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Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd: Using aluminum wire [or aluminum clad wire]

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd: Using aluminum wire [or aluminum clad wire]
From: Rik van Riel <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2010 13:56:24 -0500
List-post: <">>
On 12/31/2010 04:14 AM, Roger (K8RI) wrote:

>> 2) use some fine sand paper to remove the inevitable oxide
>>       from the end of the aluminum wire
> You can remove gross oxide, but not the actual coating of Al oxide.  Al
> oxidizes almost instantly and certainly before you could remove the sand
> paper and add the connection. It's this coating of oxide that protects Al.
> When making connections the pressure cuts through the very thin oxide
> layer to make the connection.

OK, thanks for that info.  That is good to know.

>> 4) stick each end of the wire into another side of one of
>>       the blocks from a european style terminal strip, like:
> Al wires should really overlap, but outside that probably would not be a
> problem as long as it's weatherproofed.

I do stick each wire all the way into the terminal strip,
so they both get squeezed by both of the screws.

>> 5) tighten both screws on both wires, they are now very firmly
>>       connected to each other and to the terminal strip connector
> The biggest problem making connections with Al is the expansion and
> contraction, particularly with compression connectors.

I hope that tightening the screws as far as I can go,
squeezing both wires against each other in two places
inside the terminal strip, will help me with that.

The reason I don't want to do just a wire nut is that
sometimes the wind pushes the connection point against
the rope that is holding up the balun.

The flat eye contacts that came with the balun already
got broken off by a storm.  I simply turned 14ga wire
into a loop the right size and soldered it stiff, then
tightened the screw onto that to get rid of that
vulnerable spot :)

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