Manager


Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: True Ladder Line 125ft Doublet.

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : True Ladder Line 125ft Doublet.
Reviews: 14MSRP: 124.00
Description:
80m Open Fed Doublet Antenna with 150ft of lead in.
Product is in production
More Info: http://trueladderline.com
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
15144.7
W1WH Rating: 2019-06-01
Great antenna! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just put up my 80m ladderline-fed dipole which I received last week. This is a well made basic dipole which lives up to it's low loss reputation on the HF bands. The antenna is well made, and WB2JIX went out of his way to keep me informed of the production and delivery timetable. Just did a quick comparison and noted a 10dB improvement on 80 when compared with my 43 foot vertical. I'm a happy camper with this one!
WF1L Rating: 2019-05-13
Beats Expectations Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
A great product that meets, and for me, exceeds my expectations.
I completed the installation last week and put it on the air on an 80M phone Net. I was hearing stations that were usually down in the noise and to beat all they were able to hear me!
This is a very impressive product that lives up to it's advertising claims. I just wish my trees were taller so I could really let this antenna stretch it's legs.
WA3ZYO Rating: 2019-02-23
Exceeded my expectations Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was fooling around on 160 meters, and with a contest underway the band was rather crowded. For the heck of it I decided to load up the 125' Doublet. Much to my surprise it performed well, at least for short path with contacts ranging from my QTH in central PA to Ontario, RI to MI. All gave me S9 (it is a contest!), but I called once and got through on most contacts. I was running an ICMO 7300 barefoot. I can run full legal limit with an Alpha 9500 and the antenna handles without issue. They do make a 250' version which is promoted for 160 to 10, that is why this was a pleasant surprise. I simply can not fit 250" in my yard.

I then plotted all bands and this is what I came up with. The tuner is a Palstar HF-AUTO which has a digital display.
Band Freq C L SWR
10 29.000 87 162 1.02
15 21.325 123 174 1.05
17 18.130 125 187 1.02
20 14.240 161 168 1.01
40 7.213 168 255 1.04
80 3.741 159 411 1.03
160 1.900 134 353 1.01
To speed up the tune up process I can put it in manual and drive to the settings. The antenna also fixed the RFI and Common Mode issues that I was having with an Off Center Fed Dipole. This is a balanced 125 foot dipole fed with 600 ohm ladder line into a 4:1current Balun by Balun Designs. I also happen to have a lightning protector from Array Solutions in front of the 4:1. This goes into a short piece fo RG8U into the shack.

For those who may be interested the antenna came from a company called TrueLadderLine.com a 100AX63 80-10 meter W7FG design. He uses hands-capped labor and it is 100% built in the USA.

In its short life, so far, it has survived 3 ice storms and some rather strong winds. It appears to be well made. Overall I am extremely pleased with it. I have to also mention that their customer service was fabulous. He answered questions and kept me updated on the order process. Without a doubt I would recommend this company and antenna.
2I0PTX Rating: 2018-12-20
Amazing quality, value and outstanding customer service Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I love this antenna. I've used all types of wire dipoles over the years from G5RV's, the awesome Western HF10 and some resonant dipoles but this antenna is a true gem. I live in Northern Ireland and have a typical UK postage stamp garden with only 75ft to play with so I've had to have each end droop down but I'm still loving the performance and I drool when I look out and see that true ladder line falling away from the centre. It's perfect for our Leprechauns to climb at night.
It's up approximately 40ft and I've drilled two 6mm holes through my 11 inch brick wall into the shack. I run the feedline through 6mm water ice line and straight into my MFJ-993B balanced line ATU and it tunes all bands without issue.
In the 3 weeks it's been up I've worked all of Europe, Algeria, Sudan, Morrocco, Chile, Brazil and lots of UK on 80m. I've busted quite a few pile-ups with only 50w and I'm impressed.
I'll update again after a few months.
NX0E Rating: 2018-06-16
Still working well Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Up one year, this antenna has survived a Wyoming summer and winter. Wind, snow and ice did not bring it down. It is supported per my earlier review. About 35' of the TLL feedline slope down to a roof eave, held in place with small kevlar cord for strong support but allowing it to flex with wind. A Leviton ceramic DPDT knife switch shorts and grounds both conductors when not the antenna is not in use. An ICE (now Array Solutions) balanced arrestor discharges static - which is important when there is blowing snow. It is fed through a wooden wall with a short twin 75 ohm coax, then a homemade 1:1 balun. It's tuned with a SGC 231 auto tuner. It tunes on every HF band.

----------------------
Earlier 5-star review posted by NX0E on 2017-11-21

I've had the 125' doublet up since June. It has passed the "summer in Wyoming" test - hot and windy. The winter test is coming.

I have it up about 18' in the center and about 10' at each end. Most of the use is on 80m close-in (NVIS) nets at 50W. It has worked well.

The insulators are hollow plastic tubing. This makes the antenna and feed line east to hang, using nonconducting cord passed through the tube.
N5ATM Rating: 2018-02-21
Great antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Installation: I purchased the 160m version almost two years ago. Strung it up between a home brew 30' support mast and the power company's telephone pole. After about 8 months, the power company saw it and cut my rope and said don't use the pole. lol I then cut the antenna down for 80m use and attached the one end to a pole mounted on the chimney.

Matching: I initially had a problem tuning all bands using my LDG 1000pro tuner. I called and spoke with Brian at Trueladderline.com and he said that the LDG's commonly have issues with this and other similar antennas. He suggested trying a different tuner so I purchased an old Dentron MT-3000A. Sure enough, my tuning issues disappeared.

RFI: The Dentron has a built-in balun so at first I ran the ladder line directly to the tuner. However I had a lot of RF-in-the-shack issues doing it this way. After a bit of research and experimentation I ended up with the following setup.

Feed line into...

1) Array Solutions AS-309H lightning arrestor
2) Balun designs 4114T 4:1 balun
3) Balun designs 1115du 1:1 choke balun.
4) Dentron MT-3000A tuner.

This setup solved all my RFI issues and the antenna tunes up just fine on all bands using about 150' of feed line, much of it running parralell to the antenna.

Performance: This antenna has worked VERY well considering it's low height. I also have a SteppIR BigIR vertical with a 64 65' radials in a perfect circle. In A/B comparisons, the dipole usually matches or surpasses the vertical for most state side contacts except where I imagine the nulls are. It also does surprisingly well for DX but as expected the vertical usually wins in that match up. I live out in the country and luckily I have a very low noise level. It's very easy to see the noise floor difference on the dipole and the Vertical using my Flex 6500. As expected, the dipole is much quieter than the vertical and generally the Signal-to-Noise ratio is better on the dipole.

Summary: I have been extremely happy with the quality of materials, construction, and performance of the antenna. It has performed better than any other wire antenna I have used and I've had a few. The product support from Brian in answering questions and discussing such things as feed line length and tuner issues was nothing short of exemplary. I'm a very happy customer and am sold on the 600ohm doublet type antenna. I suggest them any time I hear the question, what antenna should I use? Purchase one of these and you can't go wrong.
KZ4B Rating: 2016-08-03
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: 2016-08-02
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: 2016-02-10
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: 2013-05-01
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.

----------------------
Earlier 5-star review posted by KD8IIC on 2011-11-27

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.