Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Buddistick radials

David (K2DBK) asked: "Scott -- When you have your buddistick mounted like that, do you just let the counterpoise wire hang straight down?"

The radials for a balcony vertical are run as far as I can without causing a nuisance. If I can drop a radial off the balcony and let it drape down two, three, or even four floors I will do it. Usually, this will be late at night so I don't attract attention to myself. If I am doing daytime operation, I'll usually try to keep the radials confined to my balcony or the area immediately adjacent to the balcony.
I don't just have one radial if I can avoid it, though. I made this set of wires that are packed with the Buddistick that serves as a set of radials. The wire is the really small stuff I keep talking about from The Wireman (though Jeff, KE9V, points out there may be cheaper alternatives that should be investigated). Each radial wire is terminated with a male spade connector.

I created a single eye connector with a bunch of short wires, each terminated with a female spade connector.

Here is a close-up of the ends of this bunch.

I connect the eye to the Buddistick mount for the radial and then plug in as many radial wires as I like. I'll usually add 3 or 4 to start for a quick operation and run them around the balcony. If I know I can leave the antenna up for a few days, I'll add more. I also add the long radial on the kite-winder and drop if off the balcony straight down if I can get away with it.
This whole arrangement only weighs a few ounces, fits easily into the Buddistick case (a very nice case!), and makes adding a good set of radials to this sweet little antenna very easy.

The last day of the show is tomorrow. Then, I've got a very early flight on Thursday and back home early afternoon. The Lowell Spinners had their opening night tonight (and I missed it!), but I'll be going Thursday. I can't wait!

3 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Thanks for answering my question. That's a really slick idea, and I think I might take a crack and try copying it. The only questions I have is which is "the really small stuff ... from The Wireman" (they seem to have several zillion types of wire close to what I think you're using), and how long do you make each of the "plug-in" radials?

June 21, 2007 9:08 PM  
Blogger NE1RD's Blog said...

I was not all that careful measuring the radial lengths. I wasn't trying to make radials for any particular band; I was instead just trying to make a collection of radials that would provide a reasonable RF ground from a balcony. They are probably 12-16 feet long, but that's a guess.

The wire is the 534 with this description:
"Invisible' Toughcoat 'Silky' 26 AWG, 19 strand 40% copper-clad steel (OD 0.020") with the same jacket as 531 (Nominal OD, 0.050" including 0.015" jacket, but super small for that 'low profile' antenna or pocket 'weekender' long wire. Weighs less than one pound per 1000 feet! Not recommended for 160 meters."

Let me know if you give this a try. I would be nice to hear about your results!

June 29, 2007 1:52 PM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks for the info Scott. I splurged (as you said, maybe it's cheaper elsewhere) and ordered a few hundred feet of 534 last night. (I won't need that much for radials, but I figure I'll use it eventually for some other things.) I'm going to make up a bunch of radials using the "NE1RD" method and try them out. I'll definitely let you know what happens.

June 30, 2007 12:30 PM  

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