Ham Radio-How directional is one radial?
Ham Radio-How directional is one radial?. I am indebted to Peter VK3YE for making this interesting video comparing a radial element in conjunction with a quarter-wave aerial situated on the beach.
I like using verticals as they provide you with good low angle radiation which is needed if you don't have the space to put up a dipole at a half wavelength above the ground, many of us fall into this situation it is sometimes due to local regulations the space of your garden and many other issues.
A forty-meter half wave aerial is 66 feet long quite a height for the average Ham radio enthusiast to get his or her aerial at this height, that is why many of us go for a vertical, a quarter-wave on 40 meters is around 33 feet, you can slope them and my experiments have shown there's not a great deal of difference between vertical and sloping if you keep the slope to 45 degrees or less.
I use 32 radials on a vertical mainly to counteract the loss I suffer from ground losses. Like Peter I tried to switch in and out my radials which are orientated in a North-South direction, to see if doing this made any difference in my transmitted and received signal, I actually only used 16 radials for this experiment, 8 pointing north 8 pointing south.
On some days switching the radials in and out made around one point of difference, other days it was difficult to see any difference in receive and my reports from stations I was in QSO with gave similar results. I conclude that results may be based on whether signals are being reflected or refracted at different angles as propagation changes.
Than you for reading this article, I hope it inspires you to experiment with aerials. 73 de John G4YDM