotch #33 good old electrical tape.  If this setup can keep 
connectors clean and dry for 20+ years (as I've been told that it does by 
people who have seen this happen), then there is a good chance it will keep out 

I'm convinced that earth (dirt) can eat up about anything (except vinyl tape I 
hope - I will check it after a few years).  I had an old garage which had holes 
in one wall due to dirt.  It looked like long-ago next-door neighbors had 
filled in and leveled off their back yard where it had once sloped down to my 
garage, putting the dirt against my garage wall.  Over the years, the dirt ate 
through the stucco, the mesh, the tarpaper, and the wood, making some pretty 
big holes in the wall, from which dirt washed into my garage and covered a good 
part of the concrete floor.  So I'm careful what I put against dirt.

Someday I'll have a tower in the midst of where the radials come together, and 
the radials will be ready and waiting.

73 de Orcy  WØQT
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: mryan001 
  To: Lee Buller ; TowerTalk Reflector 
  Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 3:11 PM
  Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Radials - What is the big deal?

  Nicely Done Lee...  - Mike

  -----Original Message-----
  []On Behalf Of Lee Buller
  Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 12:06 PM
  To: TowerTalk Reflector
  Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Radials - What is the big deal?


  My, this is a all consuming issue here on tower talk.  What kind of wire to
  use?  Conductive wire.  Anything will do that conducts like copper.  I would
  not put down nichrome wire...but I would use just about anything.  There is
  no magic here.  Use coax if you have it....just use the outer braid... or
  short the two conductions together.  Use electric fence wire.  Use out for rust...and it will rust away after awhile.  Use

  Here is what I am using right now....because it was FREE!  Two conductor (18
  gauge) garage door opener wire.  You know, the wire that goes from the
  button by the door to the opening unit.  The stuff that is wired to the
  sensors.  They give about 200 feet in each opener kit.  The garage installer
  has gobs of the stuff laying around.  I bet I have 15 rolls of the stuff.  I
  just twist the ends together and solder them with a gun.  Down on the ground
  they go.  And yes, they work OK...I radiate...the MFJ 269 says everything is
  good to go...and I make gobs of contacts with it.  I don't bury it...I don't
  strip it....I just lay it in the grass and use home made (cheap) lawn
  staples about every 5 feet.

  For radials....use conductive wire.  Use as many as you can....32 seems to
  be the magic number but also I've heard 50 or 60 as well.  If you cannot get
  a quarter wave each on the what you can....cut it off at the
  property line.

  Bond them together with just about anything.  Remember, you will have to
  pull maintenance on antennas revisit this often throughout the
  year.  When metals are out in the elements...something is bound to corrode.

  Use anything conductive....  wire, pipe, railroad track, I-Beam ir H-Beam.
  What ever you got that is handy or cheap.    I would not use chain link
  fence or chicken wire.  The connections are good enough between the links in
  my opinion and dirt can cause problems in the radial.

  Remember, HR is not rocket what works for you...what you can
  get away with...what you can afford...and remember not everyone has a super
  station or the dollars the installations is done perfectly.  The idea is to
  radiate enough to work someone.

  Lee - K0WA

  In our day and age it seems that Common Sense is in short supply.  If you
  don't have any Common Sense - get some Common Sense and use it.  If you
  can't find any Common Sense, ask for help from somebody who has some Common
  Sense.  Is Common Sense devine?

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