Tying your HF Dipole Wire antenna is a very crucial part in the antenna setup. Selecting the type and the best quality of string will save your radio.
I’ve seen hams blowing up their wireless radios, just because they used some cheap quality strings to anchor their HF Antenna elements (Wires).
Resulting; it gets to cut loose from the anchored strings, because of the wind, heat and other weather conditions. Your antenna wires are then found lying somewhere on the ground, and probably coming in contact with metal parts like water pipes (in case if you have put up your antenna on your rooftop).
While I was planning the setup of my antenna, I got essential advice from my Sir Mr Charudatt Uplap (VU2UPX). He advised me to buy a fisherman’s string, which is used for fishing (with their Fishing nets).
These strings are made up of non-stretchable nylon. They are available in 2 sizes (2 mm and 3 mm). I bought the 3mm string for around Rs. 580 in January 2017.
The length of the string was 45 Meters, which is more than enough. I mean you can use it for 2 HF antennas. It has an excellent holding capacity, I learnt from the vendor I bought it.
Don’t go to the fisheries & fishing shops found in your area for the hobbyist. They are different from the professional fisherman shops, available in the coastal regions.
If you are in Mumbai, these strings are available at Bhandari Steet, Koliwada, Masjid Bandar West, Mumbai. (See the Map).
If you get down at Masjid Bunder Railway Station, come out west side and start walking towards Bhandari Street, you’ll find a lot of shops selling fisherman products on the road.
Buy only a branded one like Garware (Garware Synthetics Limited), that’s what I have used with my HF Dipole Wire Antenna. Do not go for any other brand.
I used this string for 1 and ½ year and then passed it to another ham friend for his use. I can tell with confidence, that the string was still in perfect condition.
Let me give you an example of how strong these strings are.
So, while setting up my HF Dipole, I had placed two galvanised pipes at both the ends, and I passed these string from inside the pipes.
Now the edges of these metal pipes are usually rough; this is the place where it caused friction with the string. The string gets rubbed with the sharp edges of the metal pipes, whenever I dismounted or mounted the antenna.
But not a single scratch on the string. Now you can imagine the quality of the make.
It was the time when I was experimenting with 15 Mtrs and 17 Mtrs band, changing the size of my (20 Mtrs) antenna elements to tune for those bands.
Please Note: Use a clove hitch knot (Watch Video) with four safety knots to tie the strings with the antenna. Use the same method to tie the string to your anchor (pole, tree, pipe or whatever). See the image below.
I’ve used this, and I am happy about these strings. What do you use for your HF dipole, would you like to share about it. Please do so by commenting below and help the ham fraternity.
Also Read: Understanding Cables Used In Ham Radio Hobby