York Region Amateur Radio Club held its first FoxHunt for 2016 on Nov 19, 2016
The event started with a breakfast/social at the Wimpy’s Diner in Oakridges and while sipping coffee the strategy and equipment shakeout began in earnest
At 10 am the fox was in position and the hunt began.
At 10:40 am the husband and wife team of VE3YRP checked in at 10:40 am to claim top honours.
Ian had a homebrew tape measure antenna feeding an Icom R5 scanner and took 3 bearings to locate the fox. He likes the R5 for its sensitivity and s-meter feature
Second place was earned by the father and son team of VE3ISG and VA3ASE. Ian is a new ham and was thrilled with their finish and strategy with 3 bearings. The tape measure beam with a Baefeng did the job. They arrived at 10:47
Third was taken by team VE3IBW and VA3GS coming in at 11:18am.
4th was taken by VE3CZK and VA3WJO using a tape measure antenna they built the day before and using the Kenwood D74 for receive. They arrived at 11:30 due to being on the wrong side of Yonge street and misreading a triangulation.
VE3MUU popped in during the rain at 11:54 and he was so so close by a few hundred yards but realized that he could not “knock” the signal down and thus not get a bearing. I dropped the power on the fox to 100mw and that helped get a fix and make a beeline to the location just before shut down.
VA3MCT, checked on to report that he had abandoned his search at 11:58. Mike was on the wrong side of the Aurora Ridge and was having difficulty hearing the fox transmissions.
The fox was placed across 71 Larmont Street , Aurora beside the old armoury at the town park. Funny enough I noticed that this address has ham antennas and is the home of VE3AHA.
Anthony VE3HIS was “mobile” and heard the beacon from several locations and shared his readings with the group.
Do not play or program or unpack the fox hunt controller the day before as we had a technical issue with the fox sending out dead air transmissions and inconsistent timings after about an hour into the hunt. I resorted to manual mode.
Teaming up made it fun
Fancy equipment is not needed
Printed maps may be useful but the winner used his Ham sense to gather his bearings
Fox location was good enough to make it interesting for the start of the Foxhunt series. I was given suggestions to bury it next time, put it on a balloon or make it a moving one to really mess up everyone. Yes, we will do that as we get better at locating the fox and to make it more challenging.
Make it a 9am start with the fox in play and the entrants will gather at the start location “ready to go” and we could have winners within an hour and still have a 90 min or 120 minute time limit.
I will plan the next event for January and will take suggestions on how to make it easier or better.
The 4th place team is all smiles….”Hey we didnt finish top 3 but we did find the Fox”