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Author Topic: Most difficult find?  (Read 6969 times)

Posts: 11

« on: May 03, 2005, 03:16:06 PM »

I've never participated in a foxhunt.
I would expect you could get rather creative in hiding the xmtr.

Let's hear your most evil/challeging/ find!

Posts: 2358

« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2005, 10:13:37 AM »

women's dressing room victoria'a secret. now behonest guy's who would ever  look there? this would be the perfect location for a fox hunt you would have all the perfect circumstances. you would have congestion of the public. you have all aorts a of rfi and birdies from all the electronics in the mall. you would need excellent PR skill's  to do this with out cause genral panic. and finally you really have to dome some explaing  why your  in girls dressing room with that silly looking ghost buster thingy.

ok sounds impossible to do? no not at all. just get the local mall maintence person to place it above ceiling towel after closing time and turn it on. next morning when mall open's bingo the hunt is on. just  make sure you use a large enough battery to last all nite and heck maybe all weekend.

yes i know i am sinster but hey what a great idea huh?
and best part of this would be if there wasnt any yl,s in the hunt i could hear you explaing that one.

just a thought folks  jeff/n3jbh

Posts: 17482

« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2005, 12:43:27 PM »

There are many different categories of "difficult".  It
could be technically difficult (reflections/stray signals),
physically difficult (three hours hike into a wilderness
area for what would normally be an evening hunt in cars),
well hidden (the dummy brick or boulder trick), or more
socially difficult (like the previous post, the guy hiding
in a tree who invited a bunch of frat guys to picnic with
a keg of beer underneath it on the condition they keep
hunters away, the drunken bum on skid row, the madhouse
community Halloween party where police cordoned off the
area, or putting it too close to a "sensitive area" where
hunters arouse the "curosity" of the security services.)

Probably the most difficult one I have hidden was inside
an upside-down teacup on the table at a hamfest.  The
transmitter put out occasional unmodulated pulses and
drifted past a busy frequency.  This one took a while
to find, but others in a piece of pipe or down a gopher
hole didn't last long, even though hunters were only using
HTs with body shielding.

One of the others was to put the transmitter in a black
nylon bag and run it up a flagpole.  At night.  It was
totally invisible in the dark, and most people don't
expect to look UP.

And then there was the hunt at Dayton that included a
couple of transmitters inside logs (that had been split,
hollowed out, and screwd back together), tucked inside
a buried tire (it was great to watch folks walk back
and forth over a spot of bare dirt, wondering where it
could be hidden), and inside the access port of a

But the hardest ones are often unexpected:  I've often
put out transmitters that I expect people to find
fairly easily only to hear horror stories later about
how bad the reflections were.

One of the guidelines for the international sport-type
of transmitter hunting is that it is a competition
among the hunters, not between the hunters and the hider.
Transmitters are marked by a orange and white flag, and
should be visible from 10 to 30 feet away: the point is
to get close enough to see it, rather than spending a
lot of time trying to sniff out one that is well hidden.  
I try to use the same principle for other hunts
as well - the hiding needs to be appropriate to the
experience/abilities of the hunters.  With inexperienced
hunters not having specialized equipment, finding a car
with a 2m antenna on it may be enough of a challange,
while experienced hunters with a good sniffer shouldn't
have any trouble telling you which strand of barbed wire
on the fence is the actual radiator.  If the hunts are
too hard, people stop coming, then you don't get to hunt
as often.  It's counterproductive.

That said, one of the most impressive hunts that I
remember was when someone borrowed one of my handheld
80m DF receivers for a competition and made sure he
changed the battery beforehand.  Unfortunatly he put in
an old battery, and it didn't take long before the
receiver would work for less than a minute at a time.
So he would take a quick bearing then turn the receiver
off for 5 minutes until the transmitter was due to come
on again, by when the battery had recovered enough to
give him another 20 seconds of operation.  He managed
to find all 4 transmitters that day in spite of it.

