December 19th, Working on equipment.
John (WA1ZHM) seems to have a pattern recently. As a fox he likes to hide
on top of hills so as you approach, the signal gets weaker. He was found
almost to the top of a hill on Grange road in Dalton. This week we only
had two teams of hounds, Tim (KE3HT), who came in first with 24mins and
10.8 miles. George (KB2SAE) and Don (N1ISB) were second with 38 miles (I
will not say how long :-). We had at least two hounds that called to say
they could not attend due to last minute year end activities. A new award
was created starting with this hunt. We now have a Junior fox which I think
goes to the last place? I am not positive, it may be for the team with
the least miles. It didn't matter this week with only two teams of hounds!
We had great weather and got to try out the Dop Scans. In fact I think
thats the main topic of this months news. George and Don had a Dop Scan
that I recently repaired (or did I sabotage it!). I tested it Saturday
night finding where George lives. I did find him but not without some difficulty.
The Dick Smith Sop Scan has a lot of swing with the reflections. I was
unable to connect with them to return the Dop Scan until Saturday evening.
It was so cold that evening that we did not get it set up and tested on
Georges vehicle. George and Don had a great deal of difficulty. George
and Don reported being in West Pittsfield 180 degrees from the fox so I
can suspect some typical problems. A Dop Scan can be great fun but it takes
some time to figure out how to read it and how to trust the reading by
the wine sound it puts out. I could spend a couple of pages on this and
still not get close to covering everything. I can only say that its a great
joy when its working and you can finally trust its output. I say that fo
our type of hunts that a Dop Scan is second only to John's intuition! .,,,,
November 21st, Another Good Hunt!
Mike (N1XHQ) and Todd (N1XHR) did their usual job of fouling us up. We
all went the wrong directions. As we got closer the signal got weaker.
To top that off the signal was strongest over 3 miles away with a reflection
off of Bosquet Mountain! These two were hiding right ON route 20 just short
of the N.Y. boarder just over the top of the hill. John (WA1ZHM) without
ANY special equipment guessed the spot based on what? I asked him and he
responded "I have seen the signals in this area before during a plane crash
a few years ago". I wonder about John sometimes but this time I was in
front of John in two spots and behind him in a third. I have a Dop Scan
and every time I turned around he was there. The only way he could do that
with no equipment is with a very high PSI (ESP) rating. Perhaps we should
open that HUGE trunk of his and see what he is hiding! Well seriously now.
WA1ZHM was first at 52 minutes. The real story on this hunt was Dave and
RoAnne who got 2nd place for the 4th time this year. The fifth time in
the top three for the 1999 season! (see the Records
page for the "We try harder" award). I was a close third with George
(KB2SAE) and Don (N1ISB) finishing in 96 minutes. We took mileage for this
hunt as well and discovered that George and Don must have stopped for Coffee
because even though they were last they had the lowest mileage at 23 miles.
I, Tim (KE3HT) doing the worst with 33 miles. Stats of times and miles
are posted on the STATS
October 27th, Dead fox found on top of hill in cemetery!
John WA1ZHN was the fox and he did not let us down! What a fox! The point
of the fox is to be cunning and that he was. John hid on top of a hill
in the St. Joseph's cemetery in Pittsfield. The uniqueness of this spot
has yet to be defined but my theory is that the hill he was on is surrounded
by mostly lower flat areas including lakes. The flat areas were surrounded
by some good size hills. Depending which road you took towards them you
would approach him at a lower altitude. The RF for some reason stayed high,
probably due to automobile verticals having somewhat high angles of takeoff.
This meant that the approaching vehicle was hearing the reflections better
than his signal direct. In any case, Mike N1XHR and Todd teamed up for
first place in only 40 minutes and 8.9miles using a roof mount vertical
beam on a rotor. This was a long haul for them since they started out about
.25 miles (one quarter of a mile) from the fox! Imagine their surprise!
Ed N1FGY and Al K1SAV teamed up for second in 20 miles using body shielding.
Our first foot hounds KB1DMR and N1QOV came in third on foot using just
an HT and a paper clip! All three other teams including two dop scans (Dave
KB1DOE, a relative newcomer to our group has a new dop scan) and myself
came in later. I put on 44 miles and started about 5 miles from the fox.
We wrapped up the hunt after TWO HOURS !
October 5th, Plane crashed 5:30am, found 16:30pm
Don (N1ISB) was called around 8:30am and was asked to see who might be
available for a search and rescue mission involving a plane crash at 5:30am.
At around 11am Don was calling us back and asking for us to make the trip
to the Williamstown Fire department. Ed (N1FGY), myself Tim (KE3HT) and
Don (N1ISB) all made it there and signed in. Three officers and three hams
were the first search parties to start looking for the plane. The State
police might have been looking to get a helicopter in there after the clouds
cleared but after awhile it started to look like the day might stay overcast.
