Topband: finding buried radials

Tom Rauch w8ji at
Fri Mar 16 21:56:36 EST 2007

>> ... don't want to accidentally cut the wires while 
>> digging. What's the
>> best way to locate them? Cheap metal detector?

I've been successful using a small transistor radio taped to 
a stick on small ground systems. I tuned the radio to a very 
weak AM station and the volume increased as the loopstick 
antenna passed the radials.

A metal detector works well for coax, but not something as 
small as a radial. I have a metal detector I use all the 
time to find coaxial cables.

I have also been successful using a MFJ-259 as a signal 
source and following cables with a receiver and loop 
antenna. As a matter of fact I had a bad laundry drain and 
had no idea where the plastic pipe went once it was through 
the wall. I fed a metal snake down the pipe and  connected 
it to the 259. I used a small SW receiver to follow the 
pipe! I don't think this would work well for radials unless 
you just fed one radial at a time, but it sure works for a 
single wire or coax if you feed the shield with the MFJ 259 
center and connect the 259 case to a ground or counterpoise.

73 Tom 

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