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Author Topic: Counterpoise wire size important ?  (Read 1407 times)
KD0TLI
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Posts: 42




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« on: February 28, 2013, 08:06:24 AM »

I'm thinking of going with a small awg wire for my counterpoise system on my portable HF vertical.
Not sure what effect the increased resistance of small AWG wire (30 AWG) will have on my counterpoise ?

I want to go with the smallest wire possible, for portablity reasons.

Any help is much appreciated.
KD0TLI
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13028




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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 08:48:48 AM »

Not a problem.

Wire losses are relatively low compared to ground losses.  I've used dipoles
made from #28 magnet wire.  The more counterpoise wires you have, the
lower the current in each one.

Generally I wouldn't go below #32 for a wire antenna because the birds
can't see it in time to miss it.
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W6RMK
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Posts: 649




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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 07:31:15 AM »

Unless you're very concerned about weight, I wouldn't go as small as AWG30.. it's tiny, it kinks, etc.  I'd look for some very flexible insulated wire in the AWG 26 sort of range.  There's wire that has lots of little strands and a insulation jacket that is very "limp" so it tends to just lay down nicely in a portable situation.

Stripping open old "silver satin" 4 wire phone cable might be a source. 
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N4CR
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Posts: 1653




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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 07:57:25 PM »

If you're going for portable use, you'll want stranded wire. Otherwise, CAT-5 cable is an excellent source for 8 strands of #22. But it's solid core.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13028




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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 08:10:18 PM »

Yes, I'd recommend #18 to #26 stranded, insulated wire for portable use.
I made my first dipoles out of magnet wire, and had problems with them
kinking.  The next set used #22 or #24 stranded hookup wire and I still
have them 35 years later.

Some folks like to use the reels sold for "Camping Clothesline", as were
used for the "Yo-Yo Antenna".  I just wind them up in a figure-8
pattern
between my thumb and little finger and they are easy to
set up and take down with a minimum of tangles.
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K5LXP
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Posts: 4449


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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 07:30:35 AM »

The currents divide among all the radial wires, so if you have say 24 radials, each is carrying 1/24th the feedpoint current.  So resistance isn't of prime importance as it would be for a dipole or monopole element.  It needs to be durable enough to withstand the field and not end up a tangled mess (think of a snarled fishing reel).  I use 26ga teflon stranded for my field antennas and it's both durable and flexible, and entire antennas fit inside ziplock sandwich bags for transport.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KB2HSH
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Posts: 216


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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 06:04:20 AM »

If you're going for portable use, you'll want stranded wire. Otherwise, CAT-5 cable is an excellent source for 8 strands of #22. But it's solid core.

I am a PBX Technician for a living. Your statements are partially true.
-Cat 5 cable these days is almost "unobtanium". The PLANET had eveolved to Cat 5e...at the MINIMUM. Cat 6 is the "latest thing".
-MOST LAN cable is 24 gauge copper. 22 wouldn't fit into most connectors.
-the solid conductor data cable IS used for the station drops, but stranded conductor is available as well. It's used for patch cords.

Other than those nit-picky things, they're still excellent ideas. I have 3000' of satin cord in my truck. That could be an excellent choice for counterpoise wires.

John
KB2HSH
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