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Author Topic: Ladder Line Spreader Material Suggestions  (Read 4362 times)
K1PEK
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Posts: 51




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« on: June 28, 2010, 05:01:53 PM »

Hi,   what have you used, type material, source and if you know if UV resistant (but if not sure, please suggest anyway.....maybe somebody knows if UV resistant, although UV is not a determining factor for what I'm doing)  TNX !  Steve  K1PEK   
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VE5RB
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 06:08:40 PM »

I use plastic pop bottle caps. They work pretty well. I used electrical tape to hold them in place. I use the line for a "random length doublet" which is longer than 33' and shorter 66', I made sure each leg was the same length, I fed it with my ladder line, match with a balanced tuner and called it a day.

It works very well on 10, 17, 20 and fairly well on 6 and 40. Your mileage may vary!

Dave....
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N5YPJ
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Posts: 642




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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 06:19:45 PM »

Back when the dinosaurs roamed hamdom, actually before ladder line became as readily available as it is now - I used 1/2" PVC or CPVC with holes drilled through it as near to the wire diameter as possible. Then I would make a few wraps of electrical tape to keep the spacer in place. I used this for a stub on a Super Loop I copied from their catalog and as feed lines on other antennas.

Today with the exception of open wire, I don't know why anyone would want to bother to make their own ladder line when so many flavors are available. C'est la vie.
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W8JI
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2010, 06:24:28 PM »

Hi,   what have you used, type material, source and if you know if UV resistant (but if not sure, please suggest anyway.....maybe somebody knows if UV resistant, although UV is not a determining factor for what I'm doing)  TNX !  Steve  K1PEK   

I use UV resistant lexan sheet. I have a foot sheer so it is easy to slice it up into small pieces that last for years.
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KZ1X
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2010, 06:25:54 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D--K4Uc5p0I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzFKGB6qkXs&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrREQyMI7RI&feature=related
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VK2FXXX
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Posts: 102




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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 05:34:19 AM »

Gday. I found some irrigation tubing in the hardware store which seems perfect .
It is used in Australia to irrigate gardens ,and seems to stand up to the harsh Australian sun quite well. The pieces I purchased were 200mm long (8 inches) .By 7mm (about 1/4 inch) diameter.
They are called rigid riser tubes. Best of all they cost about 50c each.

Here is a link to a catalog containing a pic. The spike in the end of the tube is removable,and may come in handy.
http://www.nrrbs.com.au/hosenetasprays.htm
Good luck
73 Brendan                 
VK2FXXX
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WA3SKN
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 05:37:53 AM »

So what are you doing, or trying to do?

Ceramic is still the best, but is much harder to find nowadays.  And I have seen teflon and lexan used many times.  But I recently had one of the new 8 ft plastic decking planks ripped lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips.  Cut in 2 inch pieces, they seem to make excellent insulators (I tested at HF, VHF,UHF, SHF... all OK), are impervious to weather, and a single board makes a BUNCH of them!  They do get slightly soft in the full sun, but are only a problem with long lengths.  I am still finding uses for them.
But if you are planning to make open wire feedline, remember to use solid, not stranded wire!  Stranded will tend to twist with the strand, causing problems with long open runs, while solid will keep straight... a useful feature!
73s.

-Mike.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12779




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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 05:53:39 AM »

http://w5jgv.com/2005_0214_antenna_fire/2005_0214-antenna_fire.htm

Be carefull with PVC. I understand that some types contain some carbon that doesn't do well with RF, especially if it is used at high voltage point in the antenna such as the ends of a dipole.
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K0IZ
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Posts: 737




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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 05:59:10 AM »

Home Depot, etc, sell gray plastic lavatory feed lines (3/8 dia, about 18" long).  Cut them to lengths you want, slot ends about 3/8 or so deep with hacksaw.  Push feedline wire into slot on each side to create feedline.  Space spacers about 10 or 12 " apart, whatever seems appropriate.  You can squirt hot glue into each end of spacers after wires are in slots.  That will retain spacers very well.  This method is quick and good.  
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W8TG
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2010, 08:30:42 AM »

Farm supply stores like TSC carry fiberglass rods used for electric fence posts that can be easily cut and drilled. They're designed for long tern use outdoors, are inexpensive and work great for spreaders. But I Have yet to find a good stabalizer yet as hot glue, epoxy, caulk do not always attach to the wire all that well. Mike
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KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 11:33:38 AM »

Gday. I found some irrigation tubing in the hardware store which seems perfect .


I second that.  I use bamboo shish kabob skewers inserted into the 1/4 PVC drip irrigation tubing for rigidity with a bit of Gorilla Glue to seal the ends.

My 600Ω ladder line looks like this:

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzd1s43s/id4.html

HTH

73 de Eric, KG6MZS
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13143




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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 12:27:13 PM »

I have a couple broken sheets of white PVC lattice that I've cut a lot of insulators from.  It lasts
a long time outdoors.

I've got a pile of cut-offs from clear polycarbonate roofing from a long forgotten project (maybe
a chicken house with a transparent roof?) that also make good spreaders.  These have the
trapezoidal cross-section, and if you cut pieces that incorporate the fold you can drill two holes
in each end to pass the wires with the edges squeezed together, then let go and the resulting
tension should keep them from sliding on the wire.  (Though it is much easier to build line when
you don't have to pass the feedline wires through a hole in every insulator.)

Probably the longest length of open wire feedline that I've built used a pair of nails with pieces
of plastic pens over them at each end.  I drove the nail through the fence, use the plastic
around it as an insulator, then tied one end of the feedline wire to each of the two nails.  75 feet
away I hammered two more insulated nails in the fence and stretched the wires out between
them - with no additional insulators for spacing.  Two lengths of that got me most of the way out
to my remote antenna with very low losses.
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N4CR
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Posts: 1662




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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2010, 02:44:14 PM »

http://forums.qrz.com/showpost.php?p=1902902&postcount=4
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
KA0GKT
Member

Posts: 555




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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2010, 10:14:01 PM »

Hi,   what have you used, type material, source and if you know if UV resistant (but if not sure, please suggest anyway.....maybe somebody knows if UV resistant, although UV is not a determining factor for what I'm doing)  TNX !  Steve  K1PEK   

The last time I made my own ladderline, I used the plastic reels from 120 / 220 size film.  At the time I made the transmission line I was working for a company which owned the largest commercial photo lab under one roof in North America, and was able to purchase the reels at scrap plastic prices.

120 / 220 film is nominally 2 1/4" wide and the reels are sized for that film, a person could also use the plastic reels from inside a 35mm film cassette.

As far as other materials go, I remember people using wooden dowls which werer either boiled in paraffin wax or finished in marine grade wood finish.





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G3RZP
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Posts: 4465




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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2010, 07:37:24 AM »

My best results have been ceramic insulators intended for wire antennas on US Navy aircraft back in WW2 - at least, the box said something like 'Insulators, aircraft antenna'  and a USN marking. I got a box of 30 at Dayton some years back at $1 each, and worth every penny. Everything else I tried couldn't stand even the weak UK UV exposure, although I never tried Teflon.
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