Ground radials—how do you mow your yard?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by AE4CH, Sep 18, 2021.

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  1. AE4CH

    AE4CH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read with interest information about vertical antennas that are hoa friendly and high performance. I believe most suggestions include the use of multiple ground radials. How do you set up such antennas where the grass must be mowed?
  2. AA4PB

    AA4PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    You burry the radials an inch or two below the surface.
    WS9K and VE3CGA like this.
  3. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or you stretch them out and use garden stakes to hold them down and let nature do the work.
    AE8W, VE4LS, W0GSQ and 1 other person like this.
  4. K2CD

    K2CD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I "staple" them to the ground using garden staples and the mower passes over them without incident. Within a year or so they're invisible.
    W4HMB, AE8W, VE4LS and 6 others like this.
  5. W3TKB

    W3TKB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ×2 on this. I laid my radial field out in early Spring before the grass growing season really started. Mowed that area of the lawn really short, compared to normal. Laid out the wires and tacked them down using biodegradable lawn staples (available from several sources).

    Then I used a hand crank spreader and put down a layer of lawn fertilizer.

    Within a month you could barely see the wires; by mid-Summer they had vanished completely. As the grass grows, it pulls the wires down into the root system and engulfs them. The lawn staples dissolve in a season or two.
    N4CVX likes this.
  6. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or, if you're lucky, and crafty enough to elevate your antenna and the two or three radials you would need mounted thusly---you would mow the lawn underneath them! ;)

    "Lawn staples? LAWN STAPLES? I don't need no stinkin' lawn staples!"

    ---Alphonso Bedoya, XE1ABL (SK)
    M0AGP likes this.
  7. AI5DH

    AI5DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Huh? Radials are bare conductors buried just beneath the surface. Are you rototilling or disc plowing?
    KC2PMM likes this.
  8. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A vertical is a good antenna for space restricted antenna systems.

    The first thing I did was to mow the grass very short.

    I then used a yellow marking string to lay out the direction of each radial and then took a 2-cycle edger with a steel blade and ran it along the string. The resulting depth was about 1-1/2 to 2."

    From the 38" antenna ground ring as the starting point, I ran the radial wire from there to the end point. The "stakes" or staples I used to keep the wire down in the trench were the Green garden spikes make of decomposing plastic. (Found the package: Amturf Landscape Stakes, biodegradeable, Amturf Enterprises, Jefferson, OR).

    After laying the radials, I mixed some garden fertilizer and mixed grass seed (about a 1:10 ratio of fertilizer to grass seed) and scattered it into the tranches.

    In the spring there was no signs of where the radials had been laid.

    An article in QEX showed no real differences in the effectiveness between solid bare wire and solid insulated wire for ground radials.



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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
    VE4LS, W4BCE and AE4CH like this.
  9. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Roundup is pretty effective. HI

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" 2 miles of wire in the Air & On the daily
  10. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's true. Lay them down with lawn staples, and in a couple of growing seasons the radials will disappear into the ground.

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