Hider: Steve KD6LAJ
Where: Dirt Road 2N17 above Big Bear Lake on the South side.
My assignment was to put on a
short and easy hunt, so that the hunters will have a false
sense of security for next month's killer hunt. I knew I
could get a signal back to the start point from Big Bear, even with my
limited equipment. And I thought it would be somewhat cooler high
up in the mountains. With Don's suggestions, and some serious
analysis with Topo 6, I found a couple of likely candidates for
locations. Some quick calculations led me to believe that I could
get a signal back to PV with only a few milliwatts into a medium size
beam antenna from that location.
I had previously built a
seven element wire and PVC pipe beam for another hunt, and it was
already painted for disguising purposes. However, it was missing
a few parts, which had to be fabricated and painted
appropriately. Don loaned me a couple of 5 mW micro transmitters,
as well as a 50mW mini, and some pens, etc., since he would be escaping
the heat up in the lower Sierras, and not around to help with the
hide. I also had the use of a large Boomer 15 element beam,
without a tripod. Just a day before I packed up for the hunt, my boss
at my temp job volunteered to loan me his DirectTV dish tripod, not
presently on his house. My wife went and picked it up from his
house, while I continued preparations for the hide.
The day of the hunt
arrived and I left home at 7AM, without the following items, all of
which were slated to accompany me on the hide: camera,
connections for batteries, certain tools, snacks, ice chest with cold
drinks (for me and the hunters), a beam antenna, adapters and
connectors, the inverter for the laptop navigation, some bungee cords,
flat pack batteries for the small tee, etc. And I was late
I quickly drove to my
proposed location, set up the 7 element newly rebuilt beam, with a 5mW
tee. Leaving it set up, I moved to my second location just in
case. I set up the big Boomer beam and when the hunters did not
hear the little T3, I lit up the 2watt transmitter on the boomer, aimed
at a Vee in the mountain ridges, close to the direction of the start
point. No problems with this signal, so the hunt was on! I
left and set up T8 a half mile down the same road (2n17). It is a
50 mW Altoids box with a rubber duck antenna. It was hidden in
some short brush, which would prove bloody when the hunters
approached. (And embarrassing for some couple of innocent
bystanders later when they camped near it without any idea it was
hidden nearby.) All 3 tees could be heard at all the tee
locations, and I told the start that there would be three. Short
and sweet as promised.
Well, like all good T-hunts,
there were some snags. I had promised short, and I had planned it
that way, with all tees close together on the same road.
I had also said it would meet the criteria for a good all-day type
Thunt, i.e., cross the PCT, cross water, need 4 wheel drive, and need
something you didn't bring. (of course, needing something
you did not bring is really up to each hunt team, not the
hider...) The results show that many teams crossed the PCT, drove
through puddles from the rain, and I needed 4 wheel drive to get turned
around when I could not find my own transmitter in the dark. And,
if you read the above, I certainly met the criteria of needing lots of
things I did not bring!
Because of the big Boomer
beam and the power of T2, reflections were everywhere in the Big Bear
valley, and, from the hunters stories, everywhere else as well.
Fires were started by the lightning, and roads were closed, some only
at one end! All in all, quite a day for a T-hunt!
Here are the results:
Team T3micro T2boomer T8mini Total
WA6RJN 124.5 134.0 125.9 134.0 Winner!!
N6AIN 169.5 168.8 168.1 169.5 close second and quickest!
KC6TNJ/N6YKE 213.4 214.0 215.0 215.0 Just edged out by locked gate.
N6ZHZ/KD6CYG 183.7 180.2 (184.9) (184.9) (T taken down before they got there)
WB6JPI dnf dnf dnf (followed reflections to end of known world)
N6MI/K6VCR less more some gobs (Unofficial—disqualified for stepping on T8 to
hide it from other hunter)