I dont know about copper prices "over the pond" but here in some retail establishments the price of a 500' spool have come down. I picked up a 500' spool of #14 for just under $35.00 down from a high of $45.00.
I use "Sod Staples" to hold the radial wires in the lawn and garden.
A week or so of growth and they disappear.
There's all kind of information on the web if you'll search for it. Just Google Ground Radials and see what you get.
Originally Posted by M0PDQ
I'll be putting in a vertical this spring. I was having an electrician doing some work here at the house and he offered to get me 500 ft of solid copper 14 gage at cost. My lucky day.
Copper prices peaked out around 6 or so months ago, At around $4.00 U.S. per pound......... Since then, Copper has PLUMMETED, It is now selling for less than $1.50 per pound!
However, There is a very long "lead" time in prices, So store prices of copper wire are going to be high for a while yet........
Going to a scrap yard may get some old used wire at a very good price.
And old used copper will work every bit as good as new!
IF you go with elevated radial wires, Fewer are needed, You CAN "tune" elevated radials, And insulated wire should be used for them for safety. (7 or more feet above the ground)
The big disadvantage of elevated radial wires is.... Not everyone likes to have a wire "spiderweb" over the entire yard............
Buried, Or laying on top of the ground to self bury keeps the wires out of sight.
thanks for the replies.
how do i connect the radials together ?
how do i connect the radials to the shack ?
sorry for the daft questions, just never done this before !
the last thing you do is RTFM !
then, and only then........
if in doubt, hit it with something big and heavy
Solo Cornet - Driffield Silver Band
Ain't it funny how retail prices follow the futures trends to the day when it goes UP, but takes a good while to come back down....
However, There is a very long "lead" time in prices, So store prices of copper wire are going to be high for a while yet
Nothing daft about your questions at all. The only daft question is the one which goes unasked!
Originally Posted by M0PDQ
If the radials are buried in the ground, something other than Lead or ROHS solder must be used as the tin leaches out into the soil and leaves a poorly conducting brittle joint. Silver solder or copper brazing rod is the ticket.
Radials usually are used under a vertical antenna; however in some cases, an artificial ground plane is used under horizontal antennas in order to get a uniform mirror image. Radials under horizontal antennas are usually found in commercial HF installations and on antenna test ranges. If you plan to use only a dipole, don't bother with radials.
Under your vertical antenna, your transmission line will be an adequate connection to your shack; however, there is some advantage to running a wide flat copper conductor (18 ga x 2, 4, or 6-inches wide) from your station ground to the center of your radial system. In the USA, the National Electrical Code requires that all grounds, including an amateur's antenna radials be bonded to the service entrance ground (again for others who may get ideas).
On my 18HT, I placed a ring of copper water pipe in a trench around the tower base, and connected the radials to it, I used pieces of 2-inch copper strip to bond the base of the hytower (on the ground side) to the ring. Everything was exotheremically welded (the Broadcast Engineer in me). The whole system presented me with a near-textbook 38-Ohm base impedance.
Good luck with your antenna project.
73 DE KAØGKT/7
Just today, I saw a 500' spool of #14 wire at Menards for $25.00. Thats $10.00 cheaper than what i paid for at The Home Depot.
Originally Posted by kc4ylv
That's a tried and true business principle, commonly referred to as "stick-it-to-the-consumer-while-the-stickins-good."
I'm on a balcony with an MP-1... had to cut about 14 10-foot radials out of 20g hook-up wire to load up well. You could probably get away with something similar depending on how your vertical is placed.