Easy and Effective Radial System

When I went to Howland Island, we hauled along some rolls of chicken wire to use for radials in order to get on the low bands fast. We just rolled them out in the sand and connected them to the vertical ground connection. Although they seemed to work, this was not an entirely successful experiment in my view. The chicken wire was very stiff, heavy, had poor conductivity and rusted quickly, compromising the electrical connections. For this reason, I don't recommend galvanized steel chicken wire radials.
Recently, I installed a Hustler 5-BTV as a reference antenna and for use on 30 meters. I needed some radials to make it work properly but I was too lazy to lay them out individually, much less bury them. So, I went to Lowe's and bought several rolls of aluminum garden fencing wire. The stuff I bought was about two feet wide and thirty feet long. I also bought some ground staples. To install, I simply rolled them out extending from the base of the vertical. They over lapped a bit close to the vertical base. I secured these to the ground with the ground staples and cut them as needed with sheet metal scissors.  At the base, I soldered aluminum wire to a corner of each of the rolls and connected them all together electrically. It's important to make a solid, long term electrical connection. Then I ran one lead up to the ground connection on the vertical. This is the equivalent of a lot of radials! The grass grew up through the fencing wire and now they are completely invisible. Note that aluminum doesn't readily accept solder due to the oxide coating on its surface. To get around this, I sanded the aluminum, put some light oil on it, wiped off the oil and used a hot gun. I was able to get the solder to bond effectively using this technique.
I know a lot of hams are running verticals in limited space areas and struggling with poor performance due to an inadequate radial system. If the space is truly limited, there's no reason not to fill the entire available area with this fencing to provide a good ground plane. And, it will disappear into the grass in a very short time. I have not made any measurements (other than SWR), but my results with this antenna are satisfactory.

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