STRAIN-RELIEF = PAIN-RELIEF
REALITY: WIRES BREAK
. . . and repairing antennas in bad weather
is probably one of the least popular aspects of our hobby!
When wires break, part of you antenna falls to the ground. This usually happens in winter during adverse weather conditions. In my opinion, in most cases where this happened, it was do to poor workmanship by the person who built the wire antenna.
Text books, especially antenna books are fun to read and very helpful for planning that new project.
UNFORTUNATELY the mechanical methods depicted in these articles
and shown in the pictures, be they in books or magazines,
are sometimes incredibly STUPID!
- Stranded Copper Wires are soldered to solder lugs, and the solder lugs fasten directly to the connection on the insulator by inserting the lug over a screw and tightening the nut.
- THIS IS GUARANTEED TO BREAK SOON!
- Wrapping the end of a bare stranded copper wire through the hole of an insulator, splicing it back onto itself and then soldering it.
- THIS IS GUARANTEED TO BREAK AT THE SOLDER JOINT!
- Soldering or fastening the two leads of commercial (stranded wire) openwire "window line" directly to the conncection on the center insulator, or using (solid wire) window line and soldering
directly to the connection at the center insulator.
- THIS WILL PROBABLY BREAK WITHIN ONE YEAR.
ALL THREE CASES ABOVE MAKE THE SAME COMMON MISTAKE:
FAILURE TO PROVIDE PROPER STRAIN-RELIEF FOR THE WIRE.
Indeed, in order for a connection to be reliable, strain-relief must remove all forces
from the solder connection.