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Receive Antennas (below 30MHz) - For all topics related to receive antennas used on HF, MW, LW, etc. For transmit antennas use the Amateur Radio Antennas forum.

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Old 06-09-2017, 9:58 PM
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Default Paracord for Tie Down Rope?

Is it safe to use paracord as a tie down rope on a longwire sloper? I am running a sloper (PAR end-fed) from the apex of my roof and mast to a tree in the backyard about 65-70 feet away and will probably be using the rope the last 15-20 ft or so and a neighbor tells me that, for the price, paracord is as strong as it gets. T or F?

Thanks for the replies!

JD
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:29 PM
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Paracord has a woven tube around the load bearing fibers that will protect it longer from UV and abrasion compared to simple stranded rope. I think its a great choice when used within its load ratings, especially in black, which should have the best UV protection.

I don't think there is anything special about it being as strong as it gets. If you need small diameter and really strong look into Kevlar rope sold for antenna use.
prcguy

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Originally Posted by TailGator911 View Post
Is it safe to use paracord as a tie down rope on a longwire sloper? I am running a sloper (PAR end-fed) from the apex of my roof and mast to a tree in the backyard about 65-70 feet away and will probably be using the rope the last 15-20 ft or so and a neighbor tells me that, for the price, paracord is as strong as it gets. T or F?

Thanks for the replies!

JD
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:36 PM
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Thanks prcguy! I found a good amount in an old backpack and it's olive drab, will blend well with the tree - thanks again!

JD
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Old 06-10-2017, 9:03 AM
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If you already have the paracord go with it.

The link is to DX Engineering page for antenna support rope. It comes in different diameters and lengths giving you choices and the breaking strengths are listed too. Any color you want as long as it 'black'.

I have used the 1/8" diameter for all my wire antenna needs and never a problem after several years in the TX sun.

The outer weave is very tight as compared to the paracord I have. My impression is that the paracord and STI Dacron cord will have similar performance except for long term outdoor exposure to the elements. On that point I think the STI Dacron cord wins out.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:51 PM
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I spent the majority of a military career using parachute cord for antennas and tie down. It works very well, is not conductive and comes in different breaking strength and colors. It is not all 550 parachute cord.

I still use it today in the civilian sector. It is also pretty cheap compared to cables sold for guy wires and tie downs for antennas. Just make sure it is not the newer survival prepper style with jute or something else tied into the inner strands.
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Old 06-12-2017, 7:34 AM
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CAUTION - Paracord is great but I learned a lesson the hard way last year with it. I had hung my antenna up in the trees for near-permanent use. After about 8-9 months I came out one morning and found the antenna and the paracord from one of the tied-off ends on the ground. Wondering what had gone wrong since I used all of the best, climber/rescue type knots to ensure it was tied securely to the insulators. After more closely inspecting the end that came loose I found that the end of the paracord had unraveled into about eight separate strands. The outer sheath was separated and the inner strands were exposed to a distance of about 2 feet of dangling inner cords with no outer sheath. The advice I got was, "You mean you didn't sear the ends of the poly paracord with cigarette lighter or torch?" I had not... and that was how the unraveling began and progressed over several months... right through the knots I had tied. So I replaced the cord, seared the ends so to melt them all together, and pulled everything back into the trees. It's been more than year now and all is fine....
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Old 06-15-2017, 5:15 PM
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Just now read your reply, popnokick, thanks for that! Antenna weekend is fast approaching, just waiting on some 5-ft pole masts that I ordered from Ace Hardware. Got a neighbor and a nephew lined up for help (nephew for climbing the tree!). I will definitely remember to sear the ends of the paracord! Makes perfect sense, thanks again

JD
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