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Bell Kite Project Blog

I am building a huge kite inspired by Alexander Graham Bell's historical models.  

Kite Telephony

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

One component of the kite project that I haven't talked about so far is telephony. I want the kite to function as a telecommunications devices in addition to looking like one. However, there are still many details that I need to work out.

There are lots of historical precedents for using kites as communication devices. Early kites were used for surveillance, and later kites were used to lift meteorological instruments. In 1901 Marconi used a kite to raise an antenna that received the first transatlantic wireless communication. Alexander Graham Bell did a lot of pioneering telephone work, however, to my knowledge he never combined his kite and telephone work.

As an experiment I've built a simple telephone intercom from this circuit design. It works great. It could be used for ground to kite communication, or ground to ground communication. I'm also thinking about incorporating a light weight radio scanner such as the this one. Scanners can receive many kinds of transmissions including analogue cellphone signals (this is apparently legal in Canada, though not in the US). I have a bunch of other unformed ideas as well.

I have thought about using kites as communication devices as well. I have written on paper and threaded the paper onto the kite's string so the message is pulled up to the kite. I have also let go of a kite's string, sending the message that I lost my kite. I wish I had lost the one with the written message and included my phone number ao i could get my kite back.
wow...the kite's really coming along.
i just came back from a textiles hunt on queen...came across some glittery sequins...i bet alexander graham bell didn't have sequins on his kites...
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