This method of antenna rigging
provides a maintainable and
replaceable antenna halyard
without ever having to climb a tree
the "second" time ... after wind or
ice storms. (
See the Home brewed
Insulator page).
The beauty of this method is that if
the halyard or antenna wire breaks
- you don't have to climb the tree
to rethread the the antenna - just
pull the rigging rope and pulley
down to you, re-thread it, and pull
it back up ... without ever having
to climb again! It's also a great time
saver if you experiment a lot with
various antennas.  

STEP 1:
Pick out a tree that's a good
prospect for the far end of your
antenna. Climb only as high as you
can "safely." I use a ladder, lashed
to the trunk to gain access to the
limbs that'll safely hold my mass. I
climb as high as I feel comfortable.
At that point, I select the limb, high
above my head, where the antenna
will fasten.
I bring along an 18 foot pool
skimming pole which has a hook
attached to the end. Over the hook
dangles a fishing string with a 1/2
pound weight.
Once I am secure in my position
and footing, I ease the light pole
up to the selected limb and "drop"
the weight over it while keeping
control of the fishing line.
Now, the pole can be dropped
(watch out for people and animals)
and the line fed out until the
weight reaches the ground.
I then carefully decend the tree,
ladder, etc.
Once on the ground, I tie my
Dacron (polyester) rope (rigging
line)  to the string and pull it over
the limb. Once both ends of the
rope are touching the ground, the
string and weight are no longer
needed.
(Note: I no longer use "Poly"
(polypropolene) rope or Nylon
rope, due to the environmental
degradation properties of those
materials.)  



STEP 2:
I assemble the "rigging line" rope
with a pulley (die cast zinc,
brass/bronze, or plastic, not steel),
and short length of garden hose,
(about 3 feet) as shown.
The hose keeps the rope from
becoming a part of the tree, which
it will, in 6 to 12 months - believe
me.
Also, this is not the place to save
money. Buy quality Dacron rope, in
a size and strength-rating greater
than you'll ever require. I generally
use 5/16 diameter rope. And I
always use marine grade pulleys
which will not rust or corrode.

Now thread the antenna halyard
rope through the pulley and pull
enough through so that you can
still reach the end of it after you've
hoisted the pulley with the rigging
line. Once this assembly is
completed, pull on the "back" side
of it so that the pulley rises up to
the limb that is supporting it. Be
sure the hose is completely over
the limb - both ends hanging about
equal. Tie it off to the cleat.  


STEP 3:
Now you can attach the antenna
insulator and antenna wire and
hoist it up to the pulley. I usually
tie on a weight suitably heavy to
keep the antenna fairly tight. You
may want to do this with a bungee
or shock cord to avoid the stress
inerta when stiff breezes blow. A
paint can with drain holes works
well. you can add stones, as
required, while you determing the
proper weight.

Be sure to leave a generous
length of halyard in the event that
you want to lower the antenna to
repair or change the wire.
the BETTS ANTENNA RIG method
Counter
Home
SAFETY:
As always, use good sense and judgement in climbing. Follow all
the safety rules pertaining to overhead wires, potential falling
objects, and general safety. Never erect antennas above, below,
or near power distribution lines.
Do not leave any wire or rope
loops large enough for climbing animals to get their heads stuck
inside. I also keep my cleats and ropes way above a child's access.