[TowerTalk] Ernesto ate my windom

Dan Kovatch w8car at buckeye-express.com
Sun Sep 3 20:10:16 EDT 2006

I have used Flexweave for over 12 years with good results. I have replaced 
the wire once because of a break that I caused trying to clear a limb. I 
highly recommend it. I do NOT put it under lots of tension and as a matter 
of fact have found it to be quite strong.

One end was attached to the top of a 40 foot tower (old style Rohn) and the 
tree movement via the antenna was enough to break welds in the bottom 
section of the tower. ( It was repaired and reinforced by a local welder).

I now use a simple method for stress relief. I tie loops in the antenna rope 
about 6 feet apart and then join the loops with a 2 or 3 foot bungee. The 
bungee then acts as a shock absorber and allows for tree movement. I use 
this on any rope that is above 40 feet (rope on 160 antenna is at about 80 
feet) With several bungies in the rope at different ends I have not had any 
wire or rope failures.

I do not use screw eyes but shoot lines over the trees. These lines get 
moved and replaced every few years and I have only had one get 'stuck' in a 
tree. That was before I used the strain relief and it just grew into the 
crotch of a tree.

I use the black poloy rope from Synthetic Textiles and it does not getr 
eaten by the trees over the years.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martin AA6E" <aa6e at ewing.homedns.org>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Ernesto ate my windom

> I've been using Flexweave (not sure of gauge) for a couple of years on a
> dipole.  I had a failure after a wind storm where some tree branches had
> abraded the cable.  I think this is a failure mode to worry about.  If
> the wire rubs on anything, it will fail strand by strand until the whole
> thing gives out.  I replaced the failed section with Copperweld - better
> than disfiguring the tree.
> As others have said, the stuff oxidizes pretty quickly.  I found it very
> difficult to solder after it had been out in the weather.  How do you
> strip the oxide off a zillion small strands? (Chemically, maybe?) Solid
> or conventional stranded wire is a lot easier to handle that way.
> Given the oxidation, you have to wonder what the RF properties of
> flexweave are after weathering.  It's like Litz wire.
> 73 Martin AA6E
> Gedas wrote:
>> Hi Jim, I found your comments below interesting.  Do you really see an
>> advantage using solid wire over stranded for a given size?  I would have
>> guessed stranded was more stable and stronger and maybe I have had it 
>> wrong
>> all these years.
>> Gedas
>> online image gallery at  http://gedas.cc
>> e-mail address at  w8bya (at) mchsi (dot) com
>> web page at  http://www.w8bya.com
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Jim Brown" <jim at audiosystemsgroup.com>
>> To: "Tower Talk List" <towertalk at contesting.com>
>> Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 11:43 AM
>> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Ernesto ate my windom
>>> On Sat, 02 Sep 2006 11:21:01 -0400, Jim Jarvis wrote:
>>>> The #14 PE insulated superflex
>>> What is "superflex?"  Do you mean "flexweave?" I tried some #12 on
>>> several antennas, and it broke in less than a year on all of them.
>>> I'm a firm believer in POC -- plain ordinary copper -- that I buy
>>> from my local hardware or electrical supply store. Antennas that
>>> must withstand big stress are #10 solid, the rest are #12 solid.
>>> Another important thing I learned (the hard way) is to never put
>>> solder where it will stress or move. Put the stress on unsoldered
>>> lengths of wire, then loop the wire over to where you're going to
>>> solder it (or otherwise secure the connection). Yes, it adds some
>>> inductance. So what -- it simply adds to the length of the antenna,
>>> so you cut it slightly shorter.
>>> If you want to be stealthier, use black insulation or bare copper.
>>> Stranded wire corrodes faster. If you must use stranded wire, use
>>> very good insulation on it, and pay careful attention both to the
>>> stress you place on the ends and the protection of exposed ends from
>>> corrosion.
>>> 73,
>>> Jim Brown K9YC
>>> _______________________________________________
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