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Night Fly Kites


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9 replies to this topic

#1 aboutkites

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:30 AM

The subject of night flys has come up and a request has been made to create an area for the discussion of thier use.

I would start off by saying over the years people have tried various lighting systems from using glow sticks taped on to very fancy grain or wheat or led lights on Hawaiian team kites. The simple light system generally gave you an option of a flasher or steady lights and that was about it. You make the kite loop and dive to streak the light thru the sky. I can remember using an original Joel Shultz Sky Delight f -15 with a strobe light flying on the seawall in galveston. Nearby traffic thought it was a real plane comming in for an emergency landing and often stopped when it flew overhead. OF course years later we would never consider that stunt again.

The latest addition is a microchip sequencer that has several programmed patterns and it repeats each pattern numerous times before moving on to the next. My 20 foot delta with 1152 multi color led's puts on a Vegas Sign style light show. The other big development is in the Lithium rechargable batteries. The larger pack is about $75.00 and lasts several hours with a big load.

As mentioned earlier the easy start would be a few glow sticks taped to the kite for an interesting night effect. Gary has a catherine's wheel set with several mini sticks placed in pockets that creates a unique look that is simple to install. Other people have used straight off the counter battery strobe and led light strings found at Halloween and christmas to dress up thier kites at a relatively low investment.

You can really step it up when you add the computer controller and instead of just a flash the lights sequence and change colors.

The largest concern is that Lithium batteries have an overheating issue as Boeing has found out. Most have a thermister in the pack to turn the charge off when they heat up and back on as it cools down until its fully charged. You should remove it from the kite before charging and consider the fire hazard when its plugged in. A metal pan in the garage is a good place to charge them.


So the questions are: What is your experience with LED kites?

How did you make you own and what hints can you offer to get other people started.

Should night flying be a new after the dinner relax and fly activity during the festivals?

And most important how much tin foil should you wear on your head while the aliens are flying in your area. Yes the kites have caused numerous sightings so should we have a general rule not to fly them around trailer parks?

#2 Captain Aether

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:25 AM

I would love to see that night kite in action. Did you make a sharable video clip?
I am prepping for my first excursion to WSIKF13. I want to be in on the night fly. I'd like to fly every night at the festival, provided I'm not wiped out from the day's events.
I've got one coming in from China @ 588 LED. When I get it opened up. I'll post a picture in the clubhouse.
BTW, funny stuff at the end of the message, but I do appreciate the more serious undertone there.
Cpt. A.

#3 complex

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:25 AM

Night flying should be the default kite fly! <brag>The Midnight Squadron Kite Club was built around the idea.</brag> We lost our association with the college, which let us fly there at night, so the biggest challenges to night flying are police enforcement of 'Dusk til Dawn' closures and, well, club members having small children now.

Festivals like MIKE and Wildwood (MD & NJ) seem to have night flies regularly.

Back in 2009, I met a guy at ... MIKE? Sunfest? (both in MD) who won the best kite lighting award for his programmable mercury-switched lighting system for stunt kites. When it didn't get jarred around too much, it would change the lighting based on how the kite was turned. Myself, I personally prefer to fly unlit kites at night.

p.s. Oh yeah, I vaguely remember seeing something about a UFO-believers convention in Arlington, VA, and some group wanting to spoof some UFOs for them. A well lit UFO kite would do well...

#4 Captain Aether

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:11 PM

This message repeats one that wound up elsewhere. RiteAid, Walgreens and KMart sell Halloween styrofoam LED glowsticks that are perfect for night kite use. The styrofoam tube need not be removed. The lights are within the tube.
Make sure the stick has a cardboard insert separating the batteries. Its near the on/off button.

#5 Andrew Beattie

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 03:02 PM

I love seeing kites with lights sparkling against the inky blackness amongst the stars on a clear night.

But please don't tell the festival organiser. Every single one of them thinks "Night flight - I'll bring in some spotlights and flood lights" and ruins the entire effect.

#6 Andrew Beattie

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 03:09 PM

Peter Lynn has started using LEDs with sequencers in their inflateables. The LEDs are stuck to the top skin using velcro and project onto the bottom skin. Looks great on our space racer:

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#7 Captain Aether

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 10:55 PM

OMG! That is really cool! You have excellent taste in kites! I'm guessing a 7.2 volt system.

Cpt.A.

#8 Andrew Beattie

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:34 AM

I'm guessing a 7.2 volt system.


Yup.

Had it out last night for the local firework display. Flat calm :-(

Andrew

#9 Jim Martin

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:16 PM

Capt Aether mentioned these foam light sticks from various sources, usually in retail outlts arounf Halloween in the US, but also available online year round, for raves and other purposes.

Here's what I do with them to convert to kite lights:

 

http://public.fotki....ssively-big-li/


Jim
\\\"I see an old man making giant kites, and gazing at them in the sky with a wonder for which there are no words.\\\"

#10 aboutkites

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 10:29 PM

We have an annual beach fun fly in the memory of one of our cherished members. Its a few weeks before Halloween so lots of lights are available. You can check out the photos at aboutkite.phanfare.com . the big delta has 1152 lights and a computer controlled sequencer that has numerous patterns that repeat and then it moves to the next one. The light is so bright that you can watch the display looking down at the reflection off the sand. Depending on the direction of the wind we also have been known to launch a few lanterns but prefer them to head for the offshore platforms instead of the marsh grass on the back of the island. Galvestons main street, Seewall Boulevard comes to a stop with the folks stopping to take photos when we fly next to the road so the club normally heads to a wider section where we don't cause as many traffic problems.






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