Saturday, July 9, 2016

Fox hunt day 1

The wind and rain today didn't seem to stifle fox hunters out looking for my four foxes.  Unfortunately, it seems I will need to make some changes as with the very short loop antennas that are in use for direction finding, folks were having trouble hearing the foxes without getting quite close to them first, at least for the 30 metre frequency.  Not too many takers on the VHF frequencies, so I think for tomorrow I will turn off the 2 metre beacon and just use the 30 metre CW beacon.  I will need to add a counterpoise to the antenna however to increase it's range a bit.  I could hear all the foxes with a small handheld Grundig receiver using a short whip antenna, but most folks reported having to get quite close to the transmitter before they could hear it at all.

With the kind of event we are running here, folks are not going to traipse all over the place to get to the point where they can hear the beacon.  They need to be able to hear them (or most of them) from the starting point or they will give up before venturing too far afield.

So, some lessons learned.  I will increase the range and verify they can all be heard at the starting point with the simple loop antennas we are using for tomorrow's group of hunters.

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