Saturday, June 29, 2013

Radials done!

For now at least!  ;)

After mowing the lawn early this afternoon, I finished the job that I had started the other evening. I finished getting my new set of radial wires down for my Butternut vertical.

My first set, put down so many years ago, consisted of a set of 25 foot  (8 Meter) long wires, fanned out from the base of the Butternut. If memory serves me correctly, I originally put 25 radials down. They have long since disappeared under the lawn, but I know for a fact that two were damaged over the course of the years. One by me, and one by our dog.

Today, I put another dozen wires down, but these were not 25 footers. Today, I laid down wires as long as I could to the opposite end of the back lawn. In all, I put down approximately 650 feet (198 Meters) worth of wire. I used up what I had leftover from last time and entirely used up a brand new 500 foot spool of 14 gauge wire.

I still need to buy another bag of landscaping pins, so that I can secure the wires to the ground s little more securely in several areas. There are a few spots where I believe the lawn mower wheels might push the wire around, unless it's secured a little better.

So that makes a total of 37 radials down around my Butternut. Someday, I'd like to get that total closer to 60. I have read in several articles that 60 is the magic number, where adding more than that causes no significant increase in benefit.

73 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. It really depends on your soil conductivity, but yeah, the more radials the better.

    Back at my Gwinnett County QTH, I saw a big benefit from going from eight radials to 16, and then maxxed out at 30. Since the shunt-fed tower was at the corner of the house, I could only get 3/4 coverage of the ground. Amazing, though, what those radials can do.

    I have WAS on 80m and 160m, as well as about 65 and 25 countries, respectively, confirmed on that shunt-fed tower. Radials work.

  2. Anonymous6:10 AM

    Funny you should mention 60 radials. Last summer, recently retired and back into HAM radio, I installed a DX Engineering 43 ft Vertical. The radial plate had mounting for 60 radials and that's how many I put down. 32.5' each.
    Never regretted going with a vertical. At 68 yrs.old, there were days I regretted my decision to go with that many radials!
    Rick Barnich