2019 SPRING FOXHUNT

Join the Sacramento Mountains Radio Club for our 2019 Spring Foxhunt on Saturday, March 9th, 2019 at 10:00am beginning at the south end of Alameda Park in Alamogordo, NM.

A foxhunt is an amateur radio field exercise where a low power radio transmitter is hidden in a geographic area and “hunters” utilize radio direction finding equipment to locate the hidden transmitter. The first “hunter” to locate the transmitter wins the hunt. Foxhunts have traditionally been used by amateur radio operators as a fun way to implement a wide range of amateur radio technical skills including antenna construction, signal strength measurement, and even more advanced direction finding techniques such as time difference of arrival measurement.

The SMRC 2019 Spring Foxhunt is open to all licensed amateurs, as well as unlicensed persons wishing to participate. Unlicensed participants will not be allowed to transmit on any frequency requiring a license to do so. The Hunt Master shall act as Hunt Control and will be available to answer questions, or give clarification about the hunt rules prior to the start of the hunt.

Hunt boundaries will be anywhere within a 10 mile radius of the start point. The hunt talk-in frequency will be 147.220MHz (PL 151.4/+ offset) – the SMRC Alamo Peak repeater. This frequency may be monitored by hunters before, during, and after the hunt. All communications pertinent to the hunt will be coordinated on this frequency. Unlicensed participants will be given an alternate means (i.e. mobile phone number) to contact the Hunt Master.

The primary transmitter signal will be receivable at the starting point determined by the Hunt Master. The primary transmitter will not be activated until the Hunt Master announces the start of the hunt. The primary transmitter will operate on a frequency in the 2 meter amateur band (144-148MHz) which will be announced at the start of the hunt. The hidden transmitter’s power output level will not vary (within the unit’s capability) throughout the hunt. The transmitter(s) do not have to maintain a continuous signal output – they may be cycled on and off. The transmitter antenna may be in any configuration; however the polarization and location will not change during the hunt. Secondary transmitters, if any, will be operational on a separate frequency, which will be disclosed upon finding the primary transmitter.

All hidden transmitters will be located within 500 feet of public areas accessible by standard passenger cars with no charge for admission. Reasonable care must be taken to ensure that hunters can safely to any hidden transmitter. The Hunt Master must avoid placing any hidden transmitter near traffic or other safety hazards. Hidden transmitters may not be placed on private property without prior written approval by the property owner. Such approval must release the Sacramento Mountains Radio Club and all its members and guests from any and all liability.

The winner of the hunt is the registered person/team who finds the transmitter in the shortest amount of time. The winner also has the option to be the Hunt Master for the next SMRC Foxhunt event.

All hunters must register at the hunt start location and the registration fee is $10.

2018 Fox Hunt

The Club held its first annual Fox Hunt fundraiser on Saturday, March 2nd in Alamogordo, NM. Hunters met in Alameda Park next to the Alamogordo Zoo for initial instructions and fox activation:

Fox hunters prep for a day’s hunt!

Once the hunt frequency was given out, the fox was activated and the hunters were off. After approximately 90 minutes, many of the hunters ended up scouring the campus of New Mexico State University – Alamogordo:

Hunters narrow down the chase at New Mexico State University Alamogordo

Hunters ended up walking past the cleverly concealed fox about 2 dozen times before Bob, KF5VLJ, inspecting a pine tree near a footpath, discovered the fox taped to the tree with camouflage tape:

Fox #1 is found!

Hunters on scene congratulated Bob, then quickly set out to find the bonus fox:

Hunters prep to move out and find Fox #2

While some hunters got waylaid at NMSUA, other hunters took off across town towards Desert Foothills park, where DF cuts indicated hunters might find the 2nd fox:

Hunters on the prowl for Fox #2!

After much searching, Sam, KG5UAJ, discovered the second fox cleverly concealed on a wooden stake in some dried brush:

Sam, KG5UAJ, finder of the 2nd fox

After a tough day’s hunt, the intrepid hunters gather back at Alameda Park for some relaxing and camaraderie:

Fox hunters gather after a tough day’s hunt

Some hunters regale others with tales of “the one that got away…”

The prize drawings at the end of the hunt made it all worth it!

Thanks to Ed, WA5CAT, and everyone else who made this year’s fox hunt a resounding success, and thanks to Craig, KG5VIN, for the outstanding photos documenting the event!

Sacramento Mountains Radio Club