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gadgetjon

Foxhunt - Rochester NY USA Oct. 26th

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You don't have to be a ham to play this game, but hams have been doing it for years. A foxhunt is a hunt for a hidden transmitter. No latitude or longitude will be given, so your GPS will only help you find your way home icon_wink.gif

 

The Xerox Amateur Radio Club, XARC, has done several foxhunts over the past few years. We have an official one every spring, and a few others sprinkled throughout the year. We use 2 meters FM. That means you need a radio that receives 146 MHz, like a police scanner, or you may know a ham with a radio you can borrow.

Some of us have directional antennas, but techniques with just the built in antenna can be effective. These big hunts can start from miles away, and I also have a small fox we use for on-foot hunting. See my webpage for some of the past hunts, and links to more info.

 

N2JAC's web page

 

date will be Saturday, October 26th, 2002. I'll need participants to RSVP to me so we can accomodate guests. We will be there to help beginners and show you how to home in on the fox.

 

Registration is 9:30 to 10 in Webster, NY. I hear this hunt will be a little different so it should be a challenge for everyone.

 

jondickason@yahoo.com

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The XARC fall 2002 Fox Hunt

 

This fall's Fox Hunt was held on Saturday morning, October 26th. The starting location was the parking lot of the Xerox Research building

W128 in Webster, New York. Although the day started damp, the weather improved

significantly by the 10am start time and it remained dry for the entire duration of the hunt. Huntmasters Judy Stonehill (N2KXS) and Fred Miller (WO2P) reviewed the standard rules and introduced a new "tag method" of

confirming that the fox had been located. Under this new scheme, 2"x 3" individually labeled and waterproofed tags with numbers 1 through 10

were attached to the fox. When a hunter located the fox, he was to silently remove the lowest numbered tag and proceed to a predetermined location for confirmation with the huntmasters. This method would hopefully eliminate

the problem seen in past hunts where the first hunter finding the fox would call in (via a repeater) and while verifying the location, would

disclose the fox location to other nearby hunters.

 

It took slightly over 32 minutes for the first place team to locate the fox. "Local knowledge" was a plus here since two of the three first

place team hunters were somewhat familiar with the area. The fox was located in Casey Park in the town of Ontario about 12 miles due east of the Webster starting point. It was hidden on the North rim of a very large dirt bank that was excavated and created back in the 1880's when the area was strip mined for iron ore. The resulting 1/2 mile long 100 foot wide "lake" and rough terrain, coupled with various hiking trails, provided numerous ways to "make a bad decision". The extremely high iron content of the surrounding

hills also resulted in many spots where the fox signal seemed to be reflected or to be seriously attenuated.

 

At the post hunt lunch, held at "Tom's Original", it was the consensus of the assembled hunters that the new "tag method" method worked out quite

well. It added a new dimension to the hunt as various "devious" methods of guise and deception could be used to throw another team off track.

Individual awards were presented to all the hunters and stories of "I would have", "I should have", and "I almost" were shared and enjoyed by all.

 

The only down side of event was the untimely demise of Pete Fornia's HT that, while performing it duties flawlessly, was inadvertently dropped over the side of a bridge and on to an electronics-eating rock. Pete was fine,

the HT did not recover (moment of silence here)...

 

Well, tradition dictates that the first place team organizes the following year's hunt. During the latter part of the lunch, I could already see

Fred, Brian, and Rick with their heads together, scheming to try to perplex us on the next hunt. We look forward to what looks to be a challenging and spirited hunt.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Fred Miller WO2P Huntmaster

 

1st place team: Fred Donahue W3MUD

Brian Donovan K2AS

Rick LaDonna N2IJI

 

2nd place team: Ned KC2FLM

Greg (Ned's son)

Bob KC2HXD

 

3rd place team: Pete Fournier W2SKY

Carol Fournier

4th place team: Bob Karz K2OID

Doc WA6UCY

 

5th place team: Jon Dickason N2JAC

Laura

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Hey, gadgetjon. Sounds like you had fun. I'd like to get in on the next fox hunt. Got to learn the ins & outs of the game. My brother works in one of the buildings in the Webster complex, & my sister-in-law works in the tower downtown. I'll be trying to work on my brother to get into ham. Casey Park is a nice little park. I'm sure you've already hit the cache that's placed there. Great burger at Toms Original, too. Relay my condolences to Pete over the demise of his HT. icon_frown.gif.

 

"Gimpy"

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next XARC one is in April. I have a fox we can use for an on-foot hunt whenever you like. I thought about doing it at the Letchworth picnic, but I was too busy sightseeing/geocaching. If you want to get half a dozen folks together for a foxhunt, I'll supply the fox and training. We did these mini hunts at lunchtime when I worked at Xerox. Usually only takes a few minutes to find it, then we take turns hiding it. Good practice for the big hunts too. I have a geocache/foxhunt planned but don't know if I'll ever get a round tuit.

 

JD

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