I have been asked many times to
explain how to adapt a Tunable Buried Counterpoise System to a Horizontal
I hope that the attached drawing explains what
materials are needed and how to install the system.
This design is for 160 meters. NOTE: This system is not
to be confused with safety grounding. Do not ground the RF counterpoise
system to any safety grounds. It must be installed exactly as shown.
The System is a low loss return path for antenna currents. Since the
counterpoise wire is buried, a measured wavelength (in the ground) is 40%
shorter than a wavelength in the air..
As you may see from the
drawing below, it becomes very clear how the system works. It works as a
To test the system for effectiveness, after
installation, tune up the antenna with the antenna tuner, then tune up the
Ten-Tec 1251, (from Ten-Tec purchase a 1251 RF Counterpoise Tuner, it
comes in kit form and will require assembly), for maximum current reading
on the meter.
While talking to a distant station ask them to note your
signal strength and loudness of your audio, then purposely de-tune the
TT-1251 for a minimum current reading on the meter. The distant station
will notice a drop in your transmitted signal and a reduction of audio
Many tests have been run on this system and all I can say
is "IT WORKS!"
As you are aware a transmitting antenna is coupled
to the earth unless it is one wavelength above ground. When the antenna is
less than a wavelength, the antenna is coupled to the ground and about 40%
of the transmitted current is going into the ground to heat it up. The
counterpoise collects these antenna currents and returns them back to the
source (the antenna tuner) to be re-radiated back into the antenna. (It’s
a closed circuit) thus adding 3db to 6db of gain to the already existing
Hope all of you are doing well. Spring is almost here
at the time of this article…..you know what that means…..its time to plant
some new antenna designs. Make sure you use plenty of rf fertilizer!
Editors Note: Ten-Tec......Made in Tennessee.....U.S.A! Take Care