Sly fox hides in Waynedale playground

The March fox (hidden transmitter) hunt occurred on Sunday the 3rd of March, a cold, windy, slightly overcast day that featured a bit of blowing snow. (C’mon Spring Training). The foxhunting teams consisted of the team of Jim Pliett, K9OMA and Al Burke, WB9SSE, the team of Steve and Linda Nardin, WB9’s SAN and LAN plus their grandson Alex, and the team of Don Glick, K9LI and his wife Julie.

The role of the fox in this little drama was provided by Charles Ward, KC9MUT, Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP and Phil Hooper, AB9IZ. (This crew is widely referred to as “the Unholy Three” in God fearing foxhunting circles throughout the Midwest, and internationally, through Interpol, are known as der schlaue Fuchs).

They hid out at Waynedale Memorial Park, south of Lower Huntington Rd., across the street from Waynedale Elementary School. A nice little park.

Of course, they employed a high power fox, a yagi driven at 50 watts and mounted at about 12’ on a tower installed on KC9MUT’s pickup. And they also employed a microfox, a microcomputer driven transmitter putting out several hundred milliwatts. The microfox was programmed to transmit a cw signal on 146.430 MHz for one minute every two and a half minutes, while the high power fox would transmit for one minute every five minutes.

Waynedale Memorial Park features a playground set with swings, monkey bars, a slide and so forth. Der schlaue Fuchs emplaced the microfox on the bottom side of the slide , quite close to the ground. It was well hidden.

The high power fox began transmitting on 146.430 MHz promptly at 13:30 hours and was immediately heard by the foxhunter teams located across town at their Cobin Memorial Park starting point. All three teams took off charging more or less down the beam heading they had picked up.

For our part we headed south on Colesium then west on New Haven Ave and eventually wandered further west again on Rudisill, always following the beam headings provided by Jim’s roof mounted Quad. We drove around Foster Park a bit but concluded the fox had to be further south and west, eventually winding up at Waynedale Memorial Park based upon the DF bearings we received. We were the first foxhunting team to localize the fox. The Schlaue Fuchs group mostly stayed inside Charles pickup truck with it’s engine idling to keep warm (it was cold out there). Jim and I picked up our handheld yagi’s and stomped off on foot to find the microfox. Jim was employing a recent improvement to his hand held equipment. He had added a uhf yagi to the vhf yagi he used as his hand-held foxhunting rig plus a uhf receiver to go along with the uhf antenna. The uhf antenna is tuned to the third harmonic of the fox signal, i.e., 439.290 MHz and it’s elements are mounted on the boom in the same plane as those of the vhf antenna elements. The use of the third harmonic provides unambiguous indications of a nearby location of the microfox and is of great help in locating the little bugger when it is well hidden.

So as it turned out Jim was the first to locate the microfox although he had to get down on his belly to lay eyes on the thing. About one half hour after our finding the microfox the Nardin team arrived on site and they started hunting the microfox too, and found it not too much later.

Don Glick and Julie had suffered an equipment failure. One of the elements on his hand held yagi had broken which apparently really distorted it’s pattern thus giving him erronious beam headings. He and Julie wound up in New Haven and a few other exotic locals before they concluded…“Something isn’t right.“ They finally decided to give up on the hunt and meet us where-ever we decided to get a bite to eat.

Our Locale-de-Food Consumption turned out to be Hall‘s Original Drive-In on Bluffton Rd. I was especially looking forward to a trip to Hall‘s because they are known for yummy milk shakes, sundaes and malted milks. Linda Nardin and Don Glick were too. Much to our consternation we discovered that Hall’s had run out of ice cream. Yah, no kidding. So we had to do without those treats. But we worked around it and everyone found something they liked.

Since Jim first found the microfox he and I will be the fox for the April hunt which will occur on 7 April. Why not come out and join us. It’s fun.

The foxhunt scorecard so far this year is shown below:

Hunter March Points Year-to-Date Points
WB9SSE 3 4
K90MA 4 5
KC9MUT 4.67 7.67
KC9EZP 4.67 8.67
AB9IZ 4.67 4.67
W9SAN 2 7.67
W9LAN 2 7.67
Alex 2 2
K9LI Did Not Finish 2
Julie Did Not Finish 2

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