Tip for keeping vertical antenna radials below grass

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KC8HQS, Jun 25, 2013.

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  1. KC8HQS

    KC8HQS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I installed a vertical HF antenna in my back yard a few weeks ago and decided not to bury the radials immediately for testing purposes, etc. I have had to move them quite a few times now for when I cut the grass or when forget to over them. Additionally, my backyard looks so nice, I couldn't bare to take a shovel to my backyard lawn... So I was going to buy the radial wire anchor pins from DX Engineering when I found a better option at Lowe's - aluminum chain link Fence ties! I bent them to the shape of a staple and pushed them into the ground. Now my radials will stay down, it didn't require much work and it was cheaper than the radial wire anchor pins (sorry DX Engineering)...

    Just wanted to share this tip with everyone else!
  2. KB1NXE

    KB1NXE Ham Member QRZ Page

    An even better tip is lawn staples. Those are the things you can buy to hold down that netting on your flower beds, etc. Already bent and they go into the ground very easy. In the gardening section near the lawn netting.
  3. KC8HQS

    KC8HQS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I looked for those but didn't see them and I couldn't find anybody in the outdoor portion of Lowe's that knew. Maybe they are inside??

    The fence ties I used went into the ground easy as well. I took a hammer outside with me but didn't need it.

  4. W4US

    W4US Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used the Ross Radio Radial Staples:


    Worked really well. Cheaper than DX Engineering. Shipped same day. Included paper info, instruca CD of info about radials. A little overkill for such a simple product, but the guy definitely puts heart into what he sells.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  5. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    you can find the lawn staples at Wal Mart for about $2:)
  6. N3COB

    N3COB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Another inexpensive idea is to cut up wire coat hangers into 4" pieces then bend them in half.....Wallah!
  7. KC8HQS

    KC8HQS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good suggestions from K9ASE & N3COB!

    I should have looked at Wal-Mart...
  8. WB4CMB

    WB4CMB Ham Member QRZ Page

    X2 for Ross Radio staples. Approx 375 to a package. You will prob need two packages. I used 22 radials. They work really well. I mowed the grass short, then laid the radials. Then elevated the lawnmower height adjustment two positions. Scalping the lawn is not necessary. I have to really search for the radials. I did use #14 green insulated wire. Thanks Ray
  9. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ONLY downside to wire staples is a minor risk of having 'em heaved into your leg by your mower at some future date. I think DX Engineering sells plastic ones that biodegrade in a couple of years, which is plenty of time for the grass to cover 'em up if you laid 'em right in the first place.

    If I ever have to do them again, I'm going to find some sort of slitting tool for the grass, mow really tight, slit the sod and push the radials below the surface and close the slits - in a couple of weeks you will see zero sign of damage and they will stay down forever. I will also do the math and make a really good layout diagram.

    I once saw a machine that pulled a soft copper gas line [this was back in '60's when gas mantle walkway lights were popular for homes - ran 24/7] about 70 feet without digging a trench - it had a vertical 'knife' that had a sort of torpedo welded to the bottom - there was a chinese finger trap that clamped the tubing - you dug a small hole at one end, then this machine jerked the knife back and forth while the wheels rolled forward, and tugged the tubing thru the slit trench. Very fast and so clever....One guy unrolled the copper and fed into the trench end, the other guy drove the 'tug'.

    Would be much easier to pull wire radials with such a tool. Bet the AM station builders use something like it.
  10. KD3NE

    KD3NE Ham Member QRZ Page

    MAKE THEM !!!!

    Homebrew from WIRE CLOTHES HANGERS !!!!

    Here is how I did it.

    1) Set lawn mower to lowest setting, or well below normal to cut grass as low as possible.

    2) Run out the radials holding them down with the homebrew wire staples made from wire coat hangers. Make sure the extreme end of each radial is stapled down.

    3) While waiting for the grass to grow back up to regular height, enjoy your new radial field.

    From this point on you should be able to set lawn mower back to normal height and continue to cut the grass without worries.
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