March 17th 2012
Fullerton Radio Club
Transmitter Hunt

Hider: Mike N6BOK and Glenn AB6PA
Where: Butterfield Park, off Mystic Canyon Dr in Chino Hills

Equipment: 10W into a 10 element , horizontal beam
The leprechauns were out for the St. Patrick’s Day hunt. I’m the 4th generation out of Ireland on me mum’s side AND me grandma’s maiden name was Murphy (true), so it was only fitting the way things went.

Glenn, AB6PA and I scouted the site a few weeks before. We thought we could try our first Baldy bounce (we’ve been hunting with the Fullerton group for less than a year). We got to the site 35 minutes before the hunt was to start. We drove up from Moreno Valley and it was dry – no rain and the sun even came out for a while. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot of the park, the sky opened up and it poured.

We set up the 11 element bean, attached the coax, placed it in the tripod got it sighted towards Baldy and went to get the stakes to keep it from falling and gust of wind came along & knocked the whole thing over, onto the sidewalk, breaking one of the elements off (I swear I heard the Little People laughing). OK, so we re-set up the 10 element beam, staked the tripod, re-aimed the beam and moved to set up the radio.

We used an Alinco DR-135 mobile radio, 125 AH Telco battery, a PicCon and a Rigrunner to tie the power together. Easy-peazy right? Nay nay… Got it all hooked up & the radio wouldn’t stay on. Every time I set the power cord down, the radio would go off. My phone rang and it was Deryl, N6AIN, asking if we were hiding. $#@%!!!!! It was after 8:00. I let him know we having some technical difficulties & should be on the air in just a few minutes. I grabbed one end of what I thought was my extra Anderson Power Pole jumper & plugged it into the Rigrunner. As I pulled the other end out of the ‘pile of junk’ I brought as back up stuff, I thought I heard a ‘pop’ like an electrical arc. Glenn said he didn’t hear it, so I thought it was the damn Little People messing around again. I continued to pull on the cable and discovered it was the wrong cable, this one had eyelets to connect to the battery and they had touched, causing the fuse to blow on the Rigrunner!!! More digging produced the correct cable. Power on, PicCon working, we can hear it in our monitoring radio, WE’RE ON THE AIR!!!.

I CALLED Deryl and he said they couldn’t hear it. Now I know better than to trust what a T-Hunter tells you , but I could hear his radio in the background. I turned up the power to 10W & 50W & still nothing. A quick looked confirmed the antenna was still standing. I checked the SWR meter we had inline and I was putting out about 35W forward and 35W reflective. $#@%!!!! Now what? Glenn checked the antenna with a flashlight and found when the Little People pushed our now 10 element beam over they also snapped the screw that was holding the center feed of the coax to the bazooka matching network. Glenn, being taller than me, was able to reach the connection without taking the beam down, was able to perform field surgery and jerry-rig the broken part. A quick check of the SWR meter and it was reasonable. Another call to Deryl and it was confirmed… the hunt was afoot – 20 minutes late.
Mike N6BOX


Calls                                   Miles   Time                  Comment
N6MJN                              22.0      35 minutes
N6AIN/WA6PYE              26.4      47 minutes
WA6CYY                          ???        70 minutes      Forgot to rest his trip

Winner Dave N6MJN