Tetrahedral Kites

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yogi
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Tetrahedral Kites

Post by yogi » 31 May 2018, 19:30

Alexander Graham Bell is best known for his inventing the telephone. But, that's not all he did. One of his projects had to do with flying kites. I found this amazing article with some astounding photos to describe what he did.

https://publicdomainreview.org/collecti ... es-1903-9/

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Kellemora
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by Kellemora » 01 Jun 2018, 11:08

I used to build a lot of tetrahedral kites, mainly because they fly higher than the rest.

One of my favorites to build for days when there was little wind, was kites made from soda straws and food service film.
Large or small, it didn't matter, they would fly in the lightest breeze.

Place a large stuffed teddy bear in the center of a compound kite once, and it even surprised me how well it flew.

One of the fun things we used to do was fly simple brown paper bags. With the proper cut from the bottom, a small rock tossed inside, and a double tether tied to the front, they would always go up. Doesn't mean they would stay up, because once they got high enough, the angle changed and they would lose the rock and come spiraling back down again.

Another fun thing to do was to grab a phone book, and add one page at a time to a flying kite, and let each page slide up the string to the kite. Whoever could get the most pages up to the kite before it was too heavy to fly was the winner.

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yogi
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by yogi » 01 Jun 2018, 11:30

Your childhood was a lot more interesting than mine. The first kite I built was of conventional design made from newspaper, straws, and a rag tail. Getting that tail to the right proportions was the challenge. Of course you don't need a tail for tetrahedral kites, but then the only exposure I had to those things was a box kite I could buy at the local Ben Franklin store. It never occurred to me to send anything up the string. I admire your creativity.
Last edited by yogi on 02 Jun 2018, 08:14, edited 1 time in total.

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pilvikki
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by pilvikki » 02 Jun 2018, 03:16

i was wondering what the point of all that work in building them was, but it appears you've answered my question...

:think: :think:

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Kellemora
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by Kellemora » 03 Jun 2018, 11:41

Childhood heck, most of my kite flying days were in the 1990's.
I brought several of my ripstop nylon kites down here to TN with me, but never found a suitable place to fly a kite here.
Probably due to the mountains and multiple directions the wind blows at the same time.
If we go out to one of the lakes, none are close by, I usually bring a small kite or two with me.
I've always enjoyed the little diamond kites with a tail, and also the paper and balsa box kites.
It is from these simple box kites you can improvise and add half-diamonds on each side, or make the top and bottom sections tetrahedral style assemblies.
Kites are how I got some of my high 160 meter dipoles up over tall light standards.
Or over trees on Ham Radio Field Day events. It was safer than using a bow and arrow as some did, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by yogi » 03 Jun 2018, 12:10

I can't imagine using a dipole at 160 meters. Even a quarter wave antenna would be over 130 feet long. That must have been some humongously large kite to lift all that copper over the light poles.

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Kellemora
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by Kellemora » 04 Jun 2018, 11:42

Ha ha Yogi, it's not done that way.
You drop the kite once it is over the light standard, then use the kite string to pull up a light nylon line, then use the nylon line to pull up an anchor rope. You do this same thing on another light standard.
Once you have an anchor rope draped over both light standards, then you bring out the dipole and connect each end to the two ropes and pull the antenna into place, centered between the two light standards.
The center should be over a place, like a building, where you can feed the coax down without it being in the way of anything.
I should tell you about the time I lived in an apartment complex where no outdoor antenna's were allowed.
The number of antenna's I had outside was phenomenal, and nobody was the wiser they were up there.
I built a wishing well type water fountain in my backyard near the steps down to the parking lot.
It was to replace the broken off light pole that lit the steps to the parking lot.
I made the new light pole a part of my wishing well, but in reality, it was a 10-meter antenna.

When something of a common nature is up in the air long enough, people ignore it.
Such as an abandoned Cable TV Coax running over the top of the buildings, converted to a 40 or 80 meter dipole.
Gutters used as dipoles. Downspouts used as verticals, etc. You get the picture.

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pilvikki
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by pilvikki » 05 Jun 2018, 16:15

:whistle: :lol: :lol: :whistle: :lmao3:

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yogi
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by yogi » 05 Jun 2018, 17:26

I've heard stories about using things other than copper wire for antennas. It must have been a heck of a challenge to match your rain gutter impedance to the output transformer of your rig. I never worried too much about that because my setup was more or less conventional. But, the greater the mismatch the greater the loss, not to mention the increased possibility of RF interference with your neighbors' television. How did you handle those problems?

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Kellemora
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Re: Tetrahedral Kites

Post by Kellemora » 06 Jun 2018, 10:45

I only had an interference problem twice in five years of living there. Both times I simply installed a bandpass filter on their TV. They did not know I might have been the source of their interference, they just knew I worked on electronics and could solve their problem, these were the only two not on cable TV, hi hi.
As far as using the gutters goes, I only used the ones that were close to the right length, and insulated sections from each other using PVC spacers instead of aluminum spacers and joiners. Also, it was rare for me to be on a band where the gutters were used. Although I did often use the downspout on my back corner of the building.
Most of my work back then was on the 40 and 80 meter dipoles, and the ten meter vertical away from the buildings.
Plus the 2-meter, 220 and 440 rigs which I ran at about 250mw is all into a local repeater.

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