Topband: tennis ball launcher for antennas

Gary Smith Gary at
Thu Nov 29 14:37:34 EST 2018

I made one somewhat like the one mentioned 
below. I actually made two, the one was 
with a 1" lawn sprinkler valve and the 2nd 
with a much larger valve. Mine looks like 
a Bazooka & this one below is folded like 
a trumpet which is much more convenient.

You can see mine near the bottom on my QRZ 

A couple of thoughts: 

The one mentioned below is surely more 
convenient to carry and is more ergonomic. 
I couldn't find a price but it looks like 
a nice kit.

I would buy the largest one, you never 
know where you might be able to help 
someone who has needs taller than your QTH 

I use PVC "Spuds", you can see one of mine 
on that QRZ page. Mine are about a foot 
long and weigh plenty, the weight helps 
them fall straight through the branches on 
the way down (my antennas are in a forest 
so there is no open space here). Something 
light like a tennis ball can bounce to & 
fro on the branches on way down and be a 
problem when pulling up the antenna with 
egg insulator at the end.

I would use brightly colored paint, the 
tennis ball is bright enough but will be 
camouflaged in the summer by leaves. I 
find lifting and lowering the Spud helps 
me to locate it as for me, it's always far 
from the launch point.

I mentioned the clothes pin to hold the 
line. I stressed the spring so it has 
little closing tension. I put tape on each 
side of the jaw to make sure the line 
doesn't get caught on the wood & it pulls 
free easily with no hang-up or damage.

I use a small bike pump. With the 
monofilament attached it takes exactly 17 
pumps to clear the tree. If you have a 
pressure gauge attached or to fit to the 
schrader valve, that'll make it easy to 
get the same pressure every time if you're 
using different pumps.

It's a life-saver of effort.


> Sometime back I bought one of those cheaper launchers that shot a
> 1-1.5 oz. fishing weight with fishing line attached. It was scary
> because if that fishing weight hit something other that the ground or
> the fish line broke you never knew where that thing was going to land.
> I now have a CSV19 Pneumatic Antenna Launching System like you can see
> at I have used it with a
> lot of success and have seen it send a tennis ball over a 105' fir
> tree about half again as high. I think with the max 80# of pressure
> (think that is what the max is labeled)  can get a woven fish line
> over a tree at least 160' tall. 100+ feet for sure. The big thing is
> to have a lot of fish line on the fishing real and don't forget to
> open the bail. If you start breaking lines and try splicing them
> together that can be a problem catching on the reel spool. The new
> woven fish lines are even smaller and I think lighter than
> monofilament. Can't remember how many times I've had to search for the
> tennis ball because the 30-40# fishing line broke. Even have one on my
> third guy line up on my tower.
> Wind can sometimes be a problem of course. Was really a problem with
> the first launcher using that in Keizer (in town). Hitting right above
> the top of a tall fir tree as a target you would be surprised just how
> far off one can go.
> Terry
> KI7M
> _________________
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