A radial plate for cheapskates. Post #1287.
A radial plate for cheapskates
Author: Bill Savage (K3AN).
Accessed on 21 October 2017, 2055 UTC, Post #1287.
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I've always enjoyed designing, building, and using "homebrewed" 1/4 wavelength vertical antennas. In the past, my ham radio shack has been located in areas where a full-length dipole antenna is impractical, especially for 80 and 160 meter operations. Vertical, sloper, and inverted vee configurations have worked well, considering my limited horizontal space.
While building vertical antennas is educational and often fun, finishing the necessary counterpoise or ground radial system has proven to be tedious and time consuming.
One way to deploy a ground radial system without much fuss is to use a metal radial plate as a connecting point for your vertical antenna counterpoise or ground radial system. Several manufacturers make and sell these ground plates, and most of them have received excellent reviews in the amateur radio news media. The only drawback is the cost.
In this article by Bill Savage (K3AN), we learn how some common household sink products can cut the cost of a metal radial plate. This article originally was published by www.eham.net on 30 April 2009.
Bill says the path to a homemade metal radial plate begins at the nearest home improvement center or neighborhood hardware store:
It's nothing more than a replacement kitchen sink strainer that you can buy at Home Depot or Lowe's for about $2.00. It's made from stainless steel and is “pre-drilled” for 10-24 size screws. You can readily install ten screws and nuts in the outermost ring of holes, and another five in the next ring. Install two solder or crimp-type terminal lugs under each nut and there's your 30-radial capacity. Furthermore, as shown in the photo, the strainer's center hole is large enough to fit over a copper-clad ground rod. You just have to remove the rubber stopper and pull out the metal center stem.
In my installation, each screw is fastened to the strainer with a compression lockwasher and nut. Then the radial lugs are placed over the nut and secured by a second nut. To prevent “galling” or seizing up of the stainless hardware, I placed Noalox grease on the screw threads. I also placed some grease on the flat surfaces of the lugs. Home Depot and Lowe's carry Noalox in the electrical section.