[TowerTalk] Saltwater Ground Connection

Kris Mraz n5kilomike at gmail.com
Tue Jan 28 20:50:44 EST 2014

I had a similar experience. I operated the IOTA contest a few years back from
Galveston Island, TX. I picked a spot on the beach with a clear shot
to Europe over saltwater.
The antenna was a DX-88 vertical at the water's edge with several radials
in the water and several up on the beach. I also sank a ground rod at
the antenna base
but it probably wasn't necessary. (After the first few inches of sand
the rod almost sank in
under its own weight.)

The results? The pileups to Europe were absolutely incredible! Hour
after hour of wall to
wall callers. Amazing. You won't be disappointed.

Kris N5KM

> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 08:44:18 -0500
> From: "Mike Ryan" <mryan001 at tampabay.rr.com>
> To: "TowerTalk" <towertalk at contesting.com>
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Saltwater Ground Connection
> Message-ID: <BEDB7929AC3A467A88253F87064D89E3 at MichaelRyanPC>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
>         reply-type=response
> Joe, A couple of years ago the local club here asked got some of the guys to
> participate in some kind of a Lighthouse Contest over a weekend...a few
> summers back. The reason I recall it was summer I will tell you later.
> There were 3 groups of us, two went into the woods off the beach of an
> island we went to, myself and one other guy simply set up on the
> beach....the lure of bikinis and tarpon jumping in front of us was too great
> to pass up. I was just going to stay on that beach.  I put a Butternut HF2V
> out at the edge of the surf. I first hammered a 4ft piece of angle iron into
> the sand and clamped the antenna to it.  I had a plastic bag with 8 radials
> of various lengths pre-made up. I don't even think I used them all frankly
> but I know I took eight with me.  The other guys were hanging G5Rvs and
> assembling Budi-poles back in the trees, and dying from the heat. I put up a
> quickie tent, started up my little Hondo generator, and began calling cq
> with my back up rig, an Ft-1000D.  My buddy and I made about 80 contacts.
> The other two groups made a total of 4. We would have worked more but the
> other guys were spent due to the heat and from working themselves silly
> trying to get antennas up in it.  We were supposed to stay half the day out
> there but only stayed(lasted) about 3 hrs. I was often asked how much power,
> what beam we were using, etc.  I had 200 watts and the Butternut in the
> surf.  I stayed exclusively on 40m.   I would not worry about resonant
> lengths of radials...just make them about as long as your antenna is at
> least with some longer. Put the antenna right out over the water if you can,
> find some shade, and open your beer.  '73, Mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Giacobello, K2XX
> Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 3:40 PM
> To: TowerTalk
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Saltwater Ground Connection
> I'll be vacationing on a saltwater beach and will have a chance to to
> set up a portable vertical antenna.  Operation will probably be on 40,
> 30 and 20M.  I have a vague recollection of reading of others'
> experiences on saltwater and believe that they typically used a single
> wire ground connection to the saltwater.  I believe the wire had a flat
> metal plate or similar attached to the saltwater end to increase both
> conductive surface area and stability in the water.  Does that seem
> about right?  I've also thought about using a galvanized bucket at the
> end.  Even if it only lasts for the duration of my stay, it's cheap enough.
> I'd appreciate hearing of any relevant experiences or opinions.
> Thanks and 73,
> Joe
> K2XX

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