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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders

Zac A Taylor (W7ZAT) on March 22, 2010
View comments about this article!

Living in a bowl high in the mountains of Montana has given me many obstacles to overcome in my quest for contacts. Since I operate barefoot, I need all the signal possible to get out. Getting the antenna high enough in the bowl for a decent take off angle, means very long 300'-500' feed lines from my cabin, so coax feeds are far too costly or have too much loss over the distance to use. The loss due to snow and rain in the winter makes 300 ohm and 450 ohm window-line prohibitive as well. So 3 ½" spread open-wire ladder line has become the best feed-line I can muster.

I have tried all kinds of homebrew wire spreaders, waxed dowels, ceramic, cut up plastic clothes hangers, PVC pipes, and until today the winner in cost and longevity in our harsh winter weather was cut up feeder tubing for swamp coolers. It was strong and UV resistant, and average cost was at about 20 cents a spreader. It is glossy so reflects in the sun a bit, but not too bad for price and availability.

Today however, I found better way. These items were made to be UV resistant, made for harsh weather and abuse, already cut to 4" each and thus ready for immediate drilling. They even have special fins to stop tube collapse under high strain such as wind or weight due to extreme wire lengths.

I am referring to off the shelf electric fence "4 Inch Fin Tube Insulators", by Zareba. You can find them at Murdochs or any major farm supply type of store, and at $5 per hundred the cost is dirt cheap at a nickel a piece.

Drilling them was much easier than most other tubing or round stock. I made a jig on my drill press out of a 2x4 with my router, making a groove the 4" length at a depth that let the piece sit with the fins flat against the wood. This held each tube in place with one finger eliminating the rolling inherent to round stock that often makes difficult drilling the holes perfectly parallel.

The fin also made it easy to extract the piece with a fingernail from the jig, to switch position to drill the other side at the exact same inset. No measuring is needed once the drill is set at a ¼” (or any width you want) inset from one edge of the groove in the jig.

You just drill-flip-drill-extract, and insert the next piece. I drilled a hundred in a few minutes time. I drilled each hole one fraction larger than wire I was using, so it would be threaded easily. Now, this deviates from what many would say is the best practice. Most home-brewer’s I spoke with recommended drilling slightly smaller so it grabs the wire, and they use a cutter or saw to add a slot on the side or end, allowing the wire to be "snapped" into the hole. Then they use wire tires or glue stick to make the spreader unmovable.

Since the glue stick step was inevitable for a really slip free connection, I decided I wanted to eliminate the labor of the notching process. Drilling the hole larger not only made feeding the line easier, it gave room for the glue to express slightly out at each connection.

Next I ran the wire through the pieces, positioning each at approximately 12", and rolled the feed-line up, placing it on a table so I could unroll the wire a foot at a time for the next step.

Using a HIGH HEAT glue-gun with HIGH HEAT glue-sticks, I unrolled the end off a table handling each spreader one at a time. I positioning each spreader as it hung of the table edge to be straight across at its 1' distance, then shot glue into each end of the piece until I saw it ooze a little out each wire hole. Once it cooled it made a "T" of glue, with the main part in the tube going around the wire, and the small flanges in the wire holes themselves. The "grab" was very solid. The completed spreaders and feed-line simply rolled off down under the table as I unrolled the feed-line from the table. Towards the last few, I placed a book on the wire ends and slid it until I finished.

The emphasis above on HIGH HEAT glue-stick is because if I ever run an amplifier, I don’t want to worry that the heat of the power on the wire might loosen the spreaders in summer weather. I have no worries about it here in the winter, as things stay pretty frozen. One other nice detail about the insulators is that the black color is matte. No glare off of them in the sunlight.

I'm pretty new to HAM, and I hope this helps others both save time and expense, who might become interested in true ladder-line. With the long runs to my antenna's here, it became imperative I use it…

73
Zac
W7ZAT

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by PD2JHP on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Hi all!

