Wednesday, