March 25th 2006
All Night

Hider: Doug WA6RJN

Hider’s story

My schedule this year did not allow for the reconnaissance of hunt areas and to further complicate things, I would be attending a five-day technical class the week before the hunt which would prevent my usual use of Friday to hide Ts. I spent quite a bit of time planing, looking at maps, analyzed signal paths using map software and Google Earth to examine roads and came up with a hunt I could hide the morning of the hunt. Everything was looking good until Don, KF6GQ, and Steve, KD6LAJ, hid there last month.

Not having the opportunity to investigate areas physically, I again went back to using various maps, map software and Google Earth. I came up with another plan in the Santa Maria area. I have several places picked out to hide Ts but two were key to lead hunters into the area. I would most likely also need a “helper” T to bring the hunters up on a ridge to hear another T what would bring them into the main hunt area.

After arriving home from my class, I packed up the equipment and headed to Santa Maria. After checking in to a motel, I headed to one of the key high points I needed for the lead in T. I found the area was gated and I couldn’t reach the area. My alternate site near by was also unreachable. Not good. I returned to the motel. The next morning I checked out several of the sites I had identified with the maps -- all gated. The alternate lead-in point I needed was also gated. Google Earth just doesn’t show those little gates.

It was 8:30 AM and I had hid only the T on the beach (on the way up). I had to come up with a whole new hunt scenario. I decided to try T to T hunt (get to one T to hear the next T) that would terminate at Ocean Park west of Lompoc. I took Harris Grade into Lompoc and found a turn out that had a great view of Lompoc and also to the east. I hid T3 (50 mW) and headed east on 246 and up the 154 to East Camino Cielo. A mile down the road I found a place to hide the T. N6AIN called me about 10:06 to find out if the T was on the air. I told him I was having technical difficulties. My difficulty was that I was still 10 minutes from where I was going to hide the T !

I hid T1 (3W ­ 6 element beam) and headed back toward Lompoc. I could not hear T3 near T1 and I was worried that no one would go west. I hid T5 (4 W ­ 11 element beam) on SR 246 about 4 miles west of hwy 101. I could head T3 there. When I picked it up, I found it had a faulty coax connector. Even with the limited radiation two teams still found it. I decided to add another T (T4, 2 W ­ 3 element beam) next to T3 on Harris Grade to ensure that the signal would be heard farther east. I headed out to Ocean Park and hid T2 (400 mW ­ whip). As I headed up Harris Grade on my way back to Santa Maria I noticed that I could not hear T4 (it had died). I replaced T4 with T10 (50 mW).

When picking up the Ts, I was surprised that hunters had signed in so late. I was expecting the first hunters at T1 about 12:30 or 1:00.

T9 ­ on beach 1 mile north on Sea Cliff exit between Ventura and Santa Barbara
T1 ­ on East Camino Cielo 1 mile east of SR 154
T5 ­ on SR 246 4 miles west of Hwy 101
T3/T10 ­ on Harris Grade 3.5 miles north of SR 1 (Lompoc)
T2 ­ at Ocean Park west of Lompoc

The next hunt should be a little more challenging.


KD6ICZ/N6AIN  T9    T1    T5    T3     T10 
Winner        2:55  3:53  5:45  6:37   6:40 
              99.9  133.3 181.7 203.4  203.4 

KF6GQ/KD6LAJ  T9    T1    T3    T10    T2 
              1:15  2:27  4:51  4:51   5:45 
              97.7  125.8 184.7 184.7  204.7 

KC6TNJ/WA6TQQ T1    T5    T3    T10    T9 
              3:00  5:45  6:37  6:40   7:11 
              128.8 174.0 195.3 195.3  293.0