K1TTT Technical Reference


Interesting site with data on aluminum alloys:



Mark Fossum wrote:
> I want to find a source for coated "insulated" copperweld wire. I'm
> building a beverage antenna and I'd like to use it for at least the top
> wire. The reason I'm looking for the Copperweld is so that I can pull it
> tight without it stretching over the Winter.
> Mark
> n0nsv@amsat.org
i buy hdpe insulated copperweld from clifford of   vermont  , inc.  phone
800-451-4381.  they have 10 and 12 ga in lengths up to 5000 ft.  i use
the 10ga for my 600'+ beverages here.  they call this stuff 'line wire,
single conductor imsa spec 28-3'  this stuff is tough, the 10ga wire
has breaking strength of over 1200 lbs.  i have had trees come down on
it and not even nick the jacket.
just don't ask for copperweld when you call them, they'll have no idea what you
are talking about.  what you are looking for from them is "Line Wire, Single
Conductor IMSA spec 28-3"  they describe the conductor as 'copperweld' or
'copperply' and the insulation as black hdpe.  they have 12ga and 10ga in the
catalog i have.  the standard reel length is 5000' but they will cut shorter
lengths.  i have been using this stuff for years for beverages, inverted v's,
and verticals and it holds up to everything including ice, trees falling on it,
bears flossing with it, and moose running into it.
k1ttt@arrl.net   or   robbins@arrl.net

For those of you that are interested in Cubical Quads and are
familiar with        Calcutta        poles, skip to the last paragraph.  Others
should read all of the following.
           Calcutta            poles are similiar to bamboo in that they start with the
larger end called the butt and are linearly tapered to a smaller
end.  Both have nocks that are separated by stretches of material
that is slightly less in diameter and may be as long as from 6 to
12 inches or thereabouts.  Both have walls and are resistant to
bending.  And there the similarity just about comes to a screeching
Bamboo has a relatively thin wall, sometimes no more than an
eighth of an inch, is subject to some cracking if not properly
cured and preserved.
          Calcutta           poles are nearly (and sometimes are) solid; they have less
taper than bamboo; the nocks are not as pronounced as bamboo nocks
and they are incredibly strong.  They make nearly perfect quad
spreaders, to wit: I had a 4 el 10, 4 el 15, and 3 el 20 quad at 40
feet on a crankup tower, in        Tucson       , that got blown over by a solid
wall of 80+ mph wind that swept through     Tucson     and which took roofs
off of houses, blew down fences, etc.  The    Calcutta    poles I used
bent (when the quad hit the roof of the one-story ranch style house)
with such force, they bent two of the 4 steel angle spiders.  The
          Calcutta           poles however, did not break.  I replaced the two bent
spiders and put the whole thing back up at 60 feet whereupon that
quad (and a homebrew 300 watt PEP transmitter won the 1966 ARRL DX
contest in competition with a lot of monobanders and a whole lot more
power.  The point here is that THEY ARE STRONG!!
There is a source of a small amount of them (perhaps 50-75 poles)
   B & J Bait Company
   1718 Butler Road,
   Hopkinsville, KY
   (502) 886-6813
They do not ship.  It is necessary to pick them up.  I picked up
24 poles, today.  The cost is $10/pole.  This is an incredible
bargain.  Quad builders, be aware.  When these are gone, there
aren't any more.  The importer, B & M Fishing Supplies of West
Point, Miss are out of poles and have no intention of purchasing
any more. (It took them two years to get rid of an 18 wheeler filled
with them).  The only other source I know of is:
   Schempers Hardware,
   Ripon, CA
   (209) 599-2141
The motor freight would eat you alive unless you live close to
Ripon, CA.
Anyhooo, now you know more than I do.  73 es best Contesting!! Rod
Roderick M. Fitz-Randolph, W5HVV
79 Highland Hills Cove,
Jackson, TN 38305
(901) 661-9278 (Home Phone - after 10 AM & before 9 PM)
(901) 664-7539 (FAX Number - any time of day)

I suggest Max-Gain Systems, Inc. in      Marietta,      GA.      They may be reached at
770-973-6251 before        9:00 PM Eastern time. I have bought several pieces of
fiberglass tubing for various antenna projects from them, & they offer
discounts for spreader kits. They also have a good selection of RF relays,
tubes & other goodies. BTW, I do not work for Max-Gain, nor do I receive
any compensation for mentioning their name, just passing along information.

