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Kite Antenna

Some of you may be aware that my interest in kite antennas goes back about 5 years.

Over the years I have built a few kites including a Hargrave box kite. Probably the best one I have built would be the Double Foil Sled Kite, this kite was a good lifter but a bit unstable in heavy wind.

A tail would probably help. About 4 years ago while in a kite shop in Morington the owner suggested that I use a Flowform style kite, he had built plenty to lift antennas and had received good reports.

Unfortunately when I decided to purchase one he had closed down the business. Recently during the VK/ZL 160m contest a group of EMDRC Members went to the clubrooms and raised about 80m of wire with 2 helium balloons attached.

The weather conditions were Ideal as it was a very still night and the balloons were quite stable.

This exercise was a great success but the cost of about $30.00 a time, makes it a little expensive.

Plus if the wind comes up, then the antenna will lay over and in heavy enough gusts touch the ground. Still with the Flowform in mind I went to the net and searched.

The more I read about this kite the more interested I became, one of my passions is operating radio portable (usually contesting) some of the locations require you to carry all your equipment in a back pack and being a stick less kite the Sutton Flow form design was ideal.

My Sutton Flowform kite is not this large, about 900×900 and lifts really well. I have had success lifting the antenna in winds of around 2 Beaufort’s (6-11 km) the payload included 50m of string and about 40m of wire, this is a good length and with the right conditions the kite will fly vertical.

If I let out the whole 100m of string I can get a 160m 1/2 or even a 5/8 vertical up, the regulation height of kite flying is 90m, with a 100m line I doubt if I would exceed that as the kite would need to fly near to vertical, but experience shows that only the last 50m are vertical and the rest would be at 60deg.

As you can see by the photos my portable station consists of

Transceiver : Alinco DX70TH HF/6m.

Power Source : 2 X 7.0Ah batteries.

ATU : 40-10m Home Brew (working on expanding it to include 160 and 80m) 1 X patch lead1 X Antenna Clip Lead. 1 X Static Discharge lead. (Important if you value your Rig)4 X 10m Long Ground Radials (not Ideal but better than none.)

Antenna : 40 or 80m of light plastic coated braided wire. Kite String : 100m of Plaited Nylon string (Builders Line)

Kite : Sutton Flowform 8.

For a good description of a Kite Antenna set-up check out this page from GI0SMU

Good Flying. Jack VK3WWW