The Hunters And Their Mode of Transportation
....Wayne KC6TNJ .................Pete
.DougWA6RJN and Son
.N6ZHZ and KC6CYG
Eric N6YKE and Wife
Four transmitters, all AF6O boxes, were programmed identically with various code speeds and HOs , HIs, HAs, and HEs. The internal clocks were all set to be the same as my watch, but allowed to drift around for two days. There were all programmed to turn on at 10AM on Saturday morning. I set off on Friday to plant them in the wild.
I drove east looking for a place where signals would bounce around a lot, not too far away, still get into PV. I was heading for Black Eagle Mine nestled inside of Joshua Tree Nat'l Monument. NE of Palm Springs. I never got there. I checked out roads north of I10 and found a tricky way to get up on Corral Pass. I put one transmitter there (Corral T) but it wouldn't radiate far, so I needed a "finder T" to be heard in PV and the other two to confuse things. I decided that the "finder T" would go up on Black Mountain (7700 ft) if it were open, and nearby if not. BTW every other bump in Southern Cal is named "Black Mountain, the one I am thinking of is the one just NW of San Jacinto. Well, I thought of two "finder-Ts" . One would use a big beam (9-element) Horizontal Polarization, pointed at San Jacinto from a canyon to the NW (Bluff-T on Bluff Ave) but only heard on I-10 for about a mile. It would be confused by a Transmitter located at the base of San Jacinto (Hat-T..located on Hattie street).
The gate to Black mountain was closed. (sorta - when I went up to the gate the ranger was there and had just arrested two "roughies" who had pulled the gate post out of the ground and went on up the mountain. Kinda dumb when one considers that they must come back out through the gate and thereby waits the ranger.) I asked him if it would be fixed by tomorrow and he assured me that it would be. I told him what I was about, and he suggested a road about 1/4 mile back down the hill, that was not on any map, not obvious and about a mile long ending at a ridge looking west. Perfect. I just hung a AF6O transmitter in the crotch of a pine tree (crotch-T). I went home to wait for Saturday morning.
I heard two Tees from my home in Bloomington. They heard (barely) one at the start. The two I heard were the Crotch-T and the Corral-T. Later in the afternoon, I drove out to see what was going on. I found WA6FAT wandering around Bluff-T, but never saw any others. Corral-T was 5 KHz low and was hard to hear without the hetrodyne but it was doing fine. The gate to Potero Canyon was open, so it was quite easy to get there. I thought it would be locked and the only way in was from the otherside through Millard Canyon; much harder. Poor Hat-T was dead. The battery was OK but the transmitter wouldn't. Oh Well. A three transmitter hunt is OK. I went home, wondering when I would get time to retrieve the remaining three transmitters, what with the superbowl party and work.
The hunt seemed to go well; at least no one bombed my house on the way home. I picked up the transmitters on Tuesday morning, They had all stopped transmitting by then. I was amazed, no one had found Corral-T, the second strongest one here in Bloomington. It also had a clear shot at the 10 hwy well west of the clear shot from Bluff-T that a lot of people found. It was still on well into Sunday PM, so I dunno whats going on.
There were Nine teams on the hunt, seven started properly, with a total of about 20 people involved.. Good turnout. The weather was great, the hunt did not require going into the snow, although I'm sure some of you don't believe that, and only 8.1 miles of dirt road were required (I know you don't believe that).
I hope you all were properly confused by all three transmitters having the same and somewhat long CW encoding. Now you know how it feels to hunt multiple Ts when you can't copy the code to tell them apart. I have developed several way to separate multiple transmitters without decoding their signals by using polarization (Bluff-T was horizontal, the other three vertical), frequency (Corral-T was 5 KHz low), and some other tricks that wouldn't have helped much here.
How many transmitters have you found Bob?
STARTERS: Crotch-T Bluff-T Corral-T RJN DNF DNF DNF TQQ/TNJ DNF 272.6 DNF AIN/EKS 167.3 DNF DNF GQ/LAJ DNF 247.15 DNF MI/NYW 242.2 308 DNF (Found 2Ts..THE WINNER) YKE DNF 214.85 DNF ZHZ/CYJ 179 DNF DNF FAT (DNS) DNF 2:00PM DNF MJN/XFC (DNS) DNF 2:15PM DNF