From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Electronics (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Electronics, an attempt to provide a standard approach to writing articles about electronics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. Leave messages at the project talk page
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Telecommunications (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Telecommunications, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Telecommunications on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

I don't think the color vs. black and white distinction is relevant. A balanced line directly from the antenna to the TV is actually superior to a connection requiring a balun, as the balun has some loss, and the coax is (in general) more lossy than the twin-lead line. However, if the line has to pass through a wall that has a lot of rebar or other metal, it will interfere with the twin-lead, and coax is better. Also, the old screw type antenna connections are notoriously loose and have poor connections. Coax connectors are a bit more robust and smaller (i.e., easier to install on the assembly line) and so would probably shave a few cents off manufacturing cost, as well as be more maintainable for the consumer, and so would be more likely on a modern mass market TV. -ssd 04:42, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Twin lead did actually had less loss than coax under ideal conditions, but had serious problems.... It was unsheilded, it interacts with metal objects, and it was sensitive to impedence changes caused by weather. Cable companies couldn't use it because it would leak signals, both in and out. Even with a coax hooked to balun the length of twin lead inside the tv between the tuner circuit and screw terminals would let sources of interference leak in. Strong broadcast TV signals would cause ghosting on cable TV channels. Problems with cable TV seems to spell the end of use of twin lead terminals on TV sets. BigE1977 01:19, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

In order to match 75 to 300 ohms, one needs a turns ratio of 1:2, not 1:4 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacks5kids (talkcontribs) 21:37, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I've corrected the balun turns ratio from 4:1 to 2:1. Wouldn't surprise me if some beginner changes it back. (talk) 01:34, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm planning on expanding on this - I'll do it later this week unless someone disagrees strongly - yes, from an engineering perspective its 2 turns to 1 to go from 75 to 300 - but that's not how baluns are marketed - they're marketed by they OHM conversion, so you buy a 4:1 balun to go from 75 to 300. Ygbsm (talk) 20:16, 4 January 2011 (UTC)


This stuff became more or less obsolete in the 1960s in the UK, not recently. Since then it has occasionally been seen on FM rabbits ear antennas, but not often. Tabby (talk) 12:21, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Shielded twin-lead?[edit]

I am very suprised to see this stuff described as better than coaxial. Twin-lead seems to have been about as "useful" and "reliable" as using an old wire coathanger as an antenna. Long lengths of twin-lead seems to work great as an antenna, meaning it sucks up interference from all directions to such a degree that the yagi on the roof becomes drowned out in the noise.

I tend to assume people used it back in the 1950s, only because they could not afford the better coaxial system. I know that the old coaxial was usually huge, about a half-inch wide, and very stiff.

Is there an equivelant form of twin-lead that is very low-loss, and as well-shielded against interference as coaxial?

DMahalko (talk) 06:23, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


I think that the page on Ladder Line ( should be merged into / redirected to this page, which is more general and more complete. However, I don't know how to do the banner at the top of the ladder line page proposing same. (talk) 01:46, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Done. - LuckyLouie (talk) 01:54, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Table of loss at the end of the article is not very helpful[edit]

The table at the end of the article can't be correct. 75 ohm and 300 ohm lines would not have the same loss and these values differ from the few sources I checked. I will research various authorities and see if I can come up with some more reliable values. I appreciate any comments from any and all. JNRSTANLEY (talk) 18:47, 18 July 2013 (UTC) Looking further, I realize that the most serious problem is that the actual 300 and 75 ohm lines are not identified. Of course there will likely be some 300 ohm line and some 75 ohm line with the losses shown. But what is the wire size, spacing, etc that gives those values? A 300 ohm line made with larger wire will have less loss than one made with smaller wire, assuming the loss mechanism is copper loss and some dielectric loss, and not radiation. If radiation is included the larger one might have greater loss. I think it best to pick perhaps two or three actual lines that are presently available and list their losses. Finding a presently available 72 ohm line might be difficult. I am not going to rush into this, but I think the table as shown, while useful for the capacity and VF values, is not very helpful for the loss values. It seems to imply that 72 and 300 ohm lines have similar loss. For the same wire size, this is very misleading to someone who might be considering building a line. We might need to also change the statement earlier in the text stating that the losses in parallel lines is an order of magnitude less than in coax, although this is kind of an apples and oranges comparison. One big use of parallel lines is in HF high power, so data for 10 MHz should also be included. It also occurs to me that there is no consideration given to open wire lines used in high power SW broadcast, which happens to be my area of expertise. Any interested party please comment. JNRSTANLEY (talk) 20:23, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by VF values. If you mean the phase velocities (0.8c and 0.71c), then these depend on the thickness and dielectric constant of the insulation on the wires. The capacitances likewise depend on the details of the dielectric. If the capacitances and phase velocities are consistent, then we should have C = 1 / (Z vphase) in each case (so Z = 300 Ω, vphase = 0.8c => C = 11.1188 pF/m). In any case, since the details of the dielectric sheaths are not given, then these values are -like the losses- somewhat meaningless. To be fair, the section is headed typical values, so it doesn't make any claims that the data has any particular significance. However, I reckon your objection is valid and so the table should go. I shall delete it. --catslash (talk) 23:41, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, VF is the same as phase velocity. And you are quite right, it also depends on the thickness and type of insulation. 300 ohm open wire lines can have a VF near .95. Better to delete for now. Thanks.JNRSTANLEY (talk) 12:04, 19 July 2013 (UTC)