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[TowerTalk] Balloon as Temporary Tower for FD

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Balloon as Temporary Tower for FD
From: (Floyd Soo, W8RO)
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 13:16:41 -0400
Jonathan Kaplan wrote:

> Hi all,
>         I thought I would send a Kaymount weather balloon up about 100' as a
> temporary tower for Field Day. Any ideas, suggestions, cautions re: the
> kind of wire I should use for antenna (150watts max)? Any other comments
> are welcome. BTW I'll be in the middle of a field, no power lines for a
> quarter of mile in any direction.
> 73 and THNX
> Jonathan ko6xs

John, et al;

Balloons are OK for holding up wire antennas as long as you keep 2 things in
mind.  First, if the wind starts blowing, and you don't have it tethered (guyed)
in different directions; be prepared for the balloon to move around quite a bit.

Secondly,  there is always a voltage gradient that increases with altitude and
wind speed (with reference to ground).  If the wind is blowing (as it would be
for a kite supported wire), you must protect equipment and operators from
getting jolted!

At our USECA Field Days (the largest Field Day operations in North America), we
have had up to 3 WX balloons suppoting a full size 160M delta loop (as well as
300' wires with kites), not what I would call practical, but sure did turn a
bunch of heads!

Have fun and be careful!
Floyd Soo, W8RO
President, HI-RES Communications, Inc.
Past President, USECA
Net Manager, Collins Collectors Assn. (#002)
QRP-L (#396)

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