ladder line?

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walterb

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I've been reading articles on SW wire antennas and a number of them highly suggest to feed the wire antenna with ladder line instead of coax.

Why?

thanks
 

zz0468

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The primary reason is lower loss. Another good reason is when used with an antenna tuner, you can get multiband operation out of a single dipole. The antenna tuner tunes the ladder line. This works great for hams who want to operate on all the HF ham bands, but only have room for a single dipole.
 

walterb

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The primary reason is lower loss. Another good reason is when used with an antenna tuner, you can get multiband operation out of a single dipole. The antenna tuner tunes the ladder line. This works great for hams who want to operate on all the HF ham bands, but only have room for a single dipole.
I see. Does any of that matter if you only want to listen and not broadcast? (i.e. tuner, ladder line, etc)

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zz0468

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I see. Does any of that matter if you only want to listen and not broadcast? (i.e. tuner, ladder line, etc)

thanks
It could. A receive antenna is going to be a lot less critical than an antenna used to transmit. But that doesn't mean things don't matter.

I've found that a ladder line fed dipole performs much more consistently across the hf spectrum than a similar dipole fed with coax. I use a balun to convert from the ladder line to coax before it goes to the receiver. If you used a tuner between the ladder line and the receiver, the performance would be even better, although you'd have to work at it more. I sometimes take the time and trouble to do just that.
 

k9rzz

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At home I have 20 ft of aluminum tubing mounted on top of an 8 ft 2x4, fed with "window line". No tuner ... for receiving it works GREAT! All frequencies. Best shortwave antenna I have.
 

walterb

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And, it's much cheaper than coax.
My local hardware store sells it for $0.15 a foot
For receiver only you might not even need a tuner, I think they help.
Many table top shortwave receivers have twinlead antenna inputs, well mine do anyway.
Check out the four dollar special antenna:
http://www.hamuniverse.com/fourdollarspecialw1gfh.html
Interesting. However the prices are a little dated in this age of $4+ a gallon gas and $900 an ounce gold.

500' of 18 AWG copper is a little more than $3. But its a pretty cool article.
 

n8emr

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And, it's much cheaper than coax.
My local hardware store sells it for $0.15 a foot
For receiver only you might not even need a tuner, I think they help.
Many table top shortwave receivers have twinlead antenna inputs, well mine do anyway.
Check out the four dollar special antenna:
http://www.hamuniverse.com/fourdollarspecialw1gfh.html
DONT confuse ladder line with twinlead wire. Twinlead sells at .15ft, ladder lines at 1.50ft.
 

walterb

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DONT confuse ladder line with twinlead wire. Twinlead sells at .15ft, ladder lines at 1.50ft.
thanks, but whats the difference other than holes between the rungs of the ladder line?
 

zz0468

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thanks, but whats the difference other than holes between the rungs of the ladder line?
Slightly lower loss on the ladder vs ribbon line. The ladder being talked about is probably 450 ohms, heavier gauge copper, and handles more power. The 15 cent ribbon line is 300 ohms, and WON'T handle a kilowatt of transmitter power like the other stuff.
 

walterb

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Slightly lower loss on the ladder vs ribbon line. The ladder being talked about is probably 450 ohms, heavier gauge copper, and handles more power. The 15 cent ribbon line is 300 ohms, and WON'T handle a kilowatt of transmitter power like the other stuff.
My personal use would be just for recieving.

thanks
 
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