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Re: [TowerTalk] Radials - What is the big deal?

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Radials - What is the big deal?
From: "Bill Gaines AD8P" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 17:02:20 -0400
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I have been reading all of the posts regarding this subject and while I claim 
absolutely no scientific knowledge on the subject let me tell you what really 
does/will work base on my 40 years of experience on Topband.

For 40 years I have used a "TEE" vertical. Not because I thought it worked 
better than the next thing but because I happened to have a 45' TV tower right 
beside the shack and it tips over thus making it really easy to stick a 20' 
mast out the top of it. I feed and 80 meter dipole with approximately 65' of 
open wire 450 ohm feedline. It leaves the tuner and goes straight out thru the 
window sill and up the tower. For 36 of those 40 years I used this same antenna 
with no radials....just a ground rod or maybe two. I would occasionally work a 
dx station but not very often. It just worked moderately.

About 4 years ago I was reading something....maybe in the ON4UN book, but 
somehow I got one of those "Oh yea" ideas. You know what I am talking about. 
The idea of elevated radials came to me in some sort of epiphany(if it's 
spelled right). I used 22 gauge wire and ran 6 or 7 of them all around my 
75wide by 175 deep lot. Over the trees and bushes, and under the vinyl siding 
that is around the windows. They are everywhere but not one of them is 
straight. They are all 1/4 wave long and today I can work anything I can hear. 
Shoot, some folks say I work things I can't hear too but that's another story 
in and of itself.

If you want to bury radials or run them on top of the will be 
better than none and two will work better than one. However, if you want a HUGE 
improvement and if you are forced to compromise with something, elevate the 
radials. I can't believe the difference it made for me.

Now before those who are much more technically savvy than I am start their 
flamethrowers understand one thing. My results are based on an observation at 
my location over 40 years of operating. If all the room you have for radials is 
a small lot, try elevating them before you lay 2 or 3 on the ground. You won't 
be disappointed at all.

Bill AD8P

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