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Author Topic: Wire antennas in trees  (Read 1731 times)
K1PX
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Posts: 10




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« on: April 23, 2000, 07:07:32 PM »

I wonder what methods others use for getting antennas up into trees and have them stay there. My antennas are up to 100' high and have all been installed from the ground. I use a 50 lb bow with fish arrows because they have small weights on the tip. Then, I shoot up fish line into the tree followed by 100lb nylon line and then at least one or maybe two runs of 3/16 double dacron rope. For smaller antennas, I find that if they are near the top of the tree, the smaller limbs act like springs and they stay up for several years. For larger antennas, I use plated springs of various sizes from the local Home Depot with a service loop of dacron just in case the spring breaks. Using insulators stronger then those inexpensive plastic ones is necessary as I've had them break in high winds.
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KF4HEY
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Posts: 172




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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2000, 07:59:26 PM »

I put my dipole system up in pine trees using my friend's, K5LDA, homebrewed "Antenna Launcher" -- a Wrist-Rocket slingshot with an old Zebco spinning reel strapped with a hose clamp to one leg of the slingshot.  The projectile is a ~3/4 oz. chunk of lead tire weight with a 6 ft.length of small braided nylon ribbon as a leader from the 10lb-test fishing line.  The ribbon improves the trajectory of the weight as it leaves the slingshot.  Once the fishing line has been shot over the desired limb, nylon or cotton cord is pulled over to hoist the heavier lines.

I use a one-sided counterweight system published in the 1972 edition of the ARRL Antenna Book.  One end of the antenna is attached to a ceramic egg insulator which is attached to plastic coated clothesline wire rope.  The wire rope goes over a crook in the tree near the top and down the back side of the tree to a screw anchor in the trunk just out of reach from the ground.  The other end of the antenna is attached to a second ceramic egg which is attached to 3/16" braided nylon rope.  The rope passes through a flagpole pulley attached to another piece of plastic coated wire rope that is attached to the tree in a manner similar to the other end.  The nylon rope coming down the tree is attached to a galvanized metal pail filled with sand to about 25lbs.  A short loop of rope attaches the pail to the tree to stop large swings of the pail during windy conditions.  The ceramic insulators were bought at Radio Shack and the other stuff came from a hardware store.

As the trees sway in the wind the pail goes up and down to keep a constant 25lbs. of tension on the antenna.  This system has worked well since 1996 and has survived three category 1 hurricanes here on the Gulf Coast.
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KF4HEY
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Posts: 172




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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2000, 07:59:47 PM »

I put my dipole system up in pine trees using my friend's, K5LDA, homebrewed "Antenna Launcher" -- a Wrist-Rocket slingshot with an old Zebco spinning reel strapped with a hose clamp to one leg of the slingshot.  The projectile is a ~3/4 oz. chunk of lead tire weight with a 6 ft.length of small braided nylon ribbon as a leader from the 10lb-test fishing line.  The ribbon improves the trajectory of the weight as it leaves the slingshot.  Once the fishing line has been shot over the desired limb, nylon or cotton cord is pulled over to hoist the heavier lines.

I use a one-sided counterweight system published in the 1972 edition of the ARRL Antenna Book.  One end of the antenna is attached to a ceramic egg insulator which is attached to plastic coated clothesline wire rope.  The wire rope goes over a crook in the tree near the top and down the back side of the tree to a screw anchor in the trunk just out of reach from the ground.  The other end of the antenna is attached to a second ceramic egg which is attached to 3/16" braided nylon rope.  The rope passes through a flagpole pulley attached to another piece of plastic coated wire rope that is attached to the tree in a manner similar to the other end.  The nylon rope coming down the tree is attached to a galvanized metal pail filled with sand to about 25lbs.  A short loop of rope attaches the pail to the tree to stop large swings of the pail during windy conditions.  The ceramic insulators were bought at Radio Shack and the other stuff came from a hardware store.

As the trees sway in the wind the pail goes up and down to keep a constant 25lbs. of tension on the antenna.  This system has worked well since 1996 and has survived three category 1 hurricanes here on the Gulf Coast.
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K1IR
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2000, 01:03:08 PM »

To get the line over the tree, I use a surfcasting rod. The weight I use is a bright orange golf ball with a small screw-eye screwed into it. I attach the ball to the fishing line with a swivel hook. This works great. I highly recommend using the swivel hook as a quick disconnect for the weight that goes over the tree - independent of what you use to propel the weight over the tree. Makes it easy to remove the weight after a bad toss.

I use the fishing line to pull another light line over the tree, then the final Dacron rope.

