Wind Driven Kite Bubble Generator

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I was looking through the old Rec.Kites News Group Archives, when I can across an old (and untested) plan for a Bubble Generator to be attached to a kite line. The Author of the news article Peter Ulfheden <> kindly gave me permission to publish this plan....

Original Plan by Peter Ulfheden

Peter, in his reply also says...

`` I have ping-pong balls and some other stuff lying on a shelf but there has always been another kite that I had to make first ;-) ''

`` But I think I'll give it a try this summer. ''

The following is my own attempt at creating a kite bubble generator..

CAUTION: This Plan was a failure. I have left it here for comments and suggestions by other kite flyers. The bubbles were produced but burst on the edge of the container. Also the loops seemed to churn the bubble mix, foaming it into a big, and usless, mess.


ASIDE: All the above stuff totals under $10 Australian including the bubble mix.

Notes to keep in Mind

I (and Peter) would love to hear of any and all things you may try and weather it was successful or not.


Step 1 -- Rotor

[photo] 2 lengths of coat hanger wire was pushed through a bit of plastic tubing, right angles to each other. A smaller diameter is inserted into one end. The satay stick will be insterted into the smaller tube.

The ping pong balls were halved and a small hole bored through near the edge on opposite sides. A heated precision screw driver (or wire thinner than the coathanger wire), does a clean job of this.

The ping-pong balls are then pushed onto the end of the coat hanger wire of the rotor. NOTE: the ping-pong balls must face in the opposite direction on the ot Super glue the plastic tubes together and the ping pong balls. DO NOT glue the satay stick spindle into the smaller tube. This is never glued so that you can disassemble the generator.

Step 2 -- Container

[photo] A large oval shaped hole cut out of the side on the container leaving the lid and base completely alone. The hole should be almost but not quite half way around the container. Careful, the plastic of these freezer containers are very tough to cut. I Sliced my thumb while doing this :-(

A hole made on the base and lid (dead center) just large enough for the satay stick spindle to spin freely.

You may also like to cut out and wire a foam styrene `foot' for the container. This will stop the container spilling its contents when you sit it down on the ground. Though I added a `fin' to the styrofoam `foot' of the container, I am not sure if it will do any good or if it will just pop generated bubbles.

Step 3 -- Spindle

[photo] Measure the satay stick spindle in the container (through holes in base and lid) and mark the point where the middle of the container will be. Insure that you leave enough out each side of the container so that the rotors are clear. You may have to leave more on the lid side of the container.

Twist the pipe cleaners into loops and twist around the satay spindle at the mark. I found a little bit of extra wire helps. Check that the loops fit in the container and will spin freely. When satisfied superglue the pipe cleaners in place on the spindle. Do not superglue the loops themselves so that you don't destroy the fuzz.

NOTE: I used three hoops rather than the four of the original plan so that they do not interfere with each other. Two would probably also work.

Step 4 -- Generator

[photo] Open the lid of the container and put spindle inside. Push the rotors onto the end and trim the satay stick so that the loops were in the middle of the container, and the rotors were clear. I pushed a couple of the smaller plastic tubing to space the rotors away from the container.

[photo] Note the direction of the ping pong balls so that the loops move INTO the wind.

I also found that the wooden spindle did not hold the rotors very well so I covered the ends of it with super glue to seal the wood. I then I let that glue to dry completely before trying to push the rotors on again.

Step 5 -- Line Attachment

[photo]    [photo]
I had a old wood ruler handy which I used to wire/tape a hinge and kite line knobs. This handle is needed to keep the generator facing into the wind.

The Kite line is attached to the knobs with a rope ladder loop knot. Just loop the line once around each knob seems to hold it in place nicely.

Completed Generator


Dated: 11 May 1996
Updated: 11 May 1996
Author: Anthony Thyssen, <>