Topband: Radials, etc

Mike(W5UC) & Kathy(K5MWH) w5uc at
Thu Nov 30 08:09:56 EST 2006

At 10:27 PM 11/29/2006, Peter Dougherty wrote:
>Hi again,
>Thanks for all the replies. I had 1/2 a spool of #14 already, bought
>another yesterday and will get however much more is needed to fill up
>the available space with copper.

Peter Good Morning:

Let me look in my crystal ball and forecast your fate.  In the Fall 
of  2005 I was frustrated by not being very competitive on 160.  I 
went off to Lowe's and bought a thousand feet of wire.  I put up an 
inverted L and then used 500 feet of wire to put down 16 radials, 
each 30 feet long at the base of the tower.  I was ready to knock 'em 
dead. The 2005-2006 160 season was ok, but I came far from setting 
the world on fire.  This past summer I began accumulating wire, and 
in late September I started putting down radials.  I Put down close 
to 3000 feet of wire in enough radials to bring my total to 63 or 64. 
They are all lengths, some are bent, some are only 30 feet long, some 
go out around the side of the house and are 120 or so feet long. Some 
are 50 feet long and some are 80 feet long.  My wife said it looked 
like a giant spider had been busy out around the base of the tower.
I also put up a K9AY type receiving array.  Bottom line;  This season 
already I have worked 15 or 20 new countries including Alaska,  5A7A, 
HC8N, a couple of Russians, a SM,  a couple of JA's, etc, etc. All 
with 125 watts. I talked online with lots of folks about how many 
radials I needed, and consistently the answer came back; If you don't 
have room for 1/4 WL radials, the magic number is 60-65. Don't worry 
if some are long & some are short. Just do it. The gist of this story 
is that you need to plan to put down a lot more wire.  Lay them on 
the grass, pull them tight, and tie them down along each one with "U" 
shaped wires pushed in the ground. In the spring fertilize a bit and 
the radials will disappear under the grass after about a month or so 
and the grass has been cut a couple of times. 160 is really a kick in 
the pants when you begin to work some new DX.  I have some pictures 
that I will try to get on the web site today or tomorrow. I also 
posted this to the reflector as  an encouragement to others living on 
"city lots" Good luck & enjoy.

Mike, W5UC

"age & treachery will overcome youth & skill" 

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