Letter Re: Antenna Launching Alternatives

CPT Rawles:s
I know this is a very obscure topic, but having been a communication guy on a Special Forces A Team for many years and a ham radio operator, I know a couple things about wire antennas in trees. I’ve tried them all, slingshots, bow and arrow, lead weight, one-quart canteens et cetera.

The problem is getting the right weight to mass ratio – otherwise you either can’t get the rope up high enough, it gets caught up in the branches or wraps around the branch you are throwing at.

The single best object I have found is an M69 [spherical steel] grenade simulator body (without the screw-in simulator fuse assembly). It is just a hollow metal ball with two holes in it. It is slightly smaller than a baseball and has enough heft to bring it right back to the ground. Simply run the rope through the holes and tie to itself and throw overhand like a baseball. (underhand never seems to work for some reason, though it is easier on the arm)

Once the grenade body gets back to the ground with the hoist rope over the branch, untie and attach your doublet or other antenna and hoist away.

You can usually find grenade simulator bodies at Army/Navy surplus stores.

I hope that this helps someone. – Mike S.