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Re: [TowerTalk] soldering radials

To: "AI4WM Bill" <>, <>, "Jim Lux" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] soldering radials
From: "Gene Fuller" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 21:31:31 -0400
List-post: <">>
Billl -
Sounds like good solid info. A couple of questions for you:  Would you 
recommend stuffing the tube with the likes of Penetrox before puttig the 
wire in as an extra to help keep moisture  out ? Also, some boating techies 
recommend use of shrink sleeving from barrel to wire for strength and 
Gene / W2LU

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "AI4WM Bill" <>
To: <>; "Jim Lux" <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:08 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] soldering radials

If you can get a copper buss it may be better than aluminum; just my 
opinion. I never liked aluminum on the ground ( I hate it in electric panels 
too among other places) Jim's idea is good and sound and perhaps one of the 
easiest and it will be reliable.

A properly crimped terminal will be nearly impervious if not impervious to 
water invasion and corrosion (only at the crimp). However correct crimping 
takes good tooling and the cheap tools that most people use will not really 
cut it. I did quite a few cross-sections when I worked for the largest 
connector corp in the world and I have seen what a good crimp can do and a 
poor crimp cannot do. Too bad the company does not exist as it did because 
they had tons of white papers and information available that is no more. Yes 
the areas around the crimp will need protected or they can corrode. Then 
crimp terminals have a problem outside also. Most are tin plated and there 
will be a problem with fretting, especially when joining to aluminum or 
stainless. There are gold plated, silver plated, and even platinum plated 
terminals available at very expensive prices.

Solder can crack and break, and must be copper to copper or brass or 
something similar. It is tons of work, but a crimped terminal that is then 
soldered at the crimp barrel works.

I have used several methods on my ham antenna, but I am spoiled by brazing 
everything from commercial radio.

Much of making a choice is personal. Any one or combination of them will 
need maintenance. Some are just easier to implement than others.




--- On Tue, 8/16/11, Jim Lux <> wrote:

From: Jim Lux <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] soldering radials
Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 8:31 AM

On 8/16/11 3:28 AM, Mark Robinson wrote:
> DXE supply a ring lug. You can crimp and solder the radial wire to the 
> ring
> lug and then you can bolt the ring lug to the plate using the stainless
> steel nuts and bolts supplied with the plate. I would also apply Penetrox 
> to
> the ring lug and bolt threads before you bolt it up.
> Mark N1UK
> If yes, how can I solder them? Also if I use a DXE plate to atacch the
> radials, I need to solder the wire to terminals, so what type of solder 
> may
> I use?

I wouldn't bother with all that soldering and crimping.

Get 3 or 4 of the ground/neutral bus things at the hardware store for $5
each. They're aluminum with holes and screws to clamp down on the wire.
There's nothing special about arranging the wires in a circular
pattern other than appearance.

The ground lug things are a LOT faster.. strip wire, shove into hole,
crank down on screw. When you're done, a drop of loctite on each screw
to hold them from backing out. If you're worried about corrosion, cover
the whole thing in paint or noalox.

here's a picture of one in copper


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