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Author Topic: Hamfest Foxhunt  (Read 4749 times)

Posts: 17416

« on: January 27, 2005, 12:59:40 PM »

I'll be giving a seminar on Transmitter Hunting at the
SEAPAC ARRL Northwest Division convention this coming June.
After that we will have a transmitter hunt on 2m, which
is being announced in the advance flyer that goes out next

I've always found that the moment of finding their first
transmitter is the time to get folks hooked.  And a hamfest
or convention is a great opportunity to get more people
interested in hunting.

How many of you have transmitter hunts at hamfests?  What
is your favorite arrangement?  What problems do you

We've had a number of hunts - official or otherwise - at
SEAPAC over the years.  The last few times we've put
out 3 synchronized transmitters in the streets (and the
beach) surrounding the convention center.  People go
out on foot, so there is no worry about vehicles.  The
terrain is easy on foot, or (except for the beach) even
for wheelchairs.  

Multiple transmitters provide a good mix of challenges
for beginners and advanced hunters:  usually the closest
one is just 2 or 3 blocks away, which most people can
find (even if they need some help).  Those who are trying
for the fastest time to all of them have to choose what
sequence they want to find them in, and distances are
short enough that a skilled hunter can walk the course
and beat a runner who takes longer sniffing, and
participants don't get too tired by the end, even if
they overexert somewhat.

We usually try to have some DF equipment available for
loan:  keeping the course short also means that more
people get a chance to borrow it.  If you are concerned
about getting the equipment back, hold a drivers license
or HT as security.  It does take a couple extra people
at the start to train people in the use of unfamiliar
equipment and handle the check-out.  Ideally it should
be possible to find all the transmitters (or at least
the first one) using body shielding, which allows those
without specialized equipment to participate.


1) Lots of hams at the convention using 2m simplex to
talk with each other.  The Russian Altai 2m receivers
had to be a block or two away before they were free from
all the simplex chatter +/- 150 kHz from the transmitter

2) Everyone wants to stop you and ask what you are doing.

3) Having enough people to watch the transmitters - and
not having them be too obvious to hunters.

Best story:

The two tired hunters (not used to walking that far)
who sat down on a bench by the beach to rest.  When they
got up and turned to gather their equipment they noticed
the transmitter under the bench.

What types of hunts work for you at conventions or
hamfests?  Are they popular?
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