Knots for Radio Work.     KI4ZUI   June 2016

Here are some basic knots, & hitches for securing cords, ropes that are often used in “radio work”.
You can learn these gradually as you get involved with erecting field antennas, shelters, pulling cables, etc.
You might consider printing out these diagrams & adding them to your personal “radio reference notebook”.



This basic knot can be secured from “backing out” or loosening by taping the ends or tying some “half hitches” in the loose ends. . AKA “jam knot”: useful to securely join the ends of similar sized rope. You might “smooth out” this knot by taping down the ends so that you can more easily pull the joined ropes over a tree or limb. Good knot to form at the end of the rope, perhaps to stop the rope from running through a pulley.



Useful to temporarily join the ends of dissimilar-sized rope; often used to secure a lighter “haul rope” for pulling a larger, heavier rope into position. Useful to temporarily join the ends of dissimilar-sized rope; often used to secure a lighter “haul rope” for pulling a larger, heavier rope into position. Useful knot to temporarily shorten a length of rope without cutting it.



Tautline Hitch: produces a sliding knot that allows you to cinch-up a guy wire. Two Half Hitches: a quick & reasonably secure way to secure a rope to a pole, post, tree. Bowline Knot: Best knot to use to form a secure loop at the end of your rope.



Clove Hitch: two loops over a post or pole with the two ends running in opposite directions. A “tension pull” on the long end of the rope causes the knot to tighten up. Clove Hitch: two loops over a post or pole with the two ends running in opposite directions. A “tension pull” on the long end of the rope causes the knot to tighten up. Timber Hitch: to drag, haul pole, log. Several twists around log, then thru the loop, then a half hitch.  A pull on running end tightened the hitch to the pole, log.



Line-Pull Hitch: to pull or drag an electrical line or cable into position. Just a series of half hitches. Stronger Line-Pull Hitch: multiple hitches + tape to secure, smooth the hitches. Butterfly Knot: this is a little more complex to tie but it is the best way to form a “loop” in the middle of a length of rope. This knot will stay in place under stress yet it will not cinch up so tightly that it cannot later be removed. A better knot than simply tying an an “overhand knot” loop that may cinch up so tightly that it later would be impossible to untie.




If you “coil” your lengths of smaller diameter ropes (like your antenna guy lines or haul ropes) into compact coils like this, they will be less likely to snarl & will be easier to unfurl. Just lay the rope into a series of S-loops in your hand & then wrap these loops with tight turns of the last few feet of your rope; secure with a few half hitches or with a loop secured at the end of the coil. You COULD coil your rope into into loosely gathered loops secured in one place (see right diagram) but the rope loops are likely to twist as you gather them & the finished product is more likely to become tangled & difficult to unfurl later.
The one time you would want to use this open-coil method is for securing, storing your COAX CABLE. You DO NOT want to tightly coil or wrap COAX cable (or any metallic wires); that would permanently “kink” them. Make loose coils, gently rotating the gathered loops with your fingers as you lay them into your hand, to reduce twisting, and finally secure the finished product with some velcro ties or cable ties or a few turns of light cord or rope.