Here in The Netherlands we use so called "roseclips" which you can obtain at www.amevo.nl
They have these clips for wires measured 1,2 - 4 mm

Greetings from a sunny Holland (Europe)

Jan
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by WD9FUM on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks, Zak! - Farm & Fleet should have them if you live in the Midwest.
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by N3QE on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The Zareba insulator is polyethylene and while this is not as good in terms of UV resistance and weathering as, say, UV resistant polycarbonate or ceramic, it'll probably outlast most antenna installations!

Len Cebik's (now SK) website has some very good ideas on ladderline spreaders and tie wires.

I personally prefer tie wires over glue.

A table saw makes notching insulators completely trivial.
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by K0BG on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I looked at the Zareba site, but didn't find anything like what you talked about Zac. It would have been nice if you would have included a photo.

The spreaders Jan spoke about are available here in the states too. Even some of the bigger Wal-Marts carry them. I suspect they're lighter than the electric fence insulators.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by VA7CPC on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Funny -- they're not on the Zareba website, but they are here:

http://tinyurl.com/ycumkk2

if anyone wants a photo.

Charles
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by K7TCE on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Zac,

Nice article, and timely for me. For those needing a picture (I hadn't a clue what this was or how to visualize it), a much better closeup picture than the fence supply catalogs can be seen here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HHLLTK/ref=asc_df_B000HHLLTK1065892?smid=A1SV1BYDTUK2Z5&tag=shopzilla_rev_278-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B000HHLLTK
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by N2FQ on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Hi.. nice write up.
I use the cut off handles of Gillette disposable razors.
The underside of these handles are ribbed
making it easier to drill holes at a constant
space. Now that I shave less (retired) it
takes a bit longer to get a collection. hi.
73 Fernando N2FQ
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KL7AJ on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
This is a great idea:

And for those who may wonder why ANYONE would go through the trouble of making their own ladder line....the numbers speak for themselves. True ladder line is significantly less lossy than then next best thing, 450 ohm window line.

It's important to use adequate gauge wire, though. I always use 14 gauge wire or bigger for my ladder line setups...which IS a lot of copper dangling around in the air. See my previous posts on the TCC (Total Copper Content) factor for overall station performance.

And even though a good ladder line system is well-suited to high SWR situations, if you use it with LOW SWR, it's even much better. A truly FLAT 600 ohm ladder line really does have nearly unmeasurable loss at H.F. frequencies.

Here's another idea...one you don't see too much any more, but still applicable in some places.

How bout a TAUT LINE transmission line? This is an open wire feeder with NO spacers. You just pull the lines tighter than a banjo string from the ENDS. This is a good way to get R.F. up a tall tower, and used to be quite common.


Eric
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KE7FD on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks Zac, good post. Eric makes a good point too but for those who have high wind that beats their line to death, twisting the ladder gives it some immunity (there's an article with a picture in QST).

Also, the zarebasystems.com site is just the manufacture's site; click on "Where to buy" on where to buy the units. At 1 foot spacing, 100 will give you 99 feet of ladder line so that's pretty good.

Glen - KE7FD
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by N6RK on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
KL7AJ writes:

It's important to use adequate gauge wire, though. I always use 14 gauge wire or bigger for my ladder line setups...which IS a lot of copper dangling around in the air. See my previous posts on the TCC (Total Copper Content) factor for overall station performance.

And even though a good ladder line system is well-suited to high SWR situations, if you use it with LOW SWR, it's even much better. A truly FLAT 600 ohm ladder line really does have nearly unmeasurable loss at H.F. frequencies.

Here's another idea...one you don't see too much any more, but still applicable in some places.

How bout a TAUT LINE transmission line? This is an open wire feeder with NO spacers. You just pull the lines tighter than a banjo string from the ENDS. This is a good way to get R.F. up a tall tower, and used to be quite common.


