January 27th 2018
All Day Transmitter Hunt

Hider: Doug WA6RJN
  Hider’s story
Jan 27, 2018

The area I picked was Barstow east to Pisgah. There is a microwave facility north of I-40 around Pisgah where I once hid. It has a commanding view of the valley below. However, that might cause some hunters to cross the desert from Hesperia to get there. To help the hunters out, I planned to hide a T around Barstow to lead them the easier way. To around out the fun, I planned some addition sites.

Starting out the day of the hide I overslept putting me over an hour behind. Then things continued to go down hill from there.

I hid an on-the-way T3 between Victorville and Barstow at Wild Wash Rd.  As I left, the signal seemed to fade much faster than I expected. After turning around I re-hid the T3 in a higher location and changed the antenna. Precious minutes were passing.

The first site in Barstow for the second main T (T2) did not pan out and I used my second choice (north of Barstow on Irwin Rd) which turned out to be a real life saver. I dropped a 6-element coat hanger beam on a bush that was only a couple of feet high. This was driven by a 3 watt T.

I drove to the main T site that was on a power line road that comes of Pisgah road where I-40 crosses over the railroad tracks. Then the real fun began. Hiding T1 was a real Murphy experience.

First, I got up late making me an hour behind in getting to the site (it was 9:55).

Second, I discovered a locked gate half way up to the microwave site – I had to find another place to hide! A little farther down the power line road was a short access road to a power tower. Over a rise I had a place that had a clear shot toward the starting point.

Third: When I pulled out the 11-element beam I discovered that it had broken between the coax connector and the matching network. I had to pull out the old soldering gun and resolder it.

Fourth: At about 10:30 I had assembled T1, the power amp, and the 11-element antenna. I switched it on and heard a weird buzzing sound that was coming from the power amp. Turns out the amp battery was dead. I removed the power amp and connected the T directly to the antenna. With the T lid open I checked the SWR and power. I had a low SWR and 4.5 watts. I closed the lid and left to hide other Ts.

The signal in the valley below was weak – much too little for a 4 watt with an 11-element beam.

Five: Later when I returned to check T1 I found no output power. When I opened the lid I had 4 watts! My guess is that when I closed the lid and left the first time a coax shield strand shorted against the center conductor. I fiddled with the coax, closed the lid and still had 4 watts out. I finally had the main T on the air!

To play it safe I added a 4-watt T7 with a vertical whip on top of the little hill the power tower was on.

Meanwhile the hunters had heard a very weak T2 signal from Barstow and were already on the move. T2 turned out to be my life saver in getting the hunt under way.

Another site for a light-weight T was at the Pisgah Carter. However, when I got there, I found no place to hide that wasn’t in plain view (just lava rock). I back tracked on the road and found a small hill on which I place T9, the Marie Calendar T. It had a pie tin for a radiating base.

I planned to hide a T in north east Newberry Springs but when I got off the freeway at Cady Rd  I found there was no railroad crossing. It was getting too late to go around. Instead I hid a T on Hector Rd at the closed railroad crossing. I also gave up hiding the T that was planned on the south side of the freeway in Newberry Springs and yet another east of Pisgah.


N6MI / K6VCR		T3	T2	T4	T1	T7	T9 
Winner			1:24	2:13	4:12	5:00	5:00	6:15
                        79	103	167	175	175	182

N6AIN / N6EKS		T3	T2	T1	T7	T9
			1:24	2:11	2:54	2:56	4:33
			77	101	156	156	164

WB6HPW / Peter  	T3	T2	T7	T1
			12:28	2:42	6:10	6:28
			57	93	185	186
The winners are the team of Scott N6MI and Tom K6VCR