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Everyone has contributed important and technically sound points here! That’s refreshing. It’s great to see real contributions. The reality of living with FCC rules limiting antenna length makes details so critically important.
One very important aspect of antenna and ground connections is the concept of a “gas tight” connection. Any clamp point needs to be tight enough to prevent any air or moisture infiltration that can cause corrosion of any sort. This concept has historically been proven with aluminum electrical wire. It’s OK to use aluminum wire only if it is clamped properly to prevent corrosion of the aluminum wire at the junction.
Even though we don’t use aluminum wires in our antenna installations, the same requirement is important because the antenna parameters are so critical. Any clamp point is suspect and needs to be done carefully.
Clamp points can exist in the ground system, depending on how it is implemented. One obvious point is the ground rod. A clamp on the rod should be done carefully. Make sure the clamp and rod are clean and bright, and then tighten the clamp enough to guarantee that no air or moisture can penetrate. Good, bright, well-flowed solder connections are best, but can’t always be done.
Another point of concern is any clamp point on the antenna, such as the length adjustment clamp, should get careful attention. Be sure to clean the copper thoroughly. Sandpaper or steel wool should be used to brighten the copper thoroughly before clamping. Also, be sure to tighten the clamp as tight as possible to prevent air/moisture infiltration.
Ground moisture variations affecting the ground system can be alleviated by using more and longer ground radials. A single ground rod will be very sensitive to ground moisture variations. On the other hand, a radial wire system provides a ground reference that is less sensitive to ground moisture.
All ideas are welcome for improving antenna performance stability. Bring on the ideas!