[TowerTalk] Impact of high water table levels on antennas

Jim W7RY w7ry at centurytel.net
Sun Nov 3 19:26:18 EST 2013

Not to mention your location in W2 or W8 land!

You have no idea how hard it is to work DX on 160 meters from the 
Pacific northwest.

Jim W7RY

On 11/3/2013 3:37 PM, john at kk9a.com wrote:
> I do not think fresh water has much effect on verticals and even less on
> horizontal antennas.
> John KK9A
> To:"towertalk at contesting.com" <towertalk at contesting.com>
> Subject:[TowerTalk] Impact of high water table levels on antennas
> From:Rudy Bakalov <r_bakalov at yahoo.com>
> Ever since I have put up two inv-Vs, one for 80m and one for 160m, with
> their
> apexes at roughly 90', I have been puzzled by their exceptional performance.
> Ditto for my vertical on 40m.  I have done tons of comparisons using skimmer
> data and my signal seems to be pretty darn close to the big stations I am
> using
> as my benchmark. The performance is so good that I have been wondering if I
> should bother with building 4SQs. I have read tons of books on antennas and
> the
> performance of these two antennas simply does not match what the books
> describe.
> I shared my thoughts with a friend of mine (a WRTC2014 participant) and he
> shared a similar experience with his station. He recently relocated to a new
> place, about 30 miles from his old place, and his antennas at the new place
> perform significantly better than the old location. Same antennas, tower,
> feed
> line, and FLAT terrain.  His only explanation is that the new place had a
> very
> high water table that somehow impacted antenna performance.
> This is when I realized that I also have a very high water table. Even in
> the
> driest months of summer, the area around my tower is damp and the grass is
> very
> green, growing like crazy. This was the obvious common element between his
> and
> my situations.
> I have not seen anything on high water tables in my antenna books.  The soil
> itself is mostly sandy. The impact I believe I am seeing is mostly on the
> lower
> bands, but I am not sure if this is also the case on the upper bands as at
> 105'
> my antennas are a bit too high.
> Is there any rationale in our thinking? Can high water table explain better
> than expected performance from low band antennas? If so, what is the theory
> behind it and how do I take advantage of it? If not, any other suggestions
> for
> why the antennas work so well?
> Rudy N2WQ
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