T-Hunts

Contact Pete Morrison, K6VVR or John Broughton, WB9VGJ for more information on the monthly YARC fox hunts.

The Yavapai Amateur Radio Club holds a monthly 2M fox hunt.  The hunt is normally on the Sunday following the club’s monthly meeting.  However, the day is subject to change depending on conditions that may arise.  Any changes to the date or time will be accounted at the club meeting and might be in the club newsletter if the change is known about far enough ahead of time.

Pete, K6VVR, and Jim WB7UZV, were the driving forces behind the monthly fox hunts.  The result has been lots of fun and camaraderie for the club members.

The rules and procedures for the the fox hunt are rather straightforward.  Normally, two transmitters are hidden.  The primary transmitter transmits on 145.100 MHz with a power of 500MW.  The secondary transmitter transmits on 146.565 MHz with a power of 100MW.  The transmitters must be hidden within a five-mile radius of the starting point, which is the parking lot of the One Arizona Credit Union, 1335 Gail Gardner Way.

The hung begins at 1:00PM.  Hunters assemble at the parking lot and when they have received the primary transmitter’s signal, have a bearing they are ready to start the hunt.  At this time they call the fox on the clubs repeater, 146.880 MHz, PL 100.0 Hz. to report they are starting the hunt and to give the fox their odometer mileage.

For deciding the winner, only the time taken to find the primary transmitter is considered.  The person/team finding it in the shortest amount of time will be the winner.  Should more than one person/team fine the transmitter with the identical time, the person/team with the fewest miles driven will be judged to be the winner.

The secondary transmitter is hidden in proximity of the primary transmitter.  The club has access to several transmitters. Various ones are used for the secondary transmitter.  They are small and can be easily hidden and it can be somewhat difficult to locate them as club member some up with ingenious  ways to hide them.  Also, a variety of antennas are used with both the primary and secondary transmitter, which can make the hunts more interesting.  The main purpose of having a secondary transmitter is to give hams more experience in “sniffing” out a transmitter once they have gotten in the general area where it is hidden.

May 2017

May 2017 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, May 7th. Pete, K6VVR, and John Kelly, a friend planning on becoming a ham, were the foxes.

There were two teams for this hunt.

Bob, WB6ODR and Bob, WA6FBA
Jeff, WB7RFY, and I

Jim, KD7NFX, did not officially join the hunt as he is still practicing. He was using an attenuator for the first time and was closing in on the transmitter locations when the hunt officially ended.

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
1 WB6ODR and WA6FBA 39 min.
2 WB7RFY and WB9VGJ 51 min.

The foxes chose a good place to hide the transmitters in a cul-de-sac on a ridge above and behind the Kmart on the corner of Rt. 69 and Prescott Lakes Parkway. It took a little effort to figure out just where the primary transmitter was, even knowing the general location. However, we did get a very good view of the senior center under construction on the ridge above and to the east of Walmart as both teams were up there to take signal strength readings.

The weather was not fully cooperative. As both teams were zeroing in on the secondary transmitter, which was very difficult to see in a small bush even though we knew we were right on top of it, the wind got very strong and it started to rain. It was cold and very unpleasant and we all headed back to our vehicles the minute the secondary transmitter was found. The wind and rain prevented me from taking some more pictures of the area.

You can see pictures of the hunt here:

https://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntMay2017

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

April 2017

April 2017 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, April 9th. Jeff, WB7RFY, and I were the foxes.

I had chosen Vista Park on Sarafina Dr. to hide the transmitters. I was somewhat worried because it was north of the starting point and on the other side of a couple of hills. When we got the transmitters activated, we were unable to bring up the club repeater with our HTs to communicate with the hunters at the starting point, even with attaching a mag mount antenna under the metal roof of the ramada we were in. That made us concerned the hunters would be unable to hear the primary transmitter as it only puts out 500mW.

However, after putting my mag mount antenna on a metal bar on a slide in the park about 30’ or 40’ from the ramada, I was able to bring up the repeater. Apparently, the location of the ramada was in a null of the repeater. Luckily, the hunters could barely hear the signal at the starting point. You can see pictures of my HT setup using the link below.

There were two teams for this hunt.

Bob, WB6ODR, Bob, WA6FBA, and Pete K6VVR
Jim, KD7NFX

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
1 WB6ODR, WA6FBA and K6VVR 41 min.
DNF KD7NFX N/A

We saw two members of the winning team across a gully from the park who recognized us. However, they had to drive a ways to get to the park as there were many streets that were not through streets. Unfortunately, KD7NFX didn’t have an attenuator, so when he got fairly close to the hiding site, he had a full scale reading and was unable to zero in on the primary transmitter.

You can see pictures of the hunt here:

https://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntApril2017

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

March 2017

March 2017 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, March 5th. Pete, K6VVR, and Jerry, KF7FPD, were the foxes.

Although this was the first month when the distance allowed for the transmitters from the starting point was seven miles (as the raven fliles), extended from the former five miles, the foxes hid the transmitters 3.3 miles from the starting point.

Pete and Jerry hid the transmitters on Fawn Lane, the eastern-most street in a subdivision east of Williamson Valley Rd. north of Pioneer Parkway. Although the temperature was near 50 degrees, with the high winds it was very chilly. Thankfully, they did not hide the transmitters far from the street, which minimized the time the hunters had to be out in the cold wind.

There were two teams for this hunt.

Bob, WB6ODR, Jim, KD7NFX, Bob, WA6FBA
Jeff, WB7RFY and John, WB9VGJ

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
1 WB7RFY and WB9VGJ 23 min.
2 WB6ODR, KD7NFX and WA6FBA 25 min.

Both teams drove a rather straight path to the hidden transmitters. A two-minute difference between first and second place finish shows they did not waste much time. Their mileage was also close, with Jeff and John driving 8.9 miles and the other team 9.2 miles. It was a competitive hunt.

You can see pictures of the hunt here:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntMarch2017

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

February 2017

February 2017 Foxhunt

Thanks to Jeff, WB7RFY, for the information for this article and the pictures as I was unable to participate in the foxhunt.

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, February 5th. Jeff, WB7RFY, and Bob, WA6FBA, were the foxes. They chose the parking lot of the former Outback Steakhouse in the Frontier Village shopping center to hide the transmitters. This area is a good location as, with signal reflections off the surrounding hills and mountains, it can make the hunt challenging: Is the transmitter in the shopping center? Is it on one of the streets above or behind the center?

The primary transmitter was hidden in a sizeable pine tree at the east edge of the parking lot and had a 7-foot antenna.

The foxes had two secondary transmitters for this hunt instead of the usual one transmitter. One of them was magnetically attached to a guardrail between the parking lot and Hwy 69. The second one, an ultra-low power transmitter, was attached to a vehicle.

Once again this month, there was only one team of hunters for this hunt,

Pete, K6VVR and Jerry, KF7FPD. They were successful; all three transmitters were found in one hour and twelve minutes.

You can see pictures of the hunt here:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntFebruary2017

Everyone had their usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

January 2017

January 2017 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, January 8th. Bob, WB6ODR, and Larry, KG7TTD, were the foxes. We were fortunate with the weather being the best it had been for several days.

Bob and Larry picked a good spot to hide the transmitters – at the east end of East Butterfield Rd. overlooking the Pioneer Village shopping center. This spot had been used once in the past and was very challenging for the hunters.

Unfortunately, there was only one team of hunters for this hunt, Jeff, WB7RFY, and I. We found the transmitter in 56 minutes. We could have found it quicker except that we tried a nearby road where we thought the transmitter might be first. It was very narrow and finding a place to turn around was not exceptionally easy.

I use a neat app on my smartphone called SigTrax. When you aim an antenna at a radio signal, the app allows you to manipulate a bearing line on the phone’s screen so it is pointing in the same direction and then save that bearing. After taking several bearings, if they are accurate, there will be intersections. Those intersections will give one a good idea of where the transmitter is hidden. As one has to guess when aiming the antenna just where the center of the signal is, it can be somewhat wide, the bearing lines are not 100% accurate, but can be very close. You can see how close they were in this hunt in the screenshots I took of them on my smartphone. Those screen shots are in the pictures you will find using the link below.

You can see pictures of the hunt here:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntJan2017

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

December 2016

December 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, November 6th. Pete, K6VVR, and Patrick, KG7EWD were the foxes.

Jeff and Pete found an excellent, hard-to-find location to hide the transmitters: on Upper Sky Terrace Drive off of Senator Highway. A parallel, dirt street, Sky Terrace Drive is just a little south it. It does connect to Upper Sky Terrace Drive up a steep hill at its end. All teams except the winning team found the transmitters by driving in on Sky Terrace Drive. As you can see in the pictures, it doesn’t look like much of a road and it seems more a private drive in the upper portion than a public street. It made a somewhat challenging approach.

There were four teams for this hunt and we had some new hunters involved.

Bob, WB6ODR, and his grandson, a non-ham
Jeff, WB7RFY, John, WB9VGJ, and Jim, KD7NFX
        Robert, WA6FBA, and Larry, G7TTD
Dave, W7BJ, and Alan, KI7ALL

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
1 Robert and Larry 32 min.
2 Bob and grandson 1 hr. 8 min.
3 Dave and Alan 1 hr. 25 min.
4 Jeff and John 1 hr. 34 min.

Robert discovered he had his Doppler antennas hooked up improperly last month. His result in so quickly finding the transmitters showed that his Doppler system works extremely well when set up correctly. Congratulations to Robert and Larry on their success.

You can see pictures of the hunt here:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntDec2016

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

November 2016

November 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, November 6th. Jeff, WB7RFY, and I were the foxes. We were accompanied by Mark, N7KKQ, a fellow ARCA member with Jeff, who was up from Glendale visiting.

Jeff chose the location for hiding the transmitters, Petroglyph Point in Prescott Lakes subdivision. It was a great location as it offered a fantastic a 360-degree view. One can see Mingus Mountain, Mt. Francis, the San Francisco Peaks, Bill Williams Mountain, Thumb Butte, Granite Mountain, and many others in all directions. He hid the primary transmitter and I hid the secondary one.

There were three teams for this hunt.

Dale, KL7R, and Chris, NL7DU
Pete, K6VVR, and Patrick, KG7EWD
Bob, WB6ODR, and Robert, WA6FBA

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
1 Dale and Chris 43 min.
2 Pete and Patrick 54 min.
3 Bob and Robert 1 hr. 10 min.

I had thought, due to the location and the winding streets and less than straightforward access, that not all the teams would find our location. I was wrong; all the teams did find the location and the transmitters. That is the best way for a hunt end. A plus was that the weather was just perfect.

You can see pictures of the hunt here:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntNovember2016

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

October 2016

October 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, October 8th. Bob, WB6ODR, Linda,KD7EEO, and Robert, WA6FBA, were the foxes. The foxes chose Stricklin Park,between Sherwood Dr. and Hassayampa Village Lane, to hide the transmitters.For this hunt, there were two secondary transmitters instead of the usual one.Each fox was sitting comfortably in a folding chair, one near each transmitter, sothey could easily monitor the hunters and see just when they found eachtransmitter. Having the two secondary transmitters on the same frequency did notseem to pose a problem as the distance between them was sufficient to allow thehunters to zero in on each one.

There were two teams for this hunt.

  • Jeff, WB7RFY, and I
  • Pete, K6VVR, and Frank, KF7ANX

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
 1  Jeff, WB7RFY, and I  1 hr.
 2*  Pete, K6VVR, and Frank, KF7ANX  1 hr. 15 min.

*Pete was very close to the primary transmitter and heading straight for it when the transmitter stopped transmitting.

The foxes chose good hiding places, putting the primary transmitter behind a large rock under dead limbs and pine needles. They brought out the small log witha cutout in it for the transmitter, used in a former foxhunt, for one of the secondarytransmitters. They stood it up at the base of a bush making it difficult to notice.The other secondary transmitter was on a pine tree limb. It is interesting how many hunters don’t tend to look up when they are close to a transmitter.

You can see pictures of the hunt here: http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntOct2016slideshow

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts.

They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73, John, WB9VGJ

July 2016

July 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, July 10th. Jeff, WB7RFY, and I were the foxes. Jeff chose the Prescott library as the place to hide the transmitters. He chose the spot for the primary transmitter and I chose the spot for the secondary transmitter. The advantage of his location for the primary transmitter was, if you were right below it, you could not see it. I could be seen from the street or from the sidewalk at the end of the wall, but you needed very, very good eyes to notice

It from there.

There were just two teams for this hunt.

Robert, WA6FBA, and Bob, WB6ODR.
Pete, K6VVR, and Patrick, KG7EWD

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
1 K6VVR and KG7EWD 35 minutes
2 WA7FBA and WB6ODR 47 minutes

This was a fairly short hunt as both teams found the transmitters rather quickly. It speaks to their foxhunting skills. However, once they arrived at the library, they did spend some time near both transmitters before they located them; they were close and walked right past them several times.

Congratulations to Pete and Patrick for winning the hunt.

You can see pictures of the hunt here: http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntJuly2016

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

May 2016

May 2016 Foxhunt

Due to a request from the Embry-Riddle members who were the successful hunters in April, Jeff, WB7RFY became the fox for May. The main transmitter was concealed in tall bushes in front of the old theatre on Marina St. Several downtown events assured that the area would be busy. The secondary was magnetically attached to the base of a parking sign in a lot just up the block.

The cloudy weather and seemingly not so sinister weather forecast may have caused some to miss, but one intrepid hunter was hardly enough to proceed. Robert, WA6FBA departed the start at 1:00 PM, and was within feet of the main transmitter at 2:17; but an overloaded receiver didn’t allow him to pinpoint the location for another 20 minutes.

The Fox remains with the Eagle Radio Club at ERAU for the June hunt.

Photos can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntMay2016

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction We would encourage all to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding and radio skills.

73,

Jeff, WB7RFY

April 2016

April 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, April 10th. The foxes were Dave, W7BJ, Pete, K6VVR, Diane, KE7ODP, and Patrick, KG7EWD. They hid the transmitters on a dead end street in Cliff Rose, very close to the intersection of Prescott Lakes Parkway and Rt. 89.

There were just two teams for this hunt.

Clayton, KJ6QJS, his mom observing, Brian, KK6PGR, Forrest, WH6EAL
Jeff, WB7RFY, and I

The results of the hunt were:

Finish Team Time
1 KJ6QJS, his mom, KK6PGR, WH6EAL 23 minutes
2 WB7RFY, and I 28 minutes

Bob, WB7FBA, was at the starting point. He is getting back into amateur radio after a long absence. He was invited to join Jeff and me, but declined. He said he just wanted to test some equipment and did not plan on finishing the hunt. We hope we’ll see him again in the future.

This was a short hunt as both teams found the transmitters rather quickly. The first team left the starting point at 13:06 and the second place finishers found the transmitters at 13:35. It took Jeff and me just five minutes longer to find the primary transmitter than it did the winning team. Once again, we were a close second. One of these days, maybe number 1…

Congratulations to Clayton, Brian and Forrest for winning the hunt.

You can see pictures of the hunt here: http://tinyurl.com/YARCfoxhuntApril2016

We had our usual after hunt socializing session at Prescott Junction. We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

March 2016

March 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, March 6th. The foxes were Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO. They hid the transmitters on a trail leading from the scenic overlook on Pioneer Parkway, not far from Williamson Valley Road. Here is WB6ODR’s account of the foxhunt:

The day started out like many others in the Prescott area, except, today it was blowing like a hose. The wind was a real factor in today’s hunt, antennas were bent every way and the signal seemed to be coming from anywhere. A good signal was being received at the start point.  At some point during the hunt the primary transmitter went off the air.  When Bob discovered it he got so flustered that he did not write down any arrival times for the various members or teams.  Pete K6VVR was the first person to walk to the secondary transmitter as that was the only signal left on the air.  Reports say the secondary transmitter was almost as strong at the start point as the primary transmitter at the beginning of the hunt.  Good food and stories were had at the Junction afterwards.  The fox extends the most humble apologies to all hunters for not having a well changed battery.  It will not happen again.

Teams consisted of:

WH6EAL Forest    K6VVR Pete   WB6VGJ John

KK6PGR Brian     W7BJ David   WB7RFY Jeff

KC0TGG Ron

Luckily, all teams got close enough to the hiding places to hear the secondary transmitter and find the hiding places. K6VVR was the first to find the secondary transmitter, so he and his teammate W7BJ were the winners. W7BJ, WB7RFY, KC0TGG and I found the transmitter just a minute or two after K6VVR. WH6EAL and KK7PGR found it about 20 minutes or so later. They had come up Commerce Drive and were the only team that did that. They spotted one of Bob and Linda’s cars parked in the parking lot by the ballfield as a decoy, so they ran up the trail to where the transmitter was hidden. It was about a mile, all uphill, to the transmitter.

Congratulations to Pete and Dave for winning the hunt.

You can see pictures of the hunt that Linda and I took here:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCfoxhuntMarch2016

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

February 2016

February 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, February 7th. The foxes were Forrest, WH6EAL, and Braden, KG7GLX.

We had four teams of hunters, which was good for Super Bowl Sunday:

Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO
Jeff, WB7RFY, John, WB9VGJ
Dave, W7BJ, and Ron, KC0TGG
Pete, K6VVR, and Diane, KE7ODP

The results were:

3K6VVR and KE7ODP1 hr. 15 min.

Place Team Time
1 WB6ODR and KD7EEO 0 hr. 29 min.
2 W7BJ and KC0TGG 0 hr. 49 min.
4 WB7RFY and WB9VGJ 1 hr. 23 min.

