DX from the Dam with a Kite Antenna
This afternoon Hanz, W1JSB and I met at the Franklin Falls Dam.
Our plan was simple... lift a half wave wire with a kite and work
some DX on 20 meters. We managed to work Belgium and the
Ukraine... but it wasn't all clear sailing.
We sat at a picnic table several hundred feet above the river. A
lifted the kite about 80 feet into the air. We attached the far end
of our 33 foot
wire to a loop in the middle of the kite string. We connected the
near end to
the Par matchbox and then to the rig... an HB-1B running 4 watts. It
vertical, but it was a respectable sloper.
After a few calls, I worked ON8VP in Belgium. Peter gave me a 559
finished a quick exchange. His signal was strong, and I have no
had the wire been vertical, I would have been stronger to him. But I
pretty happy to make a contact.
Next, I heard UY6IM in the Ukraine calling CQ. As the wind faltered
kite lowered, Roman answered my call and gave me a 559. Then it
The kite dropped below the hillside and most of the wire lay on the
Roman couldn't hear me send his report. Fortunately, he didn't hear
either. Darn it... (OK... Dam it.) Hanz raced down the hillside to
recover the fallen
kite. Right away it lifted into the sky again. By this time Roman
was calling CQ
again. I answered... gave him a 599 and called it quits after he
the report. Right after that, the kite dropped once again. It was
Hanz wanted to give it a try, so I ran down and tried to get the
once again. No luck. We packed up. Of course, as soon as we did, the
up again. The experiment was fun, but I think I'll stick with trees.