Mini-All Day T-Hunt

April 28, 2007

Hider: Bob, WB6JPI

It was a fine day. Temperature in the low 90s. Sky clear and fire danger "high".

The plan was to hide 6 transmitters close in as gas prices are in the $3.50 range and yet get an 8+ hour hunt under 200 miles. It was done with the following concepts ("tricks"):

Concept 1: Hide T7 (30 watts 10 el wide spaced beam, Hpol) behind a mountain and aimed away from the start illuminating the Crestline area to the east and away from the start. Found a nice little powerline road, not on any map and was washed away about 5 miles in before connecting with anything in Lyttle creek. You could get into it from the south side (Rancho Cucamonga) and the little road went around the mountain to the east. Where I found an entrance was a non obvious fence opening. Come Saturday morning, this opening was gated. I went further west about 1.5 miles snaked around in back of a new housing development and with a little cross country, got on the road. Wow this is even better. Of course, I completely overlooked a rather big opening and what soon would be a lot of off road folk. Oh well. This transmitter was found by all although it was the first for two teams (N6AIN, KF6GQ) and the third for WA6RJN. N6MI/W6VCR seemed to wander back and forth with this most westerly transmitter in the middle.

Concept 2:  A second transmitter, T9 running an AF6O box with 3 watts and a 3 el vertically polarized beam pointed at T7 to the west,  was placed at the most westerly wiggle of the Cloudland Truck trail that goes from Devils Canyon Road in Devore on the south to Hwy 18, passing by Marshall Peak,. The location was about halfway along this gnarly dirt road so it didn't matter much which way you went. This transmitter could be heard all over the inland empire and for sure at T7. From this transmitter you can also hear T6, the wabbit T and T5 the talking T. and be inspired to go up to Cedar Pines Park using Hwy 18. My thinking was that you would take the Cloudland Truck trail from Devore to Hwy 18 and proceed up the hill. I don't think anyone did this.

Concept 3, 4, 5, and 6:

Hwy 18 has a mean hairpin. Four lanes make a 25 MPH turn after and before a 50 MPH straight. You enter going SW and exit going E all while going up hill. The main part of the turn is cantilevered with a metal facing going about 25-30 ft vertical out over a deep canyon facing SW. The four lanes are separated by a double-double yellow line which in California means a "wall". Making any crossing of this painted barrier is a moving violation for both cars and people. To turn around requires going up about 2 miles or down about 1 mile. T5, a talking T was hung about 20 ft over the edge of the road on the downhill side and up against the metal. It was heard all over the place. I did not try to hunt it but would like to hear what those who did have to say. There was no place to triangulate it at all. You could get a bearing up the canyon from down in San Bernardino and from Cloudland Road, but I don't think you could get a bearing from Hwy 18.  It was safe to pull off Hwy 18 going downhill into a little road just before the T. Everyone found this T but it took a while and some were in the dark.

50 ft east of T5 and across Hwy 18 I hid T1 and micro T clipped to a bush and vertically polarized. You could park just past the T on the uphill side in a kinda wide sorta-shoulder. It would have been very dangerous to try to run across Hwy 18 as your visibility was very poor only about 50 ft in either direction and traffic was fairy dense. It was my devious thinking that you would pick off T1 on your way up the hill to T6 from Cloudland Truck Trail and get T5 on your way back down and going home on Hwy 18. No one found T1 so that didn't work.

Concept 7:   T6 was hidden on top of Playland Road. This formerly closed road is open to allow extensive lumber removal and cleanup of the pine tree mess in the area. It doesn't  look open as it passes through the park but it is. T6 was a talking T worrying about Wabbits in the area. I had forgotten to change the battery from my last Hemet hide and the Transmitter died something around  8PM. I don't know if anyone was looking for it but no one found it.

Concept 8: This transmitter was to be on or near Monument Peak that you could access from a 5 mile bone jarring road out of Sawpit Canyon. I didn't put it there as I believe it would tend to bring folk into the Cajon pass and up through Cleghorn and miss the fun to the south.

I brought 9 transmitters with me, hid 5 and three were found.


Everyone found all three of those found.

WA6RJN 122.2 miles-10+ hours  (winner)

N6AIN     132.2 miles-10 Hours

N6MI/W6VCR 155.5 miles-9 Hours

KF6GQ   Lots of miles-9+ hours with a cooling issue

P.S.   From a hunter:

Unbeknownst to Jippy, the only hunters on the hunt were the teams of N6MI / K6VCR, KF6GQ, and N6AIN. Also, KF6GQ's vehicle breakdown before he got to his first T.  He never got it back on the road.  WA6RJN  was never on the hunt. N6AIN found T9 early in the afternoon and spent most of the rest of the day trying to find out where T5 was. He gave up about 5:30 pm and went home.  It seems someone (N6MI) was falsely signing people in to the Ts.

It would appear, that with this information, the team of N6MI / K6VCR could be the winner's.

Deryl N6AIN

P.P. S. From the Hider:

Another interesting quirk of this hunt.

I picked up the transmitters Sunday. All went well and all were found and brought home. Today (Tuesday, 050107) I not only found the 4Runner had a flat tire, but while I was unloading the hiding antennas etc, I noticed that I was missing the two sniffer antennas and a three element beam and most significat the Austrailian Sniffer box. Careful recollection and some soul searching brought out that I had removed these rather delicate items from the 4Runner as part of loading in the antenna and battery of T7. I left them propped up on the side of the vehicle while I was loading and drove off and left them. Not good as it is now three days later.

I pumped up the flat tire, loaded in a small pump and a can of compressed air and set off once again up that hard to find little power line road. I arrived at the hide spot and lo-and-behold there laying in the middle of the road was my three antennas and the sniff box. They were undamaged with no sign of being run over or moved or even touched. This really is a little used dirt road.