Thats when the first foot search parties went in. We were escorted with
sirens and lights by PA state enviornmental police to a back road just
east of Berlin mountian. Ed and I took our search gear and mounted
ATV's with two of the police officers. My portable 5 element beam was a
bear to handle and still be able to hold on to the frame of the ATV. The
trip up the mountain only had a few obstacles to overcome. The first was
a bridge out which required the ATV's to make a river crossing along some
rocks then climb the other side of the river bank. What a neat ATV! I took
the chicken way out and crossed on foot. We had a couple of trees in the
logging trails to go around but we did not have to stop till we were facing
a up hill slope that the ATV's could not climb. We were three teams but
split up in the woods. Ed took the south ridge, I took the center ridge
and a police officer with no df equipment took the north ridge. Ed heard
a rise in the noise, which is trade mark in AM signals, to the north of
him. I was to close to the shadow of my ridge to hear anything but
I confirmed the position of Ed and my police officer used his compass to
figure out which way was north of Ed. The officer to our north went further
north of us when he picked up the scent of Aero-fuel. That lead to the
helicopters circling him and the plane was found. The police did not really
want us on the scene but my officer (Sgt. Terry, id=S18) was very poilte
and concerned for my safety. He really did want to help get us into a position
to DF the plane. The State Police should be commended for such fine officers.
The only thing that might have gone better if that we should have started
earlier in the morning to hear the ELT (Emergency locator transmitter)
before its battery ran down. The signal got weaker to the point of dissappearing
byt the time they actualy got to the plane. Ed only got one bearing on
the signal and as he got closer to the ridge got closer to the shadow of
the hill and of course lost the signal. You can view the new broadcast
of the story from WNYT
and see how things were interperted by the news crews. Nov 15, 1999 update:
A nice thank you from a friend of one of the pilots of the plane. He also
sent a set of pictures to be seen
September 26th, No problems with Parking !
KE3HT did a parking garage hunt in downtown Pittsfield. "I figured we always
have hunts in exotic parts of the surrounding towns, why not have one right
in the center of the hunt zones?". The first hound was at the fox
in 41 minutes after the start! WA1ZHN John did it with just an HT! I think
he started close :-). Our second place keepers RoAnne and Dave (KB1EAA)
did not finish second, however, they did not finish first either. We were
praying for them ! Todd N1XHR and Don N1ISB had the honor of taking second
place from Dave and RoAnne who came in third. This was the first hunt in
quite a while that did not have any active DOP-Scans in the hunt. We had
5 mobile teams and two base stations checkin. KA1SON (Rick) checked in
and reported an S3 at his house. We had a great time after the hunt talking
about all kinds of things. Two things worth mentioning. Some of us would
like to see a once or twice a year hunt of a different type. An example
might be a mobile hunt, or perhaps just a hunt in a different area. Maybe
a joint hunt with some hunters invited in from outside the area. I would
also like to suggest we make an attempt at hunting in other hunts. George
(KB2SAE) and I (KE3HT) have discussed breifly the idea of teaming up and
hunting in the Hudson Valley(Click
for details) hunt. Its only a hour or two from us and I know some of
the guys. They would love us to come. It would be real good if we could
get another team togther to go with us. As my last comment, Todd and I
will be opening the t-hunt e-mail group list soon. If you want to be on
the list please e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
the e-mail address you wish to receive the e-mail. When its working all
you have to do is send mail to email@example.com and everyone will get
a copy of your e-mail in one fell swoop!
Other news (GREYLOCK HUNT):
We had a real hunt this evening as well. Right
after the NOBARC club meeting N1FGY,KJ1K and KE3HT were up at Greylock
looking at the split pipes on the tower when the call came in that there
were lost hikers on the mountain. The hikers had Motorola FR50 radios.
We had some trouble figuring out that channel 14 was 447.7125mhz. With
good weather the hikers were able to signal a hellicopter with the exact
location so our attempts at DFing them were not successful. I was totaly
unprepared for the event. I also never heard that I should stand down from
the hunt. I think the ground crews were successful in extracting the hikers
but it was so late a night that the net control just stopped when they
were done. I am not sure. I would like to be more prepared next time. Two
areas of preperation are needed.
#1 We should be prepared to hunt for lost hikers
or hunters that may have radio's even if they are not ham radio's.
#2 We should be prepared to hunt for people that
interfere with the operation of any emergency event. There are $20,000
fines for emergency interference. In some cases there are also rewards
to catch the jammers.
#1 We are looking at the idea of putting some
of the more useful frequencies used by hikers and travelers up on this
web site somewhere so we can get fast access to them should the need arise
again in the future. When you see them posted, print them out and stick
them with your ham gear. I also have a plastic carry all box that I keep
my dop scan stuff in, I just added the list and a scanner so I can scan
for out of ham band signals.
