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Old 12-31-2017, 1:58 PM
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Default Wire Guage for Long Wire

Hi All,
I am planning on stringing a new 12 Guage Long Wire this spring for my receiver. What I am curious about is the guage. I have an abundance of 0 and 00 guage insulated twisted copper wire I use for running 480 equipment in my plant. Would this work for the long wire, in so much it would provide improved performance.. bumper41
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Old 12-31-2017, 2:10 PM
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Not really, not in your application.

Larger conductors do provide more bandwidth, but that is really only a concern on resonate antennas. For a "long wire", often a random length of wire, it's not going to do anything useful.

It's also going to be really heavy, which will require upgrading the mounting points, and will likely cause the soft drawn copper to eventually stretch.

Larger gauge wire can carry more power if you are transmitting, but you'd have to be running some serious amount of power (like way beyond legal amateur radio limits) to need anything close to 0 gauge wire.

The 12 will work fine, it's easier to work with and a lot lighter. Recycle the 0 and 00 and buy yourself a case of beer or two. You'll get more enjoyment out of that.
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Old 12-31-2017, 2:18 PM
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Thank You, That’s what I needed to Know..... Happy New Year
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Old 12-31-2017, 5:20 PM
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Welcome to the forum..

Out of curiosity, how long a "long wire' were you planning to use?

I did a quick lookup and see that if you made a 100 foot antenna out of 00 gauge, it would weigh about 40 Lbs
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Old 12-31-2017, 6:24 PM
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If you need greater bandwidth you can always run multiple 12ga wires
as a "cage dipole"
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Old 12-31-2017, 6:30 PM
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Around here the copper thieves would steal your 'long wire'. And I think someone mentioned that copper will probably stretch.
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Old 12-31-2017, 6:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt873 View Post
I did a quick lookup and see that if you made a 100 foot antenna out of 00 gauge, it would weigh about 40 Lbs
That would be something to see.

Considering the weight, it's probably why you see more cage type antennas than heavy conductors.

I do remember back in the early 90's taking the old 500KHz wire antenna down off our ship. It was about roughly 6 gauge phosphor/bronze multi strand wire. I thought at the time it was pretty heavy stuff, but considering the location, it made sense.
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Old 12-31-2017, 8:29 PM
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My Plan was 100 feet..... I have two solid structures to support., I could also support in the center if needed. The real question is if I gain anything..... Your thoughts ? Sounds like the general consensus is it is not worth the effort.

Last edited by bumper41; 12-31-2017 at 8:44 PM..
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Old 12-31-2017, 9:37 PM
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Phosphor bronze? I'm sure every ship that I was ever on had rolls of hard-drawn 7-strand copper in the spares locker. I spent a happy few hours making spare antennas with proper splices rather than those awful bulldog grips on most ships I joined - why did guys just have rolls of wire rather than already made up antennas? Also a good half-dozen of weak links - just one strand of the wire that went between the insulator and the halliard - if the antenna got snagged the weak link broke but the antenna was still usable until you had the time to replace the link.
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Old 01-18-2018, 9:47 AM
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Thans to all for
The responses. I have another question,
If I use the long wire and choose to use shielded coax as my lead in, And I ground the shield outside, do I also need to run a second ground to the grounding terminal on my receiver? The coax couples to the radio with a PL259... Thanks GE
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:14 AM
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There are National Electrical Code requirements for wire size depending on the length. Transmitting antennas have more criteria.

"Less than 35 feet long — use 19 AWG copper or aluminum alloy or use 20 AWG copper-clad steel, bronze, or other high-strength material.
More than 35 feet long but less than 150 feet long — use 14 AWG copper (or 14 AWG aluminum alloy) or use 17 AWG copper-clad steel, bronze, or other high-strength material.
Longer than 150 feet — use 12 AWG copper (or 14 AWG aluminum alloy) or use 14 AWG copper-clad steel, bronze, or other high-strength material".

"Amateur radio has additional requirements beyond those for receiving equipment, because of an additional function: transmitting. Thus, if the installation is an amateur radio system, it must comply with 810, Part III (810.51 through 810.58).

Obviously, the antenna conductors must be larger if you are also transmitting. If the conductors are longer than 150 feet, use either 10 AWG hard-drawn copper or 12 AWG copper-clad steel, bronze, or other high-strength material. If the length is under 150 feet, you can use 14 AWG in any of the aforementioned materials".
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