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Reviews For: Ladder Snap Ladder Line Kits

Category: Feedlines (coax, ladder-line, etc.)

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Review Summary For : Ladder Snap Ladder Line Kits
Reviews: 19MSRP: 29.99
Description:
Make your own 600 ohm Ladder Line the easy way. No more
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laborious cutting up plastic or wood dowel rods. Simply
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open the bag and snap your line together. Make your

feedline up as you need it. Never again get caught short or


buy more feedline than you need to finish your antenna
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project. You won't have to wait weeks for an out of stock


supplier during peak antenna building season.

For use with #14 THHN Stranded or Solid Wire



www.73CNC.com
Product is in production
More Info: http://www.73CNC.com
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
00194.9
N4UZZ Rating: 2016-07-16
Great product - great idea Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
You need to practice and learn just a little bit to get good at snapping the spacers onto the wires. Works well with 14 ga THHN stranded copper wire you can buy at Home Depot. For invisibility, I recommend black. They are durable. There will be some turns and twists of your line where extra snaps are needed to maintain the spacing.

Just a word of warning: this is apparently a small family-run business. I placed order, my credit card was charged, but I never got an order confirmation or anything. Two weeks later I started to worry, called them, wrote them an email - nothing, no response. Then the ladder snaps showed up. So, be patient. Don't be surprised if it takes 2 - 3 weeks to get your order.
W9XRT Rating: 2015-12-14
Wonderful Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is the way to go for OWL. Use the warm soapy water and practice and all will be just fine. See my install at qrz for W9XRT
N3NJ Rating: 2015-11-21
Great Product! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I cant say enough good things about this product. Take your time and get a feel for this before putting everything together. I used a flat piece of wood to help with construction and to keep everything uniform. My antenna has been up for almost two years and its still holding up fine. No soldering when using the dipole center insulator. You can see my antenna feed line at QRZ.com. 73, Mark N3NJ
K5DSQ Rating: 2015-09-11
2nd Anniversary Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Have had my Ladder Snap 600 Ohm 160 meter antenna up going on two years and could not be happier. Easy to build, zero problems, the snaps still look like new and the XYL loves the fact that the birds use it for a perch! Great product!

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Earlier 5-star review posted by K5DSQ on 2013-12-16

Made up some ladder line this weekend for my 160 meter doublet. Like other have suggested you will need some practice to get the pliers positioned correctly in order to easily snap the wire in place. I found a small pair of water pump pliers worked best. Very nice product, easy on the XYL eyes and low wind resistance. The video suggested 18 inch spacing, but I did mine at 12. Works great! Highly recommended. Sure beats the 450 ohm stuff.
KD8OCT Rating: 2015-07-22
This is a great product Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'm picky about how things look, my other attempts at making my own spacers looked bad and didn't work out that well when wet and iced up. Found this product on the web, ordered a pack and couldn't be happier. I ground a flea market spark plug wire pulling tool to fit the thickness of the wire and made 50 foot of line in less than an hour. The fun was over before it started. Didn't even use any lube on the wire and worked without any damage to the THHN.
KJ5P Rating: 2015-07-20
Nicely Engineered Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After reading KA3RCS' review, I decided that I'd also use DX Engineering's premium 14AWG antenna wire. It's fairly flexible and easy to work with. I lubricated the spreaders by dipping the ends in a dishwashing soap and water mixture. I used slip joint pliers with jaw faces about 1/4 " square. The spreaders end in a point and by placing the jaw face on the point with the opposite jaw edge on the wire, I found the wire would slip right into place Having the two conductors drawn tight at about waist level was key to the effort. I also found that it was easier to hit the "sweet" spot if I alternated sides rather than reaching across for the opposite side.
KA3RCS Rating: 2014-10-08
Superb product Time Owned: more than 12 months.
About two years ago, we decided to upgrade the HF antenna at our radio club site. We had been using a 75 meter dipole fed with typical ladder line. We decided to build a full wave 80 meter horizontal loop. While researching antenna supplies, I discovered Ladder Snaps.

I've built many antennas over the years with THHN wire, and while it is OK, I figured that there had to be something better. My research led to DX Engineering's premium 14 AWG antenna wire (as well as their antenna rope). This wire has softer insulation than THHN, and does not have the thin clear outer layer (which deteriorates after a bit of sun exposure anyway; the DX Engineering wire, like the Ladder Snaps, is intended to withstand UV). I doubt it took us 15 minutes to make the entire feedline (roughly 80 feet). We sprayed some Armor All on the wires and Ladder Snaps, and used pliers with electrical tape wrapped around them to snap them together. It all went together very quickly and easily, with no damaged insulation or anything. That wire and Ladder Snaps seem like they were designed to work together; I would highly recommend both.

