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Topband: Radial wire selection and installation

To: <>
Subject: Topband: Radial wire selection and installation
From: (Harold Smith)
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 23:01:00 -0500
You can also get waterproof wire nuts at Home Depot. They are larger than
normal and have an anti-seize compond built in
They are designed for electrical connections in wet locations.

73 de Price

----- Original Message -----
From: John B. Mitchell <>
To: Donald Chester <>; <>
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: Topband: Radial wire selection and installation

> Don, that's cool, but honestly, I don't see any need to solder radials.
> I did, I'd go all the way and use silver solder, like used in air
> conditioning repair.
> Why waste time soldering?  You don't gain anything by doing that.  Twisted
> together or clamped connections, waterproofed, are just as good
> and have the additional advantage of being maintainable.  You can unwrap
> them and check every few years, just to ensure QC.  Can't do that with a
> soldered connection; if it's bad, you won't even know.   Plus all that
> labor...
> 73
> John K4IQ
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Donald Chester" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 4:43 AM
> Subject: Re: Topband: Radial wire selection and installation
> >From: "John B. Mitchell" <>
> >One approach I learned from W3YOZ avoids soldering radials, which is time
> >consuming and ineffective unless great pains are taken to completely
> >waterproof each soldered connection.
> It is a matter of using the correct solder.  Lead/tin in contact with the
> soil will quickly disintegrate into a white powder.  I once tried it, and
> had to resolder all the connections every couple of weeks.
> I now use a silver alloy that is used by plumbers to solder copper water
> pipes.  It comes in flat sticks about 1/8" wide and 18" long.  You need a
> brazing torch because an ordinary propane torch doesn't get hot enough.  I
> use a "MAPP GAS" torch, which looks and works exactly like a propane
> The sticks of silver solder don't need any external flux.  If the copper
> clean and free of scale and green oxide coating, it will take to the
> solder like a sponge takes to water.  The copper has to be heated to a
> dull red.  Just be careful; it is easy to accidentally overheat copper
> to the melting point with a brazing torch!
> I installed my present radial system 20 years ago and it is still intact.
> don't recall the brand name of the silver alloy product, but it is
> at any welding supplier.  It is a violation of federal law to use lead
> solder to connect copper water pipes, since lead may leach into the
> water supply.  Therefore, any welding or plumbing supply shop should carry
> it in stock.  Just tell them what I described and they will know what it
> Don K4KYV
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