Congratulations to Bob and Linda on winning the hunt in excellent time.

The foxes found good places to hide the transmitters on a trail crossing Granite Basin Road. The secondary transmitter was very difficult to spot, even when one knew he/she was close to it.

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

You can see pictures of the hunt at:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntFeb2016

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

January 2016

January 2016 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, January 12th.  Diane, KE7ODP, Dave, W7BJ, and Pete, K6VVR were the foxes. They picked a place on Ventnor Circle, high on a hill in Cliff Rose overlooking the Prescott senior center.

We had three teams of hunters:

  • Braden, KG7GLX
  • Forrest, WH6EAL
  • Jeff, WB7RFY
  • John, WB9VGJ

The results of the hunt were:

Place Team Time
1 KB7GLX and WH6EAL 1 hr. 50 min.
DNF WB7RFY and WB9VGJ 2 hr. 30 min.

Congratulations to Braden and Forrest on winning the hunt. Jeff and I did not finish.

We had so many signals indicating different locations that it became somewhat frustrating. We were getting close to the hidden transmitters when we gave up after 2-1/2 hours and asked where they were. Upon arriving at the location, we discovered an element on Jeff’s antenna had broken, which was the cause of the erroneous signals. That had happened on one hunt in the past. Jeff will be rebuilding the antenna before the next hunt.

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

You can see pictures of the hunt at:  http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntJanuary2016

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

December 2015

December 2015 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, December 6th. Al, AF6ZR, and Ron, KC0TGG, were the foxes. They chose an excellent location on a couple of trails at the end of a short dead-end road off of White Spar Road two streets north of the Comfort Inn.

We had three teams of hunters:

Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO Pete, K6VVR, Dave, W7BJ, and Patrick, KG7EWD Jeff, WB7RFY, John, WB9VGJ

The results of the hunt were:

Place Team Time
1 K6VVR, W7BJ, KG7EWD I hr. 7 min.
2 WB7RFY & WB9VGJ 1 hr. 9 min.
3 WB6ODR, KD7EEO 1 hr. 16 min.

The winners won by a close margin again this month, a margin of two minutes, just as in the November hunt. All the teams found the transmitters and the times were close for everyone. This was a surprise to all of us due to the excellent location that was chosen. KC0TGG admitted he ran across this location by accident. It turned out to be a fortunate accident, indeed.

Congratulations to Pete, Dave and Patrick for being the winners! Diane, KE7ODP, who could not make this hunt, will be joining them in hiding the transmitters in January. Knowing how devious Diane can be, it should be an interesting and challenging hunt.

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

You can see pictures of the hunt at: http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntDecember2015

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

November 2015

November 2015 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, November 9th. Forrest, WH6EAL, was the fox. He chose a location on a trail adjacent to the Hassayampa Golf Course, which made the hunt interesting for some of us as we knew it was on the west side of the golf course, but had some difficulty figuring out which public road we could take to get to it. Two teams did not have difficulty finding the way to get to the transmitters.

We had four teams of hunters:

Bob, WB6ODR
Pete, K6VVR, Diane, KE7ODP, Frank, KF7ANX, Patrick, KG7EWD
Jeff, WB7RFY, John, WB9VGJ
Ron, KC0TGG, Al, AF6ZR

The results of the hunt were:

Place Team Time
1 KC0TGG, AF6ZR I hr. 6 min.
2 WB6ODR 1 hr. 9 min.
K6VVR, KE7ODP, KF7ANX, KG7EWD Found after time ran out
WB7RFY & WB9VGJ Found after time ran out

The winners won by a close margin, as you can see. The other two teams found the location after time ran out. Also, the transmitter had stopped transmitting, so Forrest had to turn it back on, which gave me a clue as to where it was as I was not far behind him when he went to turn it on. It was a challenging hunt and everyone had a good time.

Congratulations to Al and Ron for being the winners!

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

You can see pictures of the hunt at:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntNovember2015

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

September 2015

September 2015 Foxhunt

 

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, September 6th. Ron, KC0TGG, Jeff, WB7RFY, and I were the foxes. Ron had chosen the site, a good one. It was near the end of Butterfield Dr. above and behind the Frontier Village shopping center, just at the locked gate. He had figured there’d be a strong signal at the starting point as there was a clear line of sight between there and the transmitters, but the signal would weaken and/or disappear as hunters drove up and down hills on the hunt. He was correct.

Ron left his truck parked in the shopping center as a decoy, thinking hunters would see it and think they were close to the transmitters. He was correct; at least one team did see it and think that.