I don't use any springs or counterweights. I just repair broken ropes every 6 months to a year. This method currently suspends a 3-el 80m wire Yagi, a 2-el 40m delta loop array, a 2-el 40m vertical array, and a 160m inverted-L.

The technique doesn't work well if a) you don't know how to cast a fishing rod, or b) you are in the woods and can't swing the rod in the clear.

Otherwise, it's great!

Jim K1IR
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K0SR
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2000, 04:33:26 PM »

I'd recommend against using a bow and arrow.  Years ago, we were attempting to put a wire over a tree, and the bow we had was an old recurve (I know, I'm really dating myself now) that was about 150LB test.  If you could draw it all the way back, you got to marry Penelope.  Anyway, the arrow went WAY up in the air, turn over, cam hurtling back down, right through the hood of a car.  Not good.  I also sent a 2 ounce lead sinker, from a slingshot, out into a neighborhood full of houses one afternoon.  I didn't hear any yelling or anything break, but I did hide in the basement for a while.  Safety first !
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13287




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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2000, 12:20:30 PM »

I currently use the slingshot/fishing reel approach, but the bow and
arrow is better. (I no longer have access to the bow I used to use.)
The most common problem was getting the arrow back down.  Instead
of using a fishing arrow, I took  a standard target arrow and taped some
nails to the business end.  A better approach is to use an empty bullet
shell casing filled with sand or lead and glued on the end of the
arrow shaft:  I think .30 caliber was about right for my arrows.

- Dale WB6BYU
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KD4ZD
Member

Posts: 9




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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2000, 09:16:36 AM »

I like to keep it simple. Using an old sling shot I put fishing line over a 50' tree, then pulled up no. 16 gage wire (covered, green). I now have a 250' long wire over the tops of three trees in a lazy "C" configuration. It's end fed from a SGC "SmartTuner". The up and down sections are 50' each and 150' is horizontal. One end is tied to a lower branch with the fishing line. The other is nailed to the house with plenty of slack. It has been up now four months and doing well. It's invisible unless you know what to look for. I put it up when the neighbor's were at work! I'm Retired Army and moved here sight unseen. Turns out all the residents are related. Make one mad and they gang up on you. They don't like Radio people!
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N4ZOU
Member

Posts: 340




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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2000, 06:19:16 PM »

I use a sling shot and a rod and reel along with a plastic 5 gallon bucket. Whats the bucket for you ask? To put the line in! I use #2 lead weights and these will pull the fishing line across the tree limbs and down to the ground from the reel as I pay it out. One problem I found is that the reel would cause drag on the line and prevent this weight fromm attaining maximum height above the tree. To solve this I place the bucket in front of the rod and reel supported in a holder and then drag out 50 to 75 feet of string. I then pull the line back  placing it in the bucket. This allows 50 to 75 feet of string to be payed out behind the weight in flight with no drag from the reel. When the bucket is empty the line then starts pulling from the reel putting drag on the weight and starting a controled decent, hopefully on the right tree limb! I have never droped a weight on a car or preson or anywhere else I did not want it to fall. I have a full 160 meter loop up in 5 trees across the very tops at 70 feet. The hard part of getting this 530 feet of wire up was not launching the support line but clearing out the underbrush so the wire would pull up without hanging in tree limbs and brush between the 5 support trees.
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N6QTH
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2000, 11:44:55 PM »

I hired a tree climber/trimmer, had him install high quality (they'll last a lifetime) pulleys in the trunk of the trees I selected and thread the ropes through the pulleys.  Then I sent him home and had a put-up/take-down anytime system.  Sure, it's a little more expensive that shooting a line up with a sling shot or bow and arrow, but it didn't leave a lot of debris hanging in the trees every time I decided to make a change and it permitted me to make changes whenever I darn well felt like it.
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KE3YD
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Posts: 4


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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2000, 08:32:14 PM »

My trees are very thick in one part of my property, and I did not have much luck with conventional methods for getting wire in trees.  By accident I found a professional tree climber.  He came over and helped me put up a 1000 ft. loop antenna.  He had all the tools, trimmed the branches, cut away potential deadfall, arranged everything as I wanted it, and did not charge an outrageous fee.  He could climb a tree like a monkey.  What a find!
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N2ZPY
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2001, 02:54:54 PM »

I have a 40M dipole that is about 35' above the ground (there are bigger trees around but I haven't gotten to them yet).  I am lucky enough to work as a telephone installer/repairman for an independant telco.  That means that I have those funny little spike things to strap on my feet and away I go.  My setup is a pully on one end with a weight and the other end of the rope goes through a metal hook and then is tied off just above the ground.  The ropes can be replaced if needed in about 20 minutes without going back up the trees.

73
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