Kites radio…& KAP

Royston Kite Festival Poster 2015 copy

Click to bigify

As prep for this years Royston Kite Festival I have been asked to provide an information panel to explain the pile of wires and string we will present to the public on the day. Last time we did this we got radio contacts from across Europe with a wire suspended from a Levitation 9’delta…it will be interesting to see how we do next weekend. As a radio novice I was stuck with what to say on the subject so decided to present the 2 best examples I can think of : Marconi’s first transatlantic broadcast and the ‘Gibson Girl’ radio kites from WW11. Choosing KAP shots to show the variety of what KAP can capture was not easy but I settled on 4 examples to show the big themes:


Ely Sq

There will be those who will ask why not use a drone for aerial photography  (there always are) so the Ely cathedral shot shows what you can do by kite inside the 50m proximity rule that excludes UAV.


Orchard Sq

The variety of agricultural practice in East Anglia never ceases to amaze me.


Snettisham Sq

I love patterns in the landscape and the kite is perfect for placing the camera to capture them.

Mapping :

Earith Bulwark Ortho image contour overlay_01

Surveying is my profession and the satisfaction of mapping from the windborne image is hard to beat.

I decided against explaining rigs on the panel as I’ll have examples to hand…and if we are lucky I’ll have a rig aloft on the day too.

Should be fun.


About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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3 Responses to Kites radio…& KAP

  1. Ramon says:

    Hi Bill,

    Rest assured I read every new article you post on your blog. Now I can no longer hold back so I should leave a reply.

    So you guys will be running an HF station again coming Sunday? Guess what… weather permitting I will be QRV that day as well. With the Kite Antenna, of course! It would be great to make contact on 40 meters. Any idea if the crew will use a certain frequency?



    • Hi Ramon.

      From what we did in 2013 I guess we will be somewhere in 40m at 7 MhZ
      I have a photo of the receiver with ‘7.163.00’ on the dial:

      if that helps.

      It would be a joy to get a kite to kite exchange,I wonder how often that occurs?

  2. Ramon says:

    OK, so I will do my utmost to get things up in and on the air somewhere around that frequency. Should be no problem to get the signals across the North Sea. I think that the ‘kite to kite’ thing is a very, very rare phenomenon. I can’t think of a time I contacted another station that was ‘kite portable’, so maybe this is going to be a first.

    Be on the lookout for PE1OUW / kite portable…

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