Trees and Antennas

I recently had a couple of trees trimmed. These are mature sycamores located in my back yard. They top out at around 70 feet. I had the lower branches removed leaving the lowest branch remaining at around 30 feet. A good height for supporting a 75 meter horizontal loop. The problem now became one of getting the wire up to the 30 foot level.

Not too long ago I would climb up there. Can’t do that anymore. Too old and the longest ladder I have will not reach the lower limbs of either tree. So I decided to ‘launch’ some twine into the air and over the lower limbs of the tree.

Twine attached to a large nut to be propelled by a slingshot. The slingshot certainly was capable of propelling the nut and the twine. Trouble was that the twine got tangled in the slingshot elastic. Oh well, it only cost five bucks at Wallmart and I had always wanted a good slingshot.

Next we tried a fishing rod and reel. Discovered that we are lousy at casting and even worse at finding the little weight and invisible ten pound fishing line.

Found some golf balls. Drilled a small hole in the golf ball. Installed a small padeye. Attached the black nylon twine to the padeye and threw the golf ball up into the tree. On the sixth try it got tangled up in some branches and refused to come down. Went to modify another golfball. This one had a liquid center. Spewed some sort of liquid all over my shirt.

Gave up for a while. Took a break to continue cleaning up the garage. Found a softball. Installed a padeye into the softball. Attached the twine. My arm is still sore from throwing that thing up to the tree. The first tree took six tries and the second tree took twelve tries before both supports were installed. A length of scrap coax was hoisted up by the twine. Up and over the limb at thirty feet. A pulley was installed at one end of the coax. The other end was attached to a larger padeye installed at the base of the tree. The loop wire was allowed to run free through the pulley and the wire was hoisted to the 30 foot level by pulling up on the length of coax attached to the pulley. Nothing was tied around the tree trunk of any of its limbs.

The softball launcher works well. It is easy to find and has enough weight to pull down the twine after the ball is thrown over the desired limb. I imagine a baseball would work too.

I have also heard that sand filled tennis balls work well. I did not try that because I did not have any tennis balls and had already blown my budget on fishing reels, slingshots, twine, and padeyes. Besides, the only way I have of filling a tennis ball with sand would also have the sand falling out as the ball is used. Don’t have to worry about the sand when you use a softball.

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