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! .,,,, Tim

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 page.

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 here.

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 ke3ht@nobarc.org the e-mail address you wish to receive the e-mail. When its working all you have to do is send mail to t-hunt@nobarc.org 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: ke3ht@nobarc.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!


   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!


   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 shielding!

   So who was the winner in this hunt? All of us, including the fox!

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