Welded Wire Mesh as Ground Radial

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SCPD

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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?
 

W3DMV

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Jan 2, 2009
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603
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Gettysburg, Pa
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...
 

umiami21

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May 31, 2017
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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!
 

TheSpaceMann

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Apr 3, 2014
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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!
Stainless steel is the way to go for outdoor applications.
 

jim202

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New Orleans region
Galvanized will last a very long time.
That all depends on the soil conditions. There are some areas where the soil is so damp that it doesn't take long to cause corrosion to set in and eat up your well planned grounding system. Another factor is just how corrosive the soil is.

Soil PH will determine just what conditions your facing. Some soil may allow the chicken mesh to last for many years. Other locations can eat it up in a year or so.

This is why all the cellular carriers use copper, number 2 solid wire, plated, to create their grounding systems. It is also why they use exothermic welds on all their connections to the ground rods and other wire connections to keep low resistant systems. Your mileage will still depend on the soil conditions and PH.

Good grounding systems will always make an antenna system play better.
 
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