W6KOA
the "KITES ON AIR" group
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA USA
The ham bands that are best for kite-antennas
on a day-to-day basis are determined by two
main factors: (1) the time of day when suitable
winds are blowing and (2) the ham bands that
are open at this same time. With our typical
winds in San Diego blowing from about 11 AM
to 3 PM, the best ham band candidates are 20
and 40 meters. So far we have had the most
success creating antennas for the 20 meter
band, mainly because the antennas for this
band are smaller and easier to support with a
kite.

However, we also hear numerous stations on
40 meters during these same daytime hours.
Therefore, we are working to develop effective
and efficient 40 meter antennas so that we will
have a kite-antenna presence on this band,too.

Should the ham bands between 10 meters and
17 meters suddenly improve, our present 20
meter antenna designs can be quickly tuned to
any of these higher frequency bands with a pair
of wire cutters.

During a recent 160 meter SSB contest we had  
success flying a 117 foot length of wire
vertically from the top of a mobile screwdriver
antenna. This wire quarter wave vertical was
easy to tune to the desired operating frequency
using a few turns of the screwdriver's motor
driven adjustable tuning/loading coil.

Finally, the graphic at the left shows the typical
band conditions that we are experiencing at this
stage of the sun cycle. Further, the HF ham
band conditions are not likely to improve during
the next two or three years.