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counterpoise wires

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KK4QYN, Jun 9, 2019.

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  1. KK4QYN

    KK4QYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there any difference in efficiency when using alligator clips versus spade type on counter poise wires?
    Thank you 73
  2. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alligator clips only provide point contact to the surface you are connecting to. Clips are only intended for temporary use. A bit of corrosion can render them useless. They may be OK for temporary/portable use, but not very useful long term.
    AA5CT and KA0HCP like this.
  3. AE1N

    AE1N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Solder, solder, solder ...
    WQ4G likes this.
  4. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    On my last vertical antenna, I had all the radial (counterpoise) wires twisted and soldered together at the base of the vertical element !
    This was twisted together with the braid from the coax and a compression clamp held it all securely to the ground pipe the vertical was mounted to.
    It worked fine for 15 years until I took it down when the large capacitor broke on the 30 M tuning assy.
    I may repair it and remount on the roof with just a tuned radial for each band.
  5. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any difference between using alligator clips and a spade connector? Over time, yes. For immediate stuff, not really, unless you are connecting huge amounts of voltage/current thingys. If exposed to weather I'd use the spade connectors and really crank'em down tight. They will still be affected by weather but will usually take longer till you have to do something with them.
  6. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    For a permanent installation I suppose you could use automotive battery terminal protection/sealer on the connections. Good idea? Bad idea?
  7. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've no experience with that battery sealer, so would have to think about it. Coating a connection with something to weather proof it is a good idea, sure. But you can use almost anything that you have for doing that. Tar, putty, grease, whatever's thick and isn't likely to be melted by the heat/sun/etc. Surface oxidation isn't a huge biggy. If that oxidation get's into that connection it can cause problems though. So, use anything that you happen to have, sort of. DON'T use bacon grease! I might chew on it then...
  8. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    For decades, I have had galvanized fence wire for the elevated radials under my HyTower and full size 40 / 30-meter vertical that I phase with the HyTower for 40-meters. These radials run along my wood "stockade" fence, along the slab of my house, and along the retaining wall for my swimming pool. They have held up very well as well as working very well (very little rust on any portion of the wire). But, a few weeks ago I had a new fence installed and a goodly number of the radials went the way of the dodo bird.

    As such, I am replacing all of the radials with new ones made from aluminum electric fence wire. I bought a total of 1/2-mile from an Internet source that delivered directly to my house. Some home improvement stores have such in stock and some, of the same chain, do not ("free delivery" to the store when ordered over the Internet). Virtually all Farm / Ranch supply stores have the aluminum in stock and galvanized steel wire is in stock at virtually all of the home improvement stores as well as the Farm / Ranch stores.

    These new radials are being terminated (at the antenna end) with a "clamp" made from sheet aluminum and stainless steel hardware to which the coaxial cable shield is attached. "Cheap and dirty" but that arrangement works very well, at least here in north Texas. No need to weatherproof. However, if I do decide to weatherproof, cheap black plastic tape works very well. After a few days in the sun, this tape congeals into a waterproof mass that prevents any corrosion.

    Glen, K9STH
  9. K1VW

    K1VW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thought that Battery Terminal stuff we designed to prevent the particular reaction which happens between lead (Pb) battery terminals and typically steel connectors used on automobiles connecting cables, hence it may not be suitable for other uses. I'm not an expert, that's just my thought on the matter.

    PS: If you have to clean that acidic fuzzy stuff on your car battery, WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. I got it in my eye one time, not good.
    WQ4G likes this.
  10. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used galvanized steel fence wire for a radial field on our acreage back in Nebraska. I had a friend that used aluminum wire in the
    same area and it corroded away quickly. Not sure if it was the soil composition or fertilizers etc. Mine were laid on the surface and grass covered them quickly.

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