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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Joplin Amateur Radio Club Antenna Launcher Kit Help


Reviews Summary for Joplin Amateur Radio Club Antenna Launcher Kit
Joplin Amateur Radio Club  Antenna Launcher Kit Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $50 including freight in the USA
Description: Pneumatic Antenna Launcher Kit
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.joplin-arc.org/
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KK5R Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2016 00:34 Send this review to a friend
Great, easy to build Launcher  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I tried slingshots, fishing rods, bow and arrow and finally built the antenna launcher following the instructions in QST. It worked great. Then I sent for the Joplin Launcher and it is much easier to build since all the parts are there, no hunting through bins at the hardware store. The PVC was clean so I used the Oatey Medium Orange PVC cement generously and had no leaks. The valve was hard to turn and I remembered going through about 50 valves at the hardware store to find a smooth and easy to turn valve for the QST launcher so I boiled the Joplin valve for 30 minutes and it became very easy to turn, easier than the one I had already built.

The Joplin launcher is much more compact than the QST model. I got a reel from Walmart for about $6 and it works fine. I use a stainless steel hose clamp that goes through the slot in the reel's anchor plate so it does not slip on the launcher. I put the reel down close to the valve instead at the end so it's easier to grab and reel in the line. — One thing to remember is to release the real when launching by thumbing the brake button so the line is released in the reel — otherwise the potato can pop back and hit you when you open the valve...

The potato supplied with the kit is about six inches long before installing the end caps. I cut one of the tubes in half so the potato is shorter and less likely to hang up in a tree. I do not bother to use the colored ribbon supplied because the white PVC potato is easy to see. A club member here painted his potato a bright orange-red so it's easier for him to see but for me, white is good enough.

I use the fishing line to pull a nylon cord through the trees and it becomes the line I use to pull the Dacron® line that holds the antenna wire.

Using other methods, it took one to two hours to hang an antenna but with the Joplin launcher, it takes much shorter time. For me, about 10-15 minutes for each end. Rarely do I need to launch the potato more than once because the aim is pretty much dead on. I find using 40-lbs of air is quite sufficient to launch the potato over 100-ft in the air. I use one of the little 12V Harbor Freight auto compressors and it takes about one minute to pump up the launcher's tank. I got the good pump, though, not the one that costs about $10 because the cheap one doesn't last very long. A foot pump is better when the car is not handy to use the electric pump. The foot pump usually takes less than one minute to pump up the launcher.
 
NT6T Rating: 5/5 Apr 28, 2016 06:08 Send this review to a friend
Excellent & very reasonable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've tried sling shots, bow and arrow, and this kit is by far the best. Just installed a windom antenna over a very high tree with no problems. Thank you Joplin ARC for a product well done.
 
KI4IOV Rating: 4/5 Dec 14, 2015 04:28 Send this review to a friend
Pretty good but the valve is a stiff turn  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Maybe I just need more silicone lubricant, but the vavle is still pretty hard to turn - maybe a handle would help.

Still, even with all that said, this is an EXCELLENT value! The JARC gathers the parts for you - just add PVC cement, a spinning reel and assemble! Mine went together in about 20 minutes. The PVC parts included are very heavy-duty, 480# test pipe. I had no problems at all using this with 35-40 psi. The trick is to turn the valve very quickly, but once you do, the tallest trees will be your antenna holders!

My kit arrived just days after my PayPal order, shipped USPS 2-day! JARC pre-glues the stub piece on the valve so you don't have to worry about getting glue into the valve. I'm having SO much fun w/ this that I'm putting up extra guy rope in trees that I MIGHT put an antenna in! Total cost, shipped & glued: about $75 including reel, cement & the whole shebang! You can surely pay more, and probably get a fancier unit, but this one does the job at a great price!
 
WY9U Rating: 0/5 Sep 12, 2015 20:08 Send this review to a friend
Did not work  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this antenna launcher and it was quite easy to build; however, the unit I received was defective. The valve leaked air from the top of the handle and the valve would lock up when trying to turn which would slow the air discharge. The instructions warns of the valve lockup and suggest silicone lubricant which i used and it did not improve the usage even after exercising the valve 100’s of times as instructed.

To the credit of JARC they did offer to replace my launcher when i contacted them for help, however, i decided due to my overall level of frustration with the valve it was not worth it to build it again and hope performance improved and went with another solution.
 
VA1JSN Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2015 19:54 Send this review to a friend
Very effective!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Put one of these together this summer and used it to easily launch fishing line into trees over 50 feet high from almost 100 feet away at only 60 psi. Highly recommended! Takes about 30-minutes to assemble. Should have decent talent with PVC cement. :)
 
W4RAR Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2014 16:29 Send this review to a friend
Does a great job  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this because I have a couple 65' trees in my yard I could never seem to get a wire high enough or in the right place this thing was easy assembled I just guessed at the air pressure as far as range goes pumped in 35lbs on a bicycle pump aimed cleared the tree and landed directly on the other side perfect shot first time out, I'd tried sling shots roping with cressent wrench tied to end of rope etc. this thing is extremely accurate and easy to use I don't think you could purchase the parts as cheap as they are selling this for every ham should have one.
 
W2LJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2014 11:22 Send this review to a friend
Works great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
In the past, I always used a homebrewed version of the EZ Hang. I was never able to get the slingshot to get the line as high as I desired, though. In addition, some slingshots are illegal here in NJ, specifically the ones that have wrist braces.

I saw this Antenna Launcher on YouTube and decided to buy one. It has been one of the best purchases I have made in a long time. It goes together easily, quickly and works perfectly. I do a lot of outdoor QRP operating in parks and I can clear a 70 foot tree without breaking a sweat on the first attempt.

There's only one down side to having one of these. Once your friends know you have it, it's like owning a pickup truck on moving day - EVERYBODY is your buddy when it's antenna installation time!
 
AC7GI Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2014 09:45 Send this review to a friend
Best Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Antenna arrived ahead of schedule and worked better than advertised. I can't see using a more expensive Antenna Launcher. Follow the instructions and you will be hanging antennas in 1/2 hour. Zebco 202 reels can be purchased on eBay for $10.00, free shipping. Try to avoid using an open faced reel
 
K8JH Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2013 10:29 Send this review to a friend
great wire ant tool  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have used this unit multiple times installing wire antennas in 50' trees. It works very well. I am well satisfied with its performance. It takes a little practice with air pressure and launch angles, but it is a very effective antenna installation tool. A great investment.
 
KB3NFM Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2013 18:11 Send this review to a friend
Practical and FUN  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Antenna Launcher Kit is both practical and FUN! As stated in the clear and precise instructions, be sure to use PVC cleaner and adhesive to securely bond the parts together. I filled the projectile with sand and a few lead weights. With a little practice and using good old “Kentucky Windage “ its easy and fun to place the projectile where you want it. As with any launcher you must be careful of what’s beyond your intended target. I’ve tried strong fishing line but prefer masons line in bright florescent colors. I justified the purchase to my wife not as a toy spud gun but a technically advanced, sophisticated antenna installation tool. It also helps support the Joplin ARC. Did I mention it’s also Fun?
 
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