MAPP gas and a small torch doesn't pose much of a threat to pure copper. I've
never had an issue, and I am not particularly skilled.
A few asked me about sources for Stay-Silv 15. Here is one example link from
Those 7 sticks are enough to cross a lot of radials. I might have used 2/3 of
that for an entire four square with ground level radials. If you want to use
flux, helpful but not critical, the appropriate one is the Stay-Silv white flux.
Something like this works just fine for a torch. It is also big enough for
larger copper strap, braid, ground rods, etc. Very useful.
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 14:56:10 -0500
From: Matt Murphy <m...@nq6n.com>
To: Drew Vonada-Smith <d...@whisperingwoods.org>
Cc: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Topband: Soldering radials?
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Is there any danger of damaging stranded copper wire by overheating it with
a torch when soldering or brazing?
On Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 2:41 PM, Drew Vonada-Smith <d...@whisperingwoods.org
> Radials are a lot of work to put in, and the expense of wire is
> significant. I can't see any justification for not joining them the best
> way available. IMHO, silver brazing.
> I use and recommend Sta-Silv 15 (15% Ag, 80%Cu, 5% P brazing stick) and a
> simple MAPP gas torch. Propane is not quite hot enough to work well.
> Liquidus is 1475F. Flux didn't seem necessary, but you could use white
> brazing flux. Sure, I spent $25 in solder over about 5 verticals, but of
> what significance is that compared to the rest of the effort, to insure a
> lasting joint?
> Sta-Silv 5 is probably fine also, with a 1500F liquidus, But I prefer the
> characteristics of the 15%. Very easy to work with.
> Drew K3PA
> Message: 5
> Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 08:52:40 -0700
> From: "Richard (Rick) Karlquist" <rich...@karlquist.com>
> To: "Topband@contesting.com" <Topband@contesting.com>
> Subject: Topband: Soldering radials?
> Message-ID: <c04783d1-8f96-c17c-5921-fb6648e85...@karlquist.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
> I'd like to get the latest thinking from the group
> on soldering radials. What I currently thinking
> is as follows:
> SOLDER SELECTION:
> 1. Tin lead doesn't hold up in the weather.
> 2. "Stay Brite" 3% silver solder (97% tin,
> no lead) is known to work well, but is expensive,
> and has a considerably higher melting point
> than 63/37.
> 3. Lead free plumber's solder obviously works
> in water pipes, but does it hold up outdoors
> in the rain? What is the melting point?
> FLUX SELECTION:
> 1. Pure rosin. Hardest to work with, but minimum
> corrosion issues.
> 2. Activated rosin. Easier to work with. What
> corrosion issues are there?
> 3. Acid core plumber's flux. Very easy to work
> with, very corrosive. Does this hold up in the
> rain, etc?
> (I remember the dire warnings that Heathkit manuals
> had about not using acid core solder, but I
> guess that doesn't apply to radials.)
> Has anyone tried crimping as an alternative to solder?
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