A.G. Hanna GI0 SMU
T/A Sky High Kites & Electronics
39, Dalton Crescent,
Telephone 01247 874224
Thank you for your interest.
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So! you are interested in flying a kite with radio
communications in mind.
A kite represents the ideal method of erecting an antenna quickly and easily. Just pop the kite and your rig into the car and take off into the country for a days DXing. The lifting power of this kite is more than enough to lift your aerial higher than the tallest mast you could reasonably wish for. You don't need planning permission and the air is free. A clean and green transmitting machine.
The system described in these pages enables individuals or groups of people to go to isolated locations and be in communication with the world within a few minutes. No other system can hope to provide the same flexibility, simplicity and convenience.
The inspiration for this kite is based on an ancient traditional Japanese design called the ROKKAKU. (Rok-ka-ku, Rock for short) Baden-Powell and Marconi both used versions of this kite (called the Levitor). I believe that such a kite was used in 1901 to make the first transatlantic wireless/radio experiments. This version is constructed out of the latest materials. Strong waterproof nylon fabric egg-yoke/Sou'Wester yellow (not spinnaker rip-stop which is much more expensive and unnecessary for this purpose) for the sail which supported by carbon rods for the spine and cross spars. The combination of these modern materials gives great strength and flexibility with the advantage of weight saving. This design has been well tried and tested and provides a stable platform well suited to the purpose of DXing. The materials used in the construction help to minimise wear and tear during the odd emergency landing. The spars are carbon and are electrically conductive so be careful that they do not come into contact with any electrical source.
Each kite is individually hand made by myself, which takes about two days. Some are test flown and the bridle set to enable the purchaser to unpack it and fly without the need to make any adjustments. This makes for slow production so ring and ask about an approximate delivery date. If you are happy to accept the date send your cheque and written confirmation of order. Each customer will be supplied in strict rotation on a first ordered first to receive.
The arrangement for bowing the spars together with the bridle arrangement are unique to me and are the property of Sky High Kites. They represent many long hours of trial and error to perfect them and make the flying of Sky High Kites a simple and pleasurable pastime. The winding handle is a traditional Irish pattern used by sea fishermen from the Kilkeel / Mourne region. It is shown as an example and may be copied and modified freely without any obligation. Sky High reserve the right to make any modifications thought necessary to improve the product, therefore there may be slight differences between these notes and the kite received. Some of the knots used on the kite are called Blood Knots and are simple to tie. Should you notice one of the knots becoming loose they can simply be re tightened. Check that the bridle pins can pass through the sail without pulling at the material round the through point. It is not a bad idea to check the security of all knots as a pre-flight safety precaution. Do not attempt to strip the kite down, nor is it necessary to remove the cross spars from their pockets. All you need to do is remove the spine by untying the three bows which secure it then remove it from the top and bottom pockets. When assembling the kite simply unroll it assemble the two parts of the main spar and insert the main spar under the cross spars so it is positioned next to the sail taking care to ensure that the bow strings are not trapped underneath. (Never try to assemble the main spar after you have inserted the ends into the pockets you may fracture the socket tube.) Insert the ends into the top and bottom pockets. Tie bows in the tapes to secure the main spar, the top and bottom tapes must also secure the cross spars. Always check that the soft plastic ferrules are in position before assembly. These ferrules prevent the carbon rods from wearing through the pocket during use.
CLEANING & STORAGE
The kite can be cleaned by simply washing the fabric with ordinary soap and a damp cloth. Do not use powerful household detergents as this could destroy the properties of the fabric. Always keep the kite in its protective bag supplied with the kite. Always dry the kite before storage to prevent smells. Do not use heat to hurry the process, just hang it up indoors or in the garage. The bracing and bridle pins are stainless steel and will not rust. Should the sail be torn or punctured simply draw the edges together using Cellotape. Then Copydex or PVA to stick the repair patch into place and have the YL machine stitch the patch permanently into place. Do not use any solvent based glue to effect repairs some glues may dissolve the sail material. There is always a piece of material supplied with the kite for just such emergencies. In the unlikely event of the spine or spars being broken replacement parts will be despatched as soon as payment is received. Costs depend on the current market purchase price. Telephone first to find out the price. Do not discard any of the fractured spars always bring them home with you for safe disposal. Be careful of the old spars the carbon fibres are very sharp careless handling may result in injury.
