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Galvanized fence wire

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by AB0ZU, May 17, 2018.

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  1. AB0ZU

    AB0ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can anyone tell me if they have used galvanized fence wire instead of copper wire? If so, how much extra or less do you add to the figure to determine the length of a dipole for 14.000MHz?

    I thank each and everyone for this information.
  2. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Never used it but I know plenty of others have; not the greatest conductivity but it will suffice if that's all you have available. No need to change the basic formula; just cut long and fold back to trim if needed.
    WA7PRC and K7TRF like this.
  3. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've used galvanized fence wire for impromptu dipoles and for radials. I'd still use 468/f as a rough guide to dipole length and tune as necessary. Insulation and wire diameter has a bigger impact on element length than conductor type but even with a pure copper wire the formula above is just a rough starting point and final tuning will depend on many things including height above ground and installation environment.
    WA7PRC likes this.
  4. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why on earth would you choose to use galvanised steel fence wire for a dipole, when ordinary PVC-covered multi-strand copper wire would be much better?

    You only need 33 feet for a 20m dipole, so it's hardly going to break the bank !

    Now, hooking up to an existing fence wire to use as a counterpoise on one of the lower bands is another matter . . .

    Roger G3YRO
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    Because they just might have some fence wire on hand and not enough copper wire!

    I have had galvanized fence wire as my elevated radials for my vertical antennas for decades. They work very well. If copper, maybe a slight bit better. However, when I got the fence wire, I could get a mile of fence wire for what 100-feet of copper wire cost. As such, I could have multiple radials, which definitely are better than a single copper wire radial, for considerably less cost.

    The galvanized radials are still in very good condition with no rust even though they are well over 30-years old!

    For temporary antennas, like even for Field Day, I have used galvanized fence wire and the antennas worked very well.

    Remember, AM broadcast antennas are, normally, made from galvanized steel tower sections and the HyGain HyTower (the Rolls Royce of amateur radio vertical antennas) starts with 24-feet of galvanized steel tower.

    Glen, K9STH
    WA7PRC and NH7RO like this.
  6. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The OP inherited 25,000 feet of the stuff----that's why he was asking here.
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  7. K1ZJH

    K1ZJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like a good start for a 160 meter radial field! LOL!
    NH7RO likes this.
  8. WB8NQW

    WB8NQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I buried almost 1/4 mile of galvanized electric fence wire around my Hy-Gain 18-HT-Jr vertical antenna. I know it is not the best choice but at my age it will probably work as long as I need it to.

    WA7PRC, K1ZJH and NH7RO like this.
  9. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The additional Ohmic loss as opposed to copper will be insignificant compared to other important things like the ionosphere.
    WA7PRC and NH7RO like this.
  10. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    That wire is also excellent for Beverage antennas as the loss helps stabilize the impedance over a wide frequency range and making phasing and other adjusments are easier.

    NH7RO and K8PG like this.

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