[CQ-Contest] Radial Wire

Tom Taormina tom at k5rc.cc
Sat Aug 18 13:35:09 EDT 2007

I have another take on this, Dave. Copper wire is still the most 
conductive and it can be soldered. The aluminum wire around a 
stainless or zinc plated screw will eventually become cathodic and 
cause noise. Even in dry environments, the difference in the thermal 
coefficient of expansion and contraction of the two materials will 
cause the contact to loosen.

There is tons of surplus copper wire on Ebay for really cheap. Some 
of mine is jacketed, some is formvar-coated transformer wire, but 
none of that matters. I am in the process of putting down 60 radials 
(7,200') under a new full-size 160 vertical. I also found metal tent 
stakes on eBay to use at the end of each radial.

Think I have two of the aluminum plates for this purpose (without the 
screws) that I will never use. Anyone who wants them can have them 
for the postage.

>Message: 1
>Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 14:32:21 +0000
>From: "K1TTT" <K1TTT at ARRL.NET>
>Subject: [CQ-Contest] newest bestest radial material ever!
>To: "YCCC" <yccc at yccc.org>, "reflector -tower"
>         <towertalk at contesting.com>,     "reflector cq-contest"
>         <CQ-Contest at Contesting.COM>
>Message-ID: <003301c7e0db$6cc1fa60$0800a8c0 at k1tttibm>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>I just found the newest bestest radial material I have ever used!  And over
>the years I have used a lot of them.  It ain't cheap, but at this point in
>the 80m 4-square project that doesn't much matter any more.
>It is Alloy 1100 Aluminum Wire .125" Diameter(just under 8ga), 12-lb Coil,
>792' Coil, McMaster-Carr part number 8866k15.  They sell it for $150 and its
>enough for 12 radials for 80m.  it comes with a tag from www.malinco.com,
>they don't seem to have an on-line order system so probably only deal in big
>If you want something a bit cheaper they have 2016' coils of .080 (about
>12ga) for $146.
>This stuff comes in a coil, which kind of worried me a bit until I cut off
>the tie wraps and it just sat there... no spring to it at all.  It is easy
>to cut with small wire cutters, and easy to hand wrap around bolts and
>itself to make eyes.  It can also be uncoiled and doesn't get kinked, you
>don't have to roll it out like Copperweld or other stiffer wires.  I found
>it easiest to just stick the coil over one arm and uncoil it as I walked
>from vertical to vertical to connect them up.
>Btw, even with just the radials connected around the square this new
>4-square is MUCH better than the old hanging around a tower.  I can take an
>s9+ ve3 and make them disappear off the back.
>David Robbins K1TTT
>e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net
>web: http://www.k1ttt.net
>AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net

Tom Taormina, K5RC
Virginia City Nevada USA
Web Site: http://k5rc.cc/  FOC 1760  

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