I finally had a chance to fully field test a new piece of functionality in Ara @N6ARA’s Activation Zone Estimator tool - the ability to download a polygon of the activation zone into your favorite GPS mapping application! The ability to download the activation zone is absolutely amazing and SUPER useful.
Last night, I was on my first SOTA activation since Ara’s latest release, and figured it would be a good way to test it 100% in the field (on my cell as opposed to at home on a computer). Nearing the summit, I used sotl.as to navigate to the activation zone estimator tool and download the GPX. I then imported it into the CalTopo app. The activation zone immediately appeared on the map. I used the color coding in CalTopo to make the line more visible. The actual summit block doesn’t have any good rocks to set up with, so I used the polygon on the map to find some good rocks a little ways down where I could set up MUCH more easily. This takes all of the guesswork out of making sure you’re in the true activation zone. It was also very easy to do everything on my phone. It took only about a minute to do all of the export/import activities mentioned above.
Huge kudos and thanks to Ara @N6ARA or getting this feature all set up. Makes a big difference as an activator! The activation zone estimator tool was inspired by problems Ara had with the SOTA Goat app indicating an incorrect activation zone. In my opinion it works a lot better than simply getting an alert.
CalTopo Screenshot of the imported activation zone
Here’s where to find the Activation Zone Estimator in SOTL.as