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Author Topic: Planting Radials  (Read 244 times)
W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« on: August 01, 2001, 12:31:04 PM »

In almost 40 years of hamming, I have had several occasions to bury radials for vertical antennas.  My radials must be buried for several, non-technical reasons, so leaving them lie on the lawn is not an option for me.  In addition, I have issues with lawn irrigation piping and low voltage electrical wires buried beneath the surface, so I can't go TOO deep.  Over the years, the methods I've used to "slot" the turf for radial wires have varied considerably, but I've never found a method that wasn't a pain in the *#%!.  So far, I have used the traditional spade (VERY slow), a drywall saw (tedius), an electric lawn edger with a metal blade (not bad) and even, on a particularly damp lawn, a pizza cutter taped to a broom stick!  Also, thought about renting a small electric chain saw.  Anyone got a favorite approach to burying radials just below the surface of the lawn that they'd like to share?  73, Terry, WØFM  
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20612




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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2001, 03:03:36 PM »

Sounds like you've tried all the usual methods.

My personal favorite, though, is this one:

I pre-cut all the radials to suit the available space, crimp & solder terminals or lugs of some sort on the "antenna base" ends of all the wires, then show my gardener what to do, and he does it!  

Several advantages to this method.  First, the gardener has a stronger back (and arms, and hands) than I have, since he's used to digging in people's yards 52 weeks a year, so he's really good at it.  Second, he also maintains the sprinkler systems and all the underground plumbing, low voltage wiring, etc. -- so he knows where it all is, and if he breaks any of it, he'll fix it (e.g., it will be his problem, and not mine).  Third, I don't pay him nearly as much as my own time is worth.

Works out great.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6
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INITZERO
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Posts: 102


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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2001, 03:06:04 PM »

When the local cable company installed coax to my
house the guy used what appeared to be a metal
version of a pizza flipper. Have you ever been to
a mom-n-pop pizza parlor where they still have
real brick ovens? You know that long-handled wand
they use to move the pizza in the oven?

Anyway, the blade was about two feet long, a
foot deep and an eight of an inch wide. It had a
four foot long pipe handle with a T at the top.
He dropped it in the ground, stepped on it and
then pushed the cable down in the resulting hole.

He was able to cut roots half an inch in diameter
even though the blade wasn't sharp. Our cable run
is 80 feet from house to dmarc. It took him no time
at all to plant the cable and the rut was so clean
and thin that walking over it once made it disappear.

I would just about bet that a similar device would
work great for putting in radials.

Matt (k4mls)
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NB6Z
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2001, 05:05:04 PM »

Terry,

I suggest you get Steve's gardenner to install your radials. Pizza will never taste the same...  ;-)
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W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2001, 05:47:41 PM »

The perfect solution Steve.....And my XYL will gladly participate in the search to hire a gardner!  It will be a "family project".  Thanks for the input.

73,

Terry, WØFM
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G4HZV
Member

Posts: 102




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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2001, 02:21:34 PM »

Why bury them?  Cut the grass very short. Lay out the radials and secure them every foot or two with bobby pins. Relax and watch the grass grow, but don't cut it too short just yet. In a few months the radials will be gone.
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NK8A
Member

Posts: 24




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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 01:35:05 PM »

 I HAVENT TRIED IT YET, BUT I AM GOING TO USE STAPLES FOR THE RADIALS I WILL ADD TO MY VERTICAL. THE FIRST 26 RADIALS I INSTALLED I SLIT THE GRASS WITH A NARROW SPADE SHOVEL, AND THIS METHOD TOOK MORE TIME AND EFFORT THAN I FEEL IS NEEDED. THE TYPE OF STAPLES I WILL USE ARE AVAILBLE AT LOWES HOME IMPROVEMENT CENTERS. THEY ARE TYPE THAT ARE USED FOR ATTACHING FENCING TO POSTS AND THEY ARE SHARP....GOOD LUCK
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