August fox hides at the end of the road

The weather threatened to be wet, wet, and wet all day on the 2nd of August when two fox-hunter teams coalesced at the foxhunting starting point at Cobin Memorial Park near Lakeside Golf Course. Team #1 consisted of Charles Ward, KC9MUT, and newbie, and enthusiastic fox hunter Brian Kibiger, KD9OOC. The 2nd team included Linda and Steve Nardin, W9’s LAN & SAN plus veteran fox hunter Alex, their grandson.

The role of the fox was provided by Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS & SSE plus Annie & Jim Pliett, KA9YYI & K9OMA. They had conducted a little scouting and settled on a spot at the very end of the southern portion of Schwartz Rd. where I-469 bisects this former north-south thru-way just to the east of the Chapel Ridge Shopping Center. On the other side of I-469 the northern section of Schwartz Rd. started up again, and the Burke-Pliett team considered locating the high power fox on the southern portion of Schwarz while hiding the microfox on the northern portion. But we have some morals, so we decided not to do that and thus located the microfox near us on the southern terminus of Schwarz close to the high power fox. (Actually, we couldn’t see the northern portion of Schwartz because of the elevated I-469, and thus would not have been able to observe the fox hunters searching for the micro-fox, once they had figured out what we had done to them).

The high power fox (about 25 watts into a monopole* on Jim’s SUV roof), and the microfox (about 50 milliwatts into a stubby antenna) broadcast on 146.430 MHz. The microfox started at 1:30 pm broadcasting in cw for one minute, and would repeat every two and a half minutes for the duration of the hunt. The high power fox was activated for one minute immediately following the first microfox transmission, and every five minutes thereafter. The high power transmissions consisted of Jim’s expounding on the latest developments in String Theory coming out of Cal Tech and Stanford. We know that the foxhunters intensely followed this information as they trucked on down the road.

The high power fox, (Jim’s SUV) was parked in a cul-de-sac at the end of Schwartz Rd. sort of out of site from the road. Jim buried the microfox near some foliage a little distance from the SUV making sure there was no Poison Ivy, cobras or water buffalo near the hide spot.

We intended to use a four element Yagi for the high power fox but it turned out to exhibit a high VSWR, and we didn’t have time to trouble shoot it, so we wound up using the monopole. But we were only five miles from the starting point at Corbin Memorial Park so we figured the monopole would be sufficient.

After correcting a vehicle power problem at the fox location, the fox hunters heard the high power fox down at Corbin Park, and the race was on.

About forty minutes into the hunt the Ward/Kibiger vehicle came roaring down Schwartz Rd. and pulled into the cul-de-sec. Charles and Brian dismounted and started looking for the microfox on foot. They found it in about ten minutes. A few minutes later the Nardin team showed up. But they had dismounted in the parking lot behind Goodwill Industries in the Chapel Ridge Shopping Center so they had to hoof it about two hundred yards to get over to the cul-de-sec. After about ten minutes Alex found the microfox. (He believes he had to have stepped on it about three times before he spotted it).

After the hunt we buzzed over to Zesto’s in New Haven and partook in some sweet refreshments.

Since Charles and Brian were first to find the microfox they will serve as the fox for the September hunt which will occur on Sunday September 13th.

I have just meet Brian, so I don’t know him very well. But he seems like a nice, upstanding guy to me. But now, under the seemingly malevolent influence of Charles, he will be introduced into the evils inherent in picking a location, devising diabolic camouflage, and hiding the microfox. Well, I just don’t know……., too bad he couldn’t have been tutored under the angelic influences of Pliett and I.

The scores for the August hunt and cumulative to date are as follows:

HunterAugust PointsYear-to-Date Points

Don’t forget that date, Sunday, September 13th, starting at 1:30 pm at Corbin Memorial Park, down by Lakeside Golf Course.  Ride a-long’s are welcome and encouraged!

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