There were six teams of hunters, but only two found the transmitters before the official end of the hunt at 3:00 p.m. Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KE7EEO, won. Dave, W7BJ, arrived shortly before 3:00 p.m. and found the primary transmitter right at 3:00 p.m. when the hunt officially closed. Talk about sneaking in under the wire!

The six teams were:

  • Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO
  • Dave, W7BJ
  • Pete, K6VVR, and Diane, KE7ODP
  • Frank, KF7ANX, and Dennis, KF7INF
  • Clayton, KJ6QJS, Lisa, KK6AFC, Forrest, WH6EAL
  • Mike, AD5SU, and Betty, KF5LDA

The results of the hunt were:

Place Team Time
1 WB6ODR & KD7EEO 42 min.
2 W7BJ 2 hr. 57 min.
K6VVR & KE7ODP Found after time ran out
KF7ANX, KF7INF DNF
AD5SU and KF5LDA DNF
KJ6QJS, KK6AFC and WH6EAL DNF

 

Congratulations to Bob and Linda for winning the hunt!

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

You can see pictures of the hunt at:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntSeptember2015

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

July 2015

July 2015 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, July 5th. Byon, N6BG, and his wife Lara, KD6AYO, drove up from Chandler and hid the transmitters. They hid five transmitters in various locations on the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University campus. They were transmitting on different frequencies at 15 mW of power with duty cycles of about 15 seconds on and 12 seconds off. It made for a very interesting and fun hunt. It was a new experience and everyone seemed to enjoy it very much.

Some hunters walked to most or all of the transmitters, while some drove until they were close to the transmitters and then got out and finished on foot. None of the transmitters were all that far away from a road or parking lot.

We had four teams of hunters:

Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO
Jeff, WB7RFY, and I
Pete, K6VVR, and Diane, KE7ODP
Dave, W7BJ, and Frank, KF7ANX

This was the first multi-transmitter hunt we’ve had and was a very interesting experience. All the teams did pretty well in the hunt. The results were:

Place Team # of Transmitters Found Time
1 WB6ODR & KD7EEO 5 1 hr. 54 min.
2 K6VVR & KE7ODP 4 1 hr. 53 min.
3 W7BJ & KF7ANX 5 2 hr. 02 min.
4 WB7RFY & WB9VGJ 3 2 hr. 05 min.

Congratulations to Bob and Linda for winning the hunt!

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

You can see pictures of the hunt at:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCJuly2015Foxhunt

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

June 2015

June 2015 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, June 7th. Forrest, WH6EAL, was the fox.

We had five teams of hunters:

  1. Bob, WB6ODR.
  2. Jeff, WB7RFY, and I.
  3. Ron, KC0TGG, and Al, AF6ZR.
  4. Pete, K6VVR, Dave, W7BJ, and Diane, KE7ODP.
  5. Byon, N6BG, and his wife.

Forrest found good hiding places for the transmitters along Skyline Drive in Highland Pines. The transmitters were just inside the 5-mile-as-the-raven-flies limit in the foxhunt rules. We can depend on Forrest to always check out the 5-mile limit when he’s the fox.

Jeff remarked that, if one doesn’t want the transmitters found, Highland Pines seems a good place to hide them. When he and I were the foxes and hid them there, none of the hunters found them. It was almost like that for this hunt. Byon, who drove up from the Valley for the hunt, was the only hunter to find the primary transmitter. Jeff and I were virtually on top of it a couple of times, but, for various reasons, failed to find it. We did, however, find the secondary transmitter while hunting for the primary transmitter. I lucked out and happened to notice the antenna sticking up from the roadside reflector (See the pictures at the link below.)

Congratulations to N6BG for winning the hunt. Next month, the hunt will be a different variety. Byon is going to hide five transmitters on different 2M frequencies and hide them all on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus. They will be on about a 50% duty cycle. It ought to be a very interesting and challenging hunt. The start time and location will be the same, the parking lot of the Arizona Credit Union on Gale Gardner Way.

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

You can see pictures of the hunt at:

http://tinyurl.com/YARCFoxhuntJune2015

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

May 2015

May 2015 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, May 17th. It was postponed one week due to Mother’s Day. Jeff, WB7RFY, and I were the foxes. We lucked out with nice weather, sunshine and no rain with comfortable temperatures.

We had five teams of hunters:

  1. Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO.
  2. Forrest, WH6EAL.
  3. Dave, W7BJ, and Frank, KF7ANX.
  4. Randy, W6TYV, and Diane, KE7ODP.
  5. Al, AF6ZR, and Ron, KC0TGG.

