April 26, 1997 Meat Head T_Hunt

Eric (N6YKE) and Diana (KE6JYX) went searching for a hiding spot on Sunday April 6. After studying the maps and the Radio Site Guide book, we decided to head for the radio site at Bird Springs in Kern County. We left at 10:00 AM and took what we thought would be the quickest route from Costa Mesa; 405 to the 5 Freeway, Highway 14, Highway 178, Kelso Creek Road and up the dirt road on the back side of Bird Spring Summit. This route was clearly not the shortest by time since it is an easy climb up one of the many dirt roads off Highway 14. Nevertheless, on Highway 178 we viewed the dirt road up to Chimney Creek on our way to Bird Spring Summit and decided to check the road out after we visited Bird Spring Summit.

That Sunday's visibility was not very good and we couldn't see the San Bernardino Mountains.

We installed our T-hunting antenna on the truck and drove to the Microwave site (elevation 5500 feet) and tried to get into the Palos Verdes Repeater but the Palmdale machine (with no PL) was all we could hear. We then tuned to 147.435 where someone was talking with a signal strength of S5 with a bearing of South; no good. We then drove down from the microwave site and contemplated hiding and beaming toward Frazier Mountain; a possibility. We returned to Bird Spring Summit (elevation 5200 feet). Listening to 147.435, the QSO was continuing and the bearing was 144 true at S3, right down the canyon. We chose this as our primary site.

It was about 4:00 PM and we headed for Chimney Creek dirt road. We drove to the intersection to Long Valley and went west (about 8 miles) to the ridge that overlooks the valley of the South Kern River. One can see the Dome Lands and many peaks to the East; site for transmitter number 2.

On Friday, the day before the hide, we packed up our gear and headed for Ridgecrest to spend the night. Saturday morning we headed for the primary site and set up the 13 element beam in the valley a couple hundred yards below the summit. Weather conditions were perfect with no wind and visibility to the San Bernardino Mountains. We started at 100 mW and quickly bumped the power to 3 watts where we left it for the hunt.

At 11:00 AM we headed for site 2 and at 1:00 PM were set up with a three element beam pointing west also running 3 watts.

N6EKS and N6AIN were the first team and only team we saw during the hunt. They met us at the Bird Spring microwave site. They took a bearing and plotted it directly through the location of T2. With that bearing they decided to try another microwave site which was between us and T2. We actually gave them some "trueful" data my saying that we had not been on the dirt roads to the east of T1 and asked them if it was easy finding the right road.

     Four of the five teams found Transmitter #1 and their mileage and 
     times are:
     N6EKS/N6AIN        205.7 miles   at 3:45 PM
     KF6GQ/LAJ          221.9 miles   at 4:20 PM
     AF6O/N6MI          312.9 miles   at 6:30 PM
     WB6JPI             331.5 miles   at 6:45 PM
     KC6TNJ/WA6TQQ      DNF

Only one team, AF6O and N6MI, found Transmitter 2, at 2:45 AM Sunday with a total of 499.5 miles, congratulations! 73, N6YKE and KE6JYX