G to VK on Kite Antenna

Last night, I noticed the WX forecast for G/SP-013 Gun, was for 10MPH wind. This gave me an opportunity to drag the kite antenna out of retirement. I pitched up at Gun around 0630 local time and made the short walk to the summit. The wind was not quite as strong as I would have liked, however, I had little problem launching it. Tuning up on the 20m band, I found conditions far from ideal with plenty of QSB often deep and rapid. It took 28 minutes to qualify the summit. At around 0613z I posted a spot saying the wind was dropping and I would have to change antenna. At 0618 I received a call from Matt VKIMA giving me my first VK SOTA contact on a kite antenna with a distance of 17050 Km. Congratulations Matt, on what I think is the first VK and longest SOTA contact on a kite antenna. A couple of minutes later the kite was too low and I erected the A99 back-up antenna. Plenty of EU and DX activity with a further 8 VK’s logged.

A call from from David VK3BY, was followed straight in by a call from Frank KL7XU just outside Anchorage in Alaska, who was looking for a comparison report on his new and old antenna and Microphone. Quite frankly, DX don’t come too much better.

The wind whipped up and so, I launched the kite again to work some G as well as EU on the 40m band. Sadly, there was no inter G, however, EU was booming in.

Thanks to all the callers for a fine days radio.
52 contacts for the activation.

73 Mike


Nice one Mike! The addition of the photo really brings it to life.

73 Richard G3CWI

“The addition of the photo really brings it to life.”

Absolutely agree Richard.

Good stuff and well done.


1 Like

Well done Mike

As you know I listened for you on 40m but no joy although I could hear all the EU stations going back to your calls. Nice pic so I take it that the 857 will not need microwave treatment today :smile:


Allan GW4VPX

Thank you very much for this message, the nice picture and our QSO this morning.

Would you please give more information about the antenna you used this morning (length, radials/counterpoise, tuning, …), and what you would tell a novice about the use of kite antennas ?

Thank you in anticipation.


Mike will no doubt have his own tips but this might be of interest?


Thank you. I already read your interesting article and have one of your kites. :wink:
I hope the weather during week-ends will finally allow me to experiment with it soon.

Hello Christophe.

The best known and highly regarded antenna kite flyer in the UK is Roger - G4ROJ. Some of his constructions are amazing and I have spoken to him a few times on them. Worth a look round his site.



Hi Christophe

You might want to watch this episode of the TX Factor featuring Roger G4ROJ:

73 Marc G0AZS

Thats’s impressive :wink:

I already fear to see my antenna fly away with my rig using only one kite :wink: Now I see three used at the same time !

Will try soon (with one) :wink:

Hi Christophe,

This was an unplanned activation, so I just threw everything into a rucksack late last night and early this morning.

Therefore, I don’t have a clue how much wire I had in the air, maybe 40m or 50m, just guessing…

My kite is a 1.2m Sled, which is too small. I lost the 1.6m sled on the same summit a couple of years ago :frowning: I’ll purchase a 1.6m kite very soon.

My Static arrestor was built by Ray G7TAS of Prowhip Antennas. I can’t rememer the cost but it wasn’t expensive.


Ray also built the balun I’m using.

Ray had the longest SOTA contact on a kite antenna when he worked JA a couple of years ago.

Just try experimenting Christophe, kites are good fun.

73 Mike

Hello Mike,

I am hoping that VK, NA etc. will be inspired to fly a kite antenna.

DX working on kite would be a first for me :sunglasses:

Time to take Bertie the greyhound for a walk and hopefully get back in time to catch Phil G4OBK in CT7 land on his third summit.


Nice, thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great activation.
The kite “business” is on my to-do list for next year once I finish all the kits I have in the pipeline.

I wonder what is the gain / pattern of 30-40m kite suspended wire

73 Angel

Kites are great fun, however, you’re at the mercy of the elements. The times I’ve nearly been blown off a summit and yet the day I arrive with a kite, not enough wind to blow out a match :frowning:

I can think of at least three activations when I was unable to launch a kite due to lack of wind and another when I was with Dave G4ASA on G/TW-003 Gisborough Moor, when the kite got damaged, so rendering it unflyable. Gisborough Moor and a kite that don’t work, what a win double :frowning:

I’m sure some SOTA DX will take a kite onto a summit pretty soon and you’ll get a kite antenna DX contact.

Good luck, Mike…

73 Mike

Rough and ready model of a 35m kite wire fed against a radial on 20m.

Not a recommended configuration if you want a nice pattern from your antenna.

It would be interesting to see the same graphs for a 40m half wave end fed (± 20 meters long) on 7, 14 and 21 Mhz.

…knowing that this model uses a vertical wire, while in real life, the kite supported wire will rarely remain vertical. Should it be changed to some angle in the direction of the kite, with the radial in the opposite direction ?


If you look at the picture you can see that the wire has not been modelled as a vertical. Sadly I have not got time today to model all combinations and permutations. This exercise is left to the reader.

73 Richard G3CWI

Hello Mike,

There is a place in the forest called Clump Hill. A lot of kite flyers go there. I have seen some really interesting kites but also some amazing high speed crashes. I suppose it would be a mistake to take only a kite antenna on a activation but when it works, good stuff. I suppose the big downside to kite antenna is self induced QSB as the antenna moves around. A few times this year I have spoken to activators using dipoles who at one moment are S9 and then next moment S1 as the antenna is being chucked around in high wind.

Anyway see what happens about kite DX :wink:


I’m guessing, given a breezy hilltop and a bit of turbulence, antenna geometry might be less than ideally static, making modelling of all combinations and permutations just a mite impractical (and never mind the indeterminate gap between model and reality). :wink:

73, Rick M0LEP

Hi Mike,

Yeah, if you’re planning a kite antenna activation, make sure you’ve got a back-up antenna. A big kite crash or total loss, (as I’ve found out,) will almost certainly ruin your day. Having said this, I’ve found sled kites with a drouge attachment to be very stable.

Another plus in favour of a kite antenna, they’re very lightweight, therefore, carrying an additional antenna is no big deal.

73 Mike