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Reviews For: Joplin Amateur Radio Club Antenna Launcher Kit

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : Joplin Amateur Radio Club Antenna Launcher Kit
Reviews: 33MSRP: 50 including freight in the USA
Pneumatic Antenna Launcher Kit
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
NH6EV Rating: 2023-02-24
This review writes itself! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
First off the valve was stiff, I bought another one selected among the valves for sale at my local hardware store. (I stood there and tried a bunch of them, yes they were different in that way.)
I pump it up to 100 pounds for the really high trees and let it rip! I had to write this to counter all the poor reviews by people who just didn't try hard enough.
KA4ETV Rating: 2022-11-26
Updated and Upgraded Review Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got this a while back and have attempted several times to use it. The valve knob is too hard to turn. No gauge to show pressure. At this point there are so many other better products out there, this one is not worth the $60 they are charging for it.

W1SWL Rating: 2022-07-19
What a Great Kit Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Last evening in a high wind thunderstorm, a walnut laden limb crashed down upon my EFHW guy rope. Not to fear. Pulled out my Joplin Pneumatic Antenna Launcher, pumped her up with 45 lbs of air and let loose. First time shot over the large limb 65 feet up in the air. Retrieved the projectile, tied on 100 pound monofilament and pulled that up then attached the Dacron and we are now back in business. A bit higher than the EFHW was located before! Great product. Hints, before assembly immerse the valve in really HOT water and exercise it... also I paint my projectiles a day glow YELLOW so that they are really easy to see and retrieve. A great product. Thanks JARC!
N9UVI Rating: 2021-11-23
Solved tight valve problem with boiling water! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well packed. Complete as described. Timely delivery. The tight valve described in prevous reviews made the unit virtually un-usable UNTIL we used the boiling water trick. Now works smoothly and freely. Joplin should consider adding it to the directions.

ADD: 11/22/21 Have used the launcher several times to successfully install antennae. Highest one is 50 feet up between two trees. Very pleased with this unit.
KC1LML Rating: 2021-10-21
Works well for me Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My order arrived in a couple of days and was well packed with good instructions. I have to say I find some of the reviews on the this antenna launcher
amusing. Yes, it does take strong hands to quickly snap the PVC ball valve open. That's just the way it is with this type of ball valve. Someone with weak or arthritic hands might want to consider using a much more expensive brass ball valve instead. In any case, I didn't have any trouble getting lines 80 feet up in my pine trees, and I'm 75 years old.
N5USD Rating: 2021-10-15
Huge quality issues and NO help from the seller. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've been the unfortunate owner of this piece of plastic dumpster ballast for about 6 weeks now. When I got it, I immediately set about putting it together. It was not that difficult to assemble but each step is non-reversible. It all goes together with PVC cement. When it was done, I did the standard leak test and discovered that the air poured out of the valve ball assembly as fast as you could pump it in with a small compressor. I checked the o-ring inside the side of the ball valve and it was properly seated but the valve was unusable. Since it was all permanently glued together, it was now trash. I contacted the Joplin ARC for suggestions. I heard nothing. I contacted them again. Nothing... crickets. They could at least have the courtesy to respond to my emails. I wasted nearly $75.00, including necessary assembly supplies, on this worthless kit and the JARC apparently has NO interest in resolving this issue. I consider this a huge red flag for potential future buyers as I still have yet to hear from them. I did successfully construct an air launcher of my own design that was much improved over this defective device.
WD7E Rating: 2021-03-09
Works great (plus easy fix for valve)!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Winter storm took a toll on my wires and my lady asked me to find a better way to get the lines over the trees. She didn't like the old guy on the roof trying to throw the weight over by hand... go figure (hihi). So I received this from the Joplin club last week, put it together in a very short time, took it to the park to practice and it works like a champ. It was able to clear 60' trees with ease. This will make the re-install of my dipoles MUCH easier! Well done Joplin, thanks!

And now for the hint... many reviews mention how stiff the valve is right out of the box. Before putting mine together I put the valve in a small pan and poured nearly boiling water over it. Let it sit for about 15 minutes then removed it. The valve works quite smoothly now and I've detected no pressure leakage. So if you have wires and trees, this is the one to get, and don't let the "hard valve" reviews dissuade you.
K0UA Rating: 2021-02-18
It really works well Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This thing really flings the "rocket" over tall trees at 30 PSI. This ain't no toy, please load it outside.

I have used it for many many antenna projects, and can't believe some of the problems some people are having with this launcher. This thing will toss the "bullet" over a 100 feet tall tree. I painted the "bullets" blaze orange to make them easier to find in the woods. I put on a simple Zebco 202 cheap junk fishing reel on it with a couple of hose clamps with 15 lb. test line. The unit is simple with nothing to break. I did not glue the barrel in place and just friction fit it when using it. The idea is that way it takes down into a smaller package for transport. I bought mine cheap at a hamfest, where the guy was willing to discount the unit. I use a Ryobi battery powered portable handheld compressor. It is really convenient to use in the field for multiple shots.
K6SDW Rating: 2021-02-18
Antenna launcher valve very difficult as it ages Time Owned: more than 12 months.
First my apology to Joplin Amateur Radio club, the launcher was a nice idea but after owning the launcher for several years, operating the valve has gotten almost impossible now!
I now recommend avoiding this launcher and looking elsewhere.

Update: The valve used on the launcher is sold at Home Depot and hardware stores, so I scabbed on a new valve and launcher now works like the original, still stiff but doable.

Also, I sprayed the valve opening with a dry silicone, no not WD40, and it made things much worse!
WD4LUR Rating: 2021-02-18
Can't beat it for the money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased this launcher and had no trouble at all with assembly. It is very straight forward. I ended up pressurizing it to 40 psi and it easily shot the fishing line up over a tree at 65 feet.
The valve is stiff, but worked well. Maybe a little silicon based lubricant would help that.
I haven’t found anything that would be better unless you want to spend three or four times the money.