Playing with Kestrel 3 over the weekend has got me thinking about what other uses kites can have. There is a kite festival held out in one of the villages every year and I would really like to go to this years if I haven’t already missed it (its not widely advertised unfortunately – you just stumble on it as we did a couple of years back). I thought about what use a kite could serve at such an event and came up with the idea of a kite radio transmitter. When I had my allotment shed I rigged up a little radio transmitter from a hacked iTrip and was able to boost its range covering the majority of the plots and its a similar set up, coupled with a small mp3 player which would work great when sent up in the air care of kite.
The main advantage of transmitting from the air is that you can increase the broadcasting range as there are no obstacles like buildings to get in the way. Another way to increase range would be aerial length. I read an article recently on how mobile phone companies were able to make their phones without an aerial. All phone aerials have to be of a certain length so building a conventional aerial into a modern compact phone was impossible and the problem was overcome by them actually printing it as part of the circuit board, very clever. I’m think the same thing can be applied to my kite transmitter. Its aerial could be printed along the kite’s wings edges, increasing its length whilst reducing weight.