Eric

-----------------------------------------------

Exactly right Eric. I run my open wire line flat,
and use 4 AWG wire. I don't use spacers, I just
keep the line reasonably taut. There are supports
only every 50 feet that establish spacing. See:

http://www.n6rk.com/closeup.jpg

In between the wires just hang. I have 850 feet
of this line. No need for spacers.

BTW, I think "ladder line" is normally a synonym
for "window line". I have never heard the term
"open wire ladder line". I call my line "open
wire line".

Rick N6RK
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by K4KYV on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I use taut line open wire feeders up my tower, although I use a spacer every 10', one at each tower section. Mine uses #10 copperweld with 2" spacing and runs up through the interior of the tower. Each spacer consists of a strip of Plexiglass with each end affixed to the rungs of the tower.

One word of caution. I had mine really tight, and one cold winter night due to contraction of the wire at the low temperature, the tension became too great and one of the ceramic insulators broke, literally pulled in two. Fortunately, it was at the bottom end of the feed line instead of at the top, so I did not have to climb 119' up the tower in mid-winter. After making the repair, I did not tighten the wire quite so much, and loosened the other feeder as well.

Don k4kyv
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KL7CW on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
HI Zac,
Thanks for passing on another method of fabricating open wire line. I enjoy viewing many possibilities before I decide which option will be the best for my particular situation.
Perhaps 20 to 40 years ago I read a QST article written by a ham who needed to run a very long open wire line to an antenna. I believe it was MUCH longer than your 300 to 500 ft runs. For some reason in his situation the two wire line was not satisfactory, and he opted instead for a 4 wire feeder, I think in a square configuration. (I doubt that it would have been a 3 wire...three phase feedline (for a ham installation), since there would be some moderately complicated issues to resolve).
I mention this just in case you ever need to locate your antenna even further from your shack. I do not remember exactly why the author did not use the two wire feeder. Some possible reasons that occur to me are that he could more readily obtain the desired impedance (thus lower loss)with 4 wires. Possibly it had something to do with feed line radiation and or balance consideration. Possibly noise pick up on the line. I would not think that power handling for ham operation would be a problem with either feed system.
I also remember seeing 4 wire feed systems discussed in old antenna handbooks, physics textbooks, or engineering references.
I am sure that most hams who choose open wire feedline would have no reason to consider a 4 wire feed system. However, if your feed line is very long (1000's of feet ?) and IF the caluclated or measured losses in the 2 wire feedline are excessive, this would be another option to explore.
Rick KL7CW
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KT8K on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
For a really weather-resistant, high-reliability open wire line setup check out what TF4M is using (blogged at www.TF4M.com). He's got 13 km of feed lines to his rhombics, beverages, and the Arctic King lazy-H. To withstand the Icelandic winters he uses 2000 pound test steel wire strung on telephone poles. He puts the ends of the wires through pulleys and holds them taught with around 300 pounds of weight on each pair-end. Now _that's_ serious open wire line. (His station kicks you-know-what, too.)

Thor's photography is remarkable, and he has documented his setup in detail - a great read.
Best dx & 73 de kt8k - Tim
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by N6RK on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
KL7CW writes:

why the author did not use the two wire feeder. Some possible reasons that occur to me are that he could more readily obtain the desired impedance (thus lower loss)with 4 wires.

------------------------------------------------

The loss of open wire line increases as the
impedance is lowered. Thus 4 wire line has
higher losses for the same wire gauge. The
comparison is even worse if you reduce the gauge
of the wires in the 4 wire line so that the
same amount of copper is being used.

The reason for using 4 wire line would be that
you are having trouble transforming 50 ohms to
the line impedance, and you want to use a lower
impedance line. It is easier to realize low
impedances with 4 wire.

As I and others have shown, it is no problem to
transformer between 50 and 450 ohms. Thus no
reason to use 4 wire line, no matter the length.

Rick N6RK
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KU5Q on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Mr. Taylor, please don't be deterred in the writing process. Attrition will eventually take care of the detractors. The worst of things always linger.

