May 26th 2012
All Day Transmitter Hunt

Hider: Scott N6MI

On Thursday May 24, 2012, J. Scott Bovitz (N6MI) planted a transmitter about one mile down East Blue Ridge Truck Trail (off Highway 2) near Wrightwood.

Once a minute, this transmitter identified "N6MI" in slow CW. The large ammunition box ran about 2 watts into a 5/8 wave whip. I packed the box in a plastic bag in anticipation of bad weather. The transmitter was still running on Sunday night.

On May 25, 2012, I set up camp with my ham van in a desert valley about one mile south of the Sun Hill Ranch Airport and just east of Silver Peak (elev. 4063). The camp was just off a dirt trail going due north from Shadow Mountain road (2.6 miles east of the intersection of Highway 395 and Shadow Mountain Road, a few miles north of Adelanto).

 Of course, everyone had to drive past the end of the dirt road, around some mining trash, past mating tortoises, and across the sandy wash.

At the Silver Peak camp, I pointed an 11 element yagi at Wrightwood. This second transmitter identified "N6MI" in fast CW; I ran 60 or 90 watts (manually switched from time to time).

I received several reports of outstanding signals in the Los Angeles basin -- including the Pathfinder location in Diamond Bar.

The Silver Peak transmitter and controller failed on a prior transmitter hide (due to heat, I suspect). This transmitter went on the air from the Silver Peak camp around 6:00 p.m. on May 25 (Friday night); it failed again on early Saturday afternoon (dead carrier), but was brought back to life by turning down the power.

I operated the CQ WPX CW contest from the van while waiting for the hunters. I worked about 530 DX contacts on 20, 15, and 10 meters.

This was a "start anywhere hunt."

Every team (except WA6RJN) drove past the Blue Ridge transmitter without finding it. WB6JPI/WC9M actually went to Blue Ridge on Saturday morning -- but failed to find that transmitter at that time.

By early afternoon on May 26, the teams of KF6GQ/KD6LAJ/WA2RPY (first team to arrive), N6AIN/N6EKS, N6ZHZ/KD6CYG, WA6RJN, WB6JPI/WC9M found the Silver Peak camp. We had a lovely group visit despite the howling wind.

 Then everyone went back to Blue Ridge to find the first transmitter (except WA6RJN, who had already signed in). From the comments on the Blue Ridge sign in sheet, it appears that the Saturday afternoon weather was very cold and windy at 7,000 feet (plus). When I picked up that transmitter on Sunday, it was about 75 degrees and sunny.

Since WA6RJN was so efficient with his hunting, he is the winner and will hide in October. Doug also wins the flakey Silver Peak transmitter and controller. (I am not kidding.)

Since WB6JPI/WC9M was required to visit Blue Ridge twice, this team is given last place.

The other teams are tied for second place.

Thank you for coming out.

73 and good hunting,


A Short Video

Doug's Story