Last year I posed a question to Al Christman whether it was really necessary to 
solder radials together where they overlap in a phased array. His response to 
this question was that he modeled an array where the radials were not 
interconnected and that the array's gain was slightly greater than one the 
intersecting radials were soldered together.

Obviously this approach would require using wire with excellent insulating 
properties that would weather well. A friend of mine here in Ohio put up an 80 
meter 4 square last year using insulated wires with 48 radials under each 
vertical. The performance is outstanding. He does have a buss wire running from 
each vertical's ground connection back to a Comtek box in the center.

I think the practice of soldering interconnecting radials may be another one of 
those practices carried over from the broadcast industry and their use of 
rather larger gauge bare copper wire for ground radials. 

73, Dennis W0JX
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