As the year ticked over from 2015 to 2016 Warrens adventures with SOTA were not about to go astray just because we were restricted on where we could be. Warrens work life and a few associated hiccups have meant an extended period on call this holiday season, including having to push back our holiday to the Hawkes Bay, to visit friends and family and of course activate a few summits. Apparently there are a few local Hams who are keen to see how SOTA works and are looking to join us on a few summits when we activate them over the next few weeks. If thats you, we look forward to seeing you in due course. If you are in the Hawkes Bay region and want to see how SOTA works first hand, get in touch with Warren (best done by either email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via facebook, otherwise give him a call if you have his number). You never know your attendance may even see you feature on our blog!
Today’s SOTA activation saw us stray not too far from home and onto private land to find Summit Zl1/WK-188. Warren had stopped in on his way home to see the local farmer yesterday after work and gain permission to access the site on top of Puketarata, not far from Otorohanga. This was another drive to summit that was reasonably easy to get to, although the last bit of the drive to the summit was a bit of a mission due to no real track in place, steep slopes and slippery grass. You certainly need a 4WD if you are planning to visit this summit.
Activating today was something that many in the SOTA world were out and about doing as the clocks ticked over from 2015 and into 2016 UTC time, meaning that you could activate the summit twice and score points on both sides. Spread across both activations Warren managed to make 21 contacts, Including 5 summit to summit contacts. Thanks to those who were about and on the air, in particular John who was sitting on another Waikato summit (ZL1/WK-153) not far from us and was in contact with us a fair bit trying to hook Warren through to some of the VK SOTA gang. Of course thanks also to those who were watching the ZL-SOTA facebook group and helping out via there with where Warren was at with his activation and frequencies.
Warren had modified his dipole with break links to change bands. This allowed him to work on different frequencies and worked well except when he forgot to change the links (Doh!). Warren took a couple of extra aerials up in the hope of working some 50 and 144 DX but left the all important box of adapters at home so they did not get deployed, ive told him he needs to sort himself out and make a list of things to take on our adventures, to avoid such things. In the end we packed up and left the summit around 1500hrs just as the rain started to set in for a short time.
Summit height – 229 m
Access from 1356 Otorohanga Road, SH3.
Nominal time to summit – 5 minutes drive, 1 minute walk
Summit marker – trig station.
Land access permission – required from land owner or share milker (who lives at this address).