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Thread: one long radial ?

  1. #1

    Default one long radial ?

    I'm about to install a 160m radial field in a 100'x100' wooded area covered in leaves from 6" to 24" deep. Never having done this before, I'm looking for a lazy mans approach and wondered what would be the result if I unwound hundreds of feet of wire back and forth from pairs of lawn staples around the perimeter to the radial connection plate. Then I could use the leaf blower to clear and area and add more staples as needed. If one long radial is out of the question electrically, I could then cut the wire at each of the perimeter staple pairs. My knees have 80+ years of wear and I'm looking to make this job easier. Thanks in advance for not booing and hissing.

  2. #2

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    One long radial would "work" but would be lossy. As you add radials, the efficiency will improve.

  3. #3

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    If you mean from the perimeter to the centre, then back out, then back in then if every 'in' was bonded in the centre, then you would have a ground mat, rather than radials, and the leaf blower seems a simple solution to get them to ground level. The idea being to try to ensure all of it is at ground potential and not floating above it. If the stakes you poke in are all bonded too, the thing gets better and better. It might be one long length, but if you common bond everything where it can be done, it should work pretty well I would have thought.

  4. #4

    Default one long radial

    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    If you mean from the perimeter to the centre, then back out, then back in then if every 'in' was bonded in the centre, then you would have a ground mat, rather than radials, and the leaf blower seems a simple solution to get them to ground level. The idea being to try to ensure all of it is at ground potential and not floating above it. If the stakes you poke in are all bonded too, the thing gets better and better. It might be one long length, but if you common bond everything where it can be done, it should work pretty well I would have thought.
    Each "radial" will be a U shape with the two end points of the U bonded electrically to the center of the radial area.
    The midpoint of the U will be at the perimeter of the radial field and held by running it around a tree or bush or yard staple.
    Although there is only one piece of wire, all contacts with the center of the radial field are bonded by securing them to the common radial ground plate.
    In other words, each "radial" is a double length of U shaped wire.
    I didn't think I would have to "bond" the wire anywhere except the center - isn't that the most radials are installed?
    This saves me all of the measuring and cutting - I just attach the wire to the ground plate, walk the reel out to the edge of the property, loop it around whatever is there (using a staple if necessary), walk the reel back to the radial plate and connect it there, and repeat the process. Just like a normal system, except each radial is a U shaped wire rather than a single wire.
    Also, the U shaped radials will be unequally spaced.

    I thought the system would be a "mat" only in that each U shaped radial would be small "mat" and the entire system would be a disbursed circle of those small "mats".

    I'm responding this way because I want to verify that it's "ok" for the outer ends of the wire to NOT be bonded (as they are not bonded in conventional radials).
    Thanks

  5. #5

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    Radials would be bonded in the centre - but radials just function as a poorer version of a real ground plane, unless the radials are actually part of the resonant components of the antenna design - like when they are identical in length to the vertical element. With a conductive component laid on, or spiked down to the real ground, it just behaves like a conductive mat - like the ones often installed at semi-permanent radar sites. A weave of copper cable, running north/south and east west, that has been buried under a layer of top soil to improve the performance of sandy or light soil.

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