A couple of minutes ago, I got an e-mail from John, KD8MKE, who wrote:
I had this crazy idea that you could use a quad copter to hold up a dipole antenna AND power the quad from the ground (to save the battery weight). Ed pointed out that the cable would weigh quite a bit, which is a good point. Modern quads are remarkably steady when they are in loiter mode.
I wondered if you had heard of someone doing something like this at a Field day? Seems like it would be handy if you didn’t have a tree or other structure to use as a peak.
I haven’t heard about the use of copters for actually supporting the antennas, but there has been talk about using them for getting ropes into trees.
In the past, people have used balloons to support vertical antennas. With a vertical, you’d need only support the wire itself, not the feedline. A 160m vertical would be about 133 ft. long. How far up can these things go? How long do you think they would stay in the air?
I thought about this for a bit, and it occurred to me that next year we should do a Maker Field Day. The idea would be to incorporate as many “maker” projects as we can think of into it. Copters are a big maker thing, so that certainly qualifies. Another idea that I had for a maker ham radio project is to use 3D printing to make a “cootie key” or a paddle.
What are some others?