T-Hunt Report – November 2, 2013

by: Ron Hunt N6MTS
May 2, 2013

Central Valley T-Hunters Report for November 2, 2013

Hidden Transmitter Antenna Overlooking Hensley Lake

Once again, the CV T-Hunters met for another challenging event. We started from the Hwy41 & HWY 145 park-N-Ride lot on Saturday morning at about 10AM. We had 6 teams hunting and we were searching for two transmitters.

Ron, N6MTS, was the Fox and hid the transmitters on the east side of Hensley Lake. But that’s where the fun started. Normally the group hunts a low powered QRP-type transmitters that we can barely hear it from the starting point. But as Ron says, “life is too short for QRP”. So in his usual style, the main transmitter was running a bit of power, about 140 watts of it. AND all this power was pumped into an 11-element yagi to “beam’ the signal to the west side of the like.

Hidden Transmitter and Power setup

The west side boat ramp was so lit-up with RF that it could have glowed in the dark, and it was literally reflecting RF from every rock. Furthermore, the antenna was set down deep in a cove on the east side of the lake, to insure that it wouldn’t be heard from anywhere other than the west side of the lake (the reflection side). So according to plan, “all” the hunters sniffed around to the west side of the lake before realizing they had been lead astray. Once they figured that out, it was an easy trip around the lake to the east side to actually locate the real source of all the RF, and with 140 watts, we had RF everywhere.

Hidden Transmitter Radio

Additionally as you drove down to the picnic area where the main transmitter was located, you passed another low-powered squeaker and that too was the second transmitter that had to be located. It was found to be inside an old salad-dressing bottle and was hidden beneath a big weed next to a culvert. ( I wanted to put it in the culvert, but couldn’t get enough signal out to be easily noticeable. Of course the trick here was that the big transmitter had to be resting between operational cycles to even hear the weaker bug at all.

For this particular hunt, it was announced that the winner of the hunt would be the team who had driven the “least miles”, and the overall time was irrelevant. But to qualify you also had to have physically located both of the transmitters. So the final results were as follows:

  • First place winners: Matt KG6YLJ and Greg KG6YZM with only 24.0 miles driven.
  • Second place: John WJ6Y and Rick W6KKO with 25.0 miles.
  • Third place: John K6MI (running solo) with 27.1 miles (but also the first to finish)
  • Fourth place: Rob AE6GE and Greg KJ6OUI with 27.8 miles
  • Fifth place: Mike KD6LDA (running solo?) with 43.0 miles (but he was moving)
  • Honorable Mention: Duane KI6QEL and Christian with 38 miles (but didn’t find the QRP transmitter).

Then next scheduled T-Hunt will be on January 4th, at 10AM.
Come and join us for some serious fun.