Total posts : 45366
Sparky & the rest,
Simple truth: 12vman’s got it right. I will add that there are differences of opinion about the maximum length of any radial wire and about the placement of such radials relative to the geological earth, but one way or the other, a handful of copper isn’t going to make much difference.
Add to that the distance between the real antenna and the ground system you claim, well, you’re lucky. Cheating the expense of not falling off the roof ain’t savin’ you a dB anywhere. Having lived and tried to play radio in third-story apartments taught me decades back that.
The only reason you’re supposed to use copper pipe for the vertical element (as opposed to say, a steel CB whip) is to lower any ohmic resistances (and thus, losses) in the EMF field you’re trying to create around the antenna. Yeah, it sounds like StarTrek, but that’s the way it works. Me? I’m gonna go for that pile of silver plated teflon coated 00 that I got surplus years back. Great for 40A power supply wiring too.
And it’s winter, ain’t it? Perfect time to be putting up an antenna.
As for reference material, try the ARRL antenna book first. Older editions are a lot more “scientific.” But a recent edition will have info you need to figure out all the schematic/design kinks.
I also highly recomment L.B. Cebik’s web site (http://www.cebik.com/) for source material, descriptions and straight talk about how antennas work & why you should put more copper on or in the ground. Among other things.
I just got my AMT3000 today. After my annual poke & prod tomorrow I’m gonna start on putting it together. Maybe I’ll find that collection of Norwegian julemusikk to try it out on. Presuming I can get an antenna up off the snow-covered lawn with a minimum of cussin’ and growlin’.