January 28th 2017
Meathead All Day
Transmitter Hunt
Hider: Steve KD6LAJ
Where: East of San Bernadino about 14 miles and just north of the 38. The 2 Ts were about 2.5 miles apart and on either side of Mill Creek.

We had a great Meathead hunt planned and ready.  Months of scouting locations and Meathead appropriate tricks preparation.  Don KF6GQ and I KD6LAJ even got our wives involved to make this a truly memorable hunt.  It was all Don could do to keep me from accidentally spilling some information, due to my over excitement.  (My wife had to be sworn to secrecy also, and that was hard for her, to say the least--well actually to say nothing!)

I had managed to get my stealth 7 element Yagi working, got a new transmitter IDer working with a much smaller and hard to see transmitter, and generally was ready to make the hunters' lives much less satisfying.  Don had readied some more transmitters, including the special equipment needed for the Meathead part of the equation.  (He would not reveal to me, before the hunt, how many more transmitters he had ready.  My guess was perhaps more than 8??)

Friday morning all the preparations finally took their toll out on Don and me.  I ended up falling while I was caring a sensitive minimalized transmitter, destroying its ability to work properly, and hurting my flesh for good measure.  Don decided it would be a good weekend to stay in the hospital instead of helping to put on the best Meathead Transmitter Hunt in history.  My wife, KG6LOR, quickly suggested that we just skip this months hunt!  Can you believe that?  What was she thinking?  That T-hunting was some kind of silly game we play, just for fun??

After correcting my wife's unbelievable and inconsiderate thinking, I came up with a good plan for a slightly modified hunt.  I had to give up some of the extreme aspects, since Don had some of the extreme specialized equipment, and, for some unknown reason, he did not have the foresight to bring it all to the hospital with him, where I could have just picked it up.

So, ready for the modified and scaled back hunt, We set off very early Saturday morning, being very careful not to wake KG6LOR as she slept en route to the primary location. Arriving early, we noticed some damage to the area, caused, no doubt, by some unknown giant creatures, or, perhaps, by some bad snowy and rainy weather of late.  After some consideration of the new conditions present there, I took the unusual step of asking KG6LOR for her opinion about the viability of the location. In the dark, before sunrise, she was of the opinion that perhaps I could "just set it up already, so we can go." However, as usual, I was discounting her suggestions, as I did not want to set up so early, and I was not certain I could make it back again on the "road" we had traveled. While thus deep in thought about my options, a skip loader came down the mountain to our location, gave us an evil look, and continued past us.  LOR and I continued our discussion of the options available for some time, then decided to head down the mountain somewhat, for perhaps a better location.  We turned around and proceeded down, but the evil skip loader had blocked the road, with another skip loader as backup.  As that was our only possible escape, we considered out options.  My wife, optimistic as always, was sure they would move out of the way for her.  Without even a second thought, the second skip loader moved out of the way, followed by the previously evil dozer, which kindly followed and found a spot to move to, allowing me to pass with my Jeep.  With that potential crises averted, we now made a run for lower ground.  We were wise enough to leave the mountainous area, and by the time we had reached good flat pavement, we were running out of time and good will.

I decided on a location that I knew I could get a signal back to the start point, without having to use any of the amplifiers and big batteries.  Many roads into the area had gates, but the power line road was open and available to us.  We bounced down the road much more quickly than LOR would have liked, hitting many more protruding rocks than she would have liked.  Finding a beautiful spot, (because it had a wide spot we could park in), I walked the stealth antenna back into the brush.  While setting up the antenna, my wife called from the car to tell me we had company, here in the middle of no where. I headed back to the Jeep, to find an interloper bent down behind a bush with a big blue tarp, only a few yards from my vehicle.  After I had startled him, he seemed surprised, and perhaps angry, to see me there.  He asked what I was doing there, and I deflected by asking if he was going to be camping there.  He replied that he was just drying some spices (sage) for what would no doubt be his new cooking show, or something similar.  After this exchange of pleasantries, I went to the Jeep and hatched a plan to get the transmitter to the recently deployed antenna, without drawing attention to the fact.

After I put T2 on the air, I called Deryl N6AIN to make certain he could hear it.  After he said it was huntable, I decided to just leave it on, even though it was early, so that I could leave the vicinity of our new neighbor.  We left him to his "sage" drying, and proceeded back to pavement.  I decided to cross the river for the required water crossing, and found myself surrounded by "No Trespassing" signs.  I worked my way down far enough to avoid any appearance of the dreaded signs, then proceeded to climb the small hill, only to find another sign preventing further progress.  As is common in such situations, I just put the transmitter there, short of the legal boundary.


WA6RJN, Doug, was able to put his vehicle on a flat bed truck for some of the distance, saving a great deal of mileage, and winning very easily. He found both transmitters by 3 PM and only drove 74.4 miles to do so.

AB6PA, Glenn, and WB6JPI, Bob, drove carefully, and thoughtfully, but without flatbed assistance, finding both Ts by 5:45 PM and using 114 miles of roads and trails.

N6EKS, Ray, and N6AIN, Deryl, drove quickly, as is their style, and were first on the scene.  Then, in true t-hunt fashion, they made certain that they would not win by putting on extra miles between the transmitters, finding both by 3PM and using 122 miles.  (They may have also gone to lunch, and then returned to the area.  We look forward to their story, as always.)

Don and I will keep trying to win another Meathead so that the other hunters can have the full enjoyment of a "tricky" true Meathead, in the traditional fashion.  Thanks for coming out on this hunt.

Doug's Story
Ray and Deryl's Story