September foxhunt chronicles

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foxhunt cartoonSunday, September 8, 2013. The sun came up, the birds sang, and the weather was pleasant as an early fall day should be. And in the parking lot of the Off-Track Betting Parlor at Lima and Washington Center roads, there gathered a group of eleven foxhunters, intent for the activities that would occur that afternoon. The hunters consisted of the team of Jim and Annie Pliett, K9OMA and KA9YYI plus Carole and Al Burke, WB9RUS and WB9SSE, the team of Linda and Steve Nardin, W9LAN and W9SAN plus their grandson Alex, the team of Charles Ward, KC9MUT plus Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP, and the team of Dave Spence, K9NDU plus Bob Dean, KC9UHU.

It should be noted that as competitive as foxhunters tend to be, a new piece of (old) technology was introduced into this hunt by KC9MUT. Charles mounted a two element vertically polarized switched dipole antenna on the front of his truck (out front of his grill), part of a so-called “Pickle Fork” DF system, and used it to get “right-left” signal direction steering cues. He told me that it gave him helpful information as he drove down the road when the fox was up.

(Jim Pliett and I are researching the fine print in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) to determine if that switched dipole DF system that Charles added to his foxhunting suite is legal. We’re hoping it isn’t, but if it turns out that it is, then it looks like we may have another building project. Seems like our work is never done. We are considering the use of UAV’s).

Opposing this formidable crew was the fox. Ah yes, the wily fox, as embodied by Kim and Jim Machamer, KB9’s DOT and DOS. They were hid-out in a cul-de-sac forming the terminus of Old Decatur Rd. next to US 27. They used a 50 watt mobile rig driving a yagi for the high power fox, and microprocessor controlled hidden fox complete with a camouflage wrapping for the low power critter. The low power fox was programmed to radiate in cw for one minute out of every five as per standard practice. The fox transmitted on the input to the 146.88 machine so that interested hams could follow the proceedings as the hunt progressed.

Everyone heard the high-power fox at the start of the hunt, and the indicated bearing was south. So everyone proceeded down Lima Rd. and through downtown FWA. Charles and Fred turned off at Old Decatur Rd. while we travelled further south to Paulding before turning east. As it turned out, Charles and Fred essentially drove straight to the fox hide site while we wandered around and about South Anthony Blvd. and US 27 a bit before we localized the fox.

Consequently Charles & Fred were the first to locate the micro fox and thus had the lowest mileage and time-to-find, (9.3 miles, 39 minutes). Our team was the second to find the fox (which was on the ground in some bushes effectively blending in quite well due to the camo wrapper that it was encased in). Our numbers were 15.2 miles & 60 minutes. Bob and Dave followed us with 16.7 miles and 99 minutes and then Steve, Linda and Alex completed the hunt with 28.3 miles and 139 minutes. So Charles and Fred were the winners and thus will serve as the fox for the October hunt.

Most everyone preceded to the Coldwater Rd. Steak-N-Shake for the traditional after-hunt repast where the day’s happenings were discussed. We also agreed to use 146.160 MHz as the fox frequency for the October hunt.

Scores for this hunt, and the year-to-date point totals are as follows:

W9SAN 369.5 points
W9LAN 369.5 points
ALEX 369.5 points
KB9DOS (1/2 of fox) 840 points
KB9DOT (other half of fox) 840 points
KC9MUT 809.5 points
KC9EZP 809.5 points
K9NDU 585.5 points
KC9UHU 585.5 points
K9OMA 698 points
KA9YYI 698 points
WB9RUS 698 points
WB9SSE 698 points


And year to date cumulative points are as follows:

WB9RUS 3946 points
WB9SSE 3946 points
K9OMA 3946 points
KA9YYI 3946 points
KC9MUT 5133.5 points
KC9EZP 4873 points
W9SAN 3580 points
W9LAN 2782 points
ALEX 3580 points
KB9DOS 4228.5 points
KB9DOT 4228.5 points
K9NDU 5057.5 points
KC9UHU 5057.5 points

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