Results of August 28, 2010 RDF Foxhunt
Ft. Flagler


Planning and lead-up to the hunt can be viewed here.

This was billed as an intermediate 2 meter and 80 meter hunt.  All attendees but two were experienced and this was a good  match to the participant skills. Transmitters were placed by two people; KR7W, Rich for #6 and #8 and myself for the remainder. Number 9 was 80 meters. A cash prize was offered for the first finder of #3 which involved some trickery.  Billed as an "on foot" hunt, it was mentioned it was OK to use a vehicle to travel to localized areas on the available public roads.  This was to encourage the use of triangulation before you start "hoofing" it.  The park is relatively large at 784 acres so its easy to get more exercise than you may have bargained for. Time limit was three hours with transmitters 1-3 turned "on" by remote control at the official start time..

Objective of the hunt:

To challenge the more experienced hunter:


Most participants began "on foot".  The map below shows the placement of the 6 transmitters.  Stats on each can be found on the planning page above.  The nearest was 3/4 mile from the start.

Map of transmitter placement

The northern section of the park has 6 trails that cross from the center to the northshore.  The Start was located on the west end and I wanted to see how participants would resolve which trail to travel based upon early bearings.  Most got reasonable bearings on #2 but #1 was flaky.  #1 was near the cliff and behind the berm of Battery Wilhelm so there was no line of sight path.  Fun with reflections/refractions.  Also confusing  was that some didn't think I would put two foxes as close together as I did, separated by maybe 300 yards.

I took the two beginners with me to try to localize #6 and #8 which were the two Rich placed.  We used vehicle(s) and made several stops along the road near Battery Bankhead.  Got at least one false reading which I suspect was due to the large amount of concrete.  Traveled to Battery Wansboro and signal strength was way down on 6 and 8 but it pointed back to the Bankhead location.  Conclusion: Bankhead was about as close as I was going to get the vehicle.  I parked the car there and proceeded to find #8 without trouble and then took the trail passing #9 to the northshore.  I realized that #6 was probably on the next trail to the East so I looped around at Battery Calwell and returned on the correct one and found #6 off the trail on an easy bushwhack.  Taking many bearings along the way and averaging them resulted in fine tuning the final locations.

Trail to fox #3
Fox #3: This was the fun one.  It had the cash prize and trickery and drew the most attention.  The IDer introduced 2 new clues which were unknown up till the start time:
  • GPS coordinates were given to a geocache which was about 40 feet from the fox
  • Directions to the cash prize once you found the fox
I've been trying to find ways of tieing in the sport of geocaching with RDF and this was my first attempt at it.  The posting of the hunt mentioned that a GPS receiver might be helpful in finding the prize but no one that I could see used one and took the advice. Thats OK because I only wanted it to be an aid not a requirement.  A magnetic compass was also suggested but all good foxhunters will carry one.  The cash was described on the IDer as 90 degrees magnetic at about 80 feet from the fox antenna on a tree limb.

Fox #3 location was selected because no roads were near it and bearings between start and its location crossed many trails and two roads.  I was hoping that this would give the hunters many decisions to make about where it might be, all the more reason to triangulate first.  The nearest road was about 0.4 miles away.
Trail to Fox #3
James, KE7WHN
James, KE6WHN won the cash prize.  He used his vehicle to start with but still did plenty of walking and got a good overview of the park. He finished in a little over 2 hours and used an attenuator that Rich, KR7W built for him.

80 Meters:

This was the maiden hunt for my new 80 meter receiver design.  The transmitter, 1 watt into an untuned vertical antenna was placed about 0.8 miles from the start.  Signal was weak but certainly usable.  I found that the sense circuit needed a little more work and a better handhold as its a little heavy with a cast aluminum enclosure.  Next generation will probably be smaller and lighter.  It incorporates a "tone" signal strength indicator and I found it works best when you're getting within 300 feet of the fox and the RF gain is turned down.

Thank you all for attending and will look forward to seeing everyone on the next hunt.

Neil, WA7NBF