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Reviews Categories | Feedlines (coax, ladder-line, etc.) | Radio Shack TV Twin Lead Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack TV Twin Lead
Radio Shack TV Twin Lead Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $3.99
Description: 300 ohm TV Twin Lead
Product is in production.
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KE3FL Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2010 09:06 Send this review to a friend
The Cheap Stuff Rules!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was introduced to this stuff when I was a kid over 50 years ago by my Dad when we had to install a new TV antenna.

About 17 years ago I wrote an article for QST which ended up on the ARRL Members Only site on how to tune up a J-Pole antenna built from this stuff, the method works for any kind of J-pole by the way & if you're not an ARRL member you can look it up on my web site:

back in 2003 I wrote another article: Popular Communications, January 2003, p 6-10 "Phil's Easy Way To Improve Your UHF TV Reception" where I built two different turnstile bow tie antennas to improve my UHF TV reception and I used this cheap brown stuff as the feed line.

Why does this stuff rule? Because, it was cheap & durable. If you had trouble with it lasting then you didn't protect the wear points.

When installed as feed-line it needs to be twisted and secured every two feet by 2-3" standoffs. Since I couldn't get standoffs even 7 years ago I used long nails and those twist-ties.

The twisting of the twin-lead helps it resist wind induced movement, which can eventually cause fatigue wire breaking, as well as static interference from the sparkplugs in older cars. When we used it for TV or HF back in the 60's this was rather important now, most cars hardly transmit any RF interference from spark plugs.

Again back around 17 years ago I made a bunch of the foldable J-pole antennas, which lead to that how to tune article, and I still have the three I kept for myself & they are all still working fine. On the other hand, like the fellow who said that this thin twin lead was too fragile I came to the same conclusion after the first two out of the cheap brown stuff and so for foldable J-poles I intended to use often I ended up using the thicker ladder line 300 ohm twin lead. The brown twin lead was used for J-poles I placed inside 1" DIA.

I did notice that the PVC pipe is starting to show its age. Being outdoors in the sun & weather I believe I may soon have to replace those antennas because the PVC was not the UV tolerant type. Next time I'll have to ask for that.

The bottom line is that if you know how you're going to use this stuff and you use it properly, and I doubt many know what that means any longer, this "cheap" stuff will last for decades outdoors in the sun, the brown stuff NOT the clear stuff.

NOTE: The clear stuff is NOT UV tolerant it degrades in about 5 years when in the sun, it will last inside your house as long as you want.

Last, I know of no place to buy this wonderful feed line any longer so if you have a location/supplier I can get the brown stuff from please let me know.

My local RadioShack discontinued the brown stuff about 5 years ago, the local hardware store before that, and my local RS store stopped stocking the thick stuff this year. The only stuff I see available is the clear stuff when it is used for bow tie antenna feed line.

73 de ke3fl
VA7DH Rating: 4/5 Nov 24, 2010 18:20 Send this review to a friend
Good quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
Someone mentioned that there is more than one type of 300 ohm twin lead Radio Shack sells. I have had both. The cheap, thin, small wire gauge isn't even worth hooking bunny ears to your TV. Then there is the foam cored stuff - part #15-1175. It has reasonable gauge wire, a decent outer cover and works very well. I use it for building slim jim antennas and prefer it though it's a bit stiff for roll up antennas. I have tried using the cheap stuff and it was a total waste of time. Too easy to break the conductors.

That said, there is no comparison to the reliability and strength of 450 ohm ladder line with copper plated solid steel conductors. That stuff is amazingly strong. One problem with flat line or ladder line is that it gets grabbed by the wind. I weight down mine with a plastic pop bottle partly filled with water. It helps. I have about 50 or 60 feet or 450 ohm ladder line feeding a horizontal loop antenna. I can't tie it in to standoff posts, nothing physical to screw them into. Meanwhile the ladder line keeps taking the punishment year after year. I doubt that the best TV grade twin lead would do the same. The good thing is that the best 300 ohm twin lead is a lot cheaper to purchase than good 450 ohm ladder line.
VK5LJS Rating: 4/5 Nov 22, 2009 13:58 Send this review to a friend
Why not  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you dislike this stuff on HF, you haven't got the lengths of feeder or antenna elements right. It can't possibly radiate because of the opposing signals so losses are only ohmic. If its an ohm or two, it's nothing compared to the radiating resistance. Whether its Radio Shack or any other el cheapo TV twin lead, it works fine for me. There is better but it costs more than its worth.
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2009 08:16 Send this review to a friend
For The Price, You Can't Go Wrong!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For 5 1/2 years prior to my retirement, I lived in an antenna restricted development. I used this inexpensive 300 ohm ribbon to feed a 20 meter inverted V in my attic which I used on 20 through 10 meters. I used an inexpensive MFJ tuner to make the rig like the antenna. This combination worked great with me logging many DX contacts all with 100 watts or less....often QRP.

I wouldn't hesitate to use it again if the situation arose!
N4NZM Rating: 4/5 Apr 22, 2009 07:26 Send this review to a friend
Works for me  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I use it to feed a 40M Delta loop. I got 100' of it for $18 bucks. It does the job pretty well. I use a sharp razor blade to strip it.
VE3MIZ Rating: 3/5 Apr 7, 2009 22:38 Send this review to a friend
Average  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not uniform. Supposed to be a straight flat ribbon but the rolls I've got have sagging sections (towards the sides)
Measured Velocity Factor around 0.77 (much lower than expected for 300-ohm TV twin lead)
KB0PTV Rating: 0/5 Jan 4, 2009 23:50 Send this review to a friend
BAD  Time owned: more than 12 months
Not worth the powder to blow it to hell!
Fragile, cheap (like all radio shack junk), and unreliable
KD4LEI Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2008 18:43 Send this review to a friend
Agree with the "5" raters  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This stuff is pretty good. I am able to tune with a 1.3 or less SWR on all bands with the exception of 15 and 17 meters. My MFJ tuner doesn't like what it's detecting on both of those bands, but likes the match it gets on the others

I run a rain gutter antenna setup at my home and was able to make one contact so far (on 40 meters) after I set it up. I would not put much thought into the reviewer's who gave it a "0". Either they weren't using it correctly, or because it has the name Radio Shack, they immediately write it off as junk. RS does do things decently from time to time and this is one of them.

I will give another review before summer is over to describe more of my experiences with it.
W5ONV Rating: 4/5 Sep 1, 2007 21:39 Send this review to a friend
Good for me !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used this Radio Shack twin lead on several occasions and it works great for me. SWR was good and tuned up good. Pretty good price too.Not the best in the world but it works well 73, Jim
N2RRA Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2007 21:32 Send this review to a friend
Great ladder line  Time owned: more than 12 months
Don't know what the last two posts were doing wrong, but I can't say the same.

I've been using Radio Shack 300 ohm Ladder Line for several years now, and have had great success.

Even built a Full Wave Loop, and installed it upstate New York on property @ 2800ft above sea level, and has endured extreme winter weather. Not cracked yet!

Used in the New York city location where it runs up aluminum sided house across tarred roof top, and up mast to wire antenna. I've run 1200 watts through it, and never a problem!

Cheap and yields good peformance like 300 ohm should.

Good enough for me and cheap. My supplier is Radio Shack for 300 ohm ladder line.

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