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True Ladder Line and Wire Antennas

Recent "Contact Us" Email

Posted by Brian WB2JIX on

I have no clue who sent this to me as it was labeled anonymous sender. I just thought since it came out of nowhere, it would make a nice, quick post.

"I bought a 40 meter doublet from K5JYB a number of years ago. I'll never use another antenna unless I find room for the 80 or 160 meter doublet. Originally I didn't have it up more than about 15 feet. I still received 20 over reports from hams 800 miles away running less than 50 watts. One guy told me I was breaking the laws of physics. No issues with TVI either.

Ladder line isn't as convenient as coax for installation but it's really a minor inconvenience in the long run. I became interested in ladder line after reading an article in QST that explained the relationship between SWR and signal loss in ladder line versus coax. You will need a good tuner to make these work. With the increased efficiency of ladder line you'll likely be putting more power on the air than ever before. (The article was "Understanding SWR by example" by K5DVW in November 2006 QST.) ARRL Article Link Another good article is "Your second HF antenna" by W1ZR in July 2008 QST.

Shortly before I bought this antenna I had looked at various ground mounted all band antennas that cost 4 or 5 times more that required a lot of construction and ground radials. The reviews on eham always contained complaints of missing hardware, the need to redrill holes and tedious tuning procedures. Seems like a lot of trouble for the "convenience" of running coax.

One final note. The tuners built in to many of the latest radios may not be big enough to properly tune a doublet. There are automatic outboard tuners that will work making these antennas a breeze to use."

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