[TowerTalk] re Radials

Keith Dutson kdutson at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jun 16 13:41:46 EDT 2006

40 ought to work really well! <grin>

Assuming you meant 8 on 40, I think you will be pleased with the result.

73, Keith NM5G

-----Original Message-----
From: towertalk-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Dave Tipton
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 12:17 PM
To: Jim Lux; hasan schiers; Bill Coleman; Dave Tipton
Cc: towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] re Radials

Well.. I have an old 5BTV (Hustler) that I'm going to put up this weekend...
It is spec'd for 1/4 wave radials on each band, telling me that I need to
have 3 on each band...
  MY question...  If I were to lay down 8 radials on 80, 80 on 40 and 8 on
20 (The only 3 bands I'm really interested in), do you think this would give
me sufficient performance to rely on it for some medium distance work?  I'm
not going for big DX here, but I'd take it if I heard it.. I now have an 800
watt amp in the mix too, so I'm going for as near resonant as I can get.

Jim Lux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:
  At 06:52 AM 6/16/2006, hasan schiers wrote:
>Actually, they can be MUCH shorter than .22 wl, as long as you have 
>enough of them. Many more shorter is quite a bit better than many fewer
>There are free programs by G4FGQ, RADIAL2 is the name I think, but just 
>google G4FGQ and you will get to his site and free downloads. The 
>radial program is a good one and answers all the questions being 
>raised. It lets you manipulate number/length/freq and ground 
>characteristics to show efficiency. VERY HANDY!

Except that Reg's program isn't necessarily a very good model of radials.
He's modeling the radial field as a bunch of lossy transmission lines (which
is sort of fine), but doesn't account for the transfer of energy into the
surrounding soil, some of which reradiates, as opposed to being simply loss
in an equivalent loss resistance. Reg has some explanation of what he's
doing in the notes in the program, but doesn't publish his algorithms or
source code, so it's tough to figure exactly what he's doing (and I'm not
patient enough to just run lots of cases and reverse engineer it). It's also
not clear how Reg is modeling wires close to the surface, where a
significant part of the field crosses the ground/air boundary.

That said, it might be a handy way to tinker around and gain some
understanding of the effect of various radials.

If you really, really want to model radials, you're probably best off to
fork out the bucks for a copy of NEC4 and do it right. (NEC4 does model
buried wires, and has been rigorously validated, and all the gory details
are published) Otherwise, just use the "throw lots of wire out, don't worry
about the exact length, and more radials is better than fewer" approach.


>The data I got is completely consistent with the ARRL publications that
>describe how to get minimum loss for a given wire length available, as well
>as with G4FGQ's program. I do think Reg's program is a bit optimistic, but
>it points one in the right direction. I have full faith in the studies
>published in the ARRL Antenna Handbook on how to optimize a radial field,
>my actual measurements agree very strongly with the article.


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