DX with Kite-Lifted Antenna at the Beach
Judy and I went to the beach today. I launched my antenna with a kite and worked Greenland, Greece and Italy in less than 10 minutes.
It was a remarkable day. In the mid-90s and not a cloud in the sky. We headed to the New Hampshire coast and arrived at Rye Harbor for a picnic lunch. After a walk on the beach, Judy went for a swim, and I went up to the point and launched a parafoil kite.
There was a good breeze and it went up in a jiffy. I had it up about 120 feet. At about mid-point I placed a loop in the line and tied my 33 foot wire to the loop. I had a nice vertical and set up the KX3 right below the wire.
I started on 15 meters and heard Peter OX3XR in Greenland with a strong signal. He returned my call and gave me a 599. He went on to the next station. I was thrilled.
I switched then to 17 meters and quickly worked a special event station SV130PAP in Greece. Again there was a quick exchange of 599 and we signed. Back to 15 meters and I heard IK3VUT in Italy calling CQ. Luca gave me a 559 and I gave him a solid 599.
With that I shut the station down. In barely 10 minutes I had worked three nice DX stations with the kite wire and I was pretty excited. Who could ask for more? Besides I had agreed to meet Judy in a few minutes.
That’s great, Jim! I’ve enjoyed kite aerial photography for years and have often thought of using the kite to hang an antenna. Most people who have only used toy kites have no concept of the amazing lifting power a kite has — even in low winds at ground level. Once aloft they essentially fly themselves and can literally stay aloft staked for many hours.
Hello Jim. So, what type of kite is required and what wind speed is needed to do this successfully? Up here on a ridge top, there’s not much open space to do this without entangling a kite string in the surrounding trees. Any advice?
Hi guys – thanks for the notes. Chuck, this kite is a parafoil about 2.5 x 3 ft. If you’ve got a steady breeze, you might not have to worry about trees. The beginner’s mistake is to run the wire parallel to the kite string. The kite string will generally be a sloper. You want the wire to drop down from the
the middle of the kite string… so the wire is vertical. I’m really a beginner.
The wind where I live is too fickle… so I need to do this at the shore where the wind is steady. This kite flies well if the wind is 6 to 10 MPH. Good luck OM. 73 JIm W1PID
NEVER forget RF choke and earth rod!
A nicely written article, I even shared it on my Face Book page and have already received one like, Just posted it.