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SMS Gateway for Lakes, Parks, etc

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-10-08

I have set up an NZ SMS gateway for spotting and alerting Lakes, huts, parks, etc.  This is a test version at present. Please try it out & let me know of any issues.

You will need to have an ontheair.nz account and register your phone number in the 'mobile phone' field in your profile.
Note that mobile number you register against your account must be in E.164 format (e.g. +64272030405)

The phone number of the gateway is:
027 3105319

The SPOT format is:
spot <callsign> <reference> <freq MHz> <mode> <comments>

e.g. send an SMS with:
spot ZL4NVW ZLL/0001 3.690 SSB cq cq

The alert format is:
alert <callsign> <reference> <freq MHz> <mode> <yyyy-mm-dd> <hh:mm> <comments>

alert ZL4NVW ZLL/0001 3.690 SSB 2022-10-06 01:00 Quick lake activation!

  • All spots and alerts will be forwarded to both ontheair.nz and parksnpeaks.com.
  • If 'comments' contains the word 'test' then the alert will be uploaded but not emailed out or sent to ParksNPeaks.
       e.g. spot ZL4NVW ZLL/0001 3.690 SSB test spot
  • Please do not use this for SOTA - use the official SOTAWatch site for SOTA spots and alerts.

New POTA and WWFF parks

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-09-09

The latest additions to POTA and WWFF are now shown on ontheair.nz.   That's:
  • 3 new POTA parks - total now 245
  • 191 new WWFF parks - total now 233
The main difference between the 2 schemes is currently that POTA includes regional parks.

Users who have qualified for the worked-all-district or worked-all region award for districts/regions with new parks will see that their award is still listed but marked as 'expired'.
Note that whilst past activations of new POTA parks can be claimed, WWFF parks can only be activated from the day they were added to the WWFF database.

Importing contacts from SOTA

ZL4NVW posted in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-08-20

You can now easily import your existing SOTA contacts into ontheair.   This allows you to claim the ZLOTA, WWFF and POTA parks that you also activated whilst making a SOTA activation.

In the sotadata website, you can download your logs by clicking 'Download' or 'Download compete log' on the My Results -> Activator log / S2S Log / Chaser Log pages.

In ontheair, you can upload the .csv file that SOTA gave you in My Logs -> Upload.  A log will be created against your ontheair account for each activation, and the associated POTA, WWFF and ZLOTA parks for each summit will automatically be included.

Show My Location

ZL4NVW posted in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-08-04

You can now view your current location on the ontheair.nz map on GPS-enabled devices (i.e. phones). Simply click on the double-ringed crosshairs at the top of the map.  Your location will show as a pink circle.  Handy for working out if you're in that activation zone or not!

Multiple callsigns

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-07-28

I've made changed to allow support for multiple callsigns per user, and the fact that the same callsigns belong to different people over time.

You should see no differences in your points or in the way the site works, but let me know if anything is broken / changed!

You can add multiple callsigns against your account in your profile, and specify the dates for which you held those callsigns.  If you do add past callsigns, please specify the date you relinquished them so that current owners of the callsign can reuse them on the site.

Park 2 Park scores adjusted

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-07-17

Park to park scores have been corrected - you may see an increase in your park-to-park score, especially if you operate from POTA/WWFF/SiOTA or HEMA sites.

Having been notified that park to park scoring did not conform to the rules posted on the site, the scoring has been adjusted.

- You had to be at a ZLOTA-award location (park, hut, island, lake).
- The other party could be in any recognised awards scheme (ZLOTA, POTA, SOTA, WWFF, SiOTA, HEMA)
- Only the ZLOTA operator got P2P points

- One party must be at a ZLOTA-award location (park, hut, island, lake).
- The other party could be in any recognised awards scheme (ZLOTA, POTA, SOTA, WWFF, SiOTA, HEMA)
- Both operators get P2P points

Update for May 2022

ZL4NVW posted in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-05-31

I've changed the way spots are read from SOTA / POTA / ParksNPeaks to limit the load we put on their servers.  You should see no changes except a delay of up to 30 seconds before new spots from those servers appear here at OnTheAir.  Let me know if anything appears broken. 


Updates for April 2022

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-04-30

- You can now dismiss this News item by clicking the Hide button. The News thread will be hidden until a new news item is added.
- Spots now auto-refresh - so if you go to the Spots page then the page will update each minute to show you the latest spots
- Spots also now support showing worldwide spots as well as ZL/VK ones.  Just click on Show All DXCC to view all the latest spots worldwide
- You can filter spots by SOTA/ZLOTA/POTA or WWFF

ZLOTA Updates for Feb 2022

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-02-19

Three new features have been added in February 2022:

- SOTA summit activation zones
- Public Access Land map layer
- Links to NZ Alpine Club route descriptions for peaks

SOTA summit activation zones

If you click on a summit on the map, or search for one from the Places menu, the 25-vertical-meter activation zone for the summit will be displayed on the map (in red).  This information comes from the 30mx30m digital elevation model provided by the NZ School of Surveying, so the activation zone is displayed in 30mx30m grid squares. Handy to see how far an activation zone extends.

