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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | True Ladder Line 125ft Doublet. Help

Reviews Summary for True Ladder Line 125ft Doublet.
Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $124.00
Description: 80m Open Fed Doublet Antenna with 150ft of lead in.
Product is in production.
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KZ4B Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2016 17:02 Send this review to a friend
True ladder line for your own home brew dipole.  Time owned: more than 12 months
You can purchase true ladder (feed) line by itself for use with your own home-brew balanced or off-center-fed dipole. Advertisements for the pre-fabricated feed-line can be found in Electric Radio and elsewhere.

I installed my own home-brew two hundred foot overall length G5RV (cut for 160 meters and up) over six years ago. It has required ZERO maintenance in all that time. The #16 AWG feeders provided use Type "MTW" Insulation which appears to have had NO deterioration (of that Insulation) in all this time. One modification that was made (by the writer) to the true ladder line was to add a Thomas & Betts (T & B) Ty-wrap looped through the inside of each plastic spacer in order to keep the feeders locked into the end notches under even the worst high-wind/icing conditions. Note that these premium black 50 pound ninimum tension T & B ty-wraps are 14 inches long, UV stabalized and feature a tiny stainless steel "gripper" to lock the wraps into their final diameter. The plastic "grippers" used in other brand ty-wraps deteriorate rapidly in sunlight. The T & B wraps are very expensive approaching $1.00 a piece-but well worth the cost.

A major test for open-wire feeders is whether the SWR changes under varying (rain, ice & snow) weather conditions. Absolutely NO SWR changes have been observed regardless of weather conditions. The more common "window line" (especially after it's insulation cracks in a year or two) will drive you crazy with re-tuning under varying weather conditions. Also, "window line" almost always uses "copperweld" (copper-clad carbon steel) wire which rusts easily (especially in coastal areas) and is 20 to 30% of the conductivity of the pure copper wire used in True Ladder Line.
N4SJW Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2016 18:15 Send this review to a friend
Nice upgrade from old dipole  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I replaced a home brew 40M doublet with 300 ohm twin lead. The new 80M doublet with 600 ohm ladder line is performing a bit better, a little quieter than my Hustler 6BTV vertical, and compared to the 40M dipole seems to be less affected by weather.

I noticed that the antenna is cut a bit short on 80 and 40, no more than 3:1 VSWR to band edges with resonance at the high end of the band. It tunes up on 160 (LDG 1000 ProII) through 10M. Very happy with the choice of this antenna. I was worried about the ladder line showing up (HOA), but it blends in well with a tall pine I used for inverted V configuration and lays flat on the roof so basically invisible from the street. Using a DX Engineering 4:1 balun with no problems.
KB2FCV Rating: 4/5 Feb 10, 2016 21:21 Send this review to a friend
Very good antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my True Ladder Line doublet up for 5+ years. It is up 50-60 feet. It is connected to a Johnson KW Matchbox. As expected, it works quite well on 80-20m. Its performance is OK as you get higher up. 8BDXCC and 300+ entities worked with it so far.

The 16 gauge wire was a little weak for my taste. A few good wind storms stretched and damaged / cut the wire. I wound up replacing it with 14 gauge and have not had a problem since (ok, I did need to repair one side when a hurricane blew a tree onto it as it fell over!).

