April 23rd 2016
All Night Transmitter Hunt

Hiders: Bob N6ZHZ and Cathy KD6CYG
Locations: T1 was in Running Springs T2 was way out near Pisgah Crater  around Lavic south of the 40.

As usual when we hide, we prefer to choose a spot for at least one of the T’s which has good rocks…or a good view.  So, after due diligence and searching, we decided to hide out in Lavic – 45 miles east of Barstow on I-40.  Not only did it have cool rocks (red, yellow, orange and maroon colored jasper) but it also had a great view of the surrounding desert and Pisgah crater to the west.  And, although there was a bridge across the freeway, ½ mile to the north of our location, there were no off ramps there; in fact, the nearest off ramp was 9 miles to the east at Ludlow.  That is, if anyone came via freeway.

However, upon selecting this fine location, we realized a signal would most likely not reach any start point, as we had at least 4,000+  feet of elevation to clear over Ord Mt and other peaks, not to mention the  San Bernardino Mt themselves.  So we placed T1 at John KF6BRF’s house in Running Springs, at nearly 6,500 ft.  The start point would be Pathfinder.

T1 was code and tones.  This was found by everyone between noon and 4 pm.  Comments ranged from KF6GQ/KD6LAJ: “Poor signals everywhere”  to N6MI/K6VCR: “Help!”   T2 could just barely be heard by most, and it was out across the desert….thataway.  Mostly northeast to east.  Some hunters took bearings off Hwy 18 beyond Baldwin lake; N6MI/K6VCR took a bearing from a high spot in Green Valley, which had a clear shot to T2.

Meanwhile, we were enjoying a clear, cool windy day in Lavic.  Had to tie the antenna and mast to the truck, so the morning wind wouldn't blow either it or the truck away.  To stifle boredom while waiting…and waiting, N6ZHZ had scheduled to help train two gentlemen from Civil Air Patrol in search techniques.  They found their “T” – rather, ELT or practice beacon on 121.775 mhz by 9:00 am.  But then they started in Barstow.  ZHZ commenced with additional studying for them while KDCCYG commenced to roam the entire Lavic basin, studying pretty red, yellow, orange, brown and maroon-colored rocks. 

We had several small visitors, too; horny toad lizards (px included)  one of which was indignant that we had invaded  his home for the day.  It kept a close eye on the left front wheel of the truck and wouldn't’t leave until after sundown.

T2 was code only, transmitting 160 watts most of the day, and we finally had to turn it down to 50 watts.  By then, N6AIN/N6EKS had become lost in Yucca Valley and decided to head for home.  KF6GQ/KD6LAJ had crossed Johnson Valley into Newberry Springs/Hector area and while they now had a straight shot to Lavic along National Trails Hwy, they….quit?  The excuse was the nebulous poor signal.  We think they didn't’t want to win.  They had the shortest mileage to T1. 

Both Ts were on roads accessible by a Prius, but fortunately the hunters chose some very fine desert roads to cross which a Prius wouldn't like.  Three teams reached us after dark:  WB6JPI/AB6PA, WA6RJN, and N6MI/K6VCR.  They liked the rocks, too.  They were just prettier in the afternoon sunlight.   The rocks - not the T-hunters.  We had a third mini-T on the air, but its battery died about 7:30 pm, so no one signed into it. 


Calls Miles Time KF6GQ/KD6LAJ 69.8 11:58 AM N6AIN/N6EKS 120.3 12:52 PM WB6JPI/AB6PA 81.1 1:46 PM WA6RJN 83.4 3:35 PM N6MI/K6VCR 98.0 3:53 PM
T2 Calls Miles Time WB6JPI/AB6PA 192.4 8:00 PM WA6RJN 184.2 9:00 PM WINNER N6MI/K6VCR 272.9 LATE KF6GQ/KD6LAJ DNF N6AIN/N6EKS DNF

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