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Author Topic: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot  (Read 506 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« on: November 18, 2019, 2229 UTC »
I've used an EZ Hang (combo slingshot and fishing reel) for about two decades to put ropes in trees for antennas. Works great in theory, in practice the finish line often gets tangled in tree branches, and snaps when you pull on it.

So look what my wife got me for my birthday:



The Big Shot "throw line launcher" from Notch. It's basically a giant sling shot. There's two four foot poles that snap together making an 8 ft pole. You can put a lot of stored energy into the band, and easily launch a 12 ounce throw weight over a tree. 

I played with it a little the other day, but the weather was not conducive to staying outside very long. Still I was able to get a few ropes up as a test. I used the 12 ounce throw weight and yellow rope that came with it. I had the trigger at the bottom of the top pole, which really only gives you enough "oomph" to get up about 30 or 40 feet.

I finally got to try it out for real today, and more than doubled the height of my 20m dipole antenna. It took just two tries to get the first line over a tree, got the second one on the first try. This time I used mason's twine instead of the rope that came with the throw weight. The lighter weight of the twine may have helped a little, I also lowered the position of the notch on the poles to the top of the lower pole, so I had more energy in the band. I am not a great judge of height, but it's easily twice as high up as it was before, probably in the 60 ft range, maybe a bit more. I'm curious to see how it performs tomorrow when the band opens again. I did some spot checks on 19m and signals were noticeably stronger than before.

Here's the link to the Big Shot itself:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075VYX31B?tag=blackcatsyste-20

And the Trigger (you want this):
https://www.amazon.com/NOTCH-Big-Shot-Trigger-50011/dp/B07885BY9L/?tag=blackcatsyste-20

This is the 12 ounce throw weight and 150 ft rope:
https://www.amazon.com/Weaver-Arborist-Throw-Weight-Line/dp/B00VO2HZ0G/?tag=blackcatsyste-20

I'm going to order an 8 ounce throw weight and see if that gets more altitude:
https://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Throw-Weight-Weaver-Leather/dp/B0044U4QMA/?tag=blackcatsyste-20&th=1&psc=1

I'm sold on this. Next step is to raise the 43/48 meter folded dipole.   Well, the next step is to order some more antenna rope  :)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 1217 UTC by ChrisSmolinski »
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline KaySeeks

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2019, 0200 UTC »
I was initially having trouble understanding how you use this thing but the photo in the Amazon ad cleared that up I think.

Correct me if I am wrong but it appears that the two 4 foot poles are together to make an 8 foot pole and you pull back the slingshot over that distance. Wow. That's bigger than any slingshot I have ever tried to use.
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Offline Σ

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2019, 1114 UTC »
This is my favorite launcher. I regularly get 80-100 ft and it is very accurate. Makes a nice "thump" sound when you release the air.

http://www.antennalaunchers.com/csv19/index.html
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2019, 1220 UTC »
I was initially having trouble understanding how you use this thing but the photo in the Amazon ad cleared that up I think.

Correct me if I am wrong but it appears that the two 4 foot poles are together to make an 8 foot pole and you pull back the slingshot over that distance. Wow. That's bigger than any slingshot I have ever tried to use.

Yes, that's correct. There is a trigger that you attach to either pole which holds the band in place until you are ready to fire. I'll take some photos later today if I get the chance.

After just a few uses, I'm now able to accurately aim and launch the pouch and usually nail it the first try. Amazing.  I want to try the 8 oz pouch next and see how that compares to the 12 oz. 
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Josh

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2019, 1944 UTC »
We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2019, 1213 UTC »
I used the Big Shot yesterday to launch a rope over the Oak tree in preparation for installing a new T2FD. One issue I've run into is that if you lay the mason's line out on the ground for launch, the leaves, blades of grass, etc. slow it down on the way up, reducing the maximum height. 

Based on a suggestion, I tried carefully laying it in a large plastic tub, trying my best to make sure it was neat and not tangled. I launched, the weight went up in the air, 30 or 40 feet of mason's line went up in the air... then a tangled mess of the remaining line followed it in the air. Too bad I wasn't shooting video, the epic fail would have been youtube worthy.

Round two... I took a 25 by 25 foot tarp, laid it on the ground, then put the mason's line over that in a back and forth pattern. This was in front of me and the Big Shot. I launched, and it was perfect. Up 85 ft over the tree, as measured with this method: https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,60644.0.html

I'm now debating whether it's worth trying to untangle 225 feet of mason's line (under $4 at WalMart).
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Josh

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2019, 2332 UTC »
No way to mount a Zebco 202?
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2019, 1138 UTC »
No way to mount a Zebco 202?

An interesting idea, a la the EZ Hang. Not sure if there would be too much friction/loss of energy. For that matter just a spool with the mason's twine (which is what I keep it on anyway) on a horizontal rod on the ground. Might be worth experimenting with.

I got the big T2FD erected yesterday. I'll put together a post of the construction with some 8 x 10 colored glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline JCMaxwell

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2019, 1915 UTC »
CS wrote - ”Round two... I took a 25 by 25 foot tarp, laid it on the ground, then put the mason's line over that in a back and forth pattern. This was in front of me and the Big Shot. I launched, and it was perfect.”

Genius Chris. I’ve fought with mason line tangling in the grass and leaves countless times. Will have to remember this trick.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 1917 UTC by JCMaxwell »
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Put away your slingshots and arrows, get a Big Shot
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2019, 2300 UTC »
I saw a Big Shot being used in news footage live from Hong Kong to launch Molotov Cocktails at the Chinese Army and police. It did the job.