Overall I am very satisfied with this antenna. I usually lower it and inspect it once a year and the pvc parts seem to be holding up. I really like the one continual wire aspect of it. I would recommend this antenna to anyone.
KD8IIC Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2013 03:04 Send this review to a friend
Still up after 17mos  Time owned: more than 12 months
The True Ladder Line 80m Doublet I reveiwed in November 2011 is still up. It endured the heavy windstorm of late June last year and very heavy snow build up in February.Maybe the fact that I have it erected using a fiberglass telescopic mast that may gives it more flex and survivability.
I have not had ANY breaking or stretching.Tunes FB even 6m with a BT1500A Palstar Tuner.I'm done using coax forever here..73, lane Columbus, Ohio.
K9CDX Rating: 2/5 Apr 30, 2013 16:02 Send this review to a friend
Wasn't strong for me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I set up the antenna at about 60ft between two trees with a pulleys and a weight of 8lbs with 18ft of travel in both up and down directions on the end ropes.I used rope in the tree so no branches or limbs came in contact with the wire. I must say the receive and performance was great. After 2 days I had a wind storm of 30mph and the 16ga wire in the antenna portion stretched 8" on one leg and broke. I re-erected it with a linemans splice and it broke again in 2 more weeks, at a different location. I was dismayed with the use of Pex tubing for the spacers on the 150ft of feed and another 8" piece of Pex on each end for the insulators. It looked cheap and I question reports on its abilty to stay up many years.Diassappointed.
WA8EBM Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2013 16:56 Send this review to a friend
Great packaging of classic antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had this antenna up for a couple weeks. Prior to it I used a G5RV, 102 foot doublet with window line feeders and an Alpha Delta DX-LB. There is no great new secret design. I first saw it in my Become a Radio Amateur study guide in the 1950's. It is simply #16 stranded, insulated electrical wire with the feeders spaced 4 inches apart with pieces of 1/2" ADS Polyflex plastic water supply tubing. What makes it unique is the precise notching of the spreaders making them very captive around the wires without slippage and the continuous length of wire from the ladder line through the end of the antenna elements. The tubing has a 3/4" OD which I slipped into some 1/2" PVC plumbing T's that I had to ream out, slightly, to 3/4" with a spade bit. Using this method you can fabricate all kinds of standoff devices. My setup has the center hung from an arm at 40 feet from my tubular tower. One end goes the full 62.5 feet to a tree and the other end goes 50 feet and then bends down 12 feet to the trunk of another tree. Both ends are at 25 feet above ground. I ran 60 feet of the feedline to a Balun Designs 5KW 4:1 balun and then 6 feet of RG8 to the tuner in the basement. Using a AT5K tuner I get 1:1 on 160 thru 30 meters. I am not able to get a decent SWR on bands above that. I surmise there is just too much stray inductance in the Tuner to allow matching above 30 meters. My Heath 2060A tuner tunes it 1:1 from 160 thru 10 and the internal tuner in the KX3 tunes it 3:1 on 160 and then 1:1 all the way thru 6 meters. I tried 9:1 baluns and 1:1 baluns and still could not get the Palstar to tune above 30 meters. My first contact running a KW was on 75 SSB to Hungary, at midnight, with a 10 over 9 report. I have made numerous European contacts on 40 SSB with several S9 PLUS signal reports. I tried it on 160, where it really should not work very well, and no arcing or any problems and S9 reports all around the Midwest. You can build it for less but for under 100 bucks he does all the tedious work and it is ready to string up. If it stays up for any length of time I sure got my moneys worth. I suppose if I toyed around with feeder length or fed the tuner directly with the ladder line I could get the AT5K working on the higher bands but why mess with a good thing.
W3BJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2013 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just put my doublet up last week. Locally it does no better than any dipole, but it is great on dx. It must have a low angle of radiation, because the noise is less and dx stations are louder. It is a very well built antenna and coupled with a 5 KW balun from Balun Designs, makes a very nice and dependable setup
AC4GM Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2012 08:24 Send this review to a friend
Great product; highly recommended  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have never used this type of antenna before. I am hearing and making contacts to stations never before hear-able. The antenna is tuned with an old Tucker T3000 tuner; the station is a Kenwood TS450S and an Ameritron AL 811. The antenna is at the top of a Rohn 34' telescoping mast and is actually the guy wires for the top ring. The ends are about 12'-15' off the ground. Pruning the feed line to only the amount necessary to make the run causes precision tuning.

Not only a well designed product, but strong, too. Charlie is quick with the shipping (well packaged) and with the e-mail.

I highly recommend the antenna. Simplicity rules.
KD8IIC Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2011 22:19 Send this review to a friend
Super Antenna.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Put mine up Saturday and am very well pleased.The 24inch spacing between spreaders makes computing the odd 1/8th wavelength of lead-in needed real easy.
Material and build quality are first class.Just add end insulators and a loop of antenna rope through a hole I drilled in the center insulator is all I had to do to finish it.
Tunes very easy after you have the lead-in of proper odd 1/8th wavelength(s) for your lowest freq.
Tuning mine with a Palstar BT-1500 Balanced tuner.

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