August 27th 2016
Meathead All Day
Transmitter Hunt
Hider: Doug WA6RJN

I was looking at hiding at Santa Rosa Mountain which had not been an ending point for quite some time. Then I had an idea to use Santa Rosa to hide the direct signal and use a bounce off of the Big Bear mountains. Using my DeLorme mapping software and Google maps I worked at a strategy. On the north slope of Santa Rosa I found a forest road that at one time went up to the peak. Going up far enough would get the signal over a ridge on the east side of San Jacinto Mountain and reach the San Gorgonio mountains. This would draw the hunters into Palm Springs instead of taking the direct route of Hwy 74 through Hemet. Another strategy was to draw the hunters to the forestry road off Hwy 38 (south of Onyx Peak) that overlooks the Banning and Palm Springs areas. I was going to hide here last month but it was 105 degrees at the hide area and 115 in Palm Springs so I hid near the beach instead. This month it was 90 up top and 100 in Palm Springs.

As with most my hides there is always a complication. Driving up the road to hide T1 I found out that Google maps doesn’t always tell the whole story. The road was not in as good of condition as I had hoped. I could not get up to the height I needed before the road gave out.  I hid the main T and hoped. It was running 35W into a 15 element beam pointed toward San Jacinto/San Gorgonio. As it turned out, it could be heard at the Pathfinder starting point but only when a plane was flying in the path that caused a flutter bounce. This actually gave the hunters a direct reading to T1 but in-route the signal came from the bounce as planned. 

There were three teams. Two followed the bounce and the third fell for the San Gorgonio trick ending up off Hwy 38 with a great view. None came by the direct route as was planned. Except for the poor signal at the starting point the hunt went well. Once in the area there were 5 more Ts to find. 

One last complication, as I was picking up the last T (T7) it had just gotten dark. I couldn’t remember which bush I hid it behind, so I ended up sniffing out my own T.


The results:

N6AIN/N6EKS        T1      T7      T3      T4      T5
      Time        1:41    2:22    3:04    3:30    3:50
      Miles       120     124     132     137     140


N6MI/ AB6PA       T10     T1       T7      T3      T4      T5        Winner !
      Time       3:30    4:44     5:35    6:17    6:52    7:04
      Miles      139     149      154     161     167     169


KF6GQ/KD6LAJ       T-Wonderful view

      Time         Afternoon   DNF

T1 Antenna