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I'm putting in a radial system for my inverted-L and am wondering if the hobby wire like the kind sold at Hobby Lobby or Home Depot for hanging pictures, which is 22-24 gauge copper or aluminum, would work for radials? It's cheap, and I already happen to have a bunch. Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ Why wouldn't it work? $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Mar 28 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ Quality, fragility, not its intended use. $\endgroup$ – K8KV Mar 28 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ In the absence of a more specific statement of objectives and plans, I would say, "Use what you have - it's better than nothing." This subject has been thoroughly covered by N6LF $\endgroup$ – Brian K1LI Mar 28 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible for you to put up a couple of 10' high λ/4 elevated radials? You need far fewer radials if you do that. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Mar 28 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ More likely it's steel wire, not aluminum. Aluminum wire is typically brittle and breaks if it kinks or if you bend it too much. Steel wire has a higher resistance. If you find copper, it'd be great for this. Brass has a slightly higher resistance. $\endgroup$ – user10489 Apr 2 at 11:22
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Sure it will work. Metal wire is metal wire. The electrons don't care about the packaging.

24 gauge wire is thin enough you might be concerned about the resistance of the wires, which will decrease antenna efficiency. Use some RF resistance calculator to get some estimate of the resistance, and remember if you have 16 radials, then the effective resistance is 1/16th that of a single wire. As a rule of thumb, I'd suggest aiming to keep the total resistance under 5 ohms, which should be no problem given a reasonable (at least 16) number of ground radials.

If you're going with elevated radials then you might have far fewer of them: in that case maybe you want to twist several strands together to effectively make a thicker wire with less resistance.

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