One of our goals is to make contacts with our fellow ham radio operator while we are transmitting and receiving
on kite-antennas. We also want to make kite-to-kite contacts with other hams around the country. Another goal
is to develop better, lighter and more efficient kite-supported ham radio antennas and to share that information
with others who are interested in building and flying kite-antennas.
OUR CURRENT KITES AND ANTENNAS:
At the present time we are evaluating the flight and lifting characteristics of three different kites: (1) a 12 foot
Delta, (2) a 10 foot Delta Conyne and (3) a 80 x 65 inch Rokkaku – which is the same size as one of the kites
used by Marconi in 1901 for his transatlantic transmission. We are also evaluating ways to lift our antennas
when there is little or no wind - click HERE to see the details.
We have built and are testing five different antennas: (1) a 20 meter horizontal dipole, (2) a 20 meter vertical
center fed dipole, (3) a 75/160 meter quarter wave vertical, (4) an all band long wire and (5) a 40 meter inverted
We power these antennas from: (1) a 500 watt mobile rig, (2) a 200 watt mobile rig, (3) a 100 watt “garden
cart" portable, (4) a bicycle mobile and (5) a QRP radio as well as the group’s various go-boxes. Click HERE to
see more details about some of the ways that we power our antennas.
OUR CALENDAR OF PAST AND FUTURE EVENTS:
(all contacts were made using kite supported antennas - 701 total contacts to date (1/20/2018)
1. First proof of concept test April 16, 2016 (23 contacts)
2. Memorial Day Weekend 2016 using the K6K special event call sign (4 contacts)
3. New Year’s Day 2017 San Diego Kite Club annual kite festival using the call sign K6K (6 contacts)
4. CQ Worldwide 160 meter SSB contest February 26 - 29, 2017 (15 contacts)
5. International DX SSB March 4-5, 2017 (14 contacts)
6. OK, ID, WI QSO parties March 11-12, 2017 (10 contacts)
7. LA, VA QSO parties March 18-19, 2017 (7 contacts)
8. CQ WW WPX Contest SSB March 25-26, 2017 (11 QRP contacts)
9. MS, MO QSO parties April 1-2, 2017 (8 contacts)
10. NM, GA QSO parties April 8-9, 2017 (8 contacts)
11. MI, ND, Ontario QSO parties April 15-16, 2017 (7 contacts)
12 Nebraska QSO party April 22, 2017 (15 contacts)
13. QRP IN THE FIELD CONTEST April 22, 2017 (3 QRP contacts)
14. International Marconi Day, April 22, 2017 (3 contacts)
15. Florida QSO party April 29, 2017 (4 QRP contacts)
16. AZ, CT, DE, ID, IN, ME, MA, MT, NV, NH, OR, RI, UT, VT, WA, WY QSO party, May 6 - 7, 2017 (36 contacts)
17. W6KOA "Kites on Air" Special Event Saturday May 7, 2017 (RAINED OUT IN SAN DIEGO!)
18. Arkansas QSO party May 13-14, 2017 (4 contacts)
19. Memorial day special event stations May 20, 2017 (14 contacts)
20. Alabama QSO party June 3-4, 2017 (4 contacts)
21. Museum Ship Weekend June 3-4 2017 (34 contacts)
22. ARRL Field Day June 24, 2017 (184 contacts)
23.13 Colonies Event July 1, 2017 (29 contacts)
24. Hawaii, Kansas, Ohio QSO party (14 contacts) August 26-27, 2017
25. Colorado and Tennessee QSO party (19 contacts) September 2-4, 2017
26. Route 66 On the Air (36 contacts) September 9-17, 2017
27. Maine, Texas QSO party (28 contacts) September, 23-24, 2017
28 California QSO party (66 contacts) October 7 - 8, 2017.
29. ARRL November Sweepstakes, November 19, 2017 (31 contacts - poor wind conditions)
30. San Diego Kite Festival Special Event Station (17 contacts) January 1, 2018
31. North American QSO party (47 contacts) January 20, 2018
1. We will be working most state QSO parties depending on wind and weather conditions.
2. Three of our longest DX kite-antenna contact to date are CU2KG in the Azores (4,958 miles),
DJ5AN in Germany (5,669 miles) and IV3KKW in Italy (6,146). All three were worked on 20 meter using
a center fed half wave vertical kite-antenna flying at Mariner's point at a height of 80 feet.
3. Mert (AF6HF) logged a contact with CN3A in Morocco (6023 miles) using his new KX2 10 watt QRP radio
flying from Fiesta Island in Mission bay.
WHEN YOU CAN FIND US ON THE AIR:
1. The W6KOA station is on the air at least one weekend day each month plus some Wednesdays when the
wind and ionosphere are particularly good.
2. We usually operated on 20 meters, around 14.245 MHz +/- QRM. This allows us to easily reach North
America (including Alaska, Canada and Mexico) and Hawaii plus the occasional DX station.
3. Since suitable kite flying winds along the San Diego coast, usually come up by noon and stay flyable
until 3 PM or later (local time) that is when you are most likely to find us on the air with our kite-antennas.
Click HERE for more information about the winds that we have along the San Diego coast.
Bob W6SDO - Antennas and web site, Mert AF6HF - QRP specialist, Dave WB6SQA - Master kite tuner,
Bob - KG6EJW Test engineer, Pat K5ETM - Video producer, Sean K6TFJ - Drone pilot, Mike - N6CDX
Hamulance operator, Rich NJ6F R&D
We have added some additional pages to this web site - press the SETTING UP tab to check them out. Some of
these pages are still under construction, but we are working to complete them soon.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our group or our activities. We’d also like to hear from
you if you would like to make a kite-to-kite contact. Send your inquiries, comments and suggestions to
W6SDO@aol.com. You can also reach us by mail at P.O. Box 22094, San Diego, CA 92192-2094
the "KITES ON AIR" group
We are a group of like-minded folks who have
combined our ham radio hobby with our
enjoyment of flying kites. We like to design and
develop kite flown antennas as well as make HF
contacts using the kite-antennas that we have
built. These kite-antennas are flown at area
picnics, field days, kite festivals, special events
and the occasional fun day at the beach. Our
ham radio contacts using our kite-antennas are
made under the group’s “KITES ON AIR” call sign
W6K0A and occasionally when using the special
event call K6K. Our favorite flying spots are
Tecolote Shores, Fiesta Island and Mariner’s
Point on the Mission bay in San Diego.
The story of our first kite-antenna test, which we
conducted April 16, 2016, was reported in the
AMERICAN KITING ASSOCIATION’S fall 2016
issue of KITING magazine. Most of our group are
members of the CONVAIR/220 AMATEUR RADIO
CLUB and/or the SAN DIEGO KITE CLUB
This is our 12 foot ITW Riviera Highlander delta kite which carries a 20 meter horizontal dipole antenna. The
ends of the dipole antenna can be seen hanging down from the tips of the kite. Up to 500 watts of power is fed
to the kite-antenna from a station on the ground using a length of RG-8x cable that hangs down from the
center of the kite.
|SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA USA
Last updated January 20, 2018