Kite Antenna on Gun

When I arrived at the parking spot for Gun, there was a gentle breeze. I’d placed the kite in the car after repairing it a couple of days ago, so I took it along to the summit.

TBH, the wind speed was marginal, nevertheless, by attaching much lighter electric fence wire as the driven element, it did launch and I reckoned to have about 40/45 Metres of wire in the air. Note the famous hawthorn tree antenna support, ideal for tying the kite off.

I stuck a self spot up on the 40m band and within a couple of minutes there was a nice pile-up. The signals I was receiving were big, with hardly anyone less than 5/9. The kite was up and down like a yoyo, but I managed to complete 25 contacts before things dried up. Time to tune up the kite antenna for the 10m band.

A self spot on 10m produced calls from Christos SV2OXS in Greece, Garry VE3XN in Toronto, Phillip VE1WT in Nova Scotia, Walter NE4TN in Tennessee at which point, rather annoyingly, the wind dropped and the kite fell out of the sky. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted :frowning: So, it was back on the vertical to complete the activation.

Conditions were generally down with 80 contacts completed. Plenty into North America, with Peru arguably the best DX of the day.

Thanks to all the Chasers.

73 Mike


thanks for that mike cool it be

Great Mike!
What tuner do you use? and how many radials, and what length, do you use?


Tuner is a LDG 100 auto tuner. Came with my first FT-857. Not a bad tuner, although it needs an external power source, which is a bit of a PITA. As for radials, for quicknes, I ran just one counterpoise wire out probably about 10 metres. I carry three or four random lengths of wire in a side pocket of the rucksack… To be perfectly honest Don, I’m certainly no expert when it comes to kites. I just enjoy messing about with them …it just adds a bit more fun to the hobby.

BTW, they’re certainly a lot lighter than the A-99 :wink:

73 Mike

Hi Mike
I always enjoy working you from this side of the pond. Did you have any problems with static? I understand that is a common problem with kite antennas as well as a potential danger to the rig. What kite were you using? A Delta Conyne is very stable and requires very little breeze to launch.
Marc, W4MPS

Hi Mark,

Many thanks for all the calls.

Static is probably your biggest enemy and will certainly ruin your day if adequate precations are not taken.

This is the static arrestor I use…

I’m currently using a 1.2 metre sled kite. Realistically, it’s too small for antenna work and I plan to replace it with the 1.6 metre version, I lost last year.

73 Mike

Because of work commitments, no SOTA for me last weekend. However, there was a stiff breeze at my home QTH and this translated into good news for flying a kite. So yesterday, I made the 35 minute drive to G/SP-013 Gun, followed by the 15 minute mud plug to the trig point.

Wind conditions were ideal and when I launched the kite, it went up like a high speed elevator. There was easily 60 metres of wire in the air, maybe more,

The plan was to work 10m FM, AM and SSB. All three of these modes had rewarded me with DX into North America, from Gun last week and I was pretty confident of more of the same.

It seems I was in for something of a rude awakening :frowning:

Clearly, 10m band conditions were well down on last week, with ny CQ’s on FM resulting in nothing. To ad insult to injury, the SWR was higher than I felt happy with and I felt there was little point in continuing on the band with the kite. 40m was a differnt kettle of fish, with a perfect SWR and big signals reported.

As luck would have it, I’d taken the Antron-99 as a back-up and within 10 minutes it was bungeed into the hawthorn tree. Over the last three weeks, the 10m band and Antron-99 have been SOTA Heaven.

Taking a look along the frequency, I found Patel VU2XO, calling CQ and got him on my second shout for our third SOTA contact.

Found myself a QRG and self spotted.The band was nowhere as good as it was even a week ago. although there were some good G contacts with Don G0RQL Mike G6TUH, Bill G4WSB, Mick M0MDA, Phil G4OBK, David M6KVJ and G0RFM making the log. North American contacts were way down and with things so slow, I eneded up in a 20 minute rag chew with Rich WA1GZY, who was working with a SteppIR.

Just before packing up, I thought I’d give the Pipe and Slippers band a try on the kite. There was S8 of noise on Top Band, with dreadful electrical interference. My CQ’s resulted in another blank, although I’m convinced I heard Brian G8ADD trying to call in?

By now, it was turning was cold and decided to chuck the towel in.

Very hard work for 45 contacts.
As usual, thanks to all the chasers.

73 Mike


[quote=“2E0YYY, post:7, topic:9678”]There was S8 of noise on Top Band, with dreadful electrical interference.[/quote]What with all the sub-urban rubbish around, it’s S8 noise on a good day on Top Band here, and yesterday afternoon was nothing like a good day. I think I could just about make out voices in among the S9+20 noise, but that might just have been the bhi module inventing stuff…

73, Rick M0LEP

Hi Rick,

I must admit to being surpised at the noise, having said this, the only time I’ve worked top band is on a SOTA activation.
I was using an identical set-up to a couple of years ago, when I worked some top band chasers. There was plenty of wire in the air, but it wasn’t to be.

73 Mike

You heard right, Mike, I did attempt a QSO with you, you were 3/3 on peaks fading into the noise and after a couple of attempted overs where I caught my callsign I didn’t hear you again. Top Band is not a good choice in mid-afternoon, I’m afraid, I was rather surprised to hear you at all, and would have been dead chuffed to complete with you. Perhaps on another occasion later in the afternoon or nearer to mid winter we may make it!


Thanks for trying, Brian…

At least I know now, I wasn’t hearing things :wink:

73 Mike