Be grateful that folks of the caliber of KL7AJ, and K0FF will still ad useful data in the interim.

We are fortunate that qualified contributors of late (KL7AJ & K0FF) will take the time to make some quality contributions.

There are others however that will let their ego stand in the way of proper principal, and none the less it is a common grade "house of cards". In the meantime, we all will just have to tolerate them as a common grade annoyance, and ignore their opining. As long as decent contributors will prevail, we can too. Eric and George are good knowledgeable folks. They have valid professional credentials, and substantial time and grade in the ARS. Those attributes they convey. Those that know understand.

The best you can hope for is that they (antithetic detractors in at least subsequent parenthetical quote) will eventually go away, and they will, but perhaps, and unfortunately, not in our lifetime. Ignore these somewhat nondescript pandering attention wh***s.

KU5Q said that. I hide from no one.

Ciao

214-298-2768

=========================================================

RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders Reply
by K0BG on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I looked at the Zareba site, but didn't find anything like what you talked about Zac. It would have been nice if you would have included a photo.

The spreaders Jan spoke about are available here in the states too. Even some of the bigger Wal-Marts carry them. I suspect they're lighter than the electric fence insulators.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KL7AJ on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
CW:

Funny you should mention three phase! I modeled a 3 phase "tripole" (for lack of a better term) just to see what happened. I was amazed at the radiation pattern. (Three quarter wave "radials" spaced 120 degrees and fed 120 degrees out of phase.)

I'll let someone guess what the pattern looks like. :)

Eric
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by W4OEQ on March 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I offer yet another alternative. Obtain plastic "J" hooks used to hang sewer pipes from underneath floor joists in a house. I found mine for next to nothing at a Habitat for Humanity store. Cut off the J-curve and you have a nice 6 inch length of straight plastic, pre-drilled with holes for nails. Instead of nails, insert your #12 insulated wire through the holes of your choice. The holes are spaced at one inch intervals, so you can have 2", 3", 4", 5" or 6" open wire feeders. Use a hot glue gun to keep the wire from moving in the hole. If interested, I have photos of my assembly and installation.
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by K3AN on March 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
"And even though a good ladder line system is well-suited to high SWR situations, if you use it with LOW SWR, it's even much better. A truly FLAT 600 ohm ladder line really does have nearly unmeasurable loss at H.F. frequencies."

I suppose 0.02 dB of loss is "much better" than 0.4 dB of loss. But how many antennas present a 600 Ohm resistive impedance? Yeah, you can delta-match a resonant dipole to achieve 600 Ohms, but then it's just a single-band antenna. Most hams don't have room to put up eight or nine such antennas (one per band).

The point of using window or open wire line is its performance even under the high SWR conditions you encounter when using one antenna to cover multiple bands. It's silly to worry about the SWR; the loss is still going to be insignificant.
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KL7AJ on March 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
AN:

It could make a difference if you're running a couple thousand feet of line. :) If R.F. absolutely positively has to get there tomorrow, a matched high impedance line is the way to go. Besides, there'a nothing wrong with a delta match...and if you do it right it CAN be multiband (though I've never tried it on WARC bands). (It needs to be a full wavelength long on the lowest band, in which case it acts sort of like a double ended Windom, if you pick the tap points correctly.

eric
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by N6RK on March 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
K3AN wrote:

" suppose 0.02 dB of loss is "much better" than 0.4 dB of loss. But how many antennas present a 600 Ohm resistive impedance? "

I have nearly 1000 feet of 450 ohm line. It runs around 0.4 dB when matched. Matching it is no problem. I have a 50 ohm transmitter, a 50 ohm antenna, and a pair of 50 ohm unbalanced to 450 ohm balanced balun transformers. I don't use OWL
so that I can operate with crazy mismatches.


