Antenna Installation Tips
Getting That Darn Line in the Tree
Most of us have needed to get a line in a tree at one time or another to allow us to put up our wire antennas. I have seen fishing rods, bows and arrows, potato guns, sling shots, etc. Etc. used varying degrees of success.
I have been using a very simple method for many years that seems to work better for me than any of those others mentioned. I simply throw a weight with a line attached over a support limb in the tree. In order to make this work well you need to carefully select both your line and the weight you will use to carry the line through the tree and bring the end back down to the ground.
The line must be strong enough to not break as you sling it up in the tree and it must take the abrasion of pulling across tree limbs while under heavy stress. It also must not dig into the tree and become trapped. Most importantly, it MUST flow off the spool smoothly and with very little drag. I prefer to use small diameter polyethylene bailing twine that feeds off the roll from the center. I believe this line is available at farm supply stores over most of the country. I will try and add more specific information as well as some verified sources as soon as I can compile them.
The weight needs to be heavy enough to pull the line through the tree limbs and back down to the ground but still be light enough to be managed by the thrower and not pull through the fingers before the proper release time. It needs to not have protrusions that could cause it to snag up in the tree limbs. I have found that a weight about the size of a ten inch Crescent wrench does well. I have a piece of scrap stainless steel that I use.
The Throw is done underhanded using a pendulum swing and aligning the swing arc with the desired throw direction. I like to let the weight almost touch the ground when my arm is extended down by my side. I then put a small loop knot in the line right where my fingers hold the line. This is used to keep the line from slipping through my fingers before I am ready to let it go. With a little practice you should be able to place line well up in tall trees using this method. You can even get the line over a high limb and then feather the string as it pulls off the spool and get the weight to drop down right beside the tree’s trunk.
Try and think out your throw as to how you want the final line positioned. You will want to use the bailing twine to pull a more substantial line into place to hold your antenna. Be sure to keep any knots used as small as possible so they are less likely to snag across the tree limb as you pull them up. You may want to consider how you want the lines to run as you decide which side of the tree to throw from. I usually throw from the same side the antenna wire will be on. Then I attach the actual support line to the end that had the weight on and pull the support line through. This puts the end of the support line on the same side you threw from. Now simply attach your antenna wire and pull it up into place using your support wire. Tie the support wire off and you are ready to go!
I will try and add photos and more info as I get it ready. Let me know of any clarification I need to provide here. I also welcome comments on your success with getting this to work. Good luck and DX to you all.