May 29, 2010 t-hunt report

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On the evening of May 28, 2010 (Friday), I planted a 24 watt transmitter near the microwave towers at the north end of the Mecca Hills Wilderness. It was not easy to find the access road to the transmitters. The antenna was a 12 element M2 yagi, horizontally polarized, on the top of a 20 foot mast. The antenna was initially pointed back to the start point. A few hours later, the antenna was pointed up the Banning Pass.

The Salton Sea was visible to the south. A rest stop on the 10 freeway (east of Indio) was visible a few miles to the north.

For a short sniff, I also hid a small micro-transmitter on the side of the hill. This ran a few microwatts into a short rubber duck.

On Friday night, I sent an e-mail blast to announce that the transmitter was on the air.

This was a "start anywhere" hunt.

On May 29, 2010 (Saturday), six teams found the main transmitter. All hunters sniffed out the little transmitter.

Since this was not a mileage hunt, I needed a way to pick the winner. I asked each finishing team to give me their initial bearing and starting point.

After the hunt, I calculated the error between the RECORDED first bearing and the ACTUAL TRUE bearing from each team's reported starting point to the Mecca Hills. Based on this tie breaker, the team of N6AIN/N6EKS is the winner. They will hide in October.

Here are the final results.

WB6JPI (10:07 a.m., 13 degree error)
WA6RJN (10:59 a.m., 10 degree error)
N6AIN/N6EKS (2:52 p.m., 6 degree error from Pathfinder hunt start point)
N6ZHZ/KD6CYG (3:35 p.m., 17 degree error)
WB6HPW/Peter (4:30 p.m., 12 degree error)
N6LN/WA6FEL (11:05 p.m., 17 degree error)
KF6GQ (DNF but spoke to me on the telephone)

As a bonus, each time was treated to a tour of the N6MI ham van. (I have the ability to run 1 KW on two meters from this vehicle.) See the attached photo.

Thank you for coming out.