N6AQ Trueladderline.com 160 Meter Doublet Project

While listening on 40 meters one day I heard a ham on 80 meters using 100 watts into a true ladder line doublet antenna from trueladderline.com . My first install attempt was into a 100′ white oak tree that I have on the property so I ordered a 10 through 160 meter doublet with 100′ of 600 ohm feed line. Instead of re-hashing the story I will just let you all read my initial review and update on eham.net:

********* UPDATE*********
Not too long after I wrote my initial review below I received a telephone call from a gentlemen named Gary from True Ladder line. He insisted that he send me a new antenna using 14ga instead of 16ga and we discussed several physical and technical aspects of the initial installation that failed and discussed some matching and recommended guidelines to using 600ohm feedline.
My approach since the initial attempted install had changed, I put up a 50’ Rohn 45 and decided to use that as the support structure instead of a tree. So I only needed a 10-160 with 50’ of ladder line and not 100’
The antenna arrived about 1 week after my conversation with Gary and I managed to get it installed post haste. The center of the antenna is at approximately 48’ and each leg is horizontal to the ground at about the same height.
My setup is not ideal and I use 30’ of RG213 to a 10kw DX Engineering 4:1 Balun. I figured the best way to check the performance was to start @100watts on the low bands 40 through 160.
I use a IC7300 with a ProII auto tuner, It has found a flat match everywhere even at 1.900mhz. It should be said that I have an extensive ground system in place.
With 100 watts 40-80mtrs I managed 20+ signal reports up and down the east coast, on 160 I received 59 reports with 100 watts, which is much better than I expected due to my setup .
Speaking with Gary it became very obvious that he is passionate about his product and is very knowledgeable about antennas and matching sections.
I appreciate the call from Gary after my initial not so flattering review and it speaks volumes of his business model. The performance of the antenna speaks for itself and I am glad that I accepted Gary’s offer of a replacement antenna, I have had all sorts of antenna’s for low bands over the last 30 + years and the True Ladder Line antenna with the 14ga wire is a solid performer, if you have the space you won’t go wrong.
I will be putting up pictures showing the install at n6aqDOTcom.
Frank “N6AQ” Sellers

******* Previous Review********

So I probably should not be writing this review right this minute because I am about as pissed as I have been in a long time.

But here it goes, I spent the last 5 hours putting up a 100′ 160 meter doublet 80′ went straight up in a white oak on my property and 20′ ran horizontal at 8′ above ground to the 4:1 balun.

I had the center of the doublet supported and both legs were also at 80′. Looking at the pictures on the trueladderline.com website with the snow and virtually no sag I thought this wire was capable of some moderate abuse like copper clad. Boy was I wrong…

I had everything where I wanted it, I was making minor adjustments with no more than usual pulling and the southern leg of the doublet snapped at 80′.

Needless to say I would be a moron to fix it and put it back up, the first spring storm here in VA would just bring it down. The wire does seem flimsy for that size of antenna.

I have had much bigger wire antennas up in the air, like cage dipoles, full size 80 meter loops etc. with no issues at all, I have been putting up antennas for 30 years and if it can’t stand against the forces of being put up then don’t expect it to stay up at all.

Its not a complete loss I have a bucket full of plastic standoffs and a few more ground radials for my vertical.