[TowerTalk] Laying out radials around a stone fence

Wes Stewart wes_n7ws at triconet.org
Wed May 16 12:58:39 EDT 2018

On my QRZ page https://www.qrz.com/db/N7WS when referring to adding more radials 
under my Inverted-L I mention using care since every bit of vegetation on my 
property has thorns or burrs as can be seen in the photos.

I'm often bemused when I see pictures of a vertical with 100 radials neatly 
staked out in perfect symmetry on a 40 acre lawn. Not so here. I started out in 
a somewhat bare spot in a sandy wash and removed as little cactus and brush as 
possible.  Of course this really complicated the installation of radials.

So several years ago I developed what I've called the needle method, which Ian's 
comment brought to mind and caused me to write this. What I use is a 20-foot 
length of 3/8" rebar for the needle.  It's long enough to get through a lot of 
stuff but still limber enough to bend around minor obstructions.  My insulated 
radials are mostly on the surface but if the needle penetrates the ground or 
cactus the wire follows.  I use tie wraps to attach the wire, either to the 
leading or trailing end as the situation requires.  For the most part desert 
plants give each other room so I can work around them even when it takes a 
couple of passes to get a 50-60' radial laid out.

Wes  N7WS

  On 5/15/2018 12:08 AM, Ian White wrote:
> Here in Scotland we're surrounded by mile upon mile of dry-stone
> walls, so I know the problem!
> Although no two walls are the same, my first choice would be to
> probe the gaps between the large stones at the base of the wall
> using the SDS hammer drill and a 3-foot drillbit. Don't try to drill
> through any big boulders - just let the drillbit find a clear way
> through, reasonably close to ground level.
> Then tape the radial onto a large metal "needle" and thread it
> through the hole.
> If you can't find a way through the wall for every radial, group
> neighboring radials together to pass through the wall and fan them
> out again at the other side. Crimp connectors in heat-shrink
> sleeving are your other best friend.
> 73 from Ian GM3SEK

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