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First and foremost, copper is expensive. So using just the right number of radials just long enough is the key. The objective: to lower the ground resistance in your antenna system. Rule of thumb for “very short” antenna systems, is to limit the length of the radials to the physical length of the antenna. My Rangemaster is in the clear at 30 feet. I run a single 12 awg ground to a chemical ground rod with 20-20-foot long 14 awg ground radials buried around the base of the mast. Range: approx. 1 1/2 miles. So that’s 32 feet of 12 awg wire, 400 feet or so of 14 awg and a ground rod. At 15 cents a foot, thats about 65-75 dollars in a ground system. Unless you have some junk housewire laying around, that is about as cheap as you can do it.
People, a lot smarter than me, have determined there is a point where putting more copper in the ground does NOT produce anymore significant improvement. It is better to have many short radials than a few long radials.
Marshall Johnson, Sr.
Rhema Radio – The Word In Worship