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Huts of the Air - HOTA.

A New Zealand take on the amateur radio passtime of travelling to remote summits (SOTA), islands (IOTA), parks (POTA) for the purpose of radio communication.

New Zealand has over 950 public backcountry huts managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and uncounted other private and club huts scattered through the high country. And, lets face it - hauling you radio gear to the nearest DOC hut is cheaper than sailing it to a remote island. And sitting at the table by the fire in a cozy hut is far more comfortable than clinging to some remote mountain summit whist the wind and rain try to destroy your shelter, radio and will to live.

So take on the challenge. Test your ability to operate in remote locations with portable, low-power equipment. Or test your ability to work those back country, low power stations at your own home QTH with the challenges of the noisy domestic, urban environment.

The Rules

  1. A single contact either from or to a backcountry hut is all it takes to 'bag' that hut and add it to your tally.
  2. A single contact either from or to a conservation area is all it takes to 'bag' that park and add it to your tally.
  3. The first person to bag a hut or park gets bragging rights for having activated that location.
  4. Log your contact to/from a hut or park recording (at minimum): time, date, frequency, mode, both callsigns, location of each party, and both signal reports.
  5. There will be awards for reaching specific tallys (10,20,etc - to come)
  6. The competition is open-ended and has no closing date.
  7. Historic (pre 2020) contacts can be included
  8. Huts must be either DOC or club huts or off-grid, back country private huts to qualify.
  9. You can still bag the park even if you're not in a hut - just record your location and choose the park you are in.
  10. QRP or QRO - all welcome. It's your call how much radio gear you wish to lug into the backcountry!

Recommended Frequencies

You can use any frequency of mode you wish - inlcuding repeater operation. However - the following HF SSB frequencies can be considered 'recommended'. These are the SOTA frequency for each band, with the QRP SSB frequency. See the official unofficial SOTA frequency list for CW, VHF and UHF options

Band SOTA Frequency QRP SSB Frequency
80m 3.585 3.690
40m 7.090 7.285
20m 14.310 14.285
15m 21.300 21.385
10m 28.480 28.385

So what do I do?

First register on the site by clicking 'Sign Up' in the header bar.

Second, record your contacts by clicking on the Add Contact button under 'My Contacts'

And that's about it. You can add more huts if you want - please email me if you want editor permissions adding to your account - they are disabled by default to prevent mischief. Use the Add button under 'huts'. All DOC-administered parks are currently present on the site. I may try an add council-run regional parks later, if I can find a source for the boundaries. Let me know if there is any specific park you want that is missing.

Contact mattbriggs@yahoo.com with questions.

73s de ZL4NVW


Includes icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com licensed by CC 3.0 BY
Includes icons made by surang from www.flaticon.com licensed by CC 3.0 BY
Includes icons made by Dave Gandy from www.flaticon.com
Thanks always to Daniel Azuma for his work and tutorials on RGeo
And to Michael Hartl for his priceless (but no longer free) guide to Ruby on Rails