Rick N6RK
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KC8VOV on March 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.zarebasystems.com/products/insulators_wood.aspx
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by WA2JJH on March 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Nice homebrew. Any homebrew is good homebrew.
It is good too when a project is made of recycled materials.

Everyone knows new plastic is a fossil fuel polymer.

Look at ladder or coax. Much oil is consumed in making new product.

The same people that create fault in anybodys idea are annoying indeed. If the science, physics, or math used is total bull, a simple statement of said error is warrented.
However, when there is no mistake or its a small matter, the picyune help nobody.

Everybody prefers more homebrew, rather than puff psuedo intellectual ramblings.
I like to see new talent post. It should be encouraged.

True, many of us that have been around awile have their cliques.

Lets just say.....If you really have nothing constructive to add,but to trash talk.....your simply a person with problems. Yeah, you may have posted something of substance over the years. Their are others that have just as much neuronal process power as your bitter arse.

Be in South East Asia next couple of weeks. I will be on HF. 14.178USB and 14.015 CW. Hope to work you DX on location.
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by AE6RO on March 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Trying to fab up my own open wire line. I've never used it before, always coaxial cable. The reason being to use with a 160 meter antenna. In this time of the dimming Sun, I figure that's all that will still work after December 21, 2012.

160 meters doesn't need sunspots to work and will work best in years to come. 73, and thanks for suggestions. John
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KX0R on March 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
This is a very interesting post, a great idea, and well worth trying. I plan to get some of these electric fence insulators and make some more line.

Last year I made over 200 feet of open wire line. I used 1/2" polyethylene irrigation tubing and copied the W7FG design. I cut the tube into approximately 4" lengths using a tubing cutter. Then I drilled holes slightly smaller than the wire, about 1/4" from each end, and then cut slots into the holes, from the ends, using large diagonal cutters. I strung two wires across the back yard and pushed the spreaders onto them. This was the hardest part.

I used #16 and #14 stranded copper PVC machine tool wire (MTW). I suggest you use only copper - do not use tinned wire - the RF losses are significantly higher if the wire is tinned. Either solid or stranded will work. For long runs, permanent installations, or high tension setups, you'll need copperweld. Insulated or bare wire mean trade-offs - each type has advantages and disadvantages.

My original purpose was Field Day - I built a wire Bird Yagi with an impedance of about 60 ohms. I made a cute little 9:1 Guanella balun with three ferrite cores, and put it at the feed of the antenna. The open wire line ran about 90 feet to the rig, where a balanced tuner fed the open wire line. This was a virtually flat, lossless line according to the models. Had I used cheap coax, I might have lost a db or 2 - but the confidence factor was huge, seeing that ladder line hanging up under the wire yagi, knowing it would work perfectly - and it did!

I used another 100 feet of open wire line to feed an 80 meter fullwave loop - with lobes in a different direction from the yagi - and of course it worked great on several bands, standing waves and all, great simplicity. I was in Wyoming, the main lobes pointed at southern California and the Midwest, and with 5W it was one call and in the log.

This year I'll make some more open-wire line and use it to feed the third loop - last year it had window line, great stuff, but open wire line really is better when you're running high SWR. Eznec has the ability to model line losses with high SWR, and all you have to do is run a few models and compare some lines, and you'll see the value of open wire line.

Wish I had those FD antennas here at home...

Find me on FD and you'll get WY this year!

Carey
KX0R
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KB8LZG on March 26, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Great ideal