        Re: Non-magnetic stainless steel
        Fri, 15 Nov 1996 09:11:02 PST
        w7xu@juno.com (A N Thompson)
Quoting from a Vincent Brass & Aluminum Co. catalog, under the
section "Identifying Stainless Steel Types":
         'Magnet tests . . . Austentic (sic) (300 series types) are non-
          magnetic; the others are magnetic.'
         "Austenitic stainless steel.  A term used to identify the
         200 and 300 series of chromium-nickel stainless steels on the
         basis of their metallurgical structure.  Austenitic stainless
         steels are nonmagnetic in the annealed condition, becoming
         slightly to moderately magnetic when severely cold worked,
         depending upon their composition.  These steels are not
         generally hardenable by heat treatment.
        "Martensitic stainless steels.  Family of chromium stainless
         steels that are hardenable by heat treatment and to some extent
         by cold work.  They are magnetic in all conditions at room temp-
Hope that clarifies the subject.
73,  Arliss   W7XU 

Here is the summary folks.  Findings are that people use it, it's cheap, 
and it appears to work, but copper is probably better.  There were no 
direct comparisons between copper and electric fence wire sent to me.
I know I've seen this discussed before, but here goes again.  Anybody
have experience using electric fence wire for Beverages?  Thanks.
Galvanized Electric fence wire works super well for any wire antenna you
would like to make .... the difference between efence wirr and copper
wirr is zip on the other end ... (assuming the antenna you are using has
at least a few ohms of radiation resistance ....!) .... also check out
aluminum efence wirr, it works great!  I don't solder it, just use a
small piece of aluminum with a screw/nut thru it to attach wirr ... AL
works super in antennas .... been using it for years!  Even gotta walla
plaques and certs by it .... have fun de W/7 (the Ultimate Vanity Call!)
... Dave (egram = utahfolk@konnections.com)  Dec 19
Hi Al!
        Electric fence wire works fine...it's cheap, strong and only
moderately difficult to solder to.  I normally scrape the galvanizing so
it is bright and then regular solder will bond to it.  I suppose
silver solder would be best but I have never used it.  Don't believe
everything you hear or read about the necessity of using copper wire.
I have heard close to 300 countries on 160 now and until just recently
electric fence wire is all I have ever used.  I recently put up a
couple of Beverages using copper wire and really can't notice any
difference whatsoever.  Beware the theoreticians and arm chair experts
on the reflector...electric fence wire works!
                                        73,  Bill  W4ZV
You get what you pay for.  The copper coated steel version  rusts in a
few years in snow/rain country. The galvanized stuff is a 1000'  (or
whatever) resistor.
Anything works for awhile and after a fashion on 160!
Alfred I used electric fence wire with great success, others will say
it's no good. One thing about it is that it is relatively cheep!
73, Bob NW6N
I use it on half of mine.  Works fine.
I use aluminum electric fence wire for Bevereges.  I tried it for ground
wire also but that turned to white dust in about three years.
73, Bob KI0G
I have 7 #17 Electric Fence Wire Beverages that are put up in the Fall
and then discarded in the Spring. The supports are PVC pipe lashed to
metal fence posts. They work fine - except when we get an ice storm
and the ice build up covers everything. Insulated wire would probably
help this ice scenario, but it is too expensive.
73, K0CS
It works great!  It's probably the cheapest route, too...
I use both aluminum and galvanized.  It works FB and the price is right!
73 Jim K9JF/7
howdy, yes I use electric fence wire for beverages.... first stay away 
from the
copper coated stuff,,,, most will not last...
i use the gavinized stuff and the al stuff,,,,, the al has more 
but will strech and/or break more easily,,, ie read,,,, use the al in an 
field , space, meadow, clear cut etc, and the galvinized stuff in the 
where it is less prone to breaking when tree limbs fall on it... hope 
that this
helps u.... both types work very well for me...
good luck 73 john W8WEJ
I've done it and it works; however, for almost the same price, you can 
excellent copper-clad steel #18 wire from the Wireman.  It is probably
better electrically and it is a lot easier to work with--connections,
stiffness, etc.  Have fun and Merry Christmas.
73, Charles
Charles W. Shaw, N5UL (ex-KB5UL)
Hobbs, NM
        That's what I'm using. If it doesn't work, someone needs to tell 
        Mine are:
                EU: 400' terminated
                SE: 300' terminated
                W:  300' nonterminated
        All elevated enough except at the ends to let Bambi go 
        73, Jim N9JF
Hi Al...I used it 20 or so years ago, when you could still find the
copper-clad steel variety; now I think it's all just galvanized or 
I also used it for radial wire (though I wouldn't bury the aluminum 
But either should work fine for a Beverage.
I now use insulated wire for beverages; it supposedly helps cut down on
precipitation static.
73/Jon AA1K
look for mid west types to comment, but the aluminum stuff works fine as
long as you make solid sealed connections-  if wx is ruff on it, may 
have to
be replace every season. I would avoid the straight steel types mostly
because too hard to handle, and hard to connect to
robin, wa6cdr/n6ll/xz1n
I have used steel electric fence wire and it worked fine, but it is a 
bit of
a chore to handle because of its springiness.
Bob Eldridge VE7BS,
Erickson Rd, Pemberton B.C. V0N 2L0
HI Al     I Use 17Gauge Electric fence wire for Radials and Beverages
I find that this works ok. In fact I think the Beverage hears better 
my one made from Insulated wire but There could be other reasons for 
Thats that de JOhn kd1ia@ids.net
Electric fence wire works for me...you just cannot solder to it.  I use
compression clamps made out of brass.  Or, I've gone through the last
insulator and right to a screw stud on a box where I change to coppper.
Electric fence wire works for me on beverages and ground plane wire.  
I found a couple of rolls of 15ga (?) aluminum wire at the electric
fence store. 1/4 mile for $18....Dig in the pile or ask them to order.
I used the small aluminum ground clamps for connections and gooped with
RTV. Also used SS bolts and double nuts, with coax copper under one and
AL wire under the other. 80 & 40 inv V's up for 4 years..
Dont use it
73 Jeff K1ZM@aol.com
Al,   Please let me know what information you got back on this question.
I installed a beverage, built with Aluminum electric fence wire, and am
trying to decide if it is worth replacing the wire.  This beverage was
last summer, when the wx was good.  I used the electric fence wire
because thats what I happened to have laying around.  The beverage
works fine, but I keep wondering if it would work better if I had gone 
Home Depot and done it right.
73 de Ron N0AT
Al, KE1FO, ex. KE6BER    mailto:ke1fo@contesting.com or ke6ber@tiac.net
Check out my web page, http://www.tiac.net/users/ke6ber for summaries 
from the contest reflector and a growing list of amateur radio links.

