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Re: [TowerTalk] putting line in trees sans assistant

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] putting line in trees sans assistant
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2006 23:08:52 -0400
List-post: <>
Bruce's bucket trick is a neat idea.
I have a similar but different technique that also works great when working 

I purchased a nice el cheapo fishing reel (the enclosed type, mine is a zebco, 
forgot the model # (202?), I think it's even stainless steel, and it was $9.99 
or maybe $14.99, can't remember).  Instead of mounting it to a fishing pole, I 
mounted it to the top of a 3 foot ground rod using some electrical tape.  Take 
it to the launch site, and stick it into the ground such that the top of the 
ground rod is pointed at the intended target.   Voila, no assistant required!

I am using the factory fishing line, and it seems to work fine.  I use a very 
heavy duty (black) swivel at the end of the fishing line.   I use a sturdy 
arrow with a threaded tip, optionally paint the arrow orange or orange/black 
stripes for visibility, and screw in the heaviest blunt tip I can find. Then 
wrap it with duct or electrical tape to further dull it, perhaps even adding a 
few small pieces of lead shot, but keep it aerodynamically as smooth as 
possible to help with aiming.   (I like Bruce's BNC idea - might have to try 
that. The more aerodynamically uniform, the better.)   

On the drill press, I drill a hole the arrow just behind the feathers and tie a 
piece of poly twine about a foot long in a loop through the hole.  This makes 
it very easy to attach to the swivel.   I use a cheap recurve bow.  Tried a 
cheap compound bow, and even with partial pulls, the arrow was going up 
probably 150' high, which was no good.  And also, it was more apt to bend open 
the swivel during launch if there was any resistance at all in the line.   (Hey 
Bruce, want to buy a nice compound bow?)

After getting the arrow over and down, either tie on the antenna support 
string, or if that's too heavy to pull up with the monofilament, then first a 
length of poly twine long enough to reach up and back down. Then use that to 
hoist up the antenna support rope, or the pulley support rope if you are 
working on the end that has the pulley. (WHAT? You are not using a pulley and 
counterweight on one end of your tree-mounted dipole?!) 

In 25 years of using this method, I have probably lost 3 arrows, and have even 
installed antennas in 10 degree (F) weather (not that I recommend that!), so I 
guess it works pretty well.  And one stuck arrow even came down on its own a 
few months later, fully intact.  Note: The swivel is an optional item. If your 
aim is great and you don't need a lot of retries, you may not need the swivel. 
It just makes it easy to unclip the arrow, reel in the line, and clip the arrow 
back on for a retry.

73 and happy hunting,


p.s. Remember that shooting arrows into the sky can be dangerous!  Always 
assume that the arrow could glance off a tree and go in an undesired direction. 
And always assume that the arrow could become detached during launch, thus 
flying the full possible distance up and then back down. An untethered arrow 
launched upwards flies FAR!
Murphy's Law of untethered arrows states that if this scenario occurs, it will 
most likely occur on the day that the neighbor leaves her brand new black 
Mercedes out in her driveway, and that a most undesirable breeze will appear at 
exactly the moment the arrow is release from the bowstring...

----- Original Message -----
Date: Tuesday, September 5, 2006 8:18 am
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] putting line in trees

> I use a fishing arrow.
> 1. Has a nice pre-drilled hole for connecting the fishing line.
> 2. I buy the heaviest fishing arrow (without any tips) and then 
> use a screw on BNC connector as my weighted tip.  
> No danger of embedding into a tree and provides decent weight to 
> pull the arrow back to the ground.
> I use a compound bow (The smallest and cheapist that I could find).
> My only problem is that my arms are not as long as I would like!  
> For 160M work I have to get someone with 
> longer/stronger arms!  
> I use an inexpensive heavier duty deep sea fishing pole which I 
> hold in a bucket next to me so that the line will feed 
> out in the general direction.  If two people then I usually hold 
> the rod directly.
> 73
>   -- Bruce
> On 5 Sep 2006 at 6:40, Jim Jarvis wrote:
> > 
> > w2wg, speaking about EZhang slingshot launches:
> > 
> > At 90' and above you are in the territory where you can't 
> > get the altitude with a heavier weight and the weight may not 
> > want to pull the line back down if it is lighter.
> > 
> > -0-
> > 
> > I've found the same...EZHang was good to 60 or 70', max, and
> > might have been tuned with the right weight to squeeze out a
> > bit more.  
> > 
> > I've since used a 35lb fiberglass recurve bow, with a 
> 'gametracker' 
> > attached.  The 15lb test gametracker string is strong enough
> > to pull up my 1/8", 770 lb tensile strength, olive drab dacron 
> > line, at least to 85-90'.  For very high runs, or dense branches,
> > I pull monofilament..45 or 50 lb test, as an intermediary.  
> > 
> > I've also experimented with arrows.  Normal metal shaft arrows 
> > aren't heavy enough to carry to ground reliably from tall trees,
> > without heavy tip weight.  I've relied on a fiberglass fishing 
> arrow, 
> > and even added weight to the head of that...dulling it at the 
> same time.  
> > 
> > Putting an arrow over one or more 140' high white pines, at the
> > VT qth, was no problem.  My 160M dipole had to tie to two trees,
> > and go over a third, so it was somewhat more complex to install.
> > 
> > Remember, a bow and arrow is a weapon.  Downrange personnel and pets
> > need to be cleared before you shoot.   
> > 
> > n2ea
> >
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > 
> > 
> > 
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> >
> >
> > 
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