In preparation of my SOTA Winter Tour, all weather forecasts said : RAIN !
So it got me thinking .. I better prepare for some wet activations ... how to keep myself and my equipment dry ?
This is what I came up with : a pole-mounted umbrella and accompanying pole mounted operating table. Two very simple things to make.
First the umbrella
Take any large size umbrella ( I got mine for free from my Toyota dealer ;-)
If you can, take one in the SOTA colours like mine !
Then ... make a HOLE in it !
Hmm ... why make a hole in an umbrella, that's not going to help against the rain , is it ?
Wait ! The hole is reinforced with a rubber flap (cut from a old car inner tyre), which I glued on the umbrella, and was a tight fit on my 6m fishing pole, at the height I was planning to put it up.
And if I want to use the umbrella on it's own, I found out a cap from a film can just fits the hole !
Now for a table !
I cut a piece of lightweigth wood, the size that would fit into my backpack, in my case 34 x 26 cm.
I made a hole that would fit the fishing pole diameter, at the height I wanted to put the table.
The hole is not in the center, because I wanted more space on the front side, where I put my KX3. The other side is for the battery, which needs less space. Also note the notch in the back, which is a tight fit for the umbrella handle (but I may have to make a kind of clip to secure the umbrella handle a bit better).
At the hole I mounted a plastic flange which is normally used to put up a glassfibre pole.
Inner diameter of this flange is 35mm, which turned out just what I needed.
Seen from the underside of the table :
With this, the table gets stuck at a height of 76 cm above ground. Perfect !
Here are both items in use during a recent SOTA activation (on PA/PA-002), but I let the umbrella slide much lower than planned, and put its handle in the armchairs cupholder.
It was raining and like this, I had some better protection.
Of course all of this is only good if you don't have to walk too far to the summit, and if the wind is moderate ...
What do you think ? Comments invited ... 73 de Luc - ON7DQ