Public Access Land layer

There is now a map layer showing places that have a right of public access.  It uses the same colour-coding as the Walking Access Commission's walking access maps:
- Purple for legal roads
- Dark green for DOC
- Light green for council
- Blue to LINZ-owned riverbeds
- DOC tracks are shown as red dashed lines
- DOC roads are shown as red solid lines

This is handy for checking if there is legal access to a summit.  Not all legal accesses will be shown -  where there is a footpath vested in a covenant or easement, those will not be shown.

When combined with the activation zones data this also allows you to check if a summit can be activated from nearby public access land. For example, the summit of Dunstan ZL3/OT-294 is on private land, but the activation zone extends over the nearby legal road.

Select this layer by clicking the 'Layers' icon (3 stacked sheets) on the map, Checking 'Public Access Land' and clicking Apply.

NZ Alpine Club route descriptions

Where route descriptions exist, a link to the ClimbNZ page will be shown under 'Links' on the summit's page at ontheair.nz. Click on any summit on the map, or search for one in Places to see the summit's page.

Many of these route descriptions are mountaineering-grade routes.  But where walking/scrambling routes up peaks exist the are also listed.  Grade 1 is a scramble requiring no specialist equipment, and may be suited to fit trampers/activators.

Craigroyston Peak near Wanaka is a typical example

Updates for Jan 2022

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2022-02-19

Two changes for January 2022:

Automatic association of contacts with all award programmes that cover a location

When you activate or chase a place, e.g. a summit, your contact will now also be automatically logged against any parks, islands or lakes that that summit lies in.  This includes automatic association with WWFF, POTA and ZLOTA parks.

This only updates the data at ontheair.nz.  You'll still need to send your logs to WWFF/POTA/SOTA yourself - you can do this using the tools accessible by clicking on your callsign, top-right.

All existing contacts have been re-processed to include any parks, islands etc that you missed out on claiming.  You may note that your scores have increased as a result!

District and Region statistics

Ever wondered how many summits or lakes you've activated in an NZ Region or District?  Now you can check.  Your stat's are available under the Regions menu.  If you are logged in it will show you your own stats.  If not, it will show you what everyone has activated/chased in the region.  You can look at activations for a specific callsign by entering that callsign in the Callsign box and clicking 'Show'.  Clearing the callsign box and clicking 'Show' will show you all activity. 

Right of access? Check before you go!

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-11-26

ZLOTA (ontheair.nz) lists all features in NZ irrespective of whether they are on public or private land, and whether there is a right of access by the public or not. 

Check that access is allowed before you go, and whether permission is required. See this article for more information on public access to land in NZ.

New in November 2021

ZL4NVW posted in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-11-16

You can now add photos of the locations listed in ZLOTA.  Just visit the page for the hut / park / summit / lake and click Add Photo. Any photos you add will be displayed on the page for that place.

Activation photos are encouraged!

New POTA parks

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-08-11

The 240 new POTA parks have been added to ontheair.  These have been a long time coming - the list was sent through to POTA during lockdown in 2020!  So well done to Glenn - ZL1MY for his persistence in pushing POTA head-office to add these for us.

There are a few differences between the POTA name and the official names for parks.  A few are typos as it appears that the spreadsheet we sent through was retyped manually by POTA's data team. Others result from the limited set of park types available in POTA meaning that, for example, Ecological Areas have been classed as (and named) Nature Reserves.

Updates for July 2021

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-07-21

Items off people's wish-lists are being addressed this month. Features finished so far are:

Auckland parks: 
  • Added / updated ~200 qualifying parks run by Auckland Council using park boundaries from the Auckland Unitary Plan.
  • Allen has also added the new Auckland parks to Parks N Peaks
Portable-to-Portable and QRP
  • P2P scores are now shown (total of your contacts park-to-park, lake-to-lake, lake-to-summit, summit-to-hut, etc)
  • QRP scores - total score for your contacts made when you are operating QRP
  • HEMA (humps) and SiOTA (silos) codes are now recognised (and earn you P2P points) when logging contacts with VK operators activating those sites. 
Matt - ZL4NVW - admin@ontheair.nz

GPX files for lakes, huts, summits etc

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-06-24

Links to GPX files for the lakes (and huts and parks,inshore islands and SOTA summits) are below.  These can be loaded into most GPSs and mapping apps. They take a few seconds to generate, so be patient! The locations should display with name and code (and points for SOTA).

