August 24th 2002
All Night HUNT

Hider: Bob WB6JPI

There were 5 transmitters. Three IDed with T-1 and two of these had tones. One IDed T2 with tones and one with just T3. Four were located on or near the Palomar Divide road which is a 29 mile road that goes from HWY 79 up to High Point and back to Hwy 79. It gets to within a mile of the parking lot at the Palomar Obsevatory, but you can't get there from this road. Naturally the main transmitter (IDing T2 labeled T5) 3 watts into 10 elements pointed at Whale Mountain (165 deg true), was located at this closest point. This transmitter was heard at the start point, at my house in Fontana with 10 db atten and most everywhere in San Diego County. I talked to Scott after he left the start and he had an initial bearing of 116 deg True and if you all had that, you should have been on Palomar by 1 PM and over on the divide road by 3 PM. The first one on the right road (from the start) was N6MI at 6:46. WA6RJN at 8:10 and KF6GQ didn't show until 10:30 PM. Where was everyone? The lost bunch from the high desert were there at 2:00 and we had a good chat. I left the mountain at 5:30 and went home having seen no one but the lost crew.

This was the first outing of the little micro transmitter. I used two of them. One was T1 and was found by most. It was originally horizontal clipped between tow twigs of a tree with the sign in sheet in a green colored toilet paper roll stuck on a limb of the same tree. I also made 6 fake sign in sheets and put them in little zip bags, but only had the guts to leave one laying around. As I suspected, everyone found the fake as most if not all hunter get close to the transmitter with the DF equipment and look for the sign in sheet as it is usually more obvious than the transmitter or antenna. Interesting.

The other micro was T3 located over on HWY S7 5.5 miles up from Lake Henshaw. It was about 12 miles from the main T and could be heard in quite a few places along the Palomar Divide road. It could not be heard from HWYs 79 or 76 however.

The "bag T", IDing T1 with good tones and called T4 by the sheet died between 9:40 and 11:00. It had a tendency to hang up and go CW due to RF feedback and temperature and I guess it just wore out it's battery. I would normally disqualify it, as one team didn't find it, but it makes no difference in the outcome so I won't.

The winning team had the highest mileage and took the longest. This may be a first. WA6RJN, Doug and David KG6KZF, drove somewhere for about 6 hours and then showed up on the mountain and found the main T at 8:40PM Sat. They then drove by the micro T and found the bag T at 9:40. They then drove past rubberduck T (T6) and clear over to T3 on S-7 some 69 miles, the only team to find this transmitter. Reversing and going back up on the divide, Doug and David found the rubberduck T and on to find the micro T, back about 1.5 miles from the main T they found 120 miles and 12 hours ago. Yes, folks it is now 8:00AM Sunday morning and Doug and David have traveled some 318 miles. But they were the only ones to find all five or all four if I remove the bag T from the pile.

Results summary:

CALL/S            Ts Miles
WA6RJN/KG6KZF     5  319  WINNER
KF6GQ/N6AIN       3  231.4
N6MI/KE6PHP       3  189.3

KE6VCR            2
LOST              3