February 25th 2006
Meathead T-Hunt

Hiders: Don KF6GQ and Steve KD6LAJ
The hiders story from KD6LAJ, Steve's point of view:
Don and Steve decided on a close in hunt some months ago when gasoline was approaching 3 dollars a gallon. A Meathead Hunt traditionally has a "gimmick" or trick to it, so it was Don's Idea to have the hunters go around in circles. (not that that is an uncommon occurrence on most hunts, just that we would try to force the circle on the hunters.) We generally prefer a quality (as opposed to quantity) hunt with one or two well placed transmitters, with perhaps a couple of mini-T's nearby for the super hunters who somehow got there in the early afternoon and want something to hunt while they wait to see if they won.

Even with this preference for a very limited number of transmitters, Don and Steve quickly agreed that you cannot make a circle with only 3 T's. For it to be a Meathead quality circle would require 6 transmitters. Don, after researching for months using topo maps and extensive satellite photos, etc., found an area with the right geography and topography to get a decent circle. With the area found and the likely roads determined from the satellite photos, the hiders physically examined the proposed areas and verified the chosen roads. Inevitable difficulties were overcome and beautiful "T-Hunt Quality" roads were finalized, and tested extensively. Signal testing models were run using computer modeling only, since physical testing of the location would likely be detected. Final locations determined and the general roundness was checked on the map, with appropriate corrections for the map projection(Mercado) used, it was determined that our "circle" had become somewhat, what's that scientific term for oblateness? Oh, that's right, our circle has been squished. Oh, well, surely the hunters would still appreciate the effort.

The transmitters to be used would be tested and rebuilt over a period of many weeks. Batteries were tested and new high capacity batteries were purchased, tested, and fully charged. Antennas were checked and rechecked and packed up for the hide. The plan was coming together beautifully! Being close in, and with N6AIN's hunting speed, it was determined by mathematical modeling that we would need to use two vehicles and two days time to get the Transmitters out into position before the first hunter (N6AIN) would be expected to arrive.

Day one (Friday) finds the hiders taking off from their jobs long before the quitting bell has sounded. They speed to the 9 o'clock position in their circle plan and find a partial sheep skeleton which would make a nice addition to the transmitter and sign-in sheet nearby. Having set the timer, and placed the new found bones(T-bones) near the transmitter for the enjoyment of tomorrow's hunters, the hiders returned to the vehicle only to find another sheep had given its life to leave them more bones to be placed near the other T's. They rushed down the 15 freeway and off at Cleghorn road so they can put out the transmitter for the 6 o'clock position of the circle. (South side of the circle for those who don't get the clock face references.) Having placed the transmitter and having added the back bone of a sheep to its location, this days work was done.

Day two (Saturday, day of the hunt!) begins separately for our hiders, as Steve has 3 transmitters to place and Don only has the main T to set up. Steve's day begins about 4 am and Don's a couple hours later. Steve rushed around the circle to place the northern most T and then the eastern most in order. Arriving at the first location (12 o'clock, so to speak) Steve nearly rolls his jeep down the hill. After preventing that disaster, he sets up the transmitter and antenna, puts it on the air and begins filling in the appropriate information on the sign-in sheet. What is that smell?? Oh, no, something is burning up!! Opening the ammo box case of the well tested transmitter, Steve sees that there is way too much smoke for this power level, and quickly flips the switch and disconnects the battery terminals. The output amplifier transistor is now mounted at an angle as the heat has melted its solder. Transmitter number one is now done for the day, so Steve gets out transmitter number two to take its place. After fielding a frantic call from his employer, Steve puts the transmitter high in some large rocks, where it will not be seen by passers-by. One down, two to go! Steve placed a backup reliable transmitter (KD6LAJ T2) at the top of a ridge amongst many large rocks and formations. Steve remembered that he had forgotten to place the required t-bone at the first location, so he made a quite lengthy note on the back of the second sign-in sheet asking for the first and/or subsequent hunters to take the extra bone from this T location to the north location. ( The first hunter in, although with an amazingly low mileage so far, was nice enough to take the t-bone to the previous location, and even ATE the note so that Steve would be saved the embarrassment of having forgotten the T-bone at the first T. (( Of course, by my putting this on the website, everyone will know and Steve will no longer be protected from the inevitable finger pointing. )) ) Steve proceeded to the last location, and set up the "snake" transmitter. After waiting for confirmation from Don that all was working as planned, Steve headed to the Summit Inn for a meeting with the prospective hunters.

Arriving at the summit and seeing a hunter(AF6O) waiting at the bottom of the hill, Steve recklessly cut him off and shot up the hill ahead of him, barely negotiating the severe ruts in the climb. Well, really not quite making it all the way. AF6O watched in horror as Steve, halfway up the hill, lost traction with his nearly bald tires, and slipped into the ruts, high centering his Jeep, and leaving two wheels in the air. Jim wisely fled the scene as quickly as possible to avoid having Steve's Jeep come rolling down on his vehicle. Two good Samaritan types came by, offering to free the Jeep from the trap, but Steve was busy calling for help on every frequency programmed into his handheld 2M radio. Don, busy talking to other hunters, and only mere yards away, did not hear or acknowledge any traffic. Nearby hunters, Scott and Tom, came to Steve's rescue before he could do any more damage to his Jeep. (It should be mentioned here that as the saying goes, "No good deed goes unpunished." This act of assistance cost Tom his car keys!) At least the Hunt was on, and the hunters were arriving..

