Welcome to Alan Biocca Engineering. Our most popular products are Pneumatic Antenna Launchers and Triple Ratio Baluns. We offer Assembled and Kit Launchers, components and Free Plans as well as Balun Kits.
Saunders, the manufacturer of the Zip Reel’s main component, has cancelled the product and we will be unable to source more of them.
Our Mini Coaxial reel will take its place. This reel has been employed in the PADS launchers for years. It is slightly smaller, but it is very effective, and is more rugged.
We have a backlog of orders at the moment due to other constraints on our time. We are working to catch up. Thanks for your patience. Send us an email if you have any questions.
We will be at Pacificon again this year, enjoying the Antenna Forum and a few other presentations. You’ll probably find me occasionally at my wife’s Premier Jewelry booth or at the Buddipole booth, or prowling the sales floor.
We will be at the Flea Market with some of our launchers and some of our treasures (weather permitting).
Come by and say hi!
— Alan, w6akb
I see on facebook today that a Ham Radio site is publicizing a dangerous antenna launcher, and there are many designs and products available like this. It is important to understand what the safety issues are when you are choosing, building and using an antenna launcher.
Dangerous Launchers often use Non-Pressure-Rated PVC components. These are PVC parts that are not rated for pressure service. They are designed for drain system usage, and are not designed or tested for pressure use. A common example is a 3″ to 1 1/2″ reducer coupling, or endcaps that are flat rather than domed. Pressure rated fittings are much thicker, heavier and have much longer gluing surfaces. Make sure any launcher you pressurize is constructed from 100% pressure rated components! (Our PVC components are pressure rated for a minimum 130 psi operating pressure, and minimum burst pressures of 700 psi. Most models have pressure safety valves.)
Dangerous Launchers often use threaded holes drilled in single thickness PVC material. We have seen launchers fail catastrophically from a crack radiating out from a hole drilled in the curved portion of an endcap. Never use a hole in PVC that is a single thickness, it should be backed up with another layer of PVC to protect against cracks causing material failures. In our launchers the holes in the thick schedule 40 PVC are either in double thick areas, or are backed up by another PVC layer to protect against failure.
Dangerous Launchers often use hard projectiles, such as PVC plastic or lead. These projectiles can do a great deal of damage to whatever they strike. This dangerous even in remote areas because they can bounce back or deflect in unexpected directions and damage equipment, vehicles or even cause injury. Soft projectiles such as tennis balls can get the job done without such risks.