This was my first SOTA activation, I'm normally what they call a chaser which means I'm a home station trying to reach the people sitting on the hill top.
A few months ago Warren ZL2AJ suggested that should try and give a activation he gave my Tapiae ZL1/MW-137 as this was one you could drive up to.
So my plans started first thing first need a radio so brought a Yaesu FT-818ND then made a home made 20/40m antenna with the help of Warren ZL2JML. I also had a backup antenna also which it turned out that I had to use the back up antenna on the day.
I contacted my good friend Kimberly ZL2KEJ and asked if she like to come along and she said yes as she also is interested in SOTA but hadn't been on a activation before herself.
We found a nice area off the road which allowed us plenty of room to park cars and setup an area to setup radio’s
Lucky for us Kimberly came better prepared than I. I hadn't thought about shade very well and was hopping there was going to be some but lucky for us she had a trap in her car
which made a nice make shift canopy to keep the sun of us, which did get a bit feisty with a couple of decent gusts of wind that we had go through. Weather couldn’t have been better, topping 30°C with nearly no cloud cover
Source - ZL2KEJ
She also brought a 6m flag pole which comes apart "mental note must get one" so that held one part of the antenna up and the end was held up with one of my poles in this case the telescopic one I have was no good this time for this activation.
Once we setup it was all go. I did a few calls to local ham’s signal reports from them wasn’t what I expected but they were local.
Just before 12pm I made my first of 13 contacts with 3 summit to summits.
Overall it was a great first activation and I was very happy with the result much better than I had expected for sure and there lots of laughs all around.
I’m now looking for more that I can drive to for now as my fitness is not up to climbing hills just yet.
Implementing what we learned from the New Years day outing so I don’t get the “I told you so” hi hi
Many thanks all who came out on New Years day and made contacts with myself and special thanks to Kimberly and her partner for the laughs and support on the day.
Hayden Sims - ZL2WD
Summit Information : ZL1 / MW-137
Latitude: -39.9941 , Longitude: 175.7227
Elevation: 592m, Grid Location: RF70ua
Trig location is on private property so access is required, however the road side falls within the activation zone so you can activate without requiring property access.
You can view ZL2KEJ write up here