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Wire for house dipole


#1

What wire would people recomend for use in a fixed dipole? I have (had) a 80M dipole over the house, but one leg has broken. Since it is a pain to replace, what should I replace it with? I had thought of flexweave, but some of the reviews on eham talk about that breaking relativly quickly.

Thanks

Richard
G0IBE


#2

In reply to G0IBE:
Hi Richard,
I’ve been using PVC covered copper wire from WH Westlake. The heavy duty one, and it has lasted quite a while. The flexiweave type, pvc or uncovered can chaff and break if in contact with a tree branch/roof tile over a short period of time I’ve found.

If you find anything else better, please let me know.

www.whwestlake.co.uk

HEAVY DUTY…about 13/14 swg…VERY Strong and durable…PRICE…40p per M

73
Roger MW0IDX


#3

In reply to G0IBE:

Hi Richard,

I use LITZE wire for all the dipoles and other wire antennas at home.
http://www.rf-systems.nl/litze.html
But during the storms last day’s I had a broken leg aswell for several times.
If I have the chance during summertime I will replace all the wire antennas with INOX / RVS R2 / STAINLESS STEEL wire. At the clubstation we use this wire for years and years with good results for the 40-80-160 M dipoles.

73
Luc ON6DSL


#4

In reply to G0IBE:
Stranded, copper plated steel wire, sold here under the brand name Copperweld, doesn’t stretch out of tune and is extremely strong. After tuning and pruning, terminate with a ceramic insulator and solder the twisted ends. 12-14 gauge (1.5-2 mm maybe?) will handle a kW and take a good amount of hanging tension. I rub some paraffin into the strands hoping to delay corrosion.
Stuart


#5

In reply to G0IBE:

Short answer; almost anything.

First dipole I ever made was an 80m trap dipole from hard drawn copper wire and it is still up. It has been cut through twice by a neighbour trimming trees and soldered back together.

Solid core mains cable stretches initially then becomes hardened over time. I have used everything from the wire out 2.5mm twin and earth to 16mm for ground radials without any problems.

My 17m dipole was made from heavy duty speaker cable from B&Q and the dipole centre is made from a block connector. It has been up for six years without a problem.

My 60m dipole has been up since 2006 and is made of .5mm PVC coated hook up cable.

My linked dipoles for portable work are also .5mm hook up cable.

The only commercial dipole I have is a G5RV that is made of Flexweave and that has had two breaks in it. Breaks in Flexweave seem to be caused by kinking and what usually happens is the end support breaks or the antenna is taken down and the wire kinks then when you put it back up it breaks where it was kinked. I have soldered mine but it is ugly and you need to wear gloves when handling it due to nasty strands that will prick like thorns. I will replace the wire if I ever put it up again. I am unimpressed by the G5RV as an antenna and think that Flexweave is over-rated too.

The very best thing you can get is the stuff the army uses for dipoles, which has a strand of Kevlar running through it to stop it stretching or breaking. You sometimes see it on eBay.

Another good one is telephone wire. The stuff BT uses between their poles not the domestic stuff. It is multi-stranded with a strengthening strand of steel. You just need to solder all the multi stands together, but be careful that stuff can bite. It is quite stiff an can easily puncture the skin like a needle when you are bending or cutting it.

My advice is use what is to hand or what is cheap and mount every thing on a lanyard so it can easily be lowered for maintenance or replacement.

Hope this helps. Please don’t waste money on expensive wire or antennas it is the one area where the amateur can do as good or better than the professional.

Regards Steve GW7AAV


#6

In reply to G0IBE:

One more address is http://www.dx-wire.de though I use almost anything for my antennas.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL


#7

In reply to GW7AAV:

In reply to G0IBE:

Short answer; almost anything.

Solid core mains cable stretches initially then becomes hardened over
time. I have used everything from the wire out 2.5mm twin and earth to
16mm for ground radials without any problems.

My home 40m dipole and end-fed for 80 are both made out of 2.5mm twin and earth. I bought a 100m reel, cut to length, stripped the outer insulation and put aside the bare earth wire. I’ve never had any problems with stretching (I guess it has work hardened by now.) That said I’ve always kept the tension on it within reasonable limits (i.e. < 20 Kg.) The outer PVC coating adds mechanical strength and corrosion resistance and you get a choice of colours: brown or blue.

One advantage of this solid core cable (apart from being cheap and having low resistance) is that it has a high cross-sectional to surface area ratio and thus should be reasonably resistant to corrosion. I imagine it’ll last a good few years more.

73 Rick.


#8

In reply to G0IBE:

Try military Don 10 cable. Very resilient and cheap. These guys sell it:-

http://www.anchorsupplies.com/etspecial.htm

However, if you don`t want an 800m drum of the stuff you may be able to procure some if you have any friends in the military. We used to throw kilometers of the stuff away after use as we were too lazy to clean it, roll it up & put back in storage.


#9

In reply to G1INK:

I use the Don 10 for all base ant the one I have for 80M and 40M was made of this and been up for the last 12yrs supplyed by my x army mates.

Terry


#10

In reply to G1INK:

Nice one Steve! At £45 for 800m that is 5p per metre and about the same price as 50m of Poly Flex Weave from Lam. Also handy if you need tow a tank out of the mud. In other words it is extremely strong.

Steve GW7AAV