Topband: Farming and Ham Radio don't mix too well.

Tim Shoppa tshoppa at
Fri May 10 13:27:32 EDT 2019

I don't own a farm, just an oddly shaped suburban lot, and I'd like to
assure you that I run over and chop up more radials than you ever will.

Most of my radials also run over driveway etc and the most vulnerable
places are where they transition between driveway and grass.

My radials are mostly 14AWG and 18AWG stranded insulated wire and I've been
patching them up with wire nuts in the places where I'm destined to hit
them over and over again. There's little purpose in make a "permanent
forever" patch at these locations because they will get hit by lawnmower
again and again.

It's been a very wet spring in Maryland and wires that I planted 3-5 inches
below ground, sometimes in the dampest muddiest conditions they find their
way to the surface again. These, which I intend to plant underground, I
will clean up the broken ends and solder and seal properly and put back

In addition to the above hazards, deer run through my K9AY loop wires all
the time. The top of the loops hangs from a tree with a pulley and
counterweight so usually the deer run into the wire, counterweight goes up,
they clear the wire, and counterweight goes back down and wire goes back
up. But several times a year one or more stakes at the corners get pulled
out, and the wear on the wire has finally gotten serious enough that it's
time for me to make the loops again with new wire.

Tim N3QE

On Thu, May 9, 2019 at 2:45 PM terry burge <ki7m at> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> I have been using the good weather here in Oregon to get quite a bit of
> mowing done and the thought has occurred to me that farming and ham radio
> don't mix. With my little Cub ST-100 I cut the 3 wire lead to my big tower
> that goes to the Comteks 80 meter switch box; caught one of the radials for
> the K9AY receive antenna; and wrapped up some of the temporary elevated
> radials I had tried on my Hytower. All because I was cutting the grass and
> weeds that are up to 2 feet tall or more. I like 'trying' to grow Cherry
> trees and others as well as grape vines but with only 1 1/2 acres you know
> I'll run into an antenna some where along the way. Luckily I knew
> immediately about the Comtek switch box lead and that is a simple repair.
> The others were obvious right away too.
> Oh well, that's ham radio as some small size farming here in Oregon for
> me. Loving this weather but of course we do need the rains too. Seems like
> Calif. and NM have been getting Oregon weather and visa versa. But in
> Oregon if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will
> change....sometimes.
> Terry
> KI7M
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