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Author Topic: Inexpensive Cross Bow for wire antennas?  (Read 1634 times)

Posts: 169

« on: January 07, 2013, 04:36:52 PM »

Any have a suggestion or two about an inexpensive cross bow for putting wire antenna supports over/through trees?  I've tried the sling shot and find them marginal at best.  The sling shot typically sends the weight high enough then the weight is not heavy enough to get to the ground, regardless of the amount of wiggling and jiggling.   Or it gets wound around a limb during either the flight or decent or any number of other possible natural difficulties.  So I want a cross bow to make a serious mess of it.  I of course want a cross bow that is good quality and inexpensive to get the job done.  But as I have little personal experience with these critters I decided to ask those of the Ham world that use a cross bow to git er done.  I couldn't figure out how to get a shotgun to do the job and still be able to find the weight after the fact.
Please no lectures about shooting a cow or some such silliness, I have several acres and all the cows are on the neighbors side of the fence anyway.  So a cow or two won't really matter.
I will not be using this cross bow for anything other than antenna work so keep this fact in mind for suggestions.

73 all and thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 04:40:00 PM by KD8Z » Logged

Posts: 1757

« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 05:20:01 PM »

It's not what you are asking but I've found it to be effective.

Tie the end of your string through a spark plug socket. It weighs enough to come down properly. Instead of trying to throw it, let out about 4 feet of line and swing it in a circle in a vertical plane. I find that an overhand swing/throw is better than an underhand spin/throw.

If I get it swinging fast enough and let go at the right time, I can get it complete over a 80 foot oak and have the spark plug socket laying on the ground on the other side.

It helps to have prepared the string to have it laying in a zigzag on the ground in front of you prior to the swing/throw.

73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.

Posts: 219

« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 05:28:48 PM »

cross bow sounds like it could work. I bought one time a device and put on a recurve bow. I gave up on that very fast. Shooting arrows up over trees do not seem to easy even with a cross bow.

What I have used and I have shot at least a hundred lines up over trees is a device called a Retriever R trainer . It is used for Retriever water dog training .

Mine is  little more expensive and maybe more accurate  but I would think the standard unit would work fine. Look at Lion Country Supply . I would suggest buying the model that has a stock as like a shoot gun stock. Then you could aim the thing.

What it does is fire bumpers or dummy's for  dog training. I would suggest the PVC ball and what you do is tape Non tangle duck decoy line to the PVC ball. You walk towards the tree and make a trail of line back towards you. Enough line is laid out that will get you up over the tree. You fire the PVC ball up over the tree. Sometimes you have to pull on the line and work the ball down with motion. But you can use heaver line for short trees and lighter load for launcher . Or lighter line and heavy loads for tall trees.

I have shot lines up over 70 foot pine trees with no effort. Then you attach your Kelvar rope or what ever support line you use and pull up the antenna.

Can take practice .

Use Kelvar Rope or better

Use PCV Ball and use the red load or yellow load for the Retriever R Trainer with shot gun stock attachment . NO License is needed to use this either.

Lion Country Supply or Any Gun Dog Supply house.

I never  used cross bow and have no clue how that would work.

73 Good Luck


Posts: 17483

« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 05:54:48 PM »

Locals with the Society for a Creative Anachronism use crossbows that fire
tennis balls in their mock medieval battles.  They have a range of a couple
hundred yards or so.  You should be able to look up the local chapter online.

Load a tennis ball with 4 to 8 ounces of fishing weights and it usually will
bring the line down from a tree fairly easily.  I find that monofilament or
tightly braided line is best because there is less friction as it passes
over the branches.  Many of the kernmantel types (having separate outer
sheath and inner lengthwise strands, such as parachute cord) are too soft
on the outside and require much more weight to pull them down.  (Once
I get the throwing rope over the tree, I can pull up whatever rope I want to
support the antenna and save the throwing line for the next tree.)

Posts: 1169

« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 06:57:07 PM »

Give some thought to a fishing rod casting reel using a 2 ox weight, gets me up and over 60 ft trees usualy on first or second try.
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