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Author Topic: Paper or Plastic? Well not really...  (Read 1407 times)
N4MU
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Posts: 238




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« on: May 03, 2019, 10:00:47 AM »

Other things remaining equal, which would be better for an RF ground situation? 1/2" wide tinned copper braid -or- 1/2" wide solid copper strap?
I have become a real champion for flat braid lately but am wondering if the solid copper strap might have even less loss for RF.
The strap is somewhat more expensive (for the .022 thickness) and a bit less manageable than flexible braid...but if it's a good deal better (loss-wise) I'd go for it.
Note that this application is for RF grounding of outside antennas only, not anything to do with power (AC) grounding.
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SOFAR
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2019, 10:28:03 AM »

I wouldn't use braid outdoors.
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N4MU
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Posts: 238




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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 05:40:28 AM »

Interesting. Why? Because of contamination within/between the threads over time? I was thinking copper strap wouldn't be good outside because of corrosion when it turns green from weather. Other thoughts anyone?
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W9IQ
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Posts: 3397




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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 06:12:56 AM »

You should not use exposed braid outdoors. The oxidation that forms creates a resistive barrier between the individual strands. This negates the low inductance properties of the braid.

Wide, solid copper strips are best for RF and lightning purposes in a weather exposed application. They do not need to be particularly thick.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
N4MU
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Posts: 238




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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 05:08:40 AM »

Thanks Glenn. Guess I'll hold out for solid strap! Don't want to do this more than once!
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KD0REQ
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Posts: 2389




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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 12:00:53 PM »

best cheap source of copper strap: get a roll of copper flashing at the hardware store. cut strips (angled aviation metal snips will protect most of your body parts.) you can cut a strip as long as you need.
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W3TDH
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2019, 07:01:42 PM »

Interesting. Why? Because of contamination within/between the threads over time? I was thinking copper strap wouldn't be good outside because of corrosion when it turns green from weather. Other thoughts anyone? 
The RF or lightning energy doesn't care if the surface of the copper is tarnished.  As long as all of the connections were buffed to bright copper and protected with copper anti oxidase past before assembly there will be no high impedance connections weighting for a chance to cause side flash. 

--
Tom W3TDH 
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KD0REQ
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Posts: 2389




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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 10:59:22 AM »

strap, being a solid surface, should not only be a lower impedance to ground, but have more current carrying capacity than an equal braid. and hold its performance longer.
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