August 27th 2011
All Day Transmitter Hunt

Originally I looked at some maps and identified the Gold Divide Mine ( as a "location of interest." I couldn't determine from various maps and websites if the location was accessible or behind the fences of the Goldstone Observatory area. A scouting trip last weekend revealed that it was fenced in, so we followed the fence line road to the west for many miles of lousy road and eventually wound up at Slocum Mine. Exploration of the canyons of just north of the mine uncovered one with just the right elevation, depth and direction to be heard at the PV starting point yet give give partial blockage from other directions.

Martin WB6YMI, my son Peter and I went out early Saturday morning to plant 3 transmitters. The "Altoids T" was a micro-transmitter putting out a few milliwatts and IDed as "WB6HPW the hidden transmitter" with Peter's voice. It was located at the head of the aforementioned canyon, just a few feet off the road to the west. The Altoids T was used to key up a 25W repeater (called the "Parrot T") connected to an 11 element Yagi planted a bit up the slope on the east wide of the canyon. We had some glitches getting the repeater to key up properly and not either remain silent or broadcast squelch noise, but eventually we got that straightened out. A third transmitter ("Applesauce T") was left at Slocum mine. It had belonged to WA6FAT and its identification concluded with the familiar declaration of "Applesauce."

When the transmitters were planted, the weather was hot, clear and still. Later in the afternoon a slight breeze, rain and thunderstorms moved into the area. There was no rain or lightning in the immediate area around the transmitters, but that slight 50 MPH breeze blew over our antennas. Thanks to those hunters to set them upright again.

Before the wind picked up we had moved to a spot 2 canyons to the east of the Altoids and Parrot Ts and set up camp there. We invited hunters to join us, but only KD6LAJ/KF6GQ took us up on that offer. They arrived just after dark and so we put on a "light and music show" for Bob and Kathy, using "lights" and "musical instruments" made in China and bought out of state.

4 teams (1 unofficial) found at least 1 transmitter. N6AIN found all three transmitters with the least mileage and is thereby declared the winner.

Thanks to all those who participated, thanks to Martin for helping with the hide, to Peter for convincing me that we had to hide in the desert in the middle of summer (a more appropriate location the "light and music show" than high mountain areas) and thanks especially to KF6GQ for the loan of the Altoids T, the Parrot T and the antenna for the Parrot T.


Official results:
Parrot T

Callsign Time Mileage
N6AIN 6:00 PM 190.9
KD6LAJ/KF6GQ 6:02 PM 207.1
WA6RJN 7:00 PM 220

Altoids T

Callsign Time Mileage
KD6LAJ/KF6GQ 6:08 PM 207.1
N6AIN 6:09 PM 190.9
WA6RJN 6:55 PM 220

Applesauce T

Callsign Time Mileage
WA6RJN 6:25 AM 218
N6AIN 6:36 PM 193
KD6LAJ/KF6GQ 6:36 PM 209.6
N6ZHZ / KD6CYG 7:18 PM Unofficial

Don and Steve's story