We hid the transmitters at the south end of Acker Park, along the Barrie Mayes Memorial Trail System, just north of the trailhead at the north end of the dead-end street Autumn Breeze Rd. Jeff had figured this would make a challenging hunt as hunters might have a good idea where the transmitters were, but have some difficulty getting to them, especially if they went to the cemetery at the south end of Virginia St., which was a ways north of the location of the transmitters. One team did go there and met Peter, W7PRG, and thought they were close to the transmitters. However, Peter was not involved in the hunt.

That strategy, however, didn’t seem to have a negative impact on some of the hunters, especially the winner of the hunt, WH6EAL. Forrest found the primary transmitter in just 27 minutes, followed by the second place team, W7BJ, and KF7ANX, who found it in 44 minutes. In third place were KC0TGG and AF6ZR, followed by WB6ODR (KE7EEO remained in the car reading a book she had gotten very interested in.). W6TYV and KE7ODP, were closing in on the location but were not able to find it before the time ran out at 3:00 p.m.

Congratulations to WH6EAL for winning the hunt. I am sure Forrest will be very ingenious when hiding the transmitters for the June hunt.

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt at Prescott Junction Restaurant. Often, the camaraderie after the hunt is just as much fun as the hunt itself. It is always enjoyable.

See pictures of the hunt.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

April 2015

April 2015 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, April 12th. It was postponed one week due to Easter. The foxes were Forrest, WH6EAL, Brian, KK6PGR, and Clayton, KJ6QJS.

We had three teams of hunters:

  • Jeff, WB7RFY, and I.
  • Pete, K6VVR, Dave, W7BJ, and Patrick, KG7EWD.
  • Al, AF6ZR, and Ron, KC0TGG.

The foxes created a challenging hunt, hiding the transmitters on a dead-end street, Bar-Circle-A Rd., in Yavapai Hills subdivision above the north side of Walmart on Rt. 69 and Prescott Lakes Parkway. During the hunt, the foxes were relaxing on In-N-Out Burger’s patio where they could keep a watch on hunters as they closed in on the transmitters on the high ridge behind the store.

WB7RFY and I were fortunate to be the winners of the hunt, finding the primary transmitter 14 minutes quicker than the second place team, AF6ZR and KC0TGG, in times of 1 hr., 16 m. and 1 hr., 30 min., respectively. The third team, K6VVR, W7BJ and KG7EWD did not complete the hunt as they arrived at Walmart with too little time left to find the transmitters. They were sitting on the patio at In-N-Out Burger when we drove down to there after finishing the hunt.

The foxes were very creative in hiding the secondary transmitter, as you can see in the pictures using the link below. There was an excavator parked along the street where the primary transmitter was hidden. The secondary transmitter was attached via magnet under the cab of the excavator. It gave Jeff and me fits as we knew we were close to it, and the strongest signal was right at the cab, but it took some time before we thought to look at the underside of the cab; we were looking all around in the tracks on both sides of the vehicle. It made for a very challenging search.

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt, this time at In-N-Out Burger as it was so convenient and half the guys where already there. It was another fun Sunday in beautiful, sunny Arizona.

See pictures of the hunt here.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

March 2015

March 2015 Foxhunt

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, March 8th. Jeff, WB7RFY, and I, WB9VGJ, were the foxes again as no hunters found the hidden transmitters before the time ran out last month.

We had five teams of hunters:

  • Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO.
  • Randy, W6TYV and Tracey, KE6QZD.
  • Diane, KE7ODP, and Patrick, KG7EWD.
  • Clayton, KJ6QJS, Brian, KK6PGR, and Forrest, WH6EAL.
  • Ron, KC0TGG, and Dave, W7BJ.

It was a successful hunt and all hunters arrived at the park and only a couple failed to find the primary transmitter and only a couple failed to find the secondary one.

I had promised the hunters a less challenging hunt this month. I chose Pioneer Park as the place to hide the transmitters. We hid the primary transmitter in a tree branch a short way off the trail to some picnic tables. Jeff picked the spot for the secondary transmitter and buried it in a sand pile. I buried a Styrofoam cup I found on the ground a few feet away from the transmitter as a decoy and several hunters did look under it only to find the transmitter wasn’t there.

Randy and Tracey were the first ones to arrive at the park. However, they were not the first to find the transmitters as Randy didn’t have sufficient attenuation to be able to do so. I discovered that, at the location from which Jeff and I watched the hunters, the signal from the primary transmitter was just as strong directly away from it as facing it. Forrest and his team were the first to find the primary transmitter, with Forrest being first on the team.

