March 26th 2011
All Day Transmitter Hunt

Hiders: Scott N6MI and Wayne KB6NYW

On March 25 (Friday), N6MI and KB6NYW hid two transmitters for the March 26 (Saturday) hunt.

The first transmitter was placed at the end of Cactus Drive (near Corta Way) in Twenty-nine Palms. We turned this transmitter on at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. The transmitter ran two watts on 146.565 MHz to a three element quad on a four foot metal post in the ground (about 300 feet above the radio site at the end of the road). The quad was aimed due west at the snowy Big Bear mountains. The transmitter identified N6MI in fast, closely spaced CW letters. WB6JPI heard this transmitter from Fontana and posted a bearing.

In the desert to the northeast, we placed a small KF6GQ box identifying KG6GQ T8. This was unofficial; we wanted to return the transmitter to Don. The sandy area allowed KF6GQ and KD6LAJ to test their driving and sniffing skills.

The second official transmitter was placed at a microwave site about four miles south of Ludlow, California (about a mile northeast from the intersection of Bagdad Chase Road and a gas pipeline access road). We turned on this transmitter around 4:00 p.m. on Friday. It ran 23 watts to a long yagi on a short mast. The yagi was aimed back to Palos Verdes (240 degrees). The transmitter identified N6MI in slow CW; there was extra space (quiet) between the letters. This transmitter could be heard all over the desert, but with a lot of QSB due to the wind and propagation.

At the Ludlow site, you could hear a weak signal from the first transmitter -- at about 175 degrees (almost south). Everyone also visited the local earthquake monitoring station.

At the Ludlow site, N6MI and KB6NYW set up a four band operation for the CQ WPX SSB contest. We worked about 200 stations with 100 watts before the high winds forced us to break down the installation on Saturday afternoon. We worked Morocco with 5 watts on 20 meters. The sunspots are back.

This was a start anywhere (and anytime) hunt. The results follow.


WA6RJN, 11:00 a.m.

N6AIN, 11:56 a.m.

KF6GQ/KD6LAJ, 1:35 p.m.

WB6JPI, 2:40 p.m.

Twenty-nine Palms:

WB6HPW and Peter, 12:40 p.m.

N6AIN, 3:11 p.m.

KF6GQ/KD6LAJ, 3:49 p.m. (plus the KF6GQ T8 bonus transmitter)

WB6JPI, afternoon (saw the quad and sent an e-mail)

The rules of this special hunt allowed the hunters to vote for the winner. After learning that WB6HPW and Peter spent the afternoon exploring mines in the neighborhood of Twenty-nine Palms, the vote was unanimous: this was the winning team. WB6HPW and Peter will hide on August 27, 2011.

Thank you for coming out.