HAM Radio 101

What is a Radial Plate?

If you’re an Amateur Radio operator with a ground-mounted vertical antenna, today’s Word of the Day needs to be firmly entrenched in your Ham vocabulary—radial plate. A radial plate is a metal device that mounts to the antenna’s mast and provides connections for ground radial wires, creating a system (multiple wires emanating from the antenna’s base in a spoke pattern) that ensures lowest takeoff angle, stronger signals, and significantly enhanced performance.

DX Engineering’s patented Radial Plate (DXE-RADP-3) offers these advantages:

  • Its square shape has more lineal distance around it than competing round plates, allowing for installation of up to 60 radial wires using its pre-drilled holes.
  • Attaches easily and rigidly to a 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 inch wooden post; a steel or aluminum pipe (up to 3 inch O.D.) using a DX Engineering  Saddle Clamp; a fence post; or whatever you have supporting your vertical.
  • Includes a place to attach a coaxial cable. The plate assembly has been drilled for optional SO-239 Chassis Mount and Bulkhead Fittings—a must for proper handling of RF ground current.
  • Laser cut from durable 304 stainless steel, the plate has smooth edges that won’t corrode—an improvement over commonly used aluminum plates that can dissolve in the soil.
  • Uses larger bolts for more clamping power, yet it is designed so wires will not crowd together.
  • Works with most commercially available or home-brew vertical antennas.

For convenient connection of wires onto the plate, four DX Engineering Radial Wire Kits are available. They come with black PVC-insulated 14-gauge stranded copper wire that is easy to handle with a relaxed black PVC insulation. Kits also include ring terminals and radial wire staples.

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