Matt - ZL4NVW ... admin@ontheair.nz

Updates for June 2021

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-06-20

A few new features have made it in so far this month:
  • You can now upload logs from your favourite logging program to the site in ADIF format. One logfile per activation (activators) or per UTC day (chasers) is preferred. Please verify and edit (if necessary) your loads after upload. Find the 'Upload Logs' button under 'My Logs'. Log programs vary - so let me know if there are any issues with uploading from yours.
  • Rules and scores have been updated for activators to mirror SOTA / POTA: you can now activate a place once per UTC calendar year and receive points for the activation.
  • (Chasers still receive points for chasing a place once per UTC calendar day)
  • You can now receive emails of spots and alerts. Enable / disable it under your profile (click on your callsign, top-right)
  • We now have some Help and FAQ pages to answer some of the frequently asked questions that have come up in the last few weeks.  Find them under ...OnTheAir
  • Spotting and Alerting for Lakes has now been implemented by ParksNPeaks.  Big thanks to Allen for that.
  • SMS spotting is also provided for all of our entities by ParksNPeaks.  See our 'Help' page under ...OnTheAir for details

Updates for May 2021

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-06-20

May saw a big rewrite of OnTheAir to allow for future expansion and new awards and categories. Thanks for your patience during this time!

Lakes on the Air
  • In conjunction with ZL3GA,  ZL4RA and ZL3AB, we have added Lakes to the site to support the new revamped NZART Lakeside Award
  • Check them out at https://ontheair.nz/assets
Changes to park, hut and island codes
  • Following user feedback huts, parks and islands are now grouped by Region.  You'll see that the codes now look similar to those used by SOTA
  • e.g. Ruahine Forest Park ZLP/MW-0001

Known issues to be fixed

  • Characters with macrons get dropped by Parks N Peaks
  • Regional parks are missing from Parks N Peaks list of POTA parks
  • We are missing many Auckland Council parks due to the Auckland Council webpage hosting that data being broken
  • You can only be logged in from one device at a time. E.g. log in from your PC, then log in from your mobile. Your PC will be logged out of the site when your mobile logs in. If you're in the middle of a log or alert etc on you PC, it will be lost.
  • In the map layer switcher you need to scroll down to see the 'Apply' button for polygon layers
  • You must register your callsign as issued. Registering using a callsign containing a / to indicate portable or out of region will cause errors (registration with such callsigns will be rejected in future).

Coming soon

The following new features are in the pipeline.

Spots and Alerts for NZ Lakes with Parks N Peaks
  • Parksnpeaks.org are adding the NZ Lakes to their database, so you will be able to spot or alert for your lakeside activations at parksnpeaks.org (along with SOTA, POTA, WWFF, Huts, Parks, Islands and the rest!)
Uploading ADIF logs
  • You will soon be able to upload ADIF logs from your favourite logging program to the site
  • VK5AYL is kindly adding support for NZ parks, huts, islands and lakes to the parksnpeaks iOS app which will integrate with the ontheair website.
  • Details of the app are available at www.vk5ayl.com
VK Porta-A-Log
  • VK3ZPF is hoping to include ZL OnTheAir locations and logging in future releases of VK Port-A-Log.
Matt - ZL4NVW - admin@ontheair.nz

Updates for April 2021

ZL4NVW updated in ZLOTA - What's New on 2021-06-01

We've renamed ourselves from HOTA to 'OnTheAir' as people didn't realise there's so much more on the site than huts! 
We've added spotting and alerting in conjunction with Parks N Peaks. 
  • You can now spot or alert your activation of a Hut, Island or Park activity at parksnpeaks.org or at ontheair.nz and your spot/alert will appear on both sites.
  • ParksNPeaks is a one-stop-shop for all SOTA, POTA, WWFF and ZL OnTheAir alerts and spots for VK and ZL.  Handy!
  • Check out spotting and alerting at ontheair.nz in the Spots and Alerts pages
We've switched from adding contacts one at a time to adding your log for your whole activation on a single form.  Way easier and quicker!
  • Just click on Add Contacts on My Contacts page your when viewing a hut, park or island to add your log
Added log export for SOTA, POTA and WWFF
  • Look under your callsign at the top right for the option to send logs to SOTA, POTA or WWFF

NZ offshore and freshwater islands

ZL4NVW posted in ZLOTA - What's New on 2020-08-03

I have added NZ's offshore and freshwater islands to the maps on the HOTA website - they are shown as orange triangles. Click on the triangle for details of the island.  There is also a directory of all officially and unofficially named islands under the Islands menu on the site.   The data comes from the New Zealand Geographic Database and is courtesy of LINZ (licensed: CC-Attribution)

Hopefully this will aid anyone looking for some handy islands to visit for the QRP islands award, and maybe encourage a few more to look at island-bagging as an interesting challenge. 

You can log the islands you've operated from / to on the HOTA site when you log a contact.

Visit HOTA by clicking on the HOTA link at the top of the page or by navigating to https://hota.qrp.nz