#2 Everybody likes to monitor the frequency when
there is a real emergency. Many do not say anything unless they have something
useful to say. Would you like to help without being to involved or leaving
the house on a cold winter night? PLEASE when you hear a jammer on a real
emergency event, CHECK THE INPUT, and report it on another repeater or
simplex. You can do this without leaving your easy chair. For instance
if a WX problem is going on on 146.91 try 449.426(-)(pl162.?), 147.03 or
even 146.52. If I hear anything happening I plan on being out there with
the dop scan and I need the help of everyone sitting at home. Please press
the REV (reverse) or MONI (monitor) buttons available on almost every ham
radio. If you hear the jammer, note the Signal level and call it in on
one of the other frequencies.
August 22nd In a park again!
It rained before and after, but was wonderful for the hunt. George KB2SAE
and his wife Diane hid in a Sunnyside park on North street just north of
the city of Pittsfield. First place was Tim KE3HT with a dop scan and finished
in 20 minutes to tie Todd N1XHR's speed record a second time this year.
Dave KB1EAA and his wife RoAnne finished 2nd using their beam. This is
the second month in a row they finished 2nd, third time this season! What's
going on here? They must have some patience and I know they use maps. For
more information on the statistics of the group try the stats link above
or click here. I
am also starting a RECORDS
link to try to keep track of our acheivements from one month or year to
the next. If you have any info for me just e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We had 6 mobile teams and one homer (N1QOV) check in. ALL finished, nobody
had to be talked in. The entire hunt only lasted 39 minutes. I think thats
a record, at least this year. We talked in the park till 11 and some went
to Georges house for a BBQ.
JULY 18th, Picnic again !
The weather held once more and gave us a great day for a picnic!
Tim KE3HT hid in the park by Onita lake. We had a gread showing by the
Non-Dopscanners ! First place was KB2SAE and wife KB2VLC using Body Sheilding
in a half an hour!, Second was Dave KB1EAA and his wife Using a mobile
beam. This Husband Wife teams seem to be working well together ! We had
a picnic again, why not the WX was great and the lake provided a great
place to cool off. After the hunt secrets were told. George and Dave used
MAPS ! They marked the directions they found each time and used them to
convirge on the fox. Dave even showed me a great set of maps created at
Staples in Pittsfield. The photo copied a TOPO map and laminated it so
it could be re-used.
JUNE 20th 1996 hunt, Yet another picnic !
KA1SON and N1ISB had the fox well hidden in one of the far corners
of or boundries. Tim KE3HT and his son Jon found the fox and matched the
record of 20 minutes using a dop scan. N1XHR pulled in second. The fox
hid at the Waconaha falls park at the edge of Dalton. This is the third
hunt of the year Dop Scan's have won. Where are the body shields and Beams?
We had a fantasic day and a great picnic!
MAY HUNT (5/23/99) TO BE SPECIAL!
As the Hounds were leaving the April hunt site, Todd N1XHR
announced that he and George KB2SAE, as the foxes for the May hunt, wil
host a picnic following the event. There are two catches, however. The
picnic is open only to those who participate in the hunt, and they must
find the fox in order to get to the picnic. Now there is a challenge! May
was won by KA1SON/N1ISB. N1XHR had a neat spot right on route 7 in a rest
area. The rest area is in a valley that fooled me ! Two dop scans took
first and second. The rain crept in and forced the after hunt picnic to
Todd's house. This hunt was highlighted by a Bicycle hunter!
1999 SEASON BEGINS WITH A NEW HOUND!
The 1999 season got into full swing on Sunday, April 24, with
Tim KE2HT as the Fox. At start time, two teams of Hounds checked in: Todd
N1XHR with George KB2SAE; and John WA1ZHM with Don N1ISB. Tim had found
a neat hiding place in a cul-de-sac at the local industrial park. It didn't
take long for Todd and George to find him. They were followed shortly thereafter
by a "mystery hound" who had not checked in. John and Don came in third,
just in time to see the "trophy" being awarded to Todd and George.
The question was, of course, "who is the mystery hunter?" After all,
the rules say that you must check in at the start in order to qualify.
It turned out that Dave had passed his novice test just eight days earlier,
and did not have VHF privileges. Indeed, he didn't have a transciever --
he tracked the fox with a portable scanner, using a rubber duck and body
So who was the winner in this hunt? All of us, including
All members of NoBARC, as well as other foxhunters, are invited. If
Dave (who is now KB1EAA) can find the fox with a scanner, any ham who puts
a little effort into it can find the picnic. Hope to see you all there!
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This page was last updated 19 January, 2002 22:37 -0500