If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo302ABvOro.
Thanks to Dan Vanevenhoven for this excellent tutorial on radials for vertical antenna systems. Dan begins the video with some basic vertical antenna theory and then shows us how theory translates into practice for a commercial AM broadcast station. As you can see, radial systems for the MW AM broadcast band can number as high as 120 to 360 ground wires and consume a large chunk of real estate.
For radio amateurs, the demands of a ground radial or counterpoise system are more modest. The idea is to place as many radial wires as you have space, budget, and wire to do so. Dan does a good job of explaining how radials increase antenna efficiency without getting too technical. Basically, radial wires supply the "missing half" of a vertical antenna. Depending on frequency and space availability, you may want to try an "elevated radial system", which can often be sufficient for decent HF communication. If you use a metal base plate to attach your radial wires, make sure the plate is mostly copper. DX Engineering has a good design which is sturdy, weather tolerant, and easy to use.
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http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
Thanks for joining us today.
Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).