Over (NZ) Labor Weekend 2016, VK1AD Andrew and 2E0YYY Mike arranged for a Summit to Summit session between VK/ZL and Europe. I was keen to join the party from here in ZL and so decided it was time to activate Ranginui, not too far from home .
Unfortunately I was the only ZL in a position to be able to activate for the S2S. After arranging access with the very friendly trustees of Rangitoto Station and collecting the key, we made our way out for the weekend. We first activated Rangitoto summit (see other blog entry) and then made our way up Ranginui for the S2S QSO party.
I brought up some heavier radio equipment (FT847) with the hope of being able to run higher power output. Unfortunately the plan didn’t work as had I had hoped, and so it was back to the good ole trustee KX3. I managed to work a few VHF simplex contacts from town before having dinner, the kids were already tucking into the picnic.
After a bite to eat, I settled in to make what HF contacts I could. However the 6 VK stations I managed to work did not include any S2S. I was heard from summits however an S7 noise floor on 14 MHz limited my ability to hear QRP stations. Plenty of DX was heard on 7 MHz, however i could not seem to work or be heard by any summits.
Due to the change in temperature, and being on sun set along with not feeling 100% we vacated earlier than I would have liked, and possibly missed out on some 7 MHz S2S opportunities. However I did reach a milestone of making over 100 Activator points in less than one year. So the day was a success from that viewpoint.
As the sun was setting and the icy chill setting in well and truly for the night, I decided to call it a day, disappointed not to have made a single summit to summit contact, but many contacts all the same.
This link will take you to information regarding access and accommodation available on site, if you want to do more than play SOTA. (will open in a Word Document)
Summit – ZL1/WK-031 Ranginui
Height – 978 mASL
Access – 4wd Access to summit. Leave SH3 to Otewa Road. Right into Waimahora Road. Right into Owawenga Road. Travel to the end of this road through 4 gates then a locked gate. Carry on past the holiday house and turn right to head up to the summit. Zig zag road is steep in patches.
Nominal time to summit – Allow 2 hours from Otorohanga.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – 3g coverage.
Summit Marker – Trig station, radio tower.
Land Access Permission – Required from Ragitoto station. https://www.nfrt.org.nz/accomodation/rangitoto-station-accommodation/ – under day visitors. You will need a key.