August 25th 2012
All Day Transmitter Hunt

Hider: Doug WA6RJN

About 10 or 15 years ago I was on a hunt that ended at the Halfmoon campground in the Los Padres National Forest to the south of Mt Pinos. The hider had simple added a 20 foot mast and yagi to compliment the camping gear. I kept this area in mind and checked it out again about 8 years ago. Unfortunately the devastating Day fire in 2006 followed a year or two later by massive thunder storms washed out the road and it wasn't rebuilt for several years.

Last May I checked it out for a hide but the road wasn't to re-open until the following month. This year I found myself hiding three out of the next four hunts. I decided now was the time to try my idea out. The idea was to hide as far south on forest road 7N03 as possible and run low power. This should cause the signal to disappear shortly after leaving the starting point. I was hoping I could draw the hunters up through Fillmore and north toward the Condor Observation site. This would be about as close to (as the crow flies) yet as far away (driving) from the T as possible.

I drove up on Saturday morning to the locked gate at the end of 7N03. After looking around a considerable amount of time for a suitable location that would conceal the antenna, I hurriedly set up the main T. As it was about 10 AM, I opted for using 35 watts into an 11 element beam pointed at the starting point to ensure the T would it be heard. Indeed it was - even on a handheld!

I proceeded to hide the remainder of the Ts. I was down in a canyon behind a ridge hiding T9 when my phone rang. How can I possibly be getting coverage here?? It was N6ZHZ/KD6CYG starting the hunt unofficially and wanted to know where to get a signal. As a side note, I found my phone was contacting 5 different cell towers scattered from Cuddy Valley to Pyramid Lake.

The hunters were off. Up interstate 5 to Castaic the signal was strong but a few more miles up the 5 the signal just disappears. WB6JPI continued up the 5 to Frazier Park. At Lake of the Woods he took Lockwood Valley Rd but still no signal. A weak signal to the south was finally heard leading him into the area to find the 7 Ts.

N6AIN/N6EKS and KF6GQ/KD6LAJ met up at the Condor Observation site on the other side of the Rose Valley. The plan was working. Taking separate routes, they met up again on Lockwood Valley Rd and came south on 7N03 to the hide area.

N6ZHZ/KD6CYG made a valiant effort exploring many interesting roads but none where the Ts were located.

The main T ran 35 watts into an 11 element beam pointed at the starting point. All other Ts were 50 mW into a vertical antenna except T7 which run 500 mW. T7 is the reborn Silver Peak T donated by N6MI.

Along the way I saw an interesting sight at the Johnson Ridge trailhead. If you are going hiking, why do you need  special parking?


WB6JPI      T6       T4      T9       T7      T10      T5      T1
Winner        3:25    3:39    3:50    5:00    5:16    5:30    5:35
                     113      115      115     121     123     127     128
KF6GQ/KD6LAJ    T6      T9         T4        T10     T1       T5        T7
                                  6:22    6:33      7:07     7:40    7:47    8:10      8:33
                                203.6    203.9    208.4    210    210.3    210.3    212.1
N6AIN/N6EKS    T6      T9      T4               
                             6:25    6:31    7:05               
                            224.0   224.5   225  


Token Water Hazard

  T1 Antenna in the trees                                                                                          T1 Transmitter and Battery

   Bug T                                                                                                                                         Bug T

       Camping at Pine Springs campground. Doesn't everyone have a monitoring antenna on their tent?

Don's Story

Bob WB6JPI's Story

Ray's Story

Bob and Caty's Story