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spiff

Looking for giant reel ideas

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Hello all

 

I'm hoping someone can help, I'm looking for either a premade or a decent repurposing application for getting a high capacity reel with features like a ratchet.  I bought a nice premade kite reel with a break and ratchet, but I can't only get about 2500 feet onto it. (200lb)   I would like to find or make something that can hold a couple miles worth of line.  It would have to be very durable so as to not collapse under tight wound conditions.  The best things I'm finding so far are cable spools for fencing, which the wind ratio is suspect for pulling in a 12ft kite,  and maybe some cable holders, which I don't think are beefy enough.  I was also thinking of looking at tire/wheel hubs as a possible DIY spool base but I don't have a good ratchet mechanism to match to it.

 

Thanks in advance

Spiff

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I don't have ideas for them, but "a couple mile's worth of line" is not typical for kites.  That is a lot of line.

Most nations have a maximum height limit before additional regulations kick in. In the US that's 400 feet.  In the UK that's 60 meters, about 200 feet.  Other nations all have similar restrictions. Anything over those heights requires clearance from the local aviation authority like the FAA or CAA/CAO or similar.

Being at "a couple miles" puts you in the flight path of non-commercial flights, and 5 miles gets you to where commercial jets fly. Low-flying flights like medical helicopters or areal surveys commonly have a 1000 foot / 300 meter flight height. 

Because kites fly at an angle you can have a little more line than that, that's often around 500-600 feet of line before hitting the 400' flight ceiling.

 

Also, reaching those heights will have significant other issues, atmospheric winds are different than what you get near the ground. Extremely high winds are common, with air currents reaching what would be tornado speeds if they were on the ground. High altitude streams and jet streams can reach several hundred miles per hour. 

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Thanks Frob, good points.  Bummer though.  That was going to be part of the anticipated excitement when I got this big kite was to see how far I can let this bad-boy out.   Oh well.   I'll have to learn to be happy with what I'm using.

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how far is an easy answer.  stratosphere and if you will hit that nothing will keep that kite anchored assuming you don't loosing it at around  1500 fits 

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Well, I just couldn’t get this idea out of my head.  I have been happy with the 3000 ft that my current reel holds, but now reached limitations on leverage and structural integrity which is still prompting me to look for alternatives.  Emma kites largest reel made dealing with a 12ft kite on windy days manageable so I tried a 16 ft delta and wound up bending the axle bolt all to hell.  I straightened it back out on a vice after taking it apart, but it clearly has limits.

 

I think I found the perfect platform:  a kids bike frame!  Cut it down to about 3-3.5 ft, put crossbars at the top and bottom.  A built in coaster brake gives potential possibilities, but it would also be easy to incorporate a disk brake like the Emma reel has.  Put eye bolts on each end of the bottom crossbar so you can either just stand on the crossbar or anchor it straight into the ground.  Best of both worlds!  Not too heavy to strap to the waist, but also tough enough to serve as an anchor.

 

For leverage I’m picturing a foldout knob that effectively doubles the outer ratio that should allow one to crank in even a seriously hard pulling kite.  Have a normal knob opposite for normal speed reeling,  For a reel I found some nice pneumatic lawn and tractor tire hubs that are a perfect compromise of size and weight.  No more worry about bending a quarter inch bolt.  I guess one would have to worry about getting hit by the extra long winding lever, so having controls for either hand will have to be in place.. a two handed brake most likely.

 

It would also be future proof, having both sides of the axle hub to take advantage of to easily incorporate a ratchet and disk brake.  Other thoughts that I haven’t fully visualized in my head yet, one could possibly take advantage of existing gear systems, internal ratchets, and maybe even a built in pulley system between the two crossbars for extreme situations.

 

Now to find an old bike frame and brush up on some rusty welding skills.

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mounted on a revolving base seat which is then affixed to the bed of your pick-up truck, like for landing the big one on a fishing excursion but no standing necessary!

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These are fairly popular in the far east. You can spend a little or alot on these. I got to try one it was pretty impressive, you can really make a kite dance with these. Probably easier than trying to reinvent the wheel chopping up an old bike.-1277122618-599112492.jpeg

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using KiteLife mobile app

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Thanks.. yep, that's exactly the one I was talking about that I bent all to hell.  The axle bolt is only .25 inch.. way too weak to take the leveraging forces that the rest of the unit can generate.  Even my 12ft kite can bend the bolt if using the handles in high winds, which is primarily what gives the damaging sideways torque that does the damage.  The trick is not use the handles, but just grab the outer edge to wind it in as then the forces are exactly perpendicular to the axle bolt.  This is what I do now if my kites are generating bolt bending forces.  Its obviously way more of an issue when flying an even bigger kite.   I almost can't use the handles at all when flying my 16ft delta.

It is a nice reel otherwise... it holds 3000ft of 300lb Hurcules 1.2MM line with about perfectly, with about .75 inch to spare.   I'm happy with that.

 

The bolt shaft is also keyed.. that got all gouged out too and was barely reusable.

 

I still haven't found a bike frame yet.  I don't want to pay for anything for this project.. so I keep hoping I'll find one curb side one day somewhere.

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