New Guy on the Block,
I have been reading forums by the dozen and find it so remarkable that so much of our efforts at controlling the kite line involve laying it on the ground, pulling it in by hand, trying to keep hands from getting burned and scarred.
Over the last couple of years or so I developed and built a spool and reel system that I thought would be just the thing for regular kite flyers but I have had only a little response. Finally I came to the realization that this equipment is exactly what KAPers need to use if they want to launch and recover with utmost alacrity.
I have some photos that I will post as soon as I have a little time and help in doing it.
In the meantime, some information will help me to perfect the operation of my reels. I have flown kites for many years but never done KAP. I can predict that I will need to get going in the near future. The condition is obviously highly contagious.
Could one of you KAP vets tell me about the amount of line pull you normally experience and under what wind conditions. Do you have a method of testing the amount of pull? How much line do you normally play out? If the wind dies, how much time do you need in order to successfully recover your kite and equip. without crashing in the lake or neighbor's yard? What are the requirements for line strength, diameter, weight?
In my kite flying I have rarely had more than 18 Lb. pull, as tested with my fishing scale. I try to fly with the smallest Spectra line that will serve me safely depending on the conditions. If I don't need 200# line and 60# will do, there is less wind drag on the line, especially if I have a half mile out. In wind of over 15 MPH and using a 9 or 12 foot delta, I use 80# Spectra line and I might get over 18# of pull only because of the possibility of a sudden gust. My knots are always tied using a sleeve of strong hollow Dacron.
When reeling in a half mile of line with a 10 or 15 Lb. tension, the spool gets tons of compressive force, enough to crush most spool barrels. Never is a problem for me.
An earlier thread asked about testing line strength. If you use a pull scale to pull the line until it breaks, you will likely ruin the scale. So you should use a pulley suspended from a strong tree limb and borrow your kid's workout weights. Hang a hook on the line to be tested, running through the pulley and out to another tree several feet away. Start adding weights until the line breaks. Another revealing test is to have someone else add the weights while you hold the other end of the line. Then you will realize how hard it is to hold a kite with a 200 Lb. pull. As matter of fact, you will need help to even hold it with gloves on. Two hundred pounds will pull you right off your feet.
This testing method will also help you develop and tie a loop knot that will achieve the best strength. Ordinary knots usually weaken the line as much as 50%. No wonder they so often recommend using such strong kite lines. The hollow-line sleeve can be used on the loop attachment to the kite and also for line splicing. The strength is gained by internal friction and not by binding the line upon itself.
Many years ago, kite altitude records were achieved using piano wire. That was before the advent of miracle space-age fibers. Wire, mono-filament, and regular twine are too heavy and create excessive wind drag. Hollow Dacron also has too much drag. Spectra and the like are ideal for single line kiting at high altitude. Look at Bob Moore in Australia to see his calculations. His web site is kitesite dot com dot au/kiterecord/index dot html. Very Interesting Kiter.
I Am Frank Crane in San Jose, CA.