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Reviews Categories | Tower and Antenna Installers | AK Biocca Pneumatic Antenna Launchers Help

Reviews Summary for AK Biocca Pneumatic Antenna Launchers
Reviews: 9 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $Depends on model
Description: Pneumatic antenna launchers that use weighted tennis balls. There are two models, CSV17 and CSV19 available in kits and assembled versions.
Product is in production.
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AD8Y Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2016 18:30 Send this review to a friend
Worked perfectly  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Only downside was that it worked on the first try, so we didn't have the fun of multiple tennis ball shots. It got its line over a 100' tree easily. This is the smaller version, the CSV17.

I purchased the ready-made version. It was well made and delivered in less than promised time.
W1ITT Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2014 09:08 Send this review to a friend
goes the distance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of the first CVS-19s, at least 8 years ago. It still works like Jack-The-Bear, putting lines where I need them over any tree that I need.Besides antenna work, I have also used my launcher to get a heavy pull rope up over trees to control their direction when felling large sawlogs in dense stands. I painted mine with Krylon Fusion paint to protect the plastic from the effect of UV degradation. I use "Spider Wire" braided fishing line on mine and it peels off the zip reel very nicely Alan's original development work has resulted in many knockoffs, with varying results, but I have yet to see any of the new ones that improve on his design. We get what we pay for!
W7CKW Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2014 20:38 Send this review to a friend
No failure to launch here  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Tried them all: sling shot, arrow, crossbow, old sand filed sock, etc. and this was the only one that really worked. Bought the CSV17 kit with the bow fishing converted reel. Didn't take long to build and worked right off the bat. Converted my own tennis ball by using the 1/8" drill bit for one hole the 5/16" for the second. Pushed thru four 1/2 oz. cone type fishing weights and then threaded the loop thru the two holes. No problem, they worked great. Put up three ropes in three trees in about an hour. Yes it cost a "few" bucks more the average launcher but worth the cost. (now have some of the local hams wanting to use it)
K5HSV Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2013 10:32 Send this review to a friend
150+ Feet!!! Awesome  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used the pneumatic antenna launcher just two days ago to help a fellow ham (N5MFA)throw up a new Radiowavz, Windom 160. We had it up in no time at all, with the apex above 75 ft. It shoots a tennis ball with line over 150+ ft. with as little as 25-30 lbs. of air. I take it with me when the YL and I camp in state parks; to throw up a double bazooka.

This was purchased as a kit to simply glue together with PVC glue. My only gripe is that it's construction is only with schedule #40 PVC however, you can pump much more than that in the chamber. If you need more than 40 lbs., you're wanting your antenna over 150 ft. at the apex.

You can't go wrong with this launcher~!

KG6YV Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2012 09:25 Send this review to a friend
Excellent tool  Time owned: more than 12 months
I will echo everything already said about the CV17 pneumatic launcher. I used a sling shot several times with mixed results. The CV17 works fine every time and can hit trees at the 100 ft. height every time no sweat....
N1QKH Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2012 06:29 Send this review to a friend
CSV19 Basic Kit went together easily and works well.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I put this kit together without difficulty and it works well.

I followed the directions, carefully. The directions were detailed and accurate. They contained a lot of good ideas and made the assembly easy. "Diving in" without reading the directions is NOT recommended.

It would be most helpful for the user to have some prior experience with PVC cement and plumbing.
W2DL Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2012 09:01 Send this review to a friend
Superb Wire Antenna Deployment System  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just received and began using AKBiocca Engieering's Pneumatic Antenna Deployment System (PADS). This pneumatic antenna launcher includes a padded case, the CSV17 Launcher, weighted tennis balls, mini coaxial reel, several reels of nylon twine, ramrod and pressue safety valve. I opted for the assembled version. Alan Biocca is an engineer and knows what he's doing -- I wasn't going to mess around with this. I am DELIGHTED with my PADS. It has exceeded all my expectations. I am blessed with 2 acres of tall hemlocks and other trees and my ham radio interests are focused on QRP, CW, and wire antennas. I expect to be doing many launchings and the CSV17 will handle it, reaching well over 100 feet which leaves room to spare with my highest trees (approximately 60 feet). Few will need more height than that, but the CSV19 is available for those who do. I'm amazed not to see much written about pneumatic antenna launchers. They are much more accurate and safer than bows & arrows and slingshots. Not inexpensive, but worth every penny and you won't regret having one. Alan is VERY responsive in emails and has a wonderfully engineered product line.
AD6Z Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2011 19:45 Send this review to a friend
Well engineered  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought/assembled/used the CSV19 kit. This was after I built my own that I had used with wood dowel projectiles. So I had some experience with air launching. (my design didn't work well enough)

I ordered right around christmas which is Alan's busy time (he was backlogged) but I got it in just a couple weeks. About what I was expecting, in terms of delivery time.

