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 Heavy Duty Ground Radial System
for Vertical Antennas

by KL7JR

Here's my favorite heavy duty ground ring that I use on portable outings with my vertical pipe antennas.

Much has been published on ground radial systems for vertical antennas. Some hams think in order to achieve maximum efficiency for a vertical antenna an elaborate ground system is required, (copper plating ones entire backyard is not practical for most hams!).

Some hams favor a certain wire type over others and believe radial lengths are most critical. I could go on and on....but I think most old-timers will agree on "get out as 'many' radials as you can and make them as 'long' as you can".
Galvanized plumbers tape and 1/4 inch galvanized stove bolts!

It doesn't get much simpler or easy to make. You can also use copper plumber's tape and brass bolts but it'll cost more. As a minimum, I use four ground radials at about 16 feet long each (remember more and longer is better!) which works well on 10-40 meters for me.

On most portable outings when I have room I use 8 radials at 20+ feet long each. I also try to get one or two of the radials in the water if I'm near the ocean or any freshwater. This broadens the ground plane affect and helps reduce noise verticals are known for. Using plumber's tape for the wire radials is a more heavy duty approach which eliminates the coiling of smaller gauge wire on the ground (wire always tangles up when I'm around!). Insulated or bare wire for radials and the ground ring is also fine,
I just prefer plumber's tape.
The ground ring size I use is about 12 inches in diameter (not critical).
See pictures below:

Wide shot of assembled grounding ring with coils rolled up

Closeup showing more detail

That's it and repeated from above......It doesn't get much simpler or easy to make.

73 KL7JR
John Reisenauer

Don't miss John's other projects. Check them out on the antenna projects page!

Monitor police, fire, ham radio, rescue, ships and more!


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