Hiders: Joe K0OV April WA6OPS
Hiding Place: Hutington Beach Hospital Just north of the Good Shepard Cemetery in Huntington Beach
It was such a good idea, so why did it have to go wrong? April reminded me of a possible hiding spot we had talked about last June, when Hospital Daster Support Communications System had its Field Day at Huntington Beach Hospital. Back then, we put the generator under the stairs of the adjacent medical building, which provided excellent sound shielding. The hospital's Disaster Committee Chair quickly arranged for permission for the hunt, and I found a great spot for a microtransmitter inside the railing of the stairway,. It would require careful sniffing and good flashlights for the Hunters to find.
I knew I would probably need more power than the 50 milliwatts of a Squawk Box or KF6GQ box, so I dug out an old Agrelo micro-T, which puts out almost 100 milliwatts from three AA cells in series. I was prepared to add more batteries to bring up the power to 200 milliwatts if nobody could hear me.
Then the trouble started. Just before the hunt, the IDer quit (you did hear me IDing for it, didn't you?) and I remembered that Agrelo transmitters have frequency netting problems. (The crystals they supplied were cut for the wrong load values, so their T's were high in frequency.)
When I called the starting point on the 440 repeater and asked how-copy, Deryl said nobody was hearing it. So I told him to have people tune up 5 KHz and listen for a ringing phone. Nothing happened for a few minutes, so I called on 440 again and was told that everybody seems to be hearing it now. OK, guess they tuned higher and that worked, so the hunt is on.
Imagine my surprise when an angry mob of doppler users descended on me at the endpoint, expressing suprise at the higher frequency T and claiming that this was the cause of their doppler woes. Maybe that had something to do with it (especially in SNE's case because of his super-narrow receiver). However, getting bad bearings while nearby on Beach could just as easily have been caused by the vertizontal transmitting antenna and the shielding from being on the east edge of the building.
Careful checks afterwards with both a counter and well-calibrated receiver verified that even with depleted batteries, the T never went higher than 146,572.4 KHz, so the carrier stayed within the NBFM passband of normal 2m receivers. (SNE's selectable bandwidth set is the exception, sorry Mike!) Nevertheless, this micro-T has now been officially retired from all Saturday night hunts.
Congrats to Steve and Dave, who narrowly won the hunt
just ahead of a Doppler team. (It wasn't awful for ALL the Doppler
teams, since they took 2nd and 4th.) Also congrats to the hunters
for some very good sniffing. All teams except SNE and DBJ/DEK successfully
sniffed out the T-in-a-stair-rail, and nobody was fooled by the decoy T
in the bushes below.
|Call/s||ODO Miles||Crenshaw Number|
Thanks for hunting and 73,