January 1999 All Day WA6TQQ and AF6O Hiding

On Thursday morning WA6TQQ and AF6O headed out to the East Mojave Scenic Area to hide some transmitters for the upcoming all day. Two transmitters had been programmed to turn on at 1800 hours on Saturday and were crystalled for 147.585 MHz. These were to be deployed on the way out with the intention of being easy finds to provide some interest on the long drive home.

The first 147.585 transmitter was hidden about a mile from the 15 freeway at Wild Wash Road between Victorville and Barstow. The second was situated near the Basin Road exit between Barstow and Baker.

Upon arrival at the East Mojave Scenic Area the hiders went to Foshay Pass southeast of Kelso. The main road through the pass runs in a straight line and encounters some very steep hills as it is effectively a section through the contours of the terrain. Paralleling the main road is a powerline road which does not appear on the AAA map. This road does not run in a straight line but meanders around as dictated by the contours of the terrain and therefore has none of the steep hills of the main road. The powerline road had been preselected by the hiders because it goes higher into the mountains than the main road, both roads offer a good path back to the start point. The hiders spent the remainder of the day exploring the powerline road and determining suitable hiding spots on both the east and west sides of the pass.

On Friday morning the hiders headed out through Nipton and across the border into Nevada, intending to check out Crescent Peak. Before going there they decided to travel further along the road just to see what was there! This turned out to be a worthwhile endeavor because what showed up was a 6000ft peak in the McCullough range with what appeared to be a large passive reflector on top, clearly there would have to be a road leading to it. Well it was better than that, there were lots of roads and even in the daylight it was difficult finding the right one. One would want to make sure the hunters arrived at night to double their hunting pleasure!

When the hiders finally found their way to the top it was determined that there was a path back to the start point, actually from just below the top, it appeared that the passive reflector 'stole' all the available RF at the summit. A 30 watt transmitter was programmed to turn on at 09:52 Saturday morning and an eleven element beam was aimed at Palos Verdes. With the station set up work was finished for the day.

Saturday morning saw a return to Foshay Pass, the plan was to set up another 30 watt transmitter on a beam ready to turn on if there was a problem with the Nevada transmitter being heard. The station was set up and the hunters were contacted by cell phone, the Nevada transmitter had come on as planned but initially could not be heard at the start point. Eventually it was discovered that the transmitter was 5kHz high, this revelation allowed it to be heard. (I won't make that mistake again - AF6O). The Foshay Pass transmitter and beam were packed away without ever being turned on and were replaced with a 2 watt transmitter and whip antenna. It was desired to minimize the amount of tear down on Sunday because AF6O was coming down with flu.

Five teams left the start point and three more joined the hunt unofficially. Some teams took the expected route through Twentynine Palms, others took I15 and still others came along the 40 freeway. The hiders, knowing that the N6EKS team was nearing Baker, positioned themselves on a bridge above the freeway ready to reenter and follow them to the Bun Boy for lunch. Ray observed the hiders on the bridge and (to his later regret) accelerated to over 90mph on the downhill stretch "just to see if you would catch me up". This was too much for AF6O to bear and the unspoken challenge was immediately accepted (a practice he later regretted also) the two vehicles arrived together at the Bun Boy.

The Foshay Pass transmitter could be heard on the approach to Baker and the KC6TNJ team spent an inordinate amount of time looking for it there. The N6EKS team went chasing bounces down Kelbaker Road before giving up and heading towards Nevada to find the main Transmitter. Sadly, while closing in on it, they developed transmission trouble and had to drop out of the hunt.

N6MI elected to stay out of the East Mojave Scenic Area and headed directly for the Nevada Transmitter via the 40 freeway. Scott found the large number of roads on McCullough mountain too frustrating at night and eventually decided to get a room at Stateline, resuming the hunt on Sunday morning.

N6YKE found his way to the Foshay Pass and Nevada transmitters, picked off the 147.585 Ts on the way home and became the winner. KC6TNJ eventually ended up at Foshay Pass and followed this up by finding the Nevada Transmitter. Wayne got a few hours sleep at the Bun Boy Motel and picked off the 147.585 transmitters on Sunday morning for second place.

WB6JPI was never heard from again and is rumored to have gone to Santa Barbara!

Of the unofficial teams WA6FAT did a superb job of finding both of the main transmitters before anybody else despite starting the hunt at least an hour late. KD6SNE drove out to Stateline, ate a steak and went home because it was getting late. WA6RJN is believed to have arrived at McCullough mountain but could not continue due to clutch problems.

On Sunday morning the hiders picked up the Foshay Pass transmitter, N6MI very kindly picked up the other three transmitters as he found them and AF6O picked up a speeding ticket on the way home on I40.

Results

With all four transmitters and the lowest mileage N6YKE is the undisputed winner. WA6FAT did such a good job finding the transmitters that he is declared the honorary winner. Milt has agreed to hide (it's been a long time) but first we need Eric's agreement.

Apparently Eric will be unable to hide but has already talked to Wayne about the possibility of substituting for him so now we need to see if Wayne is agreeable.

Position

Team

Transmitters

Miles

1

N6YKE

4

555

2

KC6TNJ

4

~680

3

N6MI

3

 

4

N6EKS/AIN/MJN

0

 

4

WB6JPI

0

 

Unofficial

WA6FAT

3

 

Unofficial

WA6RJN

0

 

Unofficial

KD6SNE

0