Galvanized Electric Fence wire for on ground vertical radials.

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N4MTB, Apr 2, 2020.

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  1. N4MTB

    N4MTB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any experience or thoughts for using galvanized wire for radials?
     
  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's more conductive than soil.
     
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  3. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It will rust very fast, even in dry areas when on the ground.
    It's also difficult to clamp to I use mechanical clamping such as galvanized bolts, nuts and washers.
    It's cheap normally and comes in a lighter gauge and a heavier gauge, I've actually had better results using the aluminum I believe it's number 14 to 17 gauge electric fence wire, it bends easier, inexpensive and I use mechanical connections also.
     
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  4. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My experience with the galvanized electric fence wire it that It will rust very fast, even in dry areas when on the ground.
    It's also difficult to clamp to I use mechanical clamping such as galvanized bolts, nuts and washers.
    It's cheap normally and comes in a lighter gauge and a heavier gaug.
    However, I've actually had better results using the aluminum. It's available in different gauges from 12 to 17 gauge electric fence wire, it bends easier, also inexpensive and I use mechanical connections which works well.
    Try not to connect dissimilar Metals unless you using some kind of electrical conductivity lube.

    K0UO Rhombic Antenna Farm is located at the Kansas QTH with over Two miles of Wire in the Air & On the Air, “The RF Gotta-Go-Somewhere"!
     
  5. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    p.s. Copper is 4 times better than Zinc, and 5.69 times better than Iron, even more for Stainless Steel. Nonetheless, fence wire will work, and you can make contacts. Copper would be far better with 1/5th the number of radials. "Use what you got"

    [​IMG]
     
  6. N1LOU

    N1LOU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  7. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do a little math:

    At 1kW into a 36 Ohm vertical, the RF current injected into the electrical junction where the coax shield and radials come together is 7.6A. All of that flows up the monopole. If there are 16 radials, the current in each of the radials near the feedpoint is 7.6/16 = 470mA. Can your chosen radial wire carry ~0.5A ?

    Suppose that the radial wire had a really crappy high resistance per foot. 0.05 Ohms per foot would be horrible wire. The current is not uniform along the radial so the resistance of the wire matters less and less as you get further out along the radial. Say the resistance of the first few feet of radial wire is 0.5 Ohm. With sixteen radials, the effective wire loss in the radials wires would only be 1/16 of 0.5 = 0.03 Ohms, which is tiny, tiny fraction of the radiation resistance.

    Any thing you put down as radials will be fine....
     
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  8. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    17 years ago we moved to a small ranch in Eastern Oregon. To get on the air quickly I ground mounted a vertical in a pasture. I inherited several thousand foot rolls of galvanized fence wire from the previous owner. I carefully installed 120 radials using the wire. It worked fine for awhile but I soon noted it was rusting and in many places breaking from rusting out. I replaced it with aluminum fence wire which I also inherited and that lasted a lot longer.
     
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  9. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, by a factor of at least one million for the worst wire compared to the best soil!

    Corrosion, connection, and mechanical issues are far more important.
     
    AE8W likes this.
  10. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    No. Because the OP was not considering the 'worst wire" and nobody would. Copper is still vastly better than galvanized steel wire.
     

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