I used plastic (PVC?) U channel I found in the drywall section at LOWE'S. I cut the 10 foot pieces to 6" inch length and drilled in 1/2 inch on each end. I think I used 1/32 inch drill bit and then cut a slit from the end to the hole I drilled. This cut let me snap in a # 14 coated wire, I also bought at LOWE'S (day project). I don't believe they are UV stable but they have hung in for about 3 years now and going strong. I spaced them about 1 foot apart. I have run 1.2KW on them on 160 through 10 meters and they are cheap at about $2.50 or so per 10 foot section. Seem to be light in the air too.
I use them for a all(HF)band horizontal with a balanced/balanced home brew tuner.
I like the wide spacing because it seem to be more stable tuning wise in the rain and snow compared to the 450 ohm stuff I bought (and replaced) with this wire feeder.
73
KB8LZG
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by N4LQ on March 26, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzFKGB6qkXs
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by ZL2TW on March 27, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for article. There are two under-utilised thigs in amateur HF:
1. Open wire feeders: cheap and low loss
2. The end fed wire in portable applications.
Thanks again.
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by K4DPK on March 28, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the very clever idea and the informative presentation, Zac. This, along with the tips prompted from others will be valuable to a great many of us.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
 
Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by WB7TDG on March 30, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I use cut up and notched fiberglass fence posts from farm supply houses.
You also can get clips from the same place to keep the feeders in place.
 
RE: Cheap Homebrew Ladderline Spreaders  
by KB6FST on March 30, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The ladderline spreaders mentioned are also available at Tractor Supply here in the NorthEast for about 12.00 per 200 made by Fi-Shock.Inc.

Out of curiousity, though, what are "roseclips"? Maybe a better question is, what are they called here in the States? When doing a Google search for "roseclips" I got about a zillion hits for roses (actual roses without stems) in English and one or two hits for "rosenclips" in Norwegian, which I unfortunately don't understand.

KC2USK.
 
RE: Ink Pen Ladderline Spreaders  
by AC4R on March 30, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzFKGB6qkXs

Check out the video on you tube by N4LQ. Using ink pen bodies as spreaders tied to the lines using a cable tie which runs thru the plastic pen body securing the wires to the spreaders. Use bic stick pens and no drilling or threading of the spreaders is involved. As only the end of the cable ties is exposed they should last for a while. The exposed portion of the tie could be covered with glue from a hot gule gun , or electrical tape ,which may help reduce the direct UV exposure to the tie ends . Wish i had know about this before i made my open line .

Looks like a neat idea.

AC4R
 
RE: Ink Pen Ladderline Spreaders  
by AC4R on March 30, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzFKGB6qkXs

Check out the video on you tube by N4LQ. Using ink pen bodies as spreaders tied to the lines using a cable tie which runs thru the plastic pen body securing the wires to the spreaders. Use bic stick pens and no drilling or threading of the spreaders is involved. As only the end of the cable ties is exposed they should last for a while. The exposed portion of the tie could be covered with glue from a hot gule gun , or electrical tape ,which may help reduce the direct UV exposure to the tie ends . Wish i had know about this before i made my open line .

Looks like a neat idea.

AC4R
 
RE: Ink Pen Ladderline Spreaders  
by WA2JJH on April 2, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Any plastic re-used is less money to oil companies.
Plastic comes from oil. Much oil is used tgo make COAX!
IF ANYBODY CAN HOMEBREW COAX-----WOW!!!!!! i DO NOT THINK IT CAN BE DONE. PROVE ME WRONG. Anybody ever roll their own RG-8? :)
 
RE: Ink Pen Ladderline Spreaders  
by KC6ZZT on April 3, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
That YouTube video by N4LQ is great.

Also check out spreaders made from plastic coat hangers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrREQyMI7RI

I also used discarded toothbrushes. When starting a new toothbrush, don't throw out the old one. Snap off the head (the brush part). If there is a hole near the bottom of the handle (to hang it), just drill a hole near where you snapped off the head. If no hole near the bottom, drill another hole near the bottom. There you have it; the best price ever: free.

73.
 
RE: Ink Pen Ladderline Spreaders  
by W9AC on April 4, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
N4LQ's method of open line construction is novel. One benefit over spreaders that use drilled holes is that a broken spreader is easily replaced. Spreaders with holes for the wire pass-through cannot be changed easily since it requires disassembly or a cut-and-splice of the line.

With UV-resistant ties and shells, the line should last a very long time.

Paul, W9AC
 
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