: Best Metals for Antennas: Performance, Soldering, Welding, Bending, Working
2010-05-31, 12:34 PM
I'd like to build an 8 bay to see if I can bring in some stations that are intermittent with the 4 bay.
I forgot to mention that the antenna will be installed in the attic so corrosion shouldn't be a problem.
The best thing for getting the intermittent stations would be to get the 4 bay outdoors high up. You lose anywhere from 6 to 25+ db in the attic, and the most you can hope for stacking would be around 2.5 db.
2010-05-31, 12:41 PM
Gillez, I've moved your question into this thread that contains a ton of info on the topic. :)
2010-05-31, 03:26 PM
A friend of mine just dropped off some copper wiring. When I remove the insulator, I would say this wire is 5/32 of an inch thick (single strand). Is this the coveted "6 gauge" wire that I've been wanting for antenna building?
2010-05-31, 05:44 PM
5/32" is .15625" dia, which places it between 7 gauge .1443" dia and 6 gauge .1620" dia. So yes, it sounds like 6 gauge. :p
2010-05-31, 09:29 PM
2010-06-01, 08:11 PM
A friend of mine just dropped off some copper wiring.
Usually the insulation will have the gauge written on it every few feet or so. Is there any text printed on it?
2010-06-05, 10:10 PM
Been havin issues for the last two or three weeks, on the
RLSBGH. Was barely seeing anything outside of Buffalo.
It was scabbed together around 6 months ago, from 10 AWG Al.
It was ground wire left over from a satellite dish install kit.
Finally got around to replacing the driven elements with
8 AWG Cu today. Seems much better now. Been holding on
to CBLT, CHCH, and ION (TO, Hamilton, Batavia) all day ever since.
Was seeing some tropo from Cleveland OH, and Erie, PA as well.
Cleaned the Cu at the feedgap, tinned it with solder, then soldered the
Balun on. Can't do that with Al. We'll see how it holds up.
2010-06-23, 11:57 PM
What is the best way to splice a broken 3/8" aluminum tubing dipole section?
I was hoping to insert a 1/4" solid piece of copper or aluminum and then solder. However this thread seems loaded with stories that you can't solder aluminum. How about an insert, epoxy and then connecting some sort of conductor to both sides? Or maybe just crimping both sides with an insert in?
2010-06-24, 02:34 AM
you can't solder aluminumYou can with the right technique. See Post #202 :)
I see no talk of heating the various metals to ease the bending process. For the brittle AL bars would heating with a butane/propane torch be effective? For example the Stealth Hawk is a single piece of AL bar with deflections > 90 degrees.
2010-07-01, 12:04 AM
For the brittle AL bars would heating with a butane/propane torch be effective? For example the Stealth Hawk is a single piece of AL bar with deflections > 90 degrees.
it is very easy to heat a piece of aluminum to bend it and end up with two pieces of aluminum. it melts very easily and unexpectedly. the very small area heated by a torch would make this more likely.
I may give it a try and let you know how it went. I have a palm sized butane torch. I doubt I can hit 600C with it.
2010-10-14, 10:56 PM
I've been reading through the forums here and I'm delighted and amazed by the wealth of information. Many thanks for all the time and effort. Has anyone tried using aluminum foil tape around 1/2" schedule 40 pvc for the reflector rods on a GH antenna? It's surprisingly durable. I used some to cover small holes left in the roof of my car when I removed a luggage rack. That was about 5 years ago and the tape still looks nearly the same - just a little dull from weathering. I'm thinking about trying it on a DBGH and would appreciate any insights that might keep me from wasting my time. If it works, it would be a lightweight and inexpensive alternative to copper tubing or aluminum rods.
2010-10-14, 11:21 PM
Yes, it works if the foil is really metal. Many posting on this site in regards to this. But it may not be your best alternative.
2010-10-14, 11:30 PM
Thanks for the quick response 300ohm. The tape I have in mind is definitely metal (very shiny aluminum). I will try and find the previous threads.
2010-10-15, 01:02 PM
Copper Sheet or Foil. Thin / Soft.
Considering using CU sheet to build antennas - by cutting strips and securing.
Possible to buy CU thin sheet it in a roll ? Like AL foil ? CU foil ...only maybe just a little bit thicker than your standard AL foil ?
Looking for possible sources. Any suggestions anyone?
I am thinking maybe roofers - who do copper roofs.
Maybe a Metal Supply Store. ("Metal Supermarkets" ? )
( I already have AL thin sheet in a roll - and could use it to try - but considering CU thin sheet too. CU is more conductive, and so ... considering using CU as a better conducting metal - for antenna performance. )
2010-10-15, 03:50 PM
I am thinking maybe roofers - who do copper roofs.
Yes, and also craft stores. But its pricey there.
2010-10-15, 08:03 PM
The tape I have in mind is definitely metal (very shiny aluminum).
Another thing to consider: do you get a good metal contact from 1 row of tape to the next one? I mean, if you tape around the rod, the lengthwise contact from turn to turn might not be perfect if there is glue on one side and maybe thin plastic layer on the other. Although there is an electrical contact between one end of the rod and the other, the current would have to go around the rod. I know electrons are fast, but I'd guess it will make a difference.
Your best bet might be to use the tape in the same orientation than the rod.
2010-10-15, 09:31 PM
Yes, the tape I was considering is 3" wide. That would allow me to use a single strip the same length as the reflector rod and apply it lengthwise in a single "pass" rather than wrap it in a spiral around the 1/2" pvc . After further consideration, I decided that given my time investment in the antenna, it would be worth going with the materials that have proven successful for others. I bought some copper tubing today - a bit expensive, but it will probably hold up much better in the long run. Maybe I'll try the aluminum tape in a future build.
Cheers, and thanks for the input.
2010-10-19, 06:00 PM
Re: The thin copper sheet or foil.
Yes, roofers have copper sheet in 3x8 ft sheets or will cut for you.
But the stuff roofers have is fairly thick.
16oz sheet is .021 inch thick (said around $150 / 3x8 sheet)
20oz sheet is .025 inch thick (said around $200 / 3x8 sheet)
But checking out the thickness ... too thick for what I wanna do.
I see on the internet, various sources, copper foil.
Various thicknesses. < 1 mil to 10 mil
Also on the internet:
Copper tape. Various widths like 1/4 3/8 1/2 ...
One quoted 3.6 mil thick ... that's .0036 inch.
Probably a good thickness to work with.
The copper tape looks very convenient for what I wanna do. ( GH reflector strips ) Easy to work with. No cutting - buy the width you wanna use, and adhesive on one side. And the price quite reasonable. Like in the $20 - $30 - $40 buck range for a roll.
I'll have to see if I can get copper tape somewhere nearby.
(They say this copper tape is used for various EMI sheilding uses in electronics etc.)