Kites with Antennas
Combine Two Hobbies and Double the Fun
Mark, AD6TG, was delighted to join a group of guys in San Diego who are both Amateur Radio operators and members of the San Diego Kite Club. The event was called Kites on the Air and had the special event station call of K6K.
The event took place at Tecolote Shores at the popular Mission Bay Park in San Diego. This portion of the park is very popular with kite flyers of all ages but at this event, a kite flew a 20M vertical dipole antenna. The kite was flown at about 100 feet with one end of the antenna supported by the kite and the other end left to hang directly below. This was a simple wire antenna with weight being the major issue so small lightweight wire and insulators were used resulting in an antenna weighing only a few ounces. 125 feet of the small and light RG 174 coax was used to tie the radio to the center insulator of the antenna allowing the kite to fly at about 100 feet while leaving enough cable to easily connect to the HF radio. For more info checkout www.w6koa.com.
Close up of the feed point of the antenna. A very light piece of circuit board is used to connect the BNC pigtail to the two antenna elements. The feed point also features two ferrite cores acting to reduce common mode currents on the feedline.
The entire 20M antenna is wound on a common kite string winder. The kite tail is attached to the lower hanging portion of the antenna and works to keep the lower portion of the antenna and feedline separated.
Bob, W6SDO launching a delta kite
Details of antenna and kite in operation
Pat, K5ETM operating the Kenwood radio on 20M using the kite antenna.
David, WB6SQA prepares to launch a Marconi kite which is larger and has greater lift.