600 ohm open wire (ladderline) construction

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by VA3GRV, Oct 5, 2006.

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  1. N1ESE

    N1ESE Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, because all the die hard doublet builders say the commercial window line is inferior to 600-ohm home brew.

    I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't, on these forums.

    If I use commercial 450-ohm, I'll get 10 post cursing the project for not doing it right by homebrewing.

    If I homebrew it, I'll be called a masochist and yelled at for not taking the simple way out and buying 450-ohm window line.

  2. N3BIF

    N3BIF Guest

    I have wondered the same thing, outside of the "recreational" value of this labor intensive project , do the results warrant the effort ?  As yet I have not been convinced that it is. I will continue to use 300 ohm parallel line till shown otherwise, sorry...
  3. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use window line, and I am a real dummy, I don't evven use the "flexible" stranded wire stuff (the solid wire stuff is cheaper). Has been up for more than 2 years, no problems at all.

    Other than the 450 ohm line having a real impedence of only 400 ohms, I can't see any problems. Takes tons of power, and they make nice center insulators/dipole connectors for them.


    p.s. don't worry so much about what people think of you.
  4. N1ESE

    N1ESE Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. N1ESE

    N1ESE Ham Member QRZ Page

    The main reason I am doing homebrew myself is the fact that I'm on a super tight fixed income at the moment and can't spend the $28.00 + $8 shipping for 200 feet to reach the shack.

    I have three rolls of 14 ga. THHN under the bench and need to get a multi-band wire in the air so homebrew makes sense even though it's more work.

    All I have in the air at the moment is a 20M resonant half-wave dipole.
  6. AL7N

    AL7N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go ahead and home brew your open wire line.....it ain't critical what the spacing is....I like to use three or four inches, but in the real world, it doesn't matter much what the actual "characteristic impedance" is since the line is normally operating at a mismatch anyhow in the case of a feedline to a dipole antenna. Only requirement is that it be fairly constant over the length of the run.
    Spacers can be made of anything that insulates and is stiff enough to hold the wire of choice apart .  Wire can be insulated or bare, solid or stranded, anything that is stout enough to hold itself together in the air for the required span lengths to be run. and it should be supported for long runs and properly "deadended" with insulators at the ends.

    When building your feeline, it will be helpful to find a place to work where you can stretch two lengths of wire out close to the spacing desired apart for the required distance, and then apply the spacers between them while pulled taught.  This makes it easier to get the spacers straight and consistent in distance between them.  Tiewires or tywraps (UV resistant), glue,  or something similar needs to be put on the ends of the spacers to hold the line wires to them.  

    Thats all there is to it....make the feedline long enough to reach from the center insulator of  your antenna to wherever the shack is located,  use a good balanced tuner circuit, and go for it.
  7. VK4XJB

    VK4XJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about a - go for it and make your own ladder line? [​IMG]

    Mine is 4 inch spacing with 2mm diameter wire and the spacers are 2 feet apart. I tried one end of the wires to the back veranda and the other end to a post so the wires were stretched out and off the ground. Found that easier to work with then having the wires loose.

    One thing I like about the homebrew stuff is it does not seem to be affected by rain. I know 2 people that use 300 ohm ribbon that have issues when it rains. Performance drops and the tuner settings change. Have read the same can happen with window line. With the home made stuff I notice no difference wet or dry.
  8. N9FE

    N9FE Ham Member QRZ Page

    AL7N exactly, go ahead and build your own, and learn what you learn along the way, open wire line is so simple, some folk's just cannot get there head around the idea, i'll say it again, the best thing i ever did was throw my coax fed dipole in the garbage, 4 inch spacers, no problem's what so ever, and the best thing is the 100 watt's that comes out the radio, radiates out the dipole, NO loss, no velocity factor, nothing, simple is good,, N9FE
  9. N4AUD

    N4AUD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't "do" coax on HF either. I homebrew my own ladder line because I get the materials cheap, and because I like doing it and I think mine is better than the commercial variety. Same reason I handload ammo, homebrew beer, work with wood and all that kind of stuff. Some of us are builders and tinkerers and some ain't.
  10. VA3GRV

    VA3GRV Ham Member QRZ Page

    WOW Thanks A Million Gents!!! That's Terrific!! Can't Wait to build one ;) [​IMG] [​IMG]
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