[TowerTalk] Open Wire Spacers - Summary

Ken Duncanson duncos@ozemail.com.au
Fri, 5 May 2000 23:21:02 +1000

The best spacers i have used are made from stiff pvc tube supplied as risers
for garden spray systems. These are about 1/4 in diam and can be cut any
length. Just drill a hole near each end which is a tight fit and slide them
on the wire. Glue if you want to. They are made to be uv proof. Cheap too!
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Coleman AA4LR <aa4lr@radio.org>
To: towertalk@contesting.com <towertalk@contesting.com>
Date: Thursday, 4 May 2000 9:41
Subject: [TowerTalk] Open Wire Spacers - Summary

>A week or two ago, when the merits of open wire line were discussed, I
>noted that the biggest impediment to using REAL open wire line is the
>requirement of fashioning spacers. Here's a summary of suggestions:
>* Dowels boiled in Paraffin - (Not to mention the relative dangers of hot
>paraffin) this is a classic method. K7GCO indicates that these don't last
>long, and I would tend to agree.
>* Tongue Depressors - Another classic. K7GCO says they crack easily.
>Dowels would probably be a better choice.
>* Delrin or Teflon Rod - I don't know where you get these, but it sounds
>* PVC - W8JI ran tests. Gray PVC hold water as it weathers - not
>recommended. White PVC is good, but gets brittle and cracks. Can fail
>when wet.
>* Plexiglass - W8JI found it too brittle to work. Also failed when wet.
>* UV Resistant Lexan - W8JI found it was best in his tests.
>* Nylon - W8JI found it works OK.
>* Ceramic - A classic, but they are very heavy and difficult to find.
>* K3HX noted a QST hint (QST AUG 86) to use 120-size plastic film spools.
>Free for the asking at professional film houses.
>* N6NZ came up with a neat idea: Take flat plastic pieces and cut them in
>a stack:
>|               |
>|   |       |   |
>Slap two of these together on the wire in opposite direction, and hold
>together with cement, or use a UV resistant cable tie.
>* My variation on N6NZ's idea: Cut slots on opposite sides
>|   |           |
>|           |   |
>Cut slots slightly over center, then hold as above, or drill a hole in
>the center and hold together with a screw and nut (makes the spacers
>* K6LL provided an excellent suggestion: use plastic coathangers for
>material. But the interesting idea was his construction technique. Set up
>a little drilling pattern, alternating little hole, big hole, little hole
>(o O o      o O o) in the straight pieces of the coathanger. Then, using
>a diagonal cutter, cut in the center of each big hole, which will leave a
>slot for the feedline wires. The
>tie-wires go in the little holes. This method could easily be used with
>any type of plastic rod or narrow plastic sheet.
>Thank you everyone for your suggestions! Lots of creative folks on the
>Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr@radio.org
>Quote: "Boot, you transistorized tormentor! Boot!"
>            -- Archibald Asparagus, VeggieTales
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