Amateur Radio Fox Hunt November
We met at the COSTCO parking lot just West of Sequim at 12:00
noon. This was to be our starting point. Three fox
Art brought along
a number of his gadgets including an experimental interferometer shown
in the picture. He used it to get an initial bearing on the fox.
Art and Jamie teamed up with Art driving Jamie's van while he operated
the doppler system mounted on the roof. Since this was a vehicle
plus an on-foot hunt, they used the doppler to gain bearings of the fox
from a number of different angles before commiting to the foot portion.
Picture at right shows Jamie getting ready for the start with the doppler. Afterwards, they explained and showed us the memory from the laptop as each bearing was taken. They certainly had good performance if you judged it for "minimum miles traveled" because the doppler was doing such a good job of zeroing in on the fox and saving mileage even though this wasn't a "minimum mileage" event. I made the mistake of making the fox vertically polarized, so next time I'll have to make it a little harder for these guys.
Our third participant, Jerry didn't have the luxury of all the fancy equipment like the other two. For the vehicle and foot portion he used a new three element beam into a handheld with an offset attenuator to control signal levels. Since he didn't have a roof mounted antenna, he had to get out of the vehicle from time to time . A process that slows you down but not a handycap for "least mileage" hunts which some of us prefer.
Success for the first team! They carried two antennas, a three element tape measure beam and a small multiple element circular quad along with a VK2YNG Mrk 4 receiver. I assume that the quad (or loop antenna) would have been used on 2 meters since I didn't see a 440 receiver for third harmonic detection. An interesting idea but I didn't ask them about it?
The fox was placed in the brush at: N48º 06.017' , W123º 12.279' which was on the Olympic Discovery Trail about half way between Kitchen Dick Road and Vautier Rd. This is about 2 miles from the COSTCO parking lot as the crow flies. The nearest road is about 1/3 mile. The trail is paved on this stretch so Jamie had good access for his wheelchair. Art and Jamie, as a team, found the fox in only 50 minutes. Considering they didn't seem rushed plus the added handling of his wheelchair, I thought they did a super job! Congratulations guys! Art has the most experience of all of us.
Jerry in the final stages of his hunt. He's shown using a loop with an offset attenuator for close-in hunting.
He left the starting point first and apparently made his way to the general vicinity of the fox quickly as I bumped into him at Robin-Hill park when I stopped to use the rest room. This was about 0.5 miles SW of the fox. Since we had used this park for practice hunts, plus my presence may have suggested to him that the fox was hidden there again, he made a fatal assumption. Sorry Jerry. In time he got straightened out and suceeded in rounding up that "foxy critter".
Before the hunt.
I'm carrying my stealth antenna to the site. I was proud of it
because you really couldn't see the antenna as it was so well
camouflaged. Art noticed the black RG-58 coax but otherwise the
whole thing was very difficult to see, including the fox when in
place. You really had to look hard. Now I'm going to start
working on a horizonal one to reduce the edge these doppler
We met afterwards at 7 Cedars Casino for a late lunch and
compared notes from the days event. We all seemed to have a good
the weather turned out fine. I passed out McDonald's meal tickets
to the winner plus some South Pacific currency to the other
players. Maybe they can buy a Marguerita when their foxhunting in
the South Seas?
Art wants to have a picnic-hunt
somewhere in the Seattle area in the Spring with the hopes that we all
can get together again. I'll be looking forward to it. We
also want to establish an exchange with our friends in Victoria so we
can do "day hunts" back and forth. Sounds like we should have a
fun season ahead. I'm hoping that Dale Hunt plans a hunt at
Seaside this year. It would be nice to have something along the
Art's considering building a set of the low power transmitters as
in ARDF games plus an upgrade of his VK2YNG receiver. I'm
planning on adding filters to my "sniffer" and maybe consider a YNG
well. As we get better, I want to approach the National Park and
CAP with an interest towards
animal tracking. We talked about how to make these hunts interesting to
both beginners as well as experienced hunters. It was
suggested we have an
easy fox plus a challanging one so that people can take their pick.
We use the Northwest RDF Yahoo group for keeping in touch: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nwrdf/.
If you'd like to be on the mailing list, you should join this
You don't have to be an amateur radio operator to participate, (as
long as you don't operate the fox), so I'm
in the process of publishing an article in the local newspaper about
the sport and maybe we can gain participants from outside ham
73's, Neil, WA7NBF
Last Revised: 11/20/05