Fox hunt chronicles for July and August

foxhunt cartoonWell, it’s two for one with this edition of the Foxhunt Chronicles. The results of both the July as well as the August contest will be, well, chronicled here.

The July hunt occurred on Sunday 9 July with just a few of the usual mob of hunters able to participate. They consisted of the team of Steve and Linda Nardin, W9’s SAN & LAN, and single hunter Clarke Derbyshire, KG9FM. Their quarry, the fox, consisted of Charles Ward, KC9MUT and Fred Gengnagle, KC9EZP and they were holed-up at Dan Ward, W9WLW’s Ward Metal Plating facilities located in the industrial park north of Smith Field just off Cook Rd. Charles had obtained permission from Dan to use the property as a fox hiding site. The high power fox emanated from Charles’s truck which was parked back in the woods and essentially hidden from sight. The microfox was contained within a metal sleeve in the wall of one of a large collection of metal containers located behind the building, and used to store and move metal parts at the facility. Given the placement of the microfox, its signal was very weak. Steve, Linda and Clarke crawled around and about the metal containers and eventually found the microfox. Linda was the first to actually lay eyes on the little bugger. Interestingly, Clarke used a combination of body shielding and an improvised attenuator consisting of a cardboard tube wrapped in aluminum foil that he would place over his HT’s antenna to reduce the microfox’s signal strength when he got close to it.

Since the Nardin team was the first to locate the microfox they were in line to serve as the fox for the August hunt. However, because of a previous commitment to attend a Mini-Cooper “Minis on the Mac” bridge crossing at the Mackinac Bridge (1300 Mini-Coopers simultaneously crossing the Mackinac Bridge to set a world record,….and they say hams are nuts), they asked Clarke to serve in their stead as the August fox.

Hence on a spectacular Sunday on the 6th of August, Clarke and his wife Liz situated themselves at Lyons Park (in the Kirkwood Park section of Ft. Wayne) and hid the microfox in a trash container inside a plastic shopping bag. Clarke used the mobile rig in his truck as the high powered fox and commenced taunting us at the appointed time, 13:30 hours.

The foxhunters consisted of the team of Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & KA9YYI plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS & SSE, the team of Charles Ward, KC9MUT & Fred Gengnagle, KC9EZP, and hunter Don Glick, K9LI, assisted by his wife Julie. They were as usual all situated at the Cobin Memorial Field starting place listening intently for Clarkes beginning fox transmissions on 146.430 MHz.

The Pliett/Burke team got an initial DF bearing azimuth of 45 degrees which indicated that the fox was north-east of Cobin Memorial Field. So they headed out east on Lake Avenue and wound up in New Haven based upon the follow-on DF bearing received. But we noticed that the signal strength did not increase as we got to New Haven, and then to our surprise the bearings told us that the fox was now back in Ft. Wayne. So back into Ft. Wayne we went eventually winding up on Lake Ave. and then State and then we ultimately localized the fox at Lions Park. By that time Don Glick had already found the minifox, and stood there grinning at us as we pulled up. After a bit of stumbling around with our hand held yagis Jim and I also found the mini-fox’s hiding place. Several minutes later Charles and Fred pulled up, got out of their vehicle and soon after also located the mini-fox.

As a reward to ourselves we proceeded to Hall’s Prime Rib across the street from Parkview Hospital and took advantage of their fine menu and, well let’s face it, pigged-out.

Since Don was first to find the mini-fox he gets the honor of serving as the fox for our September hunt which is scheduled to occur on 10 September.

Points earned for the August hunt and cumulative points to date are as follows:

Hunter August Points Year-to-Date Points
K9OMA 2 10.33
KA9YYI 2 8.33
WB9RUS 2 5
WB9SSE 2 8
KC9MUT 1 22.67
KC9EZP 1 20.67
W9SAN 0 7
W9LAN 0 8
Alex 0 3
KC9UOQ 0 9.33
KK4QXC 0 8.33
K9LI 4 15
KG9FM 4.67 5.67

We have three hunts remaining this year. Why don’t you join in on the fun?

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