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Old 27-03-2015, 16:10   #1
Jd1
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Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

I am trying to make a rope antenna. I want to insert a 12 ga single conductor with insulation into some double braid. The logical thing to do is to dig out an appropriate sized fiddle, attach the wire to it and thread this through the center of the rope. Ha .... easier said then done. OK, so I have figured out that leaving the center braid in the rope isn't going to work. The next logical thing is to pull out the center of the rope and either tie the wire to the center or do the fiddle thing after the center is removed. This seemed to be much more promising but as it turns out, removing the inner braid in sections leaves the occasional outer braid strand pulled out a little, forming a tiny loop. This is driving me insane .....
Before I destroy 50 ft of perfectly good double braid by trying to pull the center out in a 50 ft section, I thought I would ask and see if I am maybe missing something obvious here ..... thoughts ????
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Old 27-03-2015, 16:30   #2
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Try amstel or demax.
Feed the wire in like a Chinese hand cuff.

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Old 27-03-2015, 16:46   #3
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Your problem is using the wrong rope. As Jason mentioned switch to a hollow construction and it gets much easier.
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Old 27-03-2015, 17:09   #4
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Why? To make it look yachty?


You can insert the wire into hollow webbing to protect it, or buy an appropriate insulted wire and skip the rope. (I don't recall the wire name, there's a heavily insulated one used in neon light wiring that's often recommended.)
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Old 27-03-2015, 17:14   #5
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Hmmm. I wonder what the velocity factor is for wet rope?
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Old 27-03-2015, 18:07   #6
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Forget the wire.

Instead, fashion an "alternate backstay" antenna from 3/16" insulated s/s lifeline. Put a loop in each end with Nicopress sleeves so you can suspend it from a spare halyard -- or a dedicated halyard -- and tie the lower end off on the pushpit. Feed it with GTO-15 wire from the tuner.

Much, much stronger. You can set it up tight so it doesn't flop around. It will last several decades.

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Old 27-03-2015, 18:35   #7
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Bill, why not run the GTO-15 (that's the number I wasn't remembering) itself instead of adding the stainless?
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Old 27-03-2015, 19:23   #8
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Bill, why not run the GTO-15 (that's the number I wasn't remembering) itself instead of adding the stainless?
GTO-15 is nowhere near as strong as s/s lifeline. It wouldn't stand up to real marine service for very long.

Over the years I've tried many different radiators, starting with 12-guage bare stranded copper wire about 40 years ago in the Virgin Islands. It lasted less than 3 weeks.

Finally settled on insulated s/s lifeline which is what I've used on my own boat for the past 25 years, and have used on many customer's boats. Mine stood up to 5 (yes, five) major hurricanes in the BVIs during the 12 years my boat was there. No issues.

On land, I use THHN insulated 10-guage stranded wire for my inverted-L and 20-meter dipole antennas. It lasts about 5-8 years.

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Old 27-03-2015, 23:14   #9
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Why? To make it look yachty?


You can insert the wire into hollow webbing to protect it, or buy an appropriate insulted wire and skip the rope. (I don't recall the wire name, there's a heavily insulated one used in neon light wiring that's often recommended.)
I have tried insulting all the wire I could find but got no reaction out of any of the wire
Oh .... and what you are looking for is GTO-15 wire which nobody seems to carry locally but even if you find it, I doubt that a long section of that will stand up to any weather seeing that I believe the conductor is only 13 gauge or so. You certainly couldn't tension it so it doesn't flail around in the wind.

Later edit: seems that everybody beet me to the "GTO" bit but nobody tried insulting the wire

Sorry, I am in a weird mood and can't resist .....
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Old 27-03-2015, 23:24   #10
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
GTO-15 is nowhere near as strong as s/s lifeline. It wouldn't stand up to real marine service for very long.

Over the years I've tried many different radiators, starting with 12-guage bare stranded copper wire about 40 years ago in the Virgin Islands. It lasted less than 3 weeks.

Finally settled on insulated s/s lifeline which is what I've used on my own boat for the past 25 years, and have used on many customer's boats. Mine stood up to 5 (yes, five) major hurricanes in the BVIs during the 12 years my boat was there. No issues.

On land, I use THHN insulated 10-guage stranded wire for my inverted-L and 20-meter dipole antennas. It lasts about 5-8 years.

Bill
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Hmmm .... I figure that using the rope would shield the wire insulation from UV and the copper being tinned, would also retard the wire falling apart. Also, we don't get as much UV as the BVI's so I will have to try this out. Actually if I get a couple of years out of the wire I am happy .

I will try Amsteel and see how that threads - Thanks !
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:34   #11
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

buy Sampson braid and a Sampson splicing fid. its slides righ through. use it all the time to cover light deterioration on spectra type line
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:47   #12
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

Use single braided line, some of the new polys are very strong with no stretch.
I have used some to cover #10 boat-wire exposed to the elements, no problem. This is not antenna lead in.
Are you sure you have been using the correct antenna wire. Phosphor bronze wire rope with swaged connections was widely used on USN War ships as HF fan antennas. I never observed any issues other than lead-in to tuner connections or bad ground bonds.
Use all bronze connections.
On a saltwater vessel if in doubt use bronze.
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:07   #13
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

You may want an estimate of the velocity factor (needed in cutting the wire to length) of stainless to length. I did some measurements when cutting my backstay for insulators and found it to be 0.75. Of course, your wire may be different.
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:53   #14
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

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Originally Posted by Old Swampy View Post
You may want an estimate of the velocity factor (needed in cutting the wire to length) of stainless to length. I did some measurements when cutting my backstay for insulators and found it to be 0.75. Of course, your wire may be different.
Good thought, Swampy, in theory. In practice, I've found it really doesn't matter.

First, you're not cutting the s/s alternate antenna to be resonant on any frequency. Next, the length of GTO-15 feedline varies considerably boat-to-boat.

Then, if you find your tuner can't easily handle any desired band (possible but unlikely in my experience), just cut a bit off the antenna or feedline and try again!

Just cut the stainless to any convenient length, 30-50 ft or so, and see what happens. Shorter lengths will favor the higher bands (say, 10mHz and above), while longer lengths will favor the lower bands. A friend who loves transAtlantic contacts on 80 meters (3.5-4.0mHz) did some tests at my dock one winter and found that 55ft or more worked a lot better for him than did lesser lengths. YMMV :-)

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Old 28-03-2015, 12:34   #15
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Re: Inserting a wire into rope - what's the trick

My plan fell apart
Turns out I got a real good deal on thin stainless wire rope (I did a little happy dance in my mind) but once it was up, I decided I didn't like it. The wire runs too close to the backstay for too far for my liking. I did have rope up before to test the whole idea and thought it was ok but it is too hokey
I have been trying to avoid cutting the backstay ..... even that isn't ideal because it is a split backstay..

More contemplation is needed. Thanks for all the suggestions!
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