Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Antenna wire advice?  (Read 1340 times)
KB8VIV
Member

Posts: 58




Ignore
« on: October 13, 2018, 08:37:10 PM »

Hello everyone,

So, a tree trimming company got tangled up in my full wave 80 meter loop - so it’s time to replace it. Trouble is, Davis Rf is out of the polystealth 13 awg that I used. Wireman is out of the comparable 531 - which I suspect is the same wire.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good replacement? Thanks in advance.

De Kb8viv
Logged
NE1U
Member

Posts: 84




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 05:39:28 AM »

How much power are running?  If not legal limit, maybe drop a guage?

And, some are using wire from HD or Lowes swearing that all is good. Do a search for "THHN"
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 05:47:56 AM by NE1U » Logged
KB8VIV
Member

Posts: 58




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 04:23:37 PM »

Hello,

I’m just running 100 watts.  I found this
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwire-500-ft-12-Black-Stranded-CU-THHN-Wire-22964158/203401696

This looks very similar
https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-antw-300


The Davis RF stuff is marketed as copper clad steel, supposedly the steel resists stretching.  It’s also marketed as uv resistant.  The Home Depot stuff looks like a good alternative though.  I may give Davis RF a week or two and then if they still don’t have it, I’ll get the Home Depot stuff.

Thanks for the recommendation.

73’s de kb8viv
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 04:36:07 PM by KB8VIV » Logged
KC0W
Member

Posts: 566




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 04:41:19 PM »

 Cooper clad is a real bitch to work with but it will stay up for a very, very long time. Antenna purists will say cooper clad is not as good as cooper wire due to it mostly being made out of steel. (with a minuscule outer layer of cooper) Cooper clad will not stretch like soft cooper wire will. Try not to disturb it's outer cooper jacket due to the possibility of rust forming............I would wait until it comes back in stock and order the cooper clad. Do it once & do it right.


                                                                Tom KC0W           
Logged
K0CWO
Member

Posts: 526




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 05:10:24 PM »

Wireman 531 is my first choice and I’ve used it quite a bit.  I’ve also used 12 AWG THHN for dipoles running legal limit without issues.  They work the same but 531 is more durable. 
Logged
KB8VIV
Member

Posts: 58




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 05:39:05 PM »

Hello KC0W,

My Davis RF Polystealth wire has been up 15 years easily - it is a pain to work with as it really wants to be straight, LOL.  But it’s very rugged and has stood the test of time.  That said, it was no match for a stump grinder, LOL.

KB8VIV

Cooper clad is a real bitch to work with but it will stay up for a very, very long time. Antenna purists will say cooper clad is not as good as cooper wire due to it mostly being made out of steel. (with a minuscule outer layer of cooper) Cooper clad will not stretch like soft cooper wire will. Try not to disturb it's outer cooper jacket due to the possibility of rust forming............I would wait until it comes back in stock and order the cooper clad. Do it once & do it right.


                                                                Tom KC0W          



I suspect that the 531 is the same as the Davis RF as they are both mysteriously out of stock, and the eta is 2-3 weeks for both.  I will probably wait for one of them to come back in stock as, like KC0W stated previously, I only want to do it once.  All that said, if it doesn’t come back in stock soon, the DX Engineering looks like a good alternative.  I think I do prefer the copper clad steel of the 531/Davis rf as I imagine it would resist stretching better than the pure copper DX Engineering wire.  Thanks for all the advice.

73’s de kbIviv



Wireman 531 is my first choice and I’ve used it quite a bit.  I’ve also used 12 AWG THHN for dipoles running legal limit without issues.  They work the same but 531 is more durable.  
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 05:41:46 PM by KB8VIV » Logged
K4RVN
Member

Posts: 241




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 05:46:47 PM »

I presently have two antennas for 40 meters using the Southwire, except 14 gage. 1500 watts no problem, stranded black insulated copper. I got it at  either home Depot or Lowes for about 43 bucks for 500 ft. I use springs on the support ropes to lessen the stretch on the wire when the wind blows. Ropes are 3/16 dia. dacron, 4 element wire beam. Elements are full length for 40 meters around 7.168 freq. I think # 12 or #14 gage of the wire you posted would serve you well from my experience.
Logged
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 17920




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 05:46:51 PM »

Quote from: KC0W

...Antenna purists will say cooper clad is not as good as cooper wire due to it mostly being made out of steel. (with a minuscule outer layer of cooper)...


