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For my simple BOG antennas, I use 14 gage THHN house wire, which is sturdy and double insulated, and comes in a variety of colors. If you want the antenna to stand out, use bright red or orange; I usually prefer the brown wire which blends in nicely with the ground. If you are piecing wire together, make sure the connections are soldered tight and that they are fully and completely waterproof.
I take an 5/8 diameter 8‘ ground rod and cut it in half; this gives me two ground rods for about $12. If your soil is not rocky, you can use copper pipe for a ground rod, reinforced with a wooden dowel at the top to reduce mushrooming, and if budget is a particular concern, scrounged 1/2“ galvanized pipe…
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