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fire sculpture antenna? (2 replies)

4 months ago
M6LHT 4 months ago

I am looking into the possibility of building a fire sculpture that can be a working antenna. Can anyone recommend a self-build antenna/rig style that could be clad in (probably fibreglass) fire rope (could be the supporting structure or could require a supporting structure) and still work? It wouldn't have to survive the experience, but work long enough to receive - and if possible to transmit. Band/mode/distance unimportant at this point. Low power & safety essential. Will need robust protection between antenna and kit, but again I don't know what that would have to be yet beyond physical cooling/way to break if spikes etc. Kit could be as unfancy as a pixie. If anyone can give me any pointers I'd appreciate it. Note I am experienced with fire sculpture but pretty new to radio - I am at the start of this journey and making the initial enquiries, and will ABSOLUTELY NOT attempt anything until all safety aspects are covered/checked/built by those with the right expertise. Any pointers welcome, safe in the knowledge you will not be sending me to my doom! 

Paul M0XMT
4 months ago
Paul M0XMT 4 months ago

Ok I'm a bit new to fire sculptures. You are talking about a metal basket with a fire in it? Almost any bit of metal can be matched to a rig but getting it to work efficiently is another thing. The first thing that springs to mind is a discone upside down. What frequencies were you thinking of trying? On safety I'm not sure what is more dangerous 10W of RF or the fire!

4 months ago
M0PZT 4 months ago

What a brave/fun idea - Developing upon Paul's discone idea, there is such a thing as a "Chicken-wire Discone". It could be possible to have a part (or a self-contained) structure (eg: basketball sized) made out of chicken-wire with a vertical aerial on top. You could use a simple 433MHz module such as a balloon payload (Chris M6EDF' expertise).

Remember that the Pixie, being on 40m, would need a fair amount of metal to work over a decent distance - so 17cm of aerial wire/rod (for 433MHz) may be preferable.  Also, the balloon payload would transmit data that anybody with a dongle could receive/decode.  I would imagine that the onboard temperate sensor would provide a good visual display during "ignition" :)  Also, unless you short-out the key input on the Pixie (for a continuous tone), you would require an external keyer (Arduino Nano/PIC) to "send the Morse".

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