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Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by N6YW, Jul 15, 2016.

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  1. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right now has a 2000 foot roll of awg 14 bare solid for $189. To me that's expensive. You'd think bare would be cheaper than insulated but it usually isn't. I use awg 14 solid insulated and it has worked okay now for about 14 years. I got it in the 500 foot rolls from big box stores like Home Depot but when I bought mine it was around $14 / roll. I think now it is up there around $33. The reason why insulated is cheaper is simply that more of that wire is made than the bare stuff and the big retailers probably take less of a markup to compete in the free market.

    You pretty much have to go with copper if you want your ground system to last. That electric fence wire will rust out on you pretty quickly. Ditto for barb wire and any other steel or aluminum wire hams often use. Insulated material other than copper wire may work but to be honest, the best way if you ask me, is to just bite the bullet and pony up the doe re mi and do it right from the get go and enjoy the results rather than futz around with insulated steel mesh and so on. Solid copper insulated or not, is easier to work with and bond in with the ground system common point. Aluminum will decompose in some soils and anyway, you have to deal with bonding aluminum to your common point via brass, it can cold flow in a clamp and so on, i.e. it has some problems. One thing you can do initially at least to save money is do a lot of 50 or 60 foot long radials instead of half that number at 100 or 120 feet. Let's say you have 2000 feet of wire. It would be far better to have 40 fifty foot long radials than 20 at 100 feet. Another thing to avoid are snake oil ideas like "tuned radials" (essentially at grade radials with loading coils) or something called "the folded counterpoise." Wire on the ground simply collects and returns currents to the feedpoint, is entirely detuned by earth proximity and "folding" or "tuning" does nothing.
    AF6LJ and K4KYV like this.
  2. WB5HAK

    WB5HAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info on Georgia Copper. I forget to check them, and they do have "good prices" for what they sell. That price for 2000 ft beats all the big box stores and is doable here, just wasn't looking forward to the much higher prices I was seeing from others. I have some bare #6 and may make a "ring" around the tower I plan to use for the Inverted L. I bought an old crank up 54' tower that is too light weight for much, but should provide 60 to 70' of vertical height for the "L". This will be a major project though and likely more for "next season". Starting now, I'll have it hopefully done when conditions improve on 160M. I may just put up the old 160M inverted vee I had up for 160M years ago on SSB. It should provide some QSO's around close.
    Thanks again for the info,
    Don, WB5HAK
    AF6LJ likes this.
  3. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    I get most of my #6 and 8 stranded and insulated copper from deep well contractors in the area, they do not reuse it after it has been in a well for many years/decades.

    Cost varies from free to what the scrapper pays them. It is hard drawn and Ive used it as sloping verticals for 160 and 80 from a pair of tall towers to a 500' + run for a Beverage
    AF6LJ likes this.
  4. VE3LYX

    VE3LYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first Homebrew transceiver , some ARC5 radios, 1929 style TNT and regen, grey 1930s style station hb, several hb power supplies, DX60B ad HR10B. Behind me No 19 WS and some 1929 style rigs. Ahead of my fist hb Antenna tuner with built in dummy lamp. Very handy device!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
    AF6LJ, KC8YLT, N6YW and 1 other person like this.
  5. AE1N

    AE1N Ham Member QRZ Page

    A.Rig here is home brew1.jpg
    AF6LJ likes this.
  6. VE3LYX

    VE3LYX Ham Member QRZ Page

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  7. KE0ZU

    KE0ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought I had posted to this thread earlier but guess not.

    Here is a pic from around 02 or so.

    This is from about 3 years ago. ARC-5s for 160,80, and 40, TCS-13 on the bottom and a superpro 600/JX-17 at the far end.


    This and the last pic are from a couple months ago. There are additional current pics here

    W2VW, N6YW, AF6LJ and 1 other person like this.

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