We also used a machined Delrin dipole center insulator from 73CNC as the feedpoint at one corner of the loop. Thanks to this ingenious component, we were actually able to construct the entire loop and feedline from a single, contiguous piece of wire. I added a few zip ties on the insulator to prevent the wires from slipping. I also doubled up the Ladder Snaps next to the insulator and at the points where they were tied to support ropes for added strength.

The antenna has been up for about a year and a half at this point with no problems. It even survived an ice storm which brought several trees down on the loop, and which encased the feedline in a thick layer of ice. Only one Ladder Snap has ever broken, and it was not its fault. Someone in the club was flying a quadcopter at the site, and lost control of it. It flew into the feedline, and one of the rotors hit it... ;)

The performance of the antenna is nothing short of spectacular. I don't know how much is due to switching from a dipole to a loop, how much is due to placing the loop farther away from the towers and guy wires, and how much is due to switching from ladder line to open wire line. The fact that the tuning of the system is much more consistent between dry and wet/icy conditions makes me believe that the feedline is a significant part of it. The antenna (fed with an LDG autotuner and balun, with a very short Teflon coax jumper between them) tunes very well and consistently just about everywhere from 160 through 6 meters, and actually works even at the extremes where it shouldn't (7 states on 160, and Canada on 6 with 5 watts so far). I've worked all 50 states and nearly 150 DXCC entities with it, never with more than 100 watts, and many contacts at 5 watts (including Europe on 75 SSB). A European station on 40 told me that 5 watts into the loop was stronger than other stateside stations with 100 watts and beams, and another European station with an SDR told me I had the strongest signal on the entire 20 meter band with 100 watts. That antenna rocks!

In summary, Ladder Snaps are a truly excellent product, and an integral part of the most impressive HF antenna system I have ever used. I plan to use them exclusively for all future balanced line applications!
KA4KOE Rating: 2014-07-28
As Advertised Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The key to assembly is to follow the directions and watch the video! I used warm soapy water with no issues. I assembled about 100' of feedline in under three hours. Highly recommended, but again....

FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!

N6YW Rating: 2014-07-17
Great idea Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Let's face it, some people are better than others at certain tasks.

Delrin, like some plastics need to be warmed up to relax a little in order to facilitate this process. After reading some of the comments, It's readily apparent that some of the problems encountered are merely technique and getting a feel for it. The video on Youtube clearly shows the person having success with it. Like anything, results may vary. The concept of the design is brilliant and is much faster than rolling your own if that's your goal. I will also add that any projects success is a direct result of understanding, planning and proper execution.
K7KY Rating: 2014-02-26
Not quite as described... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Following the 73CNC video carefully, I was unable to snap the spacers in place w/o damaging the wire's thin surface coat. I was disappointed to later find a YouTube video describing the warm-soapy-water method of construction. Now, the surface coat on my doublet is broken at nearly every spacer.

Another problem is the no-solder feedpoint device. The weight of 180' of #14 wire & 80' of feedline is too heavy and pulls thru, stacking the spacers against the bottom. I first tried hot glue and ty-wraps, but it still slipped in windy weather. Finally, I clamped it with four stainless hose clamps. Two emails to the mfg for a solution or return brought no response.

The antenna has been up for over a year and it works very well, even in extended wet weather. It doesn't require retuning when it rains. The solder-less center piece is a slick idea, but it will not work with long antennas unless the wire is glued and clamped in place. For me, a simple soldered feedpoint would have been much better.

Recently, I noticed a small change in SWR when it rains and I found spider webs at nearly every spacer as high as I can see. Looks like I'll have to let it down for cleaning. The dust & pollen trapped in the webs is enough to change the SWR when wet, it seems.

I would give the feedpoint device 1, because 73CNC by now knows it does not work for long antennas w/o added clamps, glue, etc.

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Earlier 3-star review posted by K7KY on 2012-08-23

I installed LadderSnap as shown in the company video using Armorall; I didn't know about the warm soapy water method. The recommended wire did not pop into place as easily as the video indicated and the outer insulation layer was compromised at nearly every slot. Very disappointing.

I also purchased their center support so the feedline and radiator is an unbroken wire on each side. A clever idea that eliminates a solder joint at the feed point, but I find that the wire pulls through the plastic support when pulling on the radiator by hand. That won't work well with the weight of a 180' antenna and 70' of feedline pulling much harder. To stop the wire from pulling through the support I added another spacer up against the bottom of the center support and wrapped the wire to the support with zip-ties in three places on each side and hot glued the wire/ties/support together. I hope this will stop the slippage. I plan to get the antenna up this weekend.

Ladder Snap should also demonstrate the hot soapy water method. It seems to cause less insulation damage. Degrading the insulation during construction will result in earlier repair or replacement.

I rate this product 3 because it didn't install as shown in the video and the center support does not hold the wire in place when loaded. I tried three types of pliers and also tried wrapping tape on the jaws to soften them. I also tried placing a piece of hardwood over the wire, but it was too difficult to place correctly 130 times.