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[TowerTalk] Helium Balloon-Supported Antenna

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Helium Balloon-Supported Antenna
From: (Floyd Soo, W8RO)
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 02:07:31 -0800
Allan K Chapman wrote:
> Need information on balloon-supported antennas, and would like to hear
> from anyone with info regarding uses of helium balloons to support wire
> antennas.
> Gibson Girl emergency radios used the "kytoon" to support long wire
> antenna. That kytoon had airfoils producing lift offsetting the
> tendency of the tethered balloon to be blown down in strong winds.
> My need is very similar to that, with total payload weight under 100
> grams (4 ounces).  Duration of flight  several days.
> If you have experience with kytoons as sky hooks, and especially if
> you can help locate a source (better than weather balloons), your reply
> will be appreciated.  73  Allan  W6MEO


My only suggestion to you regarding balloon or kite supported antennas
is this:  They had better be well grounded!  There may be 2 things you
will have to deal with.  First, if there is wind blowing, it will
probably induce quite a charge on the wire.  Second, depending on how
high the antenna goes up, there is a charge gradient of sorts that will
also induce a charge on the wire.  These charges are enough to give you
a hell of a poke or possibly damage static sensitive gear.

That's my .02 worth from experience with both support systems!

Floyd Soo, W8RO
President, HI-RES Communications, Inc.
Net Manager and Board Member, Collins Collectors Association (#002)
QRP-L #392

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