July 23rd 2011
All Night
Transmitter Hunt

Hider: Doug WA6RJN

Hider's Story

I had planned a hunt in another area. Things looked good until I discovered that the road I was going to used was closed. Fortunately I found this out the week before. I looked for other hiding areas. I came up with two and decided on Figueroa Mountain which is north of Los Olivos. My son David, KG6KZF, came along and we decided to make a camping trip out of it.

In order to have a Start-Anywhere/Anytime hunt, we packed up and left on Friday. The traffic was terrible and by the time we arrived at the camp site it was about 6 PM. I originally had planned to hide two main Ts to ensure having a signal in the LA area. Unfortunately, there was no suitable site around Ranger Peak to the east. After spending more time than I wanted, we headed up to Figueroa Mtn and set up the main T near the old lookout tower. This was a 4 watt transmitter feed into a 25 watt amp. The battery voltages and the SWR of the 15 element beam (laying in a bush) checked out and it was on the air about 8:15PM.

At 6 AM were up and found the T could not be heard anymore. A few minutes later we arrived at the T to find the transmitter battery was 10.75 volts (odd - I had tested the battery the week before). Another battery was clip leaded into place and the power output was restored. Just for fun, the antenna SWR was checked and found to be about 5:1. The coax was changed with no affect. Finally the antenna was raised up out of the bush and the SWR was closer to 1:1 with 24 watts out. Just after this, we received word from N6MI that he heard the signal and had a bearing.

After breakfast back at camp, we hid the remaining 5 Ts, all were 50 mW. The eastern most one was originally a 1/2 watt T but the IDer failed before we left the area. A another T was substituted (T5). Now we just had to wait for the hunters.

While monitoring 146.565, N6AIN wanted to know what happened to T1. We left the campground and arrived at T1. In seems one of the clip leads used to jumper in the replacement battery had failed. A new clip lead was installed and the T was once again on the air.

N6AIN and N6MI (our radio/TV celebrity) arrive around 12:30 - 1:00 PM. WB6PJI had gone to Cajon Pass looking for the signal and proceeded down the 138, up the 5, and over the 166. After explorer a rather long dirt road, he had lunch in Santa Maria he headed home. WB6HPW and son arrived about 6 PM and found the main T before heading home.

The Ts were packed up and after another night in the campground we headed home.

Since this was a Start-Anywhere/Anytime hunt, the winner will be the hunter finding the most Ts in the least amount of time between the first and last T found. The winner, N6AIN,  may then choose to hide the November hunt or designate another hunter to hide in their place from any hunter excluding the hider (me).
WB6JPI    Checked out future hiding areas       

N6AIN    T1         T6         T9        T5     T10    T4       Total Time
Winner    12:41    12:58    1:19    2:03    2:33    3:09    2:28
M6MI    T1        T10     T6       T5      T9       T4       Total Time
               1:09      2:34    2:36    3:15    4:02    4:04    2:55
WB6HPW    T1