September 2014 Foxhunt report

On Saturday September 27, 2014 SARA held a Foxhunt. This was the first foxhunt of 2014, there were several twists, and some lessons to be learned. Here is how it all unfolded…

[There are some pictures in line with this post that you can click on to see larger versions, or check out the full gallery of pictures from the event here in our photo gallery, or under “Foxhunt September 2014” in the Photo Gallery Menu…. ed]

One thing to keep in mind while reading this story, the hunters were told that this foxhunt was going to be different than any other than SARA has ever had.

All hunters were to meet at the Doylestown City Hall parking lot. Turns out the city was having document shredding day at the same location. Evidently the mayor thought the document shredding event was much more important than SARA’s foxhunt. Makes you wonder what was in those documents….. Just sayin….

  • Lesson Number 1: It’s always best to move your starting location to the small park across the street than to interfere with official public business…. 😉

KB8MXC and teamMike, KD8TQU taking his first readings Starting point 1

The fox transmitter was on the air around 9:50AM and the first vehicle left the NEW starting location a few minutes later.

The first hunter to find the transmitter arrived around 10:50AM. When the hunters arrived that the new park in Sterling…. WOW HANG ON JUST A MINUTE…. STERLING HAS A PARK??? I though all they had was cows and the familiar cow country smell….. Yes Sterling does have an official park on the site of the old elementary school… Now back to the story…. The hunters wondered if they were really in the right location, there were not cars and the only person was a shady looking character on a bicycle. A closer look revealed that shady looking character has a radio on his belt. Upon further investigation they are told by the shady looking character (Fred – KD8GYS) that they had just missed the Fox, and they would need to change frequency on their radio and continue their search (TWIST NUMBER 1).

KD8GYS_Fox_1 KD8GYS at Fox 1

The hunters change frequency and ready to go BUT HOLD ON…. They can’t hear any signal from the fox. In fact they don’t hear anything….. ????

  • Lesson Number 2: When you are sitting a few feet away from an active transmitter your receiver will be desensed by the transmitter. In order to hear the fox they would need to move away from the transmitter.

The hunters are now on their way to find the fox… As they head into Seville the signal is getting a bit stronger, all of a sudden the signal is very strong but it now appears to be behind the hunters. Eventually the hunters make their way to the little known Cy Hewitt Park. But where oh where is the fox? No one in the pavilions… Lots of cars… The signal seems to be coming from the woods, why would they hide it all the way out there in those woods. Wow look at that, there’s a strange person sleeping in that van. After taking a closer look the hunter discover that the strange person in the van (Steve N8SRJ) really isn’t sleeping, he’s actually keeping an eye on the nearby transmitter and three element Yagi.

N8SRJ at Fox 2Fox Transmitter

  • Lesson Number 3: When a Yagi is pointed at a water tower or other structure it can cause signal bounce which can made it very difficult to get an accurate direction.
  • Lesson Number 4: This lesson is really for the hunters unless they plan on being the fox, you want to eat a good breakfast before heading to the fox location, or be sure to take a snack otherwise you’ll be REALLY tempted to bust into the lunch goodies….

The hunters are told that the Fox was there but has run off, and he wasn’t sure which way the fox went, but he did know they had to change the frequency and continue their search for the elusive fox (TWIST NUMBER 2). Remembering the lesson they learned earlier in the morning and quickly moved away from the transmitter so they could get a reading. While the signal was weak and at time could not be heard, our determined hunters press on. After more searching they finally corner the fox at Hubbard Valley Park on Hubbard Valley Road (real original name…) for the park.

  • Lesson Number 5: When the output of a transmitter is set to low power it can be difficult to hear when you’re mobile.

Once all the hunters arrived we all enjoyed lunch and conversation.

Fox 3 Transmitter Fox 3 Antenna KI8B at Fox 3 N8SIN and N8OGK

Foxhunt stats:

  • There were a total of 3 transmitters involved in today’s hunt.
  • From start to finish the hunt last a little over 2 hours
  • Dan (KB8MXC) was the winner with 20 total miles traveled from start to finish. As the winner of the foxhunt Dan gets to host the next one, and he also won a fresh backed cherry pie (donated by Carol (N8SIN))
  • Barry (KI8B) was the first hunter to arrive at all three hidden transmitters.
  • Carol (N8SIN) and Gary (N8OGK) were the second to arrive at the final location.
  • The four runners up also received some nice door prizes!

After lunch KB8MXC and the winning team

I would like to thank everyone who participated in today foxhunt and a special thank you to Carol (N8SIN) for the donation of the cherry pie, Steve (N8SRJ) and Fred (KD8GYS) for help putting this foxhunt together and babysitting two of the three transmitters, and last but not least, thank you to Leah Wagner for taking the group pictures.

Check out the full gallery of pictures from the event here in our photo gallery, or under “Foxhunt September 2014” in the Photo Gallery Menu.

Best 73,
Del (N8OFP)


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