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Author Topic: Stainless steel horse fence antenna material  (Read 3198 times)
WA2TPU
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Posts: 218




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« on: May 09, 2012, 10:18:43 AM »

Hello to all. I was wondering if anyone out there has experimented with "horse fence" materials in making Delta loop antennas for 20,40 and/or 80 meters. I see in the Eham reviews that high praise has been given to the "horse fence" dipole antennas made by KF4BWG- All "5's" in fact. If anyone has experimented with this "horse fence" in making Delta loop antennas  I would appreciate hearing about those results because I'm considering building a 40 meter Delta loop antenna with "horse fence".
Thanks.
Best regards,
   Don sr. - WA2TPU
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K9SRV
Member

Posts: 121




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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 07:45:34 AM »

Hi Don,
I have the 80 meter Horse Fence and was thinking about
making a V-beam out of it. I was wondering how it might
work on the upper bands if configured to point to a DX-ped.
I was curious if anyone could run some Enzec numbers on gain
if configured as a horizontal V @ 30' or so.

Thanks,
John
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WB4SPT
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Posts: 160




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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 08:30:30 AM »

My only comment is that stainless steel has about 42 times the resistance of electrical copper. 
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12981




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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:49:46 AM »

Stainless doesn't solder well either.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13467




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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 09:13:47 AM »

The stainless steel does have much higher resistance than copper, but using it for
relatively ordinary antennas such as delta loops or dipoles shouldn't have a big
impact on efficiency because the currents are relatively low.

HOWEVER...  The "horse fence" material (wide poly braid with imbedded stainless
wires designed for electric fence use) uses 18 very thin wires.  This will have
more RF loss than a larger wire due to skin depth.  The flat tapes are more prone
to fluttering in the wind, which causes repeated flexing of the wires at specific points.
I helped by brother-in-law maintain a horse fence using that stuff, and the first pass
around the pasture we found about a dozen breaks in the wire - and that is where
ALL the strands were broken through.  (With a typical electric fence the braid is
knotted periodically to short all the strands together, so most of them can break
in any one span and still leave the fence operational.)  I've looked at the various
types of poly+wire fencing materials that have come out in the last 20 years, and
haven't found one yet that I thought was better than plain wire for antennas.

That's not to say they won't work, of course.  While the losses are higher, the
difference is small, and probably not noticeable in operation.  The combination of
higher losses and wide tapes with multiple wires will improve the SWR bandwidth
over a single wire.

So, while that isn't the material I would go out to buy to build an antenna, I'd have
no qualms about using it if it were what I otherwise had on hand, at least for a
temporary antenna.  (All of my antennas are temporary, even the one that stayed
up for 6 years.  Actually my longest surviving HF antenna at the moment is a piece
of the thin solid aluminum electric fence wire that runs from my barn out to a
walnut tree.  It has been in place for over 10 years.)


Using it for delta loops?  I'd suggest regular wire instead, but you can try it if you want.
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WA2TPU
Member

Posts: 218




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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 12:29:36 PM »

To Wb6byu.....Thanks. I see your points and must agree with you. Its just that I saw in the posted reviews of the "horse fence" dipole antennas by other hams on Eham.com that there was nothing but 5's and huge praise of these types of antennas using that materials. Logically I thought that this "horse fence" stainless steel wire could be used in Delta loops with similar results. Now I'm not so sure. I just curious and wondered if anyone had used the "horse fence" to build Delta loops and what those results were? I guess I'll never actually know for sure unless I build one and try it out for myself. More than likely the old tried and true ways of making Delta loops with copper wire is the best way to go. And to ALL that replied to my question. Thank you so much.
Best regards,
    Don sr. - WA2TPU/Qrp
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W0FM
Member

Posts: 2056




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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 01:21:28 PM »

Ham to Landlord:  "Loop Antenna?  No sir, that's not an antenna, that's a corral."
   Grin

Terry, WØFM
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 01:37:32 PM by W0FM » Logged
W4VR
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Posts: 1198


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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 02:02:29 PM »

I would stay away from that stuff and stick with copper or copperweld.  I've used aluminum wire in the past for my antennas but you have to clamp everything together with similar metals to make it work.
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WA2TPU
Member

Posts: 218




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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 02:31:58 PM »

to W4VR--- Thanks for your thoughts + suggestions. I have plenty of copper/copper weld to use.
Best regards,
  Don sr. - WA2TPU/Qrp
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13467




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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 02:35:54 PM »

Quote from: WA2TPU

... I thought that this "horse fence" stainless steel wire could be used in Delta loops with similar results. Now I'm not so sure...



Of course you can use it to make delta loops.  You'll need slightly more wire for the same
resonant frequency with a loop (which is opposite to the effect of using fatter wire for
a dipole.)  Otherwise the performance will be about the same as using any other sort of wire.

It's just that, personally, I wouldn't choose such a wire if I had other types available.

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WA2TPU
Member

Posts: 218




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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 03:01:42 PM »

to wb6byu......Oh I agree.....I don't have any stainless steel horse fence in my stock-pile of wire. Thus, for me to go out and purchase a roll of horse fence at the local Tractor Supply or at Lowes isn't something I plan to do any time soon. It was just a thought and query to see if any ham had tried to use the horse fence for a Delta loop antennas. I also considered using the horse fence to build a 18 to 23 element vertical log periodic(10-20 meters) strung between 2 trees that I have about 250 feet apart-70 feet high. However, I'm just going to stick to good ole copper wire to use for my upcoming antenna projects.
Again, thank you to All who replied to my question.
Best regards,
   Don sr. - WA2TPU/Qrp
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