This is the t-hunt report for February 24-25, 2017.


Glenn, AB6PA, and Scott, N6MI, planned a very fine hide for someplace else ("Site Z"). But N6MI came down with a cold and the weather was threatening.


We hid a closer "start anywhere, start anytime" hunt in Riverside County, California.

 AB6PA hid two transmitters on Little Thomas Mountain (north of Anza). N6MI hid three transmitters on Black Mountain (south of Hemet and southwest of Menifee and west of the AB6PA transmitters).

 You will see Site Z on a another hide.

 Here is AB6PA's report.

 Hiding T1 AB6PA and T2 AB6PA was a challenge. T1 used two batteries.  One overweight 12-volt battery was used for the radio and another multipurpose 12-volt battery was used for the cigarette lighter, light, jumper cable clamps, compressor, and USB port to run the Arduino controller. I could have used the overweight battery for both, but it was convenient to use the USB port on the lightweight battery to power the Arduino.

 The audio on AB6PA T1 was quite low, but readable (with hearing aids). T1 was programmed to come on randomly somewhere between 55 and 75 seconds between start times. T1 was running 50 watts into a horizontally polarized three element N6ZHZ sniffer antenna aimed toward San Diego. N6MI reported that the transmitter could be heard from the Pathfinder starting point in Los Angeles County at 100 degrees true.

 The overweight battery was a challenge to get from the car to the hiding place between the trees. Except for the tripod, mast and antenna, the gear was wrapped in a huge baggie to keep the equipment dry if it rained before picked it up. I’m still working on the audio level.

 T2 (which died before anyone found it) was programmed to come on every 40 seconds. It was about ½ mile from T1. I did a little hiking to hide it. I’m guessing about 0.1 miles from the road (uphill). It was running milliwatts into a vertical rubber duck.

 They were both on the air by 1500 Friday February 24.

 N6MI and I discussed it and decided to take the Ts down before the rains (and possibly snow) arrived late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. It was cold at 6500’ at 10:00 P.M. Saturday night. But I retrieved both before 11:00 P.M.


T1 AB6PA 33°37'29.72"N, 116°40'56.81"W 6586’

T2 AB6PA 33°37'35.30"N, 116°41'26.78"W  6575

Hunters that found T1 AB6PA

KD6LAJ & KF6GQ              4:12

WA6RJN                               4:25





Here is N6MI's report.

 N6MI hid three transmitters. The theme was "no trespassing" signs.

 N6MI hid one transmitter along Black Mountain Road, clearly visible about 15 feet behind a no trespassing sign. Since there was an animal trail between signs and perhaps some ambiguity about the angle of the sign, I accepted telephone or radio check ins. This transmitter sent "N6MI" about once every 45 seconds. The transmitter ran 25 watts to a 5/8 wave whip. Snow-covered San Jacinto Peak and the entire Big Bear range were clearly visible. The foothills provided some attenuation and confusion as the teams circled in. WA6RJN, AB6PA(!), KF6GQ/KD6LAJ, N6EKS/N6AIN, and K6VCR found this transmitter. Don’t be confused by any purported photo with hunters signing into the transmitter behind a no trespassing sign; this must be a Photoshop trick.

 N6MI-T3 was a KF6GQ design box, running about 50 milliwatts into a 5/8 whip. This transmitter was strapped to a pole on a fence which said "no trespassing." The fence was at the dead end of Bit Edit road, not too far from the big N6MI box on Black Mountain Road. WA6RJN, KF6GQ/KD6LAJ, N6EKS/N6AIN, AB6PA, and K6VCR also found this transmitter (in that order).

 N6MI-T22 was at the end of Hidden Valley road, northwest of the other transmitters and off the map. A neighbor, Tom, was very friendly. This transmitter ran 170 watts into a log periodic on a fence with a (you guessed it) "no trespassing" sign. The antenna was aimed at San Jacinto Peak. The transmitter battery and the amplifier batteries both failed (ran out of juice) on Saturday afternoon. No one found this transmitter. (The transmitter was running less power on the bench, but I made a silly power adjustment in the field.)

 Anticipating a possible tie, I asked hunters to share bearings. The best bearing would be a tiebreaker. Here is what they posted:

 * * *

 I hear three. AB6PA with weak audio is the strongest (FM S-9). N6MI is next and then there is one that just breaks the squelch.

 Bob WB6JPI, Fontana


 K6VCR hears 3 transmitters from Grossmont College in El Cajon: AB6PA T-1 low audio; N6MI; N6MI T-22. All 28 degrees true.



 Hmmm. Points right at Chloride Arizona.



 It's 4:55 pm Friday. I am at PV start point. I hear a AB6PA T1. 64°. Very low audio.



 Back to the report...

 KF6GQ/KD6LAJ and WA6RJN each found three transmitters. But I cannot distinguish between them from the posted bearings. (RJN's Chloride reference does not have a starting point. GQ/LAJ did not post a bearing.)

 We thought about declaring WB6JPI as the winner because he spent the day fixing a hose in his front yard an complaining about his health. But, in the end, we declared KF6GQ and KD6LAJ as the winners because they completed the circuit from the first to the last transmitter more quickly than WA6RJN. Doug was 14 minutes slower.

 Thank you for coming out.



Don and Steve's Story