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Fox Hunts


bigredmed
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I've tried it in a super-basic introductory form. It was quite fun even at that level. The 'fox' was an HT in a box transmitting a tone on some frequency in the 2-meter band (I don't remember). Then, we used rubber duck antennas to find it. This is done by using your body to block the signal on one side. Sometime I hope to be involved in a real foxhunt.

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Here in the Marquette, MI, area, we have fox-hunts weekly from May through August. In fact, we have done this for the last seven or eight years and even had a couple of "special" hunts on Saturdays in February (8 degrees), March, and April. We use two self-contained foxes (in ammo boxes), which are planted within a five-mile radius of our starting point, usually within one of the many wooded areas in our locale. Most of our guys use tape-measure beams and ht's with active attenuators. Some have even gone to the high-tech Australian receivers. The rugged terrain of this area as well as our close proximity to Lake Superior can cause some misleading reflections, but that doesn't stop our guys from finding the foxes, sometimes in less than an hour but generally less than two. The one who planted the foxes awaits the successful hunters with appropriate refreshments afterwards. Because it is competitive and egos are at stake, fox-hunting is a lot more "intense" than geocaching, but it is great fun.

KG8YT

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A very good antenna is the "Tape Measure" antenna. This can be built very cheaply and easily. The materials are a 1" wide metal tape measure (I got some of these at the 99cents store.) and some PVC pipe and Ts, and a length of coax with a connector for your HT.

This antenna, which is a 3-element yagi, is optimized for front-to-back gain which is what you want for T Hunts. I will try to find the link if anyone is interested. My radio club built a bunch of these a while back.

 

We are going to do a very easy beginner's hunt beginning of November in San Pedro, CA. K6AA

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I used to do fox hunts with another ham friend. These were usually on 2m. With two people you'd be amazed at how quickly you can nail down a fox. When the fox was transmitting, we'd hop out of the car and stand 10 or 15 ft apart, hold our radios in the middle of our chests and do a pirouette. You get a nice null off the back(bone). When you have two readings that agree, hop back in the car and burn rubber in that direction. When you get closer you can use a UHF stubby to attenuate the signal some. When really close you can pull the antenna off the radio altogether and do the same thing. We could beat out the guys with the doppler systems unit this way. Probably because we drove a little faster too. :-)

 

73 de C-A

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Tape Measure Antenna

 

I have built one of these. I got the tape measure at 99 Cent Store, so it is cheap to build. Soldered the feedline and matching piece with silver solder and 80 watt iron.

I also use a dummy load with a attenuated tap. This is a surplus cell phone transmitter part I got for a few dollars. My 2M HT goes to the dummy load, and the antenna goes to the tap (about 50 dB down). The advantage of this setup is that if you accidently transmit, it goes to the 50 ohm dummy and nothing is harmed.

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I have built one of these. I got the tape measure at 99 Cent Store, so it is cheap to build. Soldered the feedline and matching piece with silver solder and 80 watt iron.

 

My suggestion is to go with a front driven element and two reflectors. This will net you a better null off the back and still exhibit gain.

 

I also use a dummy load with a attenuated tap. This is a surplus cell phone transmitter part I got for a few dollars. My 2M HT goes to the dummy load, and the antenna goes to the tap (about 50 dB down). The advantage of this setup is that if you accidently transmit, it goes to the 50 ohm dummy and nothing is harmed.

 

Good idea. Too bad most ham handies don't have the provision for turning off the transmitter. :laughing:

 

We tried the tape-measure yagi, loop-sticks and dopplers. The dopplers work great but you can't beat the method I described above for simplicity.

 

C-A

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