But the most difficult hunt I remember was when someone
hid a transmitter in the woods "behind a log somewhere
by some ferns" and failed to turn it on.  We finally
found it 3 hours later as it was getting dark.  I was
almost to to the point of building a DF receiver to
try to hear the crystal oscillator in the controller
module and tracking it down that way!

Posts: 17482

« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2005, 12:50:33 PM »

Oh, and my all-time favorite (which I was not involved in.)

The hider took an old transmitter board and timer, packaged
them up with an antenna, went to a freeway construction
site and dropped them into a hole in the cinderblock
retaining wall in the center divider.  Just before the
concrete was poured in said holes.

Transmitter came on at 8pm the night of the hunt and shut
off at midnight.  And nobody managed to find it.

Posts: 1

« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2005, 02:48:36 PM »

I remember hearing about a no holds barred t-hunt where somebody threw a backpack with an intermittant transmitter on one of the shuttle busses at LAX. The most difficult one I was on was in the late 70s. The guy was at the end of the Santa Monica pier, dressed up so we did not recognize him immediately, and the radio and battery were in the tackle box, and the fishing rod he was using was serving double duty as an antenna


Posts: 536


« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2005, 08:25:32 AM »

In addition to Amateur Foxhunts, I used to be the Director of Emergency Services for the NJ Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.  Some of the best non-distress ELT's and EPIRBS we located were:

1.  An EPIRB stuck under a pier in Brooklyn.  When the tide was low. the EPIRB floated vertically and transmitted.  At high tide, it became horizontal and shut off until the next low tide.

2.  An EPIRB on a boat being trailered down the NJ turnpike.

3.  An ELT going off in an Avionics repair shop.  Finding the shop was easy.  Figuring out which of the 50 ELT's on the shelves was transmitting was bit more difficult.

4.  An ELT being shipped by UPS.

5.  Test transmisions at the the old RCA Astro factory where they made the receiver packages for the weather satellites.

Of course most these occurred at 2 in the morning on weeknight.


Gary, K2GW


Posts: 184

« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2005, 07:32:10 AM »

Cross-band repeater (440in 146 out) using 2 HT's with a small repeater controller board wired between them.  set ID to QST every 3 minutes, control operator a mile or so away to add other chatter, box it up in a trash bag, place the TX mag mount antenna touching a fence on the backside of a school yard next to the woods.  Talk about reflections off that fence.
Steve W4CNG

Posts: 107

« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2005, 03:54:55 PM »

My most difficult hide was the practice ELT I hid about 20ft inside a concrete culvert running under a road. The open end of the culvert just happened to point at a metal hangar several hundred yards away Smiley

My hardest find was a Cessna 150 on the tarmac at Ft Lauderdale Business Airport.

What made it so difficult was the facts that a) AFRCC said that all of their fixes were centered on downtown Ft lauderdale, about 5 miles away, B) We had no air support, C) We had no real DF equipment, just a scanner, and D) the ELT did not have a sweep tone; it was just a dead key, almost impossible to hear unless you're right on it. We of course had no clue about this last fact.

We had checked the airport out first since that was the most likely spot with no results, not even from the control tower. We spent the next several hours criss-crossing Ft Lauderdale in a grid search and was at the point of calling it a night based on exhaustion and safety concerns when it was decided to make 1 last sweep of the airport. As we came around a back corner with the squelch off, the static got quieter and quieter until it was dead silent. I unplugged the rubber duckie and got an earful of static. Putting the antenna back on again silenced the noise. We got out and body-blocked it until we were quite sure it was a particular airplane before calling security to let us in. Walking up to the aircraft in question with the antenna off the scanner confirmed it as it was the only aircraft that would silence the scanner in that fashion.

Posts: 1

« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2006, 07:16:18 PM »

Didn't participate in this one, but heard about it from fellow club members...

The guy running the hunt mounted a five element 2m beam on the rotating boom on one of the treatment ponds at the sewage treatment plant. The whole mess went 'round and 'round and the beam was never pointing in the same direction when the transmitter timer went off. Add to that the fact that the treatment plant is down near the river with plenty of high hills and metal buildings all around and it almost drove everybody nuts. Talk about wierd reflections...
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