OK - another 2 cents worth here (and not going into a lot of detail):
Pipe indeed, is pipe. The size specification on pipe is the approximate 
inside diameter and the wall thickness is determined by the "schedule NN" 
figure (the higher the number, the thicker the wall: SCH 10,40,80). The wall 
thickness for each diameter pipe is not the same for the same schedule NN. 
The actual inside diameter, as mentioned, is "approximate" and varies within 
the same pipe size with the wall thickness.
        For example:
Pipe Size       Actual OD       SCH     Wall Thickness  Theoretical ID
1 1/2"          1.900"          5       .065"           1.770"
                                10      .109"           1.682"
                                40      .145"           1.610"          
                                80      .200"           1.500"
2"              2.375"          10      .109"           2.157"
                                40      .154"           2.067"
                                80      .218"           1.939"
2 1/2"          2.875"          10      .120"           2.635"
                                40      .203"           2.469"
                                80      .276"           2.323"
Tubing is round tubing. The size specification on tubing is the outside 
diameter and the wall thickness is specified directly. To know the inside 
diameter, one must subtract twice the wall thickness from the tubing 
diameter (outside diameter). For example, 1" diameter tubing with a .058" 
wall is approximately 0.884" inside diameter, which is a bit larger than 
7/8" (0.875" diameter) tubing, and should telescope into it. The word 
"should" is used, because tolerances need to be taken into account. Drawn 
tubing has closer tolerances than extruded.
Other than round, enclosed products are usually referred to as "shapes". 
Shapes includes square and rectangular. Shapes are specified in the outside 
dimensions and also have a wall thickness spec. 
W0UN properly cautioned that not only do you need the alloy type (i.e. 
6061), you need the heat treatment spec (i.e. T6)
Have a good day and 73,
                        Tom, N6BT
                        Force 12 Antennas and Systems
                        (Home Page   http://www.QTH.com/force12 )

Phenolic source:
Hello LB!
Before I reply to           ur           question, I'd like to thank you for all of your
extremely informative and useful posts on the towertalk reflector.  I
always take the time the read and understand them and I also visit your
homepage regularly.  Well done OM!
Type LE phenolic is a commonly available plastic, virtually any plastics
wholesaler would stock it.  It is sold in sheets, rods, and tubular
form in thicknesses up to 2 inches.  My local supplier is Read Plastics in
Rockville MD.
My favorite hardware store, McMaster-Carr Supply company also stocks this
material under the trade name "Garolite" For example their price for 1/2"
thick x 12" wide x 12" long Garolite is $29.62 (p/n 8525K518)  McMaster
Carr ships same day via UPS.  Their phone number is (908)329-3200 M-F
0700-2100 Eastern Time, just give them a credit card number to pay for ur   
order, and u will have the material on your doorstep very quicky (90% of
the time I have the material next day!)  
I typically cut this sheet into four pieces (a standard circular saw cuts
it easily) and use it for mounting Yagi elements for any band except 40M,
where full size elements need a stronger mounting plate.
On  Sat, 10 May 1997, L. B. Cebik wrote:
> Frank,
> Could say a little more about the type LE "linen" plates, including where
> one might get the material.  Totally new to me, but with high potential.
> -73-


Well, there are two old boyscout techniques to find the height of a tree.


The first one is to make a mark on the tree a known height above ground.. say 5’.. then move back far enough so you have a good view of the mark and the rest of the tree.  Hold a stick at arms length and use your thumb to mark off a length on the stick that looks as long as the height of the mark on the tree… then keep the stick at arm’s length and step that length up the tree adding 5’ per step till you get to the top.  If you have a ruler you can back up until the 5’ high mark looks like 1” when you hold the ruler out, then just multiply the number of inches high the tree looks by 5’.


The other one requires a 45 degree triangle.  A carpenters level that has a 45 degree miter gauge works great for this.  Again you back up from the tree, this time you keep going until you can sight along the 45 degree angle and have the bottom of the tree on one side and the top on the other side… when you do this a lot you can gauge this 45 degrees by eye… then just measure the distance to the base of the tree, that is equal to the height.