The certificate that Jeff has made for the winner(s) of the hunt was made out to N7ERU, the Eagle Amateur Radio Club at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, as the winning team members are all members of the club and they wanted some wallpaper for their ham shack.

Congratulations to Forrest, Clayton and Brian! Forrest promised a challenging hunt in April.

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt. It was another fun Sunday in beautiful, sunny Arizona.

See pictures of the hunt here.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

February 2015

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, February 7th.

The foxes were Jeff, WB7RFY, and I, WB9VGJ.

Jeff had picked an excellent place to hide the transmitters, on a dead-end road off of West Lonesome Hawk Dr. in Highland Pines. While hunters had to drive past the 5-mile-from-the-start limit for hiding the transmitters to find the transmitters, they were just 4.27 miles from the starting point, as the raven flies.

There were five teams of hunters this month, an excellent turnout which included two guys who have not yet gotten their license:

  • Bob, WB6ODR, and Linda, KD7EEO.
  • Randy, W6TYV and Al, AF6ZR.
  • Pete, K6VVR, Diane, KE7ODP, Patrick, KG7EWD, and friend John, no license yet.
  • Clayton, KJ6QJS, Brian, KK6PGR, and Braden, KG7GLX.
  • Ron, KC0TGG, and friend (another) John, no call yet.

Forrest, WH6EAL, was unable to join in the hunt as he was working SOTA (Summits on the Air). However, Jeff and I did talk to him on 2 meters, both through the club repeater and simplex when he was up on Mt. Humphries at Flagstaff. That was a pleasant surprise.

When we set up the transmitters, I told Jeff I didn’t think anyone would find them. It turned out to be a first for a YARC foxhunt in that no hunters found the transmitters before the allotted time was up. However, some were rather close. As a result, Jeff and I will be the foxes for the March hunt. I promised the hunters I would find a place that was less challenging. I do think they believed me.

Even though no one found the transmitters in the allotted time, we gave the hunters the location so they could come and see where they were and realize how close they had come to finding them and to give them an idea how well their direction-finding had been working. All the hunters appreciated seeing the locations and we got positive feedback.

As there was no official winner, and as WB6ODR was the first to find the primary transmitter when the hunters arrived, he and KD6EEO were awarded the certificate that Jeff created (See it in the pictures of the hunt.)

We had our usual social get-together after the hunt. It was another fun Sunday in beautiful, sunny Arizona.

See pictures of the hunt here.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ

January 2015

The monthly foxhunt was held Sunday, January 11th.

The foxes were Diane, KE7ODP, Pete, K6VVR, and Patrick, KG7EWD.

The foxes hid the main transmitter in the parking lot of the Phippen Museum and the secondary transmitter across the highway at the memorial for the crashed Constellation and trailhead for the Constellation Trails, 296 yards away from the primary transmitter. There were three teams of hunters this month:

  • Jeff, WB7RFY, and I.
  • Forrest, WH6EAL, and Randy, W6TYV.
  • Bob, WB6ODR.

Jeff and I were fortunate and won the hunt, with Forrest and Randy coming in second. Bob decided to give up the hunt and was given the location and came to it. We won with a nice margin of approximately 45 minutes. We also drove the fewest miles to find the transmitter, 8.9 miles as compared to 22.7 miles for Forrest and Randy and 21.8 miles for Bob.

I again used the SigTrax app on my smartphone (You can see a screenshot of it in my pictures, link below.) to assist in getting bearings on the transmitter’s signal. While it is difficult to be ultra-precise, the bearings did head us in the correct direction and help us hone in on the transmitters quickly.

The signal at the starting point was weak and appeared to come from the southeast towards downtown. The other two teams drove south from the starting point. In hunts past, Jeff and I had also headed south with the signal was weak and apparently coming from that direction, only to find that the transmitters were north of the starting point. The hills and rocks make for confusing signal reflections. So, we headed east and then north to Rosser and by doing that we discovered the transmitter was north of us. That facilitated our shorter time and fewer miles to find the transmitter. Sometimes, one has to go with one’s gut even when the equipment might indicate something else.

We had our usual after-hunt get-together at Prescott Junction Restaurant. The social aspects of the hunts are as enjoyable as the actual hunts.

See pictures of the hunt here.

We would encourage more folks to get involved in the hidden transmitter hunts. They are really fun and help develop direction-finding skills.

73,

John, WB9VGJ