Has anyone used parachute cord for wire antennas?

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United States of America WZ7U
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Has anyone used parachute cord for wire antennas?

#1

Post by WZ7U »

Yeah, paracord. As compared to the high dollar black dacron stuff you see at HRO.
I bought a 1000' spool of paracord for my loop project and found out way after the fact that it apparently isn't UV resistant enough for some people's tastes. I've had the 40m vertickle up using paracord for the guy lines for close to a year without apparent issue (see my zed page). I'm guessing the paracord and the bamboo have a similar life span of 3-5 years before failure but I can't prove the claim. I'm not made of money either and it will be damn near impossible to justify the expense replacing a roll of rope because someone said it won't last. Besides, we may only be here till spring of '20 anyway, if we get our way and move to the actual coast then.

Your input please. Thanks ahead of time for helping me to fill Bubbas new toy with electrons and bits of bytes.
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Re: Has anyone used parachute cord for wire antennas?

#2

Post by W9FTV »

I used paracord for about a year, until it crumbled in my hands.
Now I stick with the dacron line. You can find some fairly good deals on Amazon for it.
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Re: Has anyone used parachute cord for wire antennas?

#3

Post by W1TRY »

I'm on my second 1000 foot roll and have had nothing but good luck, even using it for hanging a fu#%ton of birdfeeders for the XYL. I bought 550 Paracord Type III 7 Strand Mil-Spec on Ebay. I've got about 300 feet holding dipoles and cables. Even after a year in the sun, rain, snow and assorted crap, I save the stuff I take down to reuse on less critical projects. Last price paid for 1000' of black on 1/10/18 was $50.99 shipped.
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Re: Has anyone used parachute cord for wire antennas?

#4

Post by Juan Largo »

I can't recommend 550 cord for most installations. It has poor UV resistance and not very good tensile properties making it prone to breaking after repeated stretching in sustained winds. This is even worse if you are using trees as supports because it also has crummy abrasion qualities.

For hams who want to put up temporary antennas fro experimentation 550 cord is excellent. It is cheap and reasonably strong so even though it suffers from all of the above, it can be useful.
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Re: Has anyone used parachute cord for wire antennas?

#5

Post by W1TRY »

Juan Largo wrote: Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:32 pm I can't recommend 550 cord for most installations. It has poor UV resistance and not very good tensile properties making it prone to breaking after repeated stretching in sustained winds. This is even worse if you are using trees as supports because it also has crummy abrasion qualities.

For hams who want to put up temporary antennas fro experimentation 550 cord is excellent. It is cheap and reasonably strong so even though it suffers from all of the above, it can be useful.
Honestly, Juan may be correct in his thinking. My experience has been limited and I tend to futz with my antennas within a year or 2. If you're looking for many years of service, I can't vouch for the lifespan or longevity of it. I'm cheap, it's cheap and it works for me in my applications.
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Re: Has anyone used parachute cord for wire antennas?

#6

Post by KD8DEY »

I don't remember what I used, But I did use cheap Bungee cords on the end for strain relief...
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