I've had several customers and radio friends, email me about this article. "Have you seen the March cover of QST?" "Have you read the article?" "What's your opinion?"
Well, here's my opinion.......
It's a well-written piece but honestly, I wish ARRL and/or W7SX, took a couple of seconds to do an online search for "Ladderline" before stating "it's not commonly available". Our Sheltered Workshop facility in Oklahoma has been producing and selling it since the late 1980's, supporting the mentally-challenged folks continuously since then. I'm the third person to take over the business and keep them working for us.
In my 40+ years of being a ham and 17 years of using open wire line and 5 years of owning True Ladderline, I have not come across a single person using 6GA wire for ladderline. 12GA is the heaviest I've heard about and, I feel that's overkill.
6GA is WAY overkill for ladderline unless, you're running 10KW+ power. I can only think W7SX had some of this on-hand and decided to just use what was available.
When Gary Gompf, W7FG, started selling our ladderline in the late 1980's, adding it as a product to his Vintage Manual business, he worked with Mike Maloney, AC5P to develop a product with the right attributes for the job. Lightweight, inexpensive, easy to assemble, stand up to the elements, and work efficiently. They were both Engineers and settled on using 16GA. Since those early days, it has proved time and time again to be just fine for the use. I've used it with my Heath SB-220 with full output for several years with no issues. There really is no need to go heavier.
I get asked all the time if I'd make something heavier gauge because the person calling me has the worst weather conditions on earth. I have started to make ladderline for a few folks with 14GA however, that size requires a different spacer which we're not setup to produce in quantity. I have a fair amount of it out in the field now.
With True Ladderline antennas and feedline all over the world, I know we're seeing some pretty serious weather conditions. I get ZERO complaints about it holding up over the long term. As I tell my customers, "don't be concerned about the product; put your concern into how you install it!"
Finally, if you price out the cost of materials to assemble 6GA ladderline, with the wire, the sheets of polyethylene, the fixture material then maybe consider the time involved, you'll agree with my thousands of satisfied customers. For the price we sell our line for, combined with the fact that roughly 10% of all doublet and feedline sales go to support the handicapped folks that build for us, it's a win-win-win for all of us.
I do see the article raising awareness about the use of ladderline and I'm sure I'll be making a lot more hams happy that they've decided to work with us at True Ladderline.
If you have questions, use the "Contact Us" button at the top of the page and I'll be happy to get back to you.
I hope you'll consider using our ladderline and supporting those that are less fortunate than many of us.
73 for now
I'm still baffled by the emails I get from hams that see dozens and dozens of 5 star reviews on my products and still seem to focus their attention on the ONE 2 star review on eHam.net. Basically, KC9DX posted the only negative review and comment on the antenna. Now, I don't want to call him [...]
It's been over four years since we went online and have not done ONE price increase.USPS rates have gone up many times. Supplies and labor have gone up as well. I need to pay the bills!
I seem to get this question quite often so I thought I would post the answer with a couple of photos.Whenever you compare items, especially in the ham community, you know you're walking a thin line. I am not speaking negatively about any particular brand. I am simply pointing out MY experience as well as [...]
What follows are excerpts from an email reply to a customer that purchased a 240', end to end, 160M Doublet with 150' of feedline.. He was reading a lot of "expert" comments on the web about how much trouble it is to tune 600 ohm feed and was a bit concerned about what he may [...]
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 [...]
Baluns for Multiband Antennas fed with Open Wire or Ladder linePosted by Bob, KZ5R on November 20, 2014 At least once a week we receive a request a for high ratio balun to manage the transition from high impedance open wire feedline to [...]
A bunch of us hams get together on Friday nights to work on various projects and when boredom sets in, we often search YouTube for some fun videos. This one never fails to bring lots of laughter. Enjoy!
This is a photo I took of my 10-160 meter doublet on the morning of May 9, 2017. At our elevation in the mountains, we tend to get snow when the valley's are left untouched.The auto tuner didn't seem to mind one bit and I was on 80M for part of the morning, chatting with [...]
Many of my customers call me after they've attempted to setup their complete True Ladder Line antenna system and report problems with the tuning. This can be pretty frustrating as well as easily solved, in most situations.Many times, the balun being utilized is just not up to the task demanded of it. I hear this [...]