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Author Topic: Wanted - vintage 450 ohm open line  (Read 5915 times)

Posts: 4

« on: February 01, 2014, 01:08:56 PM »

I would like a few feet of some original (vintage) 450 ohm open line.  Additionally if anyone has a copy of the manufacturers specification sheet, such as from Belden, I would like that as well.  If you have either please contact me on price and shipping.
  Mike Zias W3JRR

Posts: 322

« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 06:48:14 AM »


Posts: 17352

« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 08:41:21 AM »

How "original / vintage" do you want?

The reason for the question is that, until relatively recently, open wire line was not
a commercially available product.  You could buy various types of insulators for
open wire line, but generally made your own line using them (or whatever other sort of
insulator you could come up with.)  The impedance of the line was a function of the
wire diameter and spacing, but often close to 600 ohms or so due to the use of smaller
wire and wider spacing.

I'd have to go back and look at some old magazines, but I don't remember seeing
commercial lines (other than 300 ohm twinlead, and some 72 ohm stuff) until perhaps
the 1980s or so, which I generally wouldn't consider "vintage".

There was some line about that time that used plastic insulators melted onto solid wires
with about 1" spacing.  I used to have some around, but I don't know if it survived the
last move.   Is that what you're looking for?

Posts: 2276

« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 10:02:53 AM »

As A point of interest perhaps, I have an original Belden 500 ft spool with about 250 ft of  Belden 8230-500 300 ohm transmission line. The spool is a Belden spool is painted blue and white with the Belden line that they manufactured and spooled themselves all original. The metal spool is scratched up, slightly bent. Like it had been thrown around in a garage.

The ID tag is paper is faded but legible and says 8230-500 weld wire. Copper stranded wire Think it is better suited for television transmission line but I used it for transmitting at 1KW with excellent results.

I also used a 5ft short length for my indoor Loop. Smiley

Very shiny brown insulation because it has been kept in a dry dark garage.

Like new.

I do not have 450 ohm line.



Posts: 271

« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2014, 06:12:21 AM »

I think I know what you're referring too. Years ago I had about 200' of 450 or 300 ohm ladder line made with solid conductors that was melted into the clear plastic spreaders at about 8" intervals. The spacing between the conductors was 1" . The wire itself was very stiff and it was a bear to work with. As I would pay it out and string it up, it would constantly break the plastic where the wire was melted into the plastic spacer. Also, the wire itself tended to bend inward toward the opposite side and even short out to the other conductor. After much frustration, it went to the scrap pile. It was obvious why the fellow at the hamfest asked such a reasonable price. Hi  If you find some of this stuff, I would suggest you avoid it. It's very old by now and the plastic is not UV resistant. Go with True Ladderline if possible. It's not expensive and it's a whole lot better than what you're looking for.  Good luck either way my friend. 73

Posts: 112

« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2014, 07:18:31 AM »

This thread got me to thinking there was some old-style 450 Ohm feedline here in the antenna-building supplies. A bit of looking revealed my $2 purchase from the Timonium hamfest. Perhaps like the original poster wants to do, I bought it as a curiosity.

But it's not the Belden. It's the cheaper Saxton brand, "low loss open wire catalog no. C-4-100-6". So I guess what I am looking at is less than half of a 100' cheapie cardboard 'spool' of this product. It's 1" spaced every 6 inches, solid conductor copperweld, kinda thin like no. 20 AWG. The spreaders are white and just under 1/4" diameter. The way they melted wires into it reminds me of the polystyrene the old 1/24 scale model cars were made of.

Really wanted the stuff with the clear spreaders.  Smiley   Maybe that was the Belden.

I'd be afraid to use it for an outdoor feedline. I don't think it would hold up well. Could be pressed into service indoors for that vintage radio decorating touch. Just the thing to prompt the XYL to ask, "O.K...., what's that?".

----    Doug

Posts: 17352

« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2014, 08:51:03 AM »

I found my spool of the 450 ohm stuff with the melted-on insulators - it certainly does
NOT have CopperWeld conductors, making it easier to work with, though a few of the
insulators have popped off over the 20 or so years I've had it.

I keep a short length in my box of teaching supplies - it is quite easy for the class to
see why it would be called "ladder line".

But again, I don't consider it "vintage", because I only remember seeing it in the
last 25 years or so.  Some may have a different definition of the term however.

Posts: 26

« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2014, 08:49:39 AM »

I've used the old solid wire Saxton feedline for many years.
It is light weight and amazingly durable in all sorts of weather.
I've also been using vintage ceramic spreaders and #14 stranded wire to construct some robust feedline.
73 Chas

Posts: 4

« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2014, 02:47:51 PM »

Thanks for all the comments.  I did find about 20 feet of Saxton 450 ohm line.  It has gray spacers.  I have seen old 450 ohm line in both yellow and white spacers years ago.  My old Allied and Lafayette catalogs (1960's) show it as a commercially available item.

My plan now is to make some, essentially copying the Saxton that I have.

Why you may ask?
  Simply because I like the way it looks - nostalgia.

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