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Amateur Radio Antennas - For discussion of all amateur band designed antennas and related accoutrements. This includes base, handheld, mobile and repeater usage. For commercial antennas on the amateur bands please use Commercial Radio Antennas below.

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Old 05-29-2017, 5:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 25
Default Welded Wire Mesh as Ground Radial

I'm in the planning phase of building a 1/4-wave 40M end-fed vertical antenna. Since I have a surplus of galvanized WWM fencing material (rolls of 5' high, with 2"x4" squares), I was thinking of laying that out around the base to act as the ground radials. The side lengths would be intermittently brazed to achieve continuity. The WWM would also be brazed to a ring of copper tubing at the base, with the copper ultimately connected to the coax shield.
My concern is that the galvanized steel mesh presents greater resistance than would copper wire radials. At the same time though, I could lay down a lot of metal on my ground plane at no cost.
What are your thoughts or experiences regarding steel radials for vertical antennas?
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Old 05-29-2017, 5:54 PM
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Gettysburg, Pa
Posts: 579

I'm using almost the same thing but used chicken wire. I covered an
area about 70X70 and it works great
.My wire has been down for almost 10 years and shows no signs of
corrosion. It was layed on my dirt yard before I planted grass seed.
The antenna is a quarter wave 40 meter vertical made of stainless
steed tubing.
Good luck...
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Old 05-29-2017, 6:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 25

Thanks, W3DMV. That's good to know. I was thinking about 70x70, too.
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Old 05-29-2017, 8:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,178

I once heard a ham who also said he had good results using aluminum or steel foill!
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Old 05-31-2017, 3:26 PM
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1

How on earth did you guys get the wire not to corrode? Do you believe that this galvanized coating is what is doing the trick? I tried plain steel wire mesh ( Custom Wire Cloth - Belleville Wire Cloth Co - Cedar Grove, NJ - Belleville Wire Cloth) for a similar project - much smaller area - and had so much rust after only a few months. I do not want to pay up for stainless steel, but I will if I have to!
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