Radials done!

For now at least!  😉

After mowing the lawn early this afternoon, I finished the job that I had started the other evening. I finished getting my new set of radial wires down for my Butternut vertical.

My first set, put down so many years ago, consisted of a set of 25 foot  (8 Meter) long wires, fanned out from the base of the Butternut. If memory serves me correctly, I originally put 25 radials down. They have long since disappeared under the lawn, but I know for a fact that two were damaged over the course of the years. One by me, and one by our dog.

Today, I put another dozen wires down, but these were not 25 footers. Today, I laid down wires as long as I could to the opposite end of the back lawn. In all, I put down approximately 650 feet (198 Meters) worth of wire. I used up what I had leftover from last time and entirely used up a brand new 500 foot spool of 14 gauge wire.

I still need to buy another bag of landscaping pins, so that I can secure the wires to the ground s little more securely in several areas. There are a few spots where I believe the lawn mower wheels might push the wire around, unless it’s secured a little better.

So that makes a total of 37 radials down around my Butternut. Someday, I’d like to get that total closer to 60. I have read in several articles that 60 is the magic number, where adding more than that causes no significant increase in benefit.

73 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Radials done!”


    Your very lucky Larry,
    I showed the manager a super this SS wire used for salt water fishing.
    The answer I received was nothing out the window.
    I asked for something in writing why I was allowed a wire for three years then told I was given the wrong information.
    was asked to leave the office.
    The mag loop is OK but tuning range is the pits.
    I may be getting another IC 7000 because when I go to NY with Lori,Shes on the top floor and I can get up there as long as I tell security first.
    It comes to about 250 high.
    I’ll have much bigger buildings around me but there are also many open spaces between them.
    I found that the adjustable filters really eat up a lot of QRM.
    The roof is flat and many places to tie down the guy wires.
    Bob AF2Q

  • ac7af:

    I need to put some down for my inverted L maybe next month funny what a good ground will do

  • N5TGL Michael:


    For a physically short antenna such as the butternut (which I have too), going over 32 radials offers little advantage. This is because the spacing between the radials at the end of them is ~1 foot or so. Closing that gap to 6″ really doesn’t matter much as most of the displacement currents are collected at the base of the antenna. You’d be hard pressed to notice a difference.

    Now if you had a really tall radiator, then additional radials past 32 are helpful because the nature of the beast is that as the radials get longer, the spacing between them at the end gets greater. That space without wire is where your losses will occur. I’d say as long as the gap between radials at the end doesn’t exceed 1′, you’re good to go. 🙂


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