WOT!!... NO QRM .???
Well not exactly.. One great blessing is the lack of QRM when you are operating in remote places. To be away from mains interference and the usual background garbage is a relief. This is where the Kite-Antenna system scores above all other systems. You will be able to pick out signals which are impossible to resolve in the domestic environment. I took the time and effort to locate a spot well away from habitation where I could fly my Kite-Antenna to take the maximum benefit from the prevailing winds and to ensure the best possible signal take off point. The Kite-Antenna system gives you the freedom and the choice to go where you want, when you want and do exactly what you want.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DONT'S
Do not fly your Kite if there is the possibility of thunder orlightning. I'm sure you don't want to become a lightning conductor. Benjamin Franklin was stupid enough for us all way back in 1752.
Do not fly your Kite if high winds are forecast.
Do not fly your Kite near a road, car park, railway line or where there are any moving vehicles.
Do not fly your Kite near farm animals, bird or animal sanctuary. You could frighten or alarm them.
Do not fly your Kite within 5 kilometres or 3 miles of an airfield but check the local regulations in your country.
Do not fly your Kite higher than the legal limit in your country unless you have obtained written permission from your local or national Air Regulation Authority.
Do not fly your Kite near trees or buildings your kite may become entangled. There is always air turbulence near them so they are best avoided.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DO's
ALWAYS ensure that you or your clothing is not tangled together with the flying line or the antenna wire.
ALWAYS choose wide open spaces such as beaches, parklands, moorelands, downlands, commonlands and large fields
ALWAYS seek permission of the landowner before flying.
ALWAYS check the windspeed before flying, the higher the wind the more difficult the kite is to recover.
ALWAYS fly the kite on line the strength of which is determined by its size. The correct line for this kite is 160Lbs
ALWAYS launch and retrieve the kite from your hand never run with it you could fall and be injured.
ALWAYS carry sunglasses (Polarised ones are best)
ALWAYS think SAFETY FIRST and have courtesy and consideration for those near you and for the environment.
ALWAYS make a check list of the equipment you will need to bring with you.
ALWAYS wind the flying line in a figure of eight onto the winding handle.
ALWAYS where possible recover your flying line in such a manner that it is not stretched before winding it onto the handle.
ALWAYS replace the flying line if it shows any sign of becoming frayed or damaged.
ALWAYS untie any knots on the line which are not there by your intention. Incorrectly tied knots seriously weaken the flying line.
ALWAYS check the security of knots before flying.
ALWAYS avoid touching the aerial / antenna when you are transmitting.
ALWAYS prevent anyone else from interfering with the kite or your equipment while you are operating.
First it is important to understand the forces which are involved with kites. The larger the kite the more it will lift but also the forces of nature acting on it will also be that much more difficult to contend with. A larger kite will fly in mild winds but it certainly will become tougher to handle in strong winds. Should you launch a large kite in reasonable wind and some time later the wind strength increases you could be in some difficulties whenever you attempt to recover it. However if you follow the advice given later you will have no difficulty. During the initial learning stages be sensible about the wind conditions you are attempting to fly in. The optimum size for a kite is its ability to lift things for any given wind and to be controllable by the operator. It is far easier to launch a kite into the air but it is another matter entirely when you wish to recover it. That is why this kite has been made to these dimensions it has to have a reasonable amount of lift and be within the ability of a single operator to safely fly it in the widest range of wind conditions.
Near trees and buildings there is always air turbulence where the wind is tunnelled or down draughts could upset the flying of your kite. If you fly upwind of the obstructions the kite is liable to become entangled in branches or obstructions on buildings. The wind close to the ground is usually not as smooth and laminar as it is higher up. Once the kite is airborne you will notice that it becomes steadier with height. You will also find that the wind is generally stronger the higher up the kite is flown and this can be felt with the increased pull on the flying line. Another thing to watch out for is the turbulence created by hills such turbulence can extend to a considerable height.
THE FLYING LINE
The choice of flying line is important. Braided fishing line is best and the required strength is 160Lbs. Do not be tempted into using cheap polypropylene line it will not stand up to the abuse kite flying will give it. Go to your nearest fishing tackle shop and consult with the shopkeeper. Use only the best available. 130Lbs line will do but reduces the safety margin.