CSV19: Very nice. Worth the money. Bought the cheapest kit. I bought the needed 1/8" NPT tap at Lowes. I used a drill press for the critical holes for the taps, but I can see why the pictures of Alan doing it has the pvc strapped's easy to go to fast and have your drill bit punch through and grab the pvc and mess the hole a little. Also I should have been a little more diligent about aligning the tap. But that's assembly advice. I still assembled it fine.

I did have experience gluing pipe, so that didn't concern me. Most people are used to glueing 1" pipe or smaller. So when you get to the pressure fast because you need a lot of glue. Larger brush is best for wide diameter gluing, but I used the standard brush from a small can. Buy fresh glue and primer for the assembly. Don't scrimp.

Also: you can get clear pvc primer, so you don't have to worry about dripping the purple. I just used the clear pvc cleaner to prime. PVC primer is mostly acetone. Purple is just so inspectors can tell that plumbing pvc has been primed.

What you're paying for is all the experimentation and tuning Alan has done here. There's one or two custom machined pieces. He's made a very compact device to some of the guns you see on the web. It's nice how the sprinkler valve is fully prepared: he's tapped it and epoxied the hole for you.

I launched three 125'+ lines today. I had built my own gun with an electric launch, but the blowgun trigger is so much better: consistent, reliable. There's a really sharp bark when it fires. No honking. I had a number of inconsistent launches with my old gun and it was really a pain.

I used the lower half of a fishing rod with spinning reel (held by my wife) for the line. I had used really light monofilament in the past, but decided to use 14 lb test here. I got a cheap Shimano R4000 spinning reel for $13, to hold about 140 yds of the 14lb test. It pays to make sure you have a nice limp monofilament. Cheap stuff twists. And heavier is not better. The reel is nice for quick retrieve compared to hand wind.

The tennis ball attach was slit, punch two holes, then thread 12ga insulated house wire. I then tied the monofilament to that with a standard fisherman's (cinch) knot. After each launch I would cut the mono and just retie whenever needed.

When tying the mason's line to it, I would tape the knot to get a smooth pull across branches and protect that area a bit.

I did 80psi launches which had impressive muzzle velocity, but no line breakage issues.

I was shooting 125' trees, which is atypical. It's impressive how straight you can shoot. Like a rocket launch. I found I had to stand a little further back from the tree than I expected. (30-40'?) At apogee, the ball tends to drop almost straight down.

By making it easy to launch lines, I don't worry about doing complicated pulley systems in trees. Just one line over. If the line wears, I can put up a new one easily. My launch/pull sequence is monofilament, then mason's line, then the final rope.

I used sand to half fill the slit tennis balls to get the 4 oz weight total. 4 oz balls really work well, just as Alan says.

I like having the line retrieve be separate from the launch device.

I was shooting in some wind today. At 125' I was getting maybe 7' left or right accuracy I think it would be nice to have an attachable shoulder stock. This might help limit a bit of barrel movement on firing.

Long term I might mask and paint all the white pvc for UV protection.

It's amazing how the short barrel is really sufficient. The trigger on my blow gun was a little stiff, but still gave full exhaust on all launches.

Sure you can get it all together on your own from scratch. but the time vs money tradeoff, and little details, is worth it here.
KG6YV Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2010 07:04 Send this review to a friend
Flawless, powerful and works every time  Time owned: more than 12 months
After using several sling-shot launchers to some success I decided I needed something more reliable and easier to use. The AK Biocca pneumatic launchers come in two models. I bought the CSV17 which is slightly smaller but works well to launch weighted tennis balls to heights in excess of 100 ft.
These units are available in kit form or assembled.
The user can mount his/her own fishing reel or purchase the accessory reel that fits over the launcher nozzle. I bought the nozzle reel and I must say there is no way to "foul-up" with this accessory.
Just pump up the tank using a hand bicycle pump or portable compressor, load a tennis ball, point the thing like a bazooka and pull the trigger.
I used about 60 lbs pressure and shot a 60-70ft. height trajectory the first time.
Kit construction is very straight forward and the instructions are very well written.
Great for field day and any home wire antenna installation projects.

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