2016: Taupo Radio antennas damaged by ice

New Zealand Search & Rescue Council: Minutes of Meeting, 21 Sep 2016

Taupo Maritime Radio/ZLM – August snow storm damage

Significant antennae damage was sustained in the August snow storms on the North Island central plateau and ZLM did not escape this damage. The site affected was ZLM’s transmitter site “Matea”.

The two spiracone antennas’ sacrificial clips gave way under the weight of ice buildup and required significant rigging by Kordia tech to restore. The clips are designed to give way at a certain loading thus saving the antennae and masts from permanent damage.

The ice-damaged spiracone antenna at Taupo Radio's Matea site
The ice-damaged spiracone antenna at Taupo Radio’s Matea site, Aug 2016

This is the first time in 23 years (since the start off the MOC) that ice build-up has been significant enough to be damaging.

Ice on a spiracone antennat at Taupo Radio ZLM's Matea site
Ice on a spiracone antennat at Taupo Radio ZLM’s Matea site, Aug 2016

The site is now fully restored although still running on Generator whilst we await mains power restoration.

The repaired spiracone antenna at Taupo Radio ZLM's Matea site
The repaired spiracone antenna at Taupo Radio ZLM’s Matea site