ladder wire antenna

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dondi1

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new ham here. I have a antenna question can I take 3 long pieces of ladder wire attach about 8 inches apart and hang it from a tree other end to my shack , will it work as a antenna? thanks
 

prcguy

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I don't understand the question completely, can you elaborate a little? Is this for VHF/UHF or HF?

Are you thinking of running ladder line to a tree and using it unterminated as an antenna? If so, ladder line is a transmission line and would be similar to running a length of coax somewhere with no antenna attached. It would not pick up much without an antenna of some kind at the end.
prcguy


new ham here. I have a antenna question can I take 3 long pieces of ladder wire attach about 8 inches apart and hang it from a tree other end to my shack , will it work as a antenna? thanks
 

dondi1

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sorry i am new at this i plan to run a copper wire between two trees about 100 ft. attach insulators to both ends and attach the ladder wire in the middle with a insulator then back to my shack connect to coax then thu the wall to my transeiver. or do i need what they call a balen in between i also am not sure if i need a tuner, i heard if the radio is new none is required ? so much to learn so little time i am also confused about the attachment insulator i read that i must use them but according to what you said i should attach it without insulator directly to the copper wire?boy do i need help lol thank you
 

jwt873

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With 100 feet between the trees and some ladder line, you've got the beginnings of a G5RV antenna. --> G5RV Multiband Antenna It isn't the greatest antenna in the world, but it's a fairly decent multibander.

For best results, you should use those dimensions shown in the link above. A tuner will be required.
 

prcguy

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If you have about 100ft between trees and want to use ladder line, I would suggest making a ZS6BKW dipole like this: http://www.nc4fb.org/wordpress/zs6bkw-multi-band-antenna/

The ZS6BKW is an updated version of a G5RV and usually does not need a tuner for most bands 40 through 6m and its easy to tune on 80m. I used one for about 5 years and was very happy with it.

You would need a good 1:1 choke balun between the critical length of ladder line and your coax, otherwise its just ladder line and wire. For Insulated wire I find the antenna comes out around 92ft long overall and you can trim the length of the ladder line for a good match on the lower part of 40m and the rest of the bands just fall into place.
prcguy
 

dondi1

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thank you for the info. did you ever hear of useing 3 ladder lines one below the other each one shorter than the other, then connecting all at the shack end i saw the directions somewhere online can no longer find it
 

prcguy

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The description doesn't make sense and I would have to see a diagram to understand what you are referring too. There are antennas that use ladder line as the wire part of a multi-band dipole where you might have one of the wires of the ladder line cut to 40m and the other wire cut to 20m and so on. In this case the ladder line is simply replacing the antenna wire and you would still have coax going to the shack.
prcguy


thank you for the info. did you ever hear of useing 3 ladder lines one below the other each one shorter than the other, then connecting all at the shack end i saw the directions somewhere online can no longer find it
 

dondi1

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yes i think it was as you described ,antennas that use ladder line as the wire part of a multi-band dipole where you might have one of the wires of the ladder line cut to 40m and the other wire cut to 20m and so on. when i come across the article i will post it thanks
 

prcguy

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That would be known as a "fan dipole" where you have several resonant dipoles connected to the same feedline. The only reason ladder line might be used for the dipole elements is because it supplies spacing between the wire elements so they can be individually cut and tuned to each band, where tightly bundled wires would interact more and not tune as well. It makes for a messy dipole and there are other more elegant ways to make a multi-band dipole or antenna.
prcguy

yes i think it was as you described ,antennas that use ladder line as the wire part of a multi-band dipole where you might have one of the wires of the ladder line cut to 40m and the other wire cut to 20m and so on. when i come across the article i will post it thanks
 

dondi1

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yes i see what you mean i don;t need messy, i don't want my antenna to be seen. was looking at flagpole antennas (stealth) but i don't think i can do all that radial stuff my front yard is only about 12 feet wide anyway. too much work for old man like me lol, between reading online and all the info i get from this site i will find something. thanks all
 

Rred

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dondi-
I'd suggest buying something like the "ARRL Antenna Book" and you can buy used versions online cheap. The book is updated every year, but even one that is 5 editions old will cover HF antennas like you are looking for, and not much is new since then.
You'll have a good reference for design, for measurements, for SWR and balun questions, all sorts of things that have ben written with attention and consideration and a long history of corrections (if necessary) instead of wading around on the web. It is well worth while getting something like that in print. Even a cheap old one will do.
 
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