Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by W7UUU, Oct 9, 2019.
One of the best ways to ensure quad longevity is using copper clad steel wire, It won’t stretch and acts as support for the spreaders. You won’t ever get enough ice or wind to break or even bend the spreaders if you correctly attach copper clad wire to the spreaders. It’s a real bitch to string but worth the effort.
Above is a picture of my quad with at least 1/2 inch of ice everywhere on it with 0 sagging of the elements or spreaders.
The downside to CCS wire is when people strip the insulation, they cut through the copper and are left with a steel wire. Numerous commercial users of CCS stopped using it for that very reason as serious degradation of the signal resulted.
Keep in mind that at frequencies between 3.5MHz and 30MHz the conductor's skin depth, the depth at which 63% of the electrical current flows, is between 35uM and 12uM for copper wire. Low quality CCS has a thinner layer of copper and increases signal loss. CCS is also quite heavy and will add many pounds to multi element antennas such as quads.
Also CCS has a tendency of breaking from oscillations in the wind. Multi strand reduces the impact yet longevity is still reduced.
Personally I prefer aluminum alloy electric fence wire. It is very reluctant to stretch, extremely strong, has no negative factors like CCS, handles harsh climates without issues, comes in a multitude of gauges and very inexpensive at about 1/4 the price of CCS. Aluminum alloy fence wire is about 3 cents a foot for 12ga while 13ga stranded CCS is 40 cents a foot which equates to 13x as expensive. They make excellent wire for beverage antennas, rhombics and other long runs without supports also.
Aluminum fence wire is utilized in miles of fences with 2000+ lb animals pushing against it trying to expand their boundaries and doesn't fail. Even the electrical power companies use it across the grid.
Many of my wire antennas are built with it. I found no need for pulleys and counterweights as they do not stretch and my SWR sweet spots have not changed in over 12 years of use.
The local farm stores carry it in 12ga for around $40 for a 1/4 mile spool. 1320 feet is enough for many antennas I can also order 1/2 or 1 full mile if deemed necessary hi hi 5280 feet would make 10 - 500' beverage antennas and not break the bank.
BTW, nice 2 element you have. I passed up a 2 element Cubex 5 bander with all the coax matching stubs, remote antenna switch and Ham IV rotator for $400..... Needless to say I am still kicking myself for not snatching it up.
Yes, it’s a pain to work with you really need to be careful and gloves are a must. I use solid not stranded and 12 gauge. The original antenna came with stranded aluminum but only lasted about 7 years. Also moving the wire to 5 different QTH’s throughout my career was difficult. I would have to check every inch and any scratches that happened On the copper I repaired with by grade liquid electric tape.
Upside is it served me faithfully for 45 years and worked as if it was just put up when I retired it.
Yes that weathered fiberglass will tear you up if you allow it. Even cutting it I wear a respirator. 45 years of service and still going is a testament of durability.
No balun, coils, traps or failure prone tuning motors to let you down during the rarest of DX or the important contest. Instant band or frequency changes are a plus. No need to wait for tuners to do their job or SteppIR motors to reel that beryllium tape in and out. Properly designed, they will cover the entire CW to SSB portions @ less than a 1.5:1.
With 10ga elements, your power limits boil down to whatever your coax can handle. Even 12ga will easily handle 1500w continuous but we all know operators that overlook the limit.
That 12ga solid CCS has got to be heavy. BTW I have ten 500' spools of 12ga CCS wire from the utility company if you need some. They are just sitting in the pole barn collecting dust.