The Kite and Balloon Antenna Site

Featuring 'Lifted' Solutions for the Low Bands


Some of the Low Band 'Aerial' Antenna Information You Will Find Here:
Page Two, My Kite and Balloon Lifted Antennas
Page Three, All About 'Aerial' Antennas
Page Four, Kites as Lifters, The Background
Page Five, Balloon Lifted Antennas and General Flight Safety Issues
Page Six, Winches and Rigging for Kite and Balloon Antennas 
Page Seven, The Full Wave 160 Delta Loop...It Worked Well.
Page Eight, Miscellaneous Aerial Antenna Information 


The Call Now is YB5AQB

Plus YI9CC and 9M2/G4VGO

Balloon Lifted Antennas Come to South East Asia


My name is Bob, and my activity on Top Band goes back almost 30 years.    I am now operating from Batam Island as well as Jakarta in Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.  My  new contracts will be for quite a long time.

I was in Kuwait as 9K2/KY0C for a while early in 2007, in addition to YI9CC/5 in Basra, Iraq.  Needless to say it is nice to be out of YI9 and back to Indonesia and Malaysia. I did make quite a few Top Band QSO's from YI9CC/5 and all can be QSL'd through my manager Petr - Ok1DOT. The operation from Basra was the first time that I had recceive antennas blown up by unfriendly neighbours!!

From YB5AQB I am usually on 1824.8 or 1828.8 for two hours before my sunrise (about 2130Z to 2330Z) but not much has been coming through to this part of the world.  The new season is under way so here's hoping for a good one!!!!

I have used a set of PVC balloons and hydrogen (much cheaper than helium here in Indonesia). Using this combination I successfully tested a balloon launched vertical up 55 metres both in Jakarta and Batam.  This will be the antenna used when conditions permit - weather mostly the limiting factor.

The first attempt in Jakarta netted KH6 for a new one on 160m and the Batam first balloon antenna effort put three more new ones in the  log so the altitude does help!  After that several more new ones were worked using an 'aerial' antenna including a long path east coast USA QSO with Bill W4ZV.

When the balloon can't go up, the low band transmit antenna in YB5 (Batam Island) as well as in Jakarta are both 160m inverted L's up 15 metres and out 25 metres. So far from Indonesia the 160 metre DXCC total is 90 DXCC entities and 32 zones.  If you need YB on Top Band, email me for a sked.  Please remember you are hearing me better than I am hearing you so be patient.  The QRN is never below S5 and QSB is also a constant problem. Please use medium speed (16 to 20 wpm) CW and send your call several times.  If there is a pile up, SPREAD OUT.  I tune up and down from my QRG all the time after a CQ or a logged contact.

In addition, CW on 80,and 40 metres still get a lot of attention as the QRN on 160m here in the tropics is hard. RTTY and PSK31 on the higher bands are also worked quite often with the WARC bands getting particular attention.

Batam Island is IOTA OC-075, and is about 35 miles due south of Singapore.  V8, Brunei, is not that far away and there may be trips there for contest weekends and some low band operation as well.

I was living and working in Singapore from April 2003 until that project finished in March of 2005.   During the first season (2003-2004) 91 DXCC entities and 30 zones were worked on Top Band.  The final total on 160 metres for 9V1GO was 119 DXCC countries in the log with 36 zones. Conditions were off and on in the 2004-2005 season, but when they were on, it was GREAT!  A total of 1248 discrete calls were logged on 160m from 9V1GO, out of a total of more than 2,500 QSO's on Top Band.  If you think you have worked me from 9V1GO, you can check the logs at and look under my call. There are more than 14,000 QSOs on the site for the Singapore operation since September of 2003

For all QSO's from 9V or YB, please QSL DIRECT ONLY to my manager OK1DOT - Petr.  His address is available at QRZ.COM.

Now, for a history little about the old G4VGO:



In "G" land, Top Band was my O-N-L-Y band, and I was active on 160 beginning  in back in 1984. Shortly after coming to the UK in 1980 I was issued the reciprocal call G5EPD. A few years later it was changed to G4VGO.  That has been my call in the UK since then. In 1985, I managed to confirm 102 countries and received 160 Meter DXCC Certificate #269. Since then the total increased to 224 with 39 zones. The entire country total was on CW.

For the last few years in that I was in England I was fortunate enough to live on a piece of land with wide-open space (when I get home). The farm was in the middle of countryside, not far from the North Sea coast and with more than enough room for beverages, and tall masts.  Although the necessity for kite and balloon lifted antennas was not so acute with space in every direction and no neighbours to worry about, I still really enjoyed putting the wire high up in the air.  The chances of increasing your score in a Top Band contest or pushing the country total higher go up by about the square of the height of the antenna on 160.

My job is a telecommunications consultant and I work mainly with mobile networks. This profession has taken me all over the world.  I have deployed networks on all continents but Antarctica and came close to there when we put a site in very southern Argentina.  It is fortunate that my hobby and my work both involve radio and I enjoy both very much.

In 1997, I was EI7IU in Naas in county Kildare, just outside of Dublin. In seven months I managed to work more than a hundred countries on Top Band including Myanmar and a few other rare ones with 150 watts and a 14 metre 'T' antenna.

For about eight months in 1999 I was LU/KY0C in Buenos Aires while working there. Conditions were terrible in the noisy city environment, but regular QSO's with W8JI and other USA big guns were the norm. It was good to get back to the UK, to low noise and better propagation.

In 2001 I spent five months in Israel as 4X/G4VGO and with 25 watts to a full sized 160 metre sloper and two Pennant receive antennas managed to work more than fifty countries including the USA and Canada. Again, Israel was a very noisy location with poor summertime propagation.

I also worked in Sweden in SM Land (SM0/G4VGO). I was there for about six months in the last half of 2002.  While staying in Kista near Stockholm I worked 42 countries with a marginal antenna and very low power.  I didn't have such good antenna possibilities, but as the nights got longer, DX picked up a bit.

The 'Old' Home Shack

This is was the home QTH operating position at G4VGO. I tried every top end transceiver in the world, and for several years used FT1000Ds as the mainstay. For a while, I used an FT1000MP, but went back to the 1000D. I also bought an ICOM IC746Pro to try, and after exhaustive trials on Top Band, sold one of my FT1000D's and opted for the 746Pro. It was a good transceiver, but then I had a chance to try the Ten Tec Omni VI.  After a few nights on 160m CW, I decided I should have gone with the Omni VI years is AWESOME on CW receive.  For CW, I used the Omni VI, but for SSB, the D104 and the TS830S were a very good combination.  The old Kenwood has done well in many SSB contests on Top Band. 

I used Beverage and Pennant antennas for receive. An east Beverage was on Asia and the Pacific one and a half wavelengths long on 160.... a pair of phased end-fire Beverages to the northwest on North America, one and a half wavelengths long and a south Beverage one wavelength long took care of the main DX directions. The Pennant receive antennas looked southeast and northeast as 'gap fillers' on Africa and deep Asia.  Beverages and Pennants at that quiet location gave me a whole new level of weak signal capability that I had forgotten existed.  They also gave me a front to back ratio that got rid of the European key clicks and LIDS that can drive you nuts.