Topband: Elevated Radials EPILOGUE

ZR zr at
Thu Mar 7 12:09:16 EST 2013

ON4UN's series of books have always had way too many individual assumptions 
and we all know what happens then.

Those books offer a place to start and then apply your own unique soil and 
local conditions and change as needed.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Buck wh7dx" <wh7dx at>
To: <topband at>
Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 3:42 PM
Subject: Re: Topband: Elevated Radials EPILOGUE

> There is some good stuff in ON4UN Low Band Book -  Chapter 9-10 on 
> Elevated Radials.
> He suggests that an elevated system would be even better above ground 
> versus on the ground in poor conditions.   References 0.1 wave height or 
> less.   For 160m that could be 50 feet down.   In Section 2.2.7 K3LC says 
> that there is no point in raising radials any higher than 6 meters on 160 
> or 3 meters on 80 meters.  Such a height would be between 0.2db of what 
> can be achieved with 64 buried radials...  N7CL says they need to be 
> higher....
> The perfect on ground system might be 50-100 1/4 wave ground radials...
> In 2.1.2 he warns of trusting modeling because of outside factors.
> 9-12 Figure 9-18 (modeling) regarding 160m gain using 1/4 wave is 
> interesting over average ground.  If you wanted max. it suggests using 
> 120 - 80meter radials.   But the difference between 120 (1.5 dbi gain) and 
> going with 32 (1.0 dbi gain) would make one wonder if it was really worth 
> it for another 1-2 miles of wire.. work?   0.5 dbi gain?
> The Conclusion in 9-14 is interesting..  basically saying..
> "Take the example of an 80-meter vertical over average ground: going from 
> a lousy eight 20-meter long radials to 120 radials would only buy you 
> 1.4db of gain, which is less than what I think it is in reality.  In very 
> good ground that difference wold be only 0.7 db!"
> - "From these almost 70-year old studies, we can conclude that 60 
> quarter-wave long radials is a cost effective optimal solution for amateur 
> purposes.
> K3NA's work in talks about using 1/16 wave radials.. not going 
> beyond 48.. but that doesn't match up with N6BV's work several years 
> prior.
> In 2.2 Elevated Radial and beyond it's gets really interesting and less 
> conclusive?
> The Conclusion States - "If you want to play it extra safe, and if you 
> have the tower height, get the radials up as high as possible and add a 
> few more.   Use a ground screen if you have it.
> "It all is very logical.  Get away from the lossy ground or hide the lossy 
> ground with a dense screen using many radials.  No free lunch!".....
> This was one book and it goes on.....
> All of this sounds like a great episode for Ham Radio Myth Busters.......
> 73,
> Bryan
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