Genuine CopperWeld copper-clad steel wire is typically 20% to 30% copper (by weight).  For a solid wire
of reasonably large gauge the copper is thick enough that, due to skin effect, most of the RF flows in the copper
layer, at least on the higher bands.

But with stranded wire, each strand has a thinner copper layer, and the effective copper thickness of a larger
stranded wire is that of the individual strands on the outside of the bundle.  The lower the frequency, the skin
effect goes deeper, and losses increase once it gets into the steel underneath.  The more strands, the thinner
the layer of copper.

By contrast, copper-plated welding wire is often suggested for ham antennas.  This has a very thin
layer of copper - a few microns thick (the thinner the copper layer the better for it's intended use).  Not only
does most of the RF flow in the steel, but the copper layer corrodes off very quickly.  (One friend used it to put
up a rhombic for Field Day one year, and the copper disappeared overnight in a thick fog.)

So there is a big difference between copper-clad and copper-plated wire:  the former can be a good
choice for antennas in many cases, but not the latter.



Quote

...Cooper clad will not stretch like soft cooper wire will...



I've been putting up antennas for years, and the only time I've had a copper wire antenna stretch was when I
put my full weight on it because it was stuck in a tree.  For the last 30 years or so I've mostly been using thin
stranded, insulated hookup wire  from #18 to #26 or so.  As far as I'm concerned, if my wire stretches then
I'm putting too much tension on it.

I know all the antenna books show nice horizontal dipoles, but in practice a bit of sag doesn't hurt anything,
and helps the wire to withstand high winds that blow the supports around.  (Counterweights help, too.)
Logged
KA5GEX
Member

Posts: 103




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 06:03:10 PM »

I use #14 THHN stranded for my 350-foot loop.  Fed with heomebrew ladder line made from same wire.
Logged
KB2WIG
Member

Posts: 565




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2018, 06:19:53 PM »



The local Homely despot                 #14 AWG THHN, 500 feet, $39.77.
Davis RF                                       #14 AWG CopperWeld , 500 feet, $75.00 + shipping.

You pay your money and you takes your choice.

I've used THHN and weed whacker line for years. If I had a nice place for, say, a 135 foot doublet fed with ladder line, at 120 feet above ground, I would use copper clad stuff. But I'm a poor man.....

klc
Logged

EXTRALight  1/3 less WPM than a Real EXTRA
KB8VIV
Member

Posts: 58




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2018, 06:37:31 PM »

Thanks for all the great responses.  The Davis RF stuff isn’t cheap but I’ve had great experience with it, that said, I may give DX Engineering a call tomorrow and order some of this: https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-antw-300

Thanks again.

de Kb8viv

Logged
K4RVN
Member

Posts: 241




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2018, 06:53:50 PM »

The Southwire coating on the insulation, like a varnish or something, will start to come off over time so it looks bad  but
still works fine. If looks are important to you I would go with the DX eng. wire as they say it is UV protected.
Frank
Logged
KB8VIV
Member

Posts: 58




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2018, 07:16:18 PM »

Hi Frank,

I’m less concerned with looks, I just don’t want the insulation to breakdown from the UV exposure.  The DX Engineering wire says it’s uv resistant which is definitely preferred.

73’s de Kb8viv.

The Southwire coating on the insulation, like a varnish or something, will start to come off over time so it looks bad  but
still works fine. If looks are important to you I would go with the DX eng. wire as they say it is UV protected.
Frank
Logged
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 17920




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 06:21:35 AM »

Quote from: K4RVN

The Southwire coating on the insulation, like a varnish or something, will start to come off over time so it looks bad  but
still works fine...



That's the nylon layer on the outside that reduces friction when pulling wires
through conduit.  When it starts looking bad, just lower your antenna (it is
installed with halyards, isn't it?) and stuff the debris off into a bucket, then
pull it back up.
Logged
K4RVN
Member

Posts: 241




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 07:17:01 AM »

The insulation on the Southwire remains intact after years of sun exposure so if not concerned about looks after time, the Southwire will do a good job at 14 gage or #12. I only use insulated wire because it is available and a reasonable price. If the insulation were to fall off no harm will be done except a slight resonant freq. change upward. I plan to install a half square for 75 meters soon with the #14 as I have had very good results over the years. It is not the best wire available but certainly cost effective that will last a long time. Good luck on your project,

Frank
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!