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An often neglected part of a vertical HF antenna is the installation of a good ground radial or counterpoise system. The ground screen supplies what is commonly called "the missing half" of a vertical antenna.
In this video we see how Dominic Smith installed a buried ground radial system for his Hustler 6-BTV vertical antenna. Even though Dominic lives in a valley, the ground radial system allowed him to increase the efficiency of the Hustler antenna and grab some interesting DX contacts.
Although the number of ground radial wires isn't firmly set in stone, it's probably a good idea to install as many radial wires as you can. From my own experience on 40 meters, I've found a radial system consisting of 16 to 32 one-quarter wavelength wires seems to improve the performance of my homebrew 40 meter helix antenna. Many commercial AM broadcast stations use as many as 120 or more radials to cut ground losses and improve their station's efficiency.
As Dominic explains, there are many ways to install a buried radial system, depending on the condition of your lot or property. In my case, an ordinary pizza slice cutter clears a sufficient groove in my backyard to lay in the radial wires. You may want to try an elevated radial system to see if that is any better over a surface or subsurface ground radial system.
I congratulate Dominic for experimenting with his vertical antenna and trying out ways to make it more efficient.
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Thanks for joining us today.
Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).