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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody!
I've been following the thread and am currently building a G-H G6 wideband.
300ohm mentioned somewhere that DogT (I believe) passed a tip about straightening wire.
I'd love to know this trick! I use a couple of pieces of 2x4 and roll the shorter pieces of wire between them but 4 plus feet is gonna be tough!
I'm using an old telephone pole guy wire. The strands are approx. 5mm's but look like a corkscrew when un-wrapped. The shorter reflector pcs. weren't much trouble to straighten but the 48 inch active elements will be a little bit more trouble to work with.
Any suggestions?
I'm using fibreglass tent poles for the main frame
structure and as I mentioned, 5mm aluminum wire for the elements.
Any help or tips/suggestions are appreciated!
Later,
Torymon
 

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Wire straightening

1) attach one end of wire to a vice clamp, or something else very firm (when I did it, I wrapped one end of the wire around a wooden stud in my unfinished basement)
2) attach the other end into the chuck of a drill (I have a 12 V cordless)
3) pull on wire with drill until just taut
4) turn drill on (ie start to run it)

Voila! Straightened wire!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You know, that sounds like a pretty good idea!
It's about 10min's after midnight here so I'll wait 'till tomorrow...
Looking at the 'twist' in the wire, I believe I'll have to run the drill motor
in reverse. I'll know for sure after a turn or two of the drill!
Thanks for the response! It sounds like a sure bet!
Once I get this thing built, I plan on uploading pics of it.
I'm about 69 miles from the transmitters so I'm hoping this will help!
More later!
Thanks again!
Torymon :cool:
BTW, any thoughts (anybody) on using the aluminum wire?
Copper is really expensive and I've got the aluminum wire on hand.
Cya!
 

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I believe I read somewhere in the forum that aluminum should work OK. After all, most store bought antennas use aluminum.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will be along to correct me.

Not sure if the aluminum is up to the drill motor trick, give it a try & let us know.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Davepet,
I'm not sure about the size of the wire, but looking back through the thread,
300ohm's first picture shows a close-up with aluminum wire and rods.
I've got an ancient vhf antenna on the roof now that is solid aluminum.
When I get done with this project, I'll probably disassemble it for parts for
another to aim in a different direction.

And about the drill/wire straightening trick... low and slow!!!
Low power and slow speed!!! Aluminum is not as forgiving as copper!!!
One good thing about it tho'... if I go to far in the 'counter-twist',
one end or the other will shear off! This is partly why I'm starting with
a six foot piece of wire! Once it's straightened out, I plan on bending to
specs then trimming the excess.

Making the connections at the feedpoint from the aluminum to the balun is
another issue that I'm working on in the background... I'm not there yet but
I'm gonna have to figure that out soon enough!

I do like the single center post design of 300ohm's sbgh! He uses aluminum
on it. I don't know what the wire size is for the active elements but it looks
like 3/8 aluminum rods for the reflectors. I'm guessing that the active
elements are made with #10 aluminum wire.

I'm also curious what the little bracing/fitting pieces are right at the
connections of the reflector rods to the center piping. They appear to be
slightly tapered, larger at the pvc pipe end and narrowing down to the rods.

I'll get back to y'all about the wire twisting and let you know!
Thanks all!
torymon
 

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Yeah, I also expect the Al wouldn't deal so well with being twisted.

Looks like he just bent his wire around some brass bolts & used a washer & nut to connect the balun, probably no need to ponder that connection beyond what's know to work.

I seem to recall in one of his builds, 300ohm mentioning PEX tubing being used to maintain the spacing between reflector rods, but that picture shows some sort of rivet or set screw, so not sure what was used for that build.

I've been reading in here for over a week & keeping all the info straight seems to be my biggest challenge at the moment....

Dave
 

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300ohm mentioned somewhere that DogT (I believe) passed a tip about straightening wire.
I'd love to know this trick!
Cut the wire longer than needed. Put one end in a vice and the other end in vice-grips. Smack the vice-grips hard with a hammer a few times. Viola, straight wire. This works fine 6 gauge and smaller. 4 gauge and larger takes more muscle and smacking.

The drill method puts twists in the wire, which is probably fine, but Im superstitious and like bare straight wire, heh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all!
I tried the drill motor trick (wife holding vise grips at one end) and it twisted out straight and pretty!
Kinda pulled her across the hardwood floor until she anchored against the furniture!!! :rolleyes:
I'm gonna remember the vise grip and hammer trick for the next one.
The wire did get a bit of 'counter-twist' but I stopped before a breakage point.
During the bending for the active element, all went well...
that's where I was worried about the aluminum and the twist,
figured it'd break while bending.
Finish up the second element and start assembling today...
Hopefully start experimenting with the completed project this evening!
Thanks again y'all!!
More later,
torymon
ps. I was wrong on the direction of the twist, had to use a clock-wise direction on the drill motor (righty-tighty).
But it's all good now... back to work (or play!);)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mlord wrote;
It isn't. I've tried it, and it breaks up rather abruptly. Copper, or 1/8" steel fencing wire (from the Home Despot), works fine though.
I'll note this! The guy line I'm taking strands from has a solid steel center reinforcement wire. It'll be much harder to work with but would definately withstand birds, ice and tornado winds we get around here!
Thanks for the tip!
later,
torymon
ps, the steel center wire isn't twisted! Solves that problem!
But the corkscrew aluminum straightened out quite nicely with the drill!
later.
 

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twistin' the night away...

Great tips on straightening wire.

I tried that twisting with a drill thing yesterday. I was lashing together a quick 4-bay bowtie antenna to see if I could optimize it for WGRZ, and needed to straighten some wire. The drill did the job quicker, easier, and better than I had hoped. WGRZ still isn't much better, but for some bizarre reason WUTV (Fox 29 on ch 14) comes in when I point the antenna at Toronto. Weird, eh?

Back to the shop to trim those whiskers a bit!
 

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Wire straightening/strengthening tip, Worked amazing! very easy too!

First of all I am not going to take credit for this, I found this info at the link below:
http://www.instructables.com/id/An-easy,-cheap-and-efficient-way-to-straighten-and/

If the URL gets blocked this is what I did...

Basically after stripping your wire place one end in a vise and the other in your drill, add some tension and pull the trigger. In less than 2 minutes I had a 15 ft perfect length.

Does anyone see any adverse effects to doing this ?
 

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This wire-straightening tip is genius. I just tried it and I can't believe how well it works. I used a hand-powered drill so I was able to control the speed very carefully. Amazing how much easier it is to shape the elements when the wire is straight. (duh...) :)
 

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Wow what a difference. I tried it with 4mm steel wire and a 1/2 inch drill and vice and it works great. The twisted wire also gives a sharper bend for the receptors. Don't over bend it because the metal fatigues easier and will break if bent back too much. Sure beats a rubber mallet.

Feig
 

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Sure beats a rubber mallet.
Heh, dont use a rubber mallet when doing the vice /vice grips method. Use a hammer or a small sledge, and hit close to where the wire is clamped in the vice grip. The rubber mallet has too much bounce to it.

The drill method does make the wire stiffer, which is good. But I prefer my wire nice and smooth and straight. The drill method leaves small bumps.
 

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I tried a variation of the vice+grips method with #10 copper wire. One end is held with a C-clamp to the work table, and I put the other end in another c-clamp and beat at it with a hammer. The only thing that happens is the wire vibrates and makes a nice low acoustic bass sound, with no straightening. I wish I had a real vice/vicegrips but two c-clamp is all I have to work with.
 
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