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This is post 2468 in a continuing series of simple ham radio antennas.
The importance of a good ground plane is amply demonstrated in this antenna experiment conducted by Australian radio amateur Peter Parker (VK3YE).
Peter does an excellent job of showing how a top-loaded HF vertical antenna coupled with a superior ground system (i.e. the ocean) performs.
For years I worked at a commercial AM broadcast station in Hilo, Hawaii that used a salt water marsh as its ground plane. Although the antenna was quiet short for its frequency (180 ft/54.87 m at 850 kHz), the station had an exceptionally strong daytime and nighttime signal.
So, If you're forced to use a compromised vertical antenna, please try improving your ground radial or counterpoise system.
Here are some general comments from Peter:
Thanks for joining us today.
Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).