The Hide from KF6GQ Don's Point of view:
Meathead Hunt Feb 25 2006 (or the “No Bones about this Hunt", hunt) by Don KF6GQ
There where six transmitters running 50mw to 5 watts.
The six transmitters were placed so as to approximate a general circle.

The most southern one was a Squawk box with the ID of KF6GQ T8. This was located on the northern side of Cleghorn Rd. at N 34.29983 W 117.44413. All hunters found this T.

The next was a T IDing as Snake T, now all hunters know that the snake T is only 5mw, so had to be close to the Summit Inn (where several teams had lunch together (thanks MI). I don't know how many teams where fooled by the T, but I know of one team that spent several hours going 30 miles through dirt roads, because “the T has to be close by). The T was running about 2W into a horizontal J-pole. It was located at Rabbit Lake near Lucerne Valley. Location is N 34.45317 W 116.99687. From this location two other T's could be heard LAJ's T1 & LAJ T2.

LAJ T2 was the most eastern T, located at the top of a hill at the end of a high pressure Gas line road located at N 34.5747 W 116.8129. This T was located about 100 yards into some rocks.

T1 a AF6O box was located in the Stoddard Wells valley near Lucerne Valley cut off road, it was located at N 34.6660 W 116.9951, also placed into some rocks at the end of the drivable road. Many comments about the placement of this T.

T3 the main T that was too strong at the start point was the most northern location, and it was located in the Silver Mt. Area of Victorville. It was running about 5 watts to a 15-element beam, pointed at Mt. Baldy. As it turns out, this was very close to a location that MJN & XFC hid many years ago. The signal managed to cause many problems to the hunters that went to find it. Apparently the signal was bouncing off of several hills south of the T location near Quartzite Mt. . Many dirt roads that end up going nowhere and impassable. This T was located on Bryman Rd. at N 34.65920 W 117.27662. It was a fun typical T hunt type of road, and I don’t want any complaints about it!

T2 which was located at the most western point of the circle, was not found by any of the hunters, but did serve as a theme of the hunt, (don’t pick our bones about this hunt). As the pictures will show, at every T site was at lease one bone found at this location. The T location was at Black Butte at N 34.5549 W 117.7282. The T was heard prior to the main T coming on, by ICZ/AIN team using sideband. It was running about 2 watts to a four-element beam pointed at the San Gabriel Mountains. This T could be easily heard at T3 location, but nowhere else! It was set on a timer to come on at 9:50am & it did and I was able to copy it from the T3 location. But after leaving the site I got down to the main road level, the signal went away.

We met several of the hunters up at Summit Inn, and after, Steve & I went west on hwy 18 to find out if it had quit. We actually didn't hear it till we got to 138 hwy & hwy 18. It was determined to be running fine, so we drove back to T3 and confirmed that it still could be heard at that location. We stayed out in Hesperia for the night. Next day we went to pick up the T's. I put on 415 miles & Steve put on 290 miles. We had fun & I hope that the hunters had fun also.


Calls             Time   Miles   Comment
N6AIN & KD6ICZ    1:40   113.0   complained about not being on pavement
N6MI & K6VCR      2:22   101.9
AF6O  (unoff)     2:22    11.1   can anyone tell me if there is a t hunt 
N6IDF & Dad       2:40   105.8   today?
WB6RJN            2:57   113.6
WB6JPI            5:13   175.6

T Snake
AF6O              4:22    22.2   To easy
N6MI  & K6VCR     4:26   134.4    
N6AIN & KD6ICZ    5:00   155.7

N6AIN &KD6ICZ     6:25   183.1
AF6O              6:54    44.4
N6MI  &K6VCR      6:55   179.5

AF6O              5:47    33.6
N6MI & K6VCR      5:48   154.8
T3  Main T
AF6O             11:00    55.55
N6MI & K6VCR     11:11   232.8
WA6RJN           11:55   353.1
N6AIN & KD6ICZ   12:02   311.2

T2 Bones T no one found!
It's too bad that AF6O didn't check in officially, because he would have been a sure winner with only 55.55 miles for 5 T's!

N6MI & K6VCR got 5 T's with 232.8 miles so they are the real winners. Congratulations.

N6AIN & KD6ICZ got four T's with 311.2 and come in second.

WA6RJN with two T's with 353.1 gets third place.

N6IDF & Dad gets fourth place with one T & 105.8 miles

WB6JPI gets to hold up last place with one T and 113.6 miles.

Thank you for all the teams that came out to make it a successful hide.
Don & Steve.