20160515 - Fox Hunt coming

posted May 13, 2016, 11:36 PM by News Team
Image: w0oel.com
Calling all foxhunters! VK6's next Fox Hunt will be held the evening of next Saturday, May 21st.

Hunters should gather at the usual starting location, which is the Women’s Memorial car park, on Forrest Drive in Kings Park, and be ready for check-in around 7:15pm, for a 7.30 start.Liaison repeater will be VK6RLM, 146.750. Fox for the evening will be Ray VK6ZRW.

The fox will be hiding somewhere within a 5km radius of Kings Park, and after the hunt, the plan is to catch up for some supper at a nearby café.

If you are new to fox hunting - or haven’t been for a while – the idea is to drive around and find the fox transmitter, staying safe and having some fun while doing so! Time taken to complete the hunt will depend on how cunning the fox is, and the skill of the hunters – typically one to two hours. (It took me a while, last time…)

The fox transmits on its usual frequency of 144.600, and outputs a continuous audio tone – keyed periodically with its CW ID - using a mixture of AM and FM modulation, so you can hunt using a wide variety of 2 metre receiving equipment. 

Even a simple and cheap handheld is usually sufficient to hear the fox, although if you have access to a 2m SSB rig, this usually gives better results.

A portable or vehicle-mount directional antenna of some kind is also needed - if you don’t have one, a 2 or 3 element yagi is easy to construct, with most materials readily available – old TV antennas and spring-steel tape measures, aluminium tube and PVC pipe offcuts all can come in handy. What your junk box doesn’t have, your local hardware store should be able to provide….

Other “nice to have” items include a stepped attenuator, for reducing the signal to manageable levels when you are close to the fox, and a handheld “snoop loop” for narrowing down the exact final location.
(Obviously also have suitable maps or GPS, a torch or head lamp and clothing appropriate for the weather….)

More information, including equipment/antenna designs and hunting tips, is on the VK6 Foxhunt website: www.vk6fox.org.au. While you are there, consider signing up to the mailing list, to keep in touch with future fox hunt updates.

Look forward to seeing you on Saturday evening, May 21!