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Antenna Wire Size

May 10th 2013, 20:50

W0RPS

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Im putting up a delta quad supported by trees. The total RF power I will be putting into the antenna is 300 watts from a Drake TR4CW tube transceiver. I wish the antenna to be low profile so what gauge of wire will handle this power on 15 meters and not draw too much attention. I was thinking 18 gauge stranded but may need larger. Thanks and 73s W0RPS.
May 10th 2013, 23:15

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

I currently recommend the use of #14 wire or larger, as it is a National Electrical Code requirement. I used blue house wire for antennas up in the air and green wire for wires closer to ground level.

In practice, the wire will break due to normal mechanical stress before it can't handle the power--as the power is distributed over a very large heat sink up in the air--as anyone can tell you if they have tried to solder wire outside with a small soldering iron.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
May 11th 2013, 18:40

KB0HAE

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hi. I would recommend #18 CopperWeld wire. This is steel wire with a heavy copper coating. It is stronger than plain copper. I use it for an 80m dipole here. Squirels (locally known as tree rats!) caused my old dipole to break at least once a year. The only problem is that the CopperWeld is stiffer and you cannot allow it to kink or it will cause a weak point that can break.

My antenna is pretty hard to see, and I know where to look. Many people seldom look up anyway.
May 12th 2013, 17:17

W0RPS

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
thanks for the posts. Appreciate the information. W0RPS

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