Our Annual Hidden Transmitter Hunt
The annual SARC "Fox Hunt" has long been an established event on our calendar and was recently held on Saturday, May 11th in the now usual location of Crescent Park in South Surrey. A fox is a hidden transmitter. Fox hunting is a recognized Radiosport, and it has been compared to the ‘Amazing Race’ for Amateur Radio enthusiasts, but instead of getting clues, we use radio direction finding techniques to search for the 5 transmitters hidden somewhere in a large forested park. When one is found, by following a Morse code beacon, we use the identifying paper punch to verify the location. The faster time back to the start with all 5 foxes is the winner. There are annual World ARDF Championships for fox hunting.
SARC members, guests and friends have supported this event and it continues to grow in popularity. This year there were with 27 Hams participating in the actual hunt, along with 5 unlicensed 'friends'. It was also encouraging that we had several young people participating.
It was a dry and sunny day, participants were divided up into teams of "Expert" and "Novice" class. Where there were not enough receivers, participants "buddy-up" to share equipment. After a brief intro and training session by Amel VA7KBA and Jeremy VE7TMY, and with adrenaline flowing, the groups were enthusiastically dispatched in 10 minute intervals. Much fun was had by all .
With the popularity of 80m, we did away with the 2m foxes and five 80m foxes were hidden throughout the park. Participants were allocated 90 minutes to find them.
The social half of the event was the informal BBQ, providing an opportunity to engage in stories, an exchange of lessons learned and challenges overcome. Warm camaraderie prevailed over burgers and hot dogs.
In any planned event such as this, there are many moving parts and I extend recognition and greatest of thanks to Amel VA7KBA, Jan Voslenik VA7VJ, John Schouten VE7TI who handled all the set up and the technical aspects of the "foxes". Much appreciation to Brenda (XYL of Anton VE7SSD) for food shopping, John Brodie VA7XB for ice and the BBQ and the able chefs, Stan VA7NF, Nell VE7PE and Pam VE7PFH for expertly staffing the grill. Special mention is made of Les Tocko VA7OM, who, through a conflict in schedule, was unable to attend. His support throughout the year is acknowledged.
1st place: Jan Vozenilek VA7VJ 5 foxes 44 mins
2nd place: Henry Dahl VE7HRY 5 foxes 50.5 mins
1st place: Jeremy Morse VE7TMY 5 foxes 78:50 mins
2nd place: Ken Patenaude (unlicensed) 5 foxes 80:20 mins
3rd place: Paula Struthers VE7PSP 5 foxes 80:45 mins
An informal “prize” ceremony, bragging rights and the 'crystal fox' trophy were awarded to the winner, Jan Vozenilek VA7VJ. The stuffed musical bunny was awarded to Jeremy Morse VE7TMY.
Mark your calendars (tentatively) for the same weekend next year, Saturday May 16th, 2020, as we look forward to another annual SARC FoxHunt.
A video of the event is available for viewing at:
~ Fox-Hunt co-ordinator :
Anton James VE7SSD