February 24th 2018
Mini All Day
Transmitter Hunt

Hiders: Don KF6GQ, Steve KD6LAJ And Dennis K6DJI

Well we didn't have too much time to plan this hide, because for the last two months I didn't have a driver's license! I had cataract surgery around Thanksgiving, and my license was due for renewal on my birthday (Boxing Day). Needless to say, my vision was not good! My doctor said "wait for several weeks and your vision should return better than before!" Well yea but my vision before wasn't too good, and now my prescription was totally wrong for my eyes now! Anyhow long story short, my vision finally stabilized and I was able to take my driving vision test, and I passed! This was Tuesday just before the hunt.
Steve and I where on a hunt a couple of years ago when after a bad navigation error we found our selves north of Victorville with the signal coming from 110 degrees to our right. We got off freeway and looked at map, and saw this ever so fine short cut up over the mountain range to our east. So off we went, the road started off paved then went to graded gravel and then finally to a two grooved dirtway. Up over the pass through snow and getting off the trail a couple of times. But! we noticed that this would be a prime hiding place in the future. It had vistas overlooking a large section of northern Apple Valley, which was in the direction of the Pathfinder starting point. The rest of the trail / road was getting worst as we got closer to hwy 247 (Barstow Rd.) . So of course we thought if we could get the hunters to go east towards Lucerne Valley, they would have much fun as they attempted to reach the T.
So here Steve and I are thinking of possible places to hide when I remember this place. I have a friend K6DJI who now lives in Victorville, and asked if he wasn't doing anything, if he could help us out. He did. So come Saturday morning and we meet at his place about 8:00 am, and he takes a 50mw T to the northwest side of hwy I 15, and we go east towards the pass on Johnson Rd. We find a spot that has a view of the mountains to the southwest (direction of start point), hookup antennas and cables and batteries. Because we need to get over the San Gabriels, we need a bit more power than the 1 watt from my T7 box, so a Mirage amp running about 10 watts to a 4 element beam pointed at start. After confirming the signal was heard at start point we left to hide two more 50 mw T's. We hid T8  about .5 miles to the west of T7, and the next one was put about 6 miles to the southwest at the southern end of a dry lake bed, this was T13. The idea was to pull someone down to the south of the main T, because from there the signal would take them up to the rocky ridgeline without any way to get there from here. I believe both  N6MI and WA6RJN did get themselves lost there. After setting out  transmitters we met K6DJI and had a lunch, then went to his gun club and did some target shooting while waiting for the hunters to find the T's. It started to get late and we didn't want to go pick up the T's late after dark. About that time 5:30 pm or about we get a call from N6MI who now had found his first T which was the main T7, he offered to pick up each of the T's as he found them, thank you Scott! We then went home to a warm house and dinner.
We had 5 teams come out which now days is awesome! One KA6UDZ  Scott who was only using his doppler and a sniffer, but took the challenge, he dropped out about two o'clock because he felt his car wasn't up to the many dirt roads. the other four teams stuck it out longer.
We, Steve, Dennis, and myself would like to thank you for coming out on our hide, it was fun putting on and I hope everyone had a good time even if you didn't find all the T's.

We had 5 total teams out hunting, thank you for making the effort.

Team KA6UDZ Scott who had a doppler and sniffer, got out on some dirt road somewhere and thought his tiny car would not make it up through some boulders that got in the way so he quit about 2:00 pm.

Team N6AIN & Ray who decided to try the back way up from the east side on Johnson Rd. which as I explained that even going down it took a bit of extra courage. Needless to say they turned around and found their way back to I15 and T12 which was on the west side of I15 neat the Dale Evans crossover. By now it was close to 2:00 pm so they went into Victorville for lunch, and somehow as they where eating, came down with "I'm not feeling well problem" and decided to pack it in with one T12 found at 2:01 pm.

Team WB6RJN Doug was a little more successful he was able to find two T's T12 & T13 , 1:00 pm & 2:01 pm. It seems that Doug had gone up Johnson road from T12 for quite a bit, but found no reason to go on further. Later while meeting Scott N6MI he let Scott know that there was "nothing" up on Johnson Rd. After this encounter Doug went and found T13 at 2:01 pm. He then decided he had spent enough time in the area and rang us to tell us that he was heading home.

Team N6MI Scott has got to be the one who gets the most persistence hunter award. He approached the hidden T area from the north Apple valley area. This put him at a disadvantage because he was approaching the main T T7 from the south and you can't get there from here! However there are 4736 different dirt roads that go up into the rocks that all look great until you get to the end of each and the T isn't there. Scott went back to the dry lake bed several times to take more bearings on T7, not once noticing that T13 had to be full S9+ and was only 1.5 miles from the center of dry lake bed! About this time he met up with Doug who happened to mention that no T's where up on top of the ridge! So Scott didn't decide to actually go up to Johnson Rd. and see for himself. There he found T7!!!! and later T8. this was now about 5:30 and when he got in touch with us about picking up the transmitters as he found them as all other hunters had either quit or had found all of them. This was great for us, it saved us from having to come back on Sunday morning. Now while Scott was up high he noticed that there was a T13 just S.W. of him from the area he had just left! and a T12 that was N.W. of his location, both quite strong. So now in the dark Scott had to go back to the dry lake navigate across and not get lost finding T13, but also getting back to where he could get a bearing on T12. Scott found T13 at 7:00 pm, then when Scott got back to a location he had heard T12 from before, there was noting to hunt for, NO SIGNAL!! so knowing what bearing he had before, he headed off in that direction. After several miles he was picking up the signal again from T12. When he got to T12 at 8:15 pm it had falling completely off the bush it was hanging on and was lying on the ground. The wind had been quite strong during most of the day. Scott called me to let me know he would drop off the T's about 10:00 pm at my house.

Team WB6HPW Paul & Peter Ronny had the best luck or was it skill in finding all T's. Paul took the team all the way past T12 on the 15 up to Outlet exit (about 5 miles from Barstow), they then followed Outlet Center drive basically all the way to 247 Barstow rd. at which point they then went west on Stoddard Wells rd. where apparently passed Deryl & Ray also on there way west to T12. They found T12 at 2:00pm one minute before N6AIN team found it. Off they went towards T7 which could be heard well from this direction. They got to T7 at 3:01 pm and while there T7 antenna went to ground. They re- erected it as best they could. and left there for T8, this they found at 3:27 pm! Why it took them so long? ( I think they where enjoying the great views and rock formations). Then off to T13 in which they found it about 5:00 pm. I'm assuming that they now headed for the nearest paved road, which as we found out during the day was not that easy.
Note: The above stories are composites  of conversations I had via phone with the hunters, some of the incidents may not of happened as I remember it from conversations with the hunters.

After conferring with both teams who found all T's, it is this huntmaster decision to declare the team of WB6HPW and Peter with the  win for the Feb 24 2018 Mini All Day hunt. This was based on all concerns including total miles, time of arrival, and willingness to hide the next hunt. I've been told by Paul that he will not be able to hide in the month of July so he is looking for a trade with a future hider.


T-7 the main transmitter

Johnson Road turn around point
The Road to T12
Doug's Story