Topband: soil doping

David Sinclair k3ky at
Mon Oct 16 17:32:47 EDT 2006

W7RY wrote:
> Ground enhancement is done all the time and is completely safe with the
> proper material.
> Please see:
> And:
> And:
> And look for Utrafill.
Thanks for the info. I'd never heard of these products. They are not,
however, used in any way to 'salt the earth' in the sense that KB2QQM
apparently means. My understanding is that he seeks to reduce ground
losses and improve the efficiency and DX performance of a top band
antenna. The three products mentioned are used for backfill or grid
trenching, not generally incorporated into all of the local earth.
They are intended to improve soil conductivity around ground rods.
This would be more aimed at improving the performance of lightning
protection systems- ground rods, perimeter grounds, 'ufer' grounds,
and the like.

I have seen strong consensus in the this group and elsewhere that
ground rods are only slightly better than useless for improving the
DX performance of top band antennas. Ground rods are more useful for
lightning protection. Fields of radial wires are the way to go if
improved antenna performance is your objective. I very much doubt
whether salting the local earth would be a good way of accomplishing
this objective. Further, if a ham actually 'salts' the earth with the
wrong sort of chemicals, due to misinterpreting advice more intended
for lightning protection, he may be committing a crime against the

If anyone in this group advocates 'salting the earth' under a good
radial system to improve antenna performance, compared to using only
the radial system, I'd like to hear your arguments. I would appreciate
your sharing actual test data to support your claims, however. I'd
also like to know if you applied for any sort of building permit and
obtained the approval of the appropriate agencies before applying
salts to the ground. BTW the product data for the three items above
make it clear that they are non-polluting:

"...must set up firmly and not dissolve or decompose or otherwise
pollute the soil or the local water table..."

In other words, the products above are electrically conductive
mortars for pouring down in a hole around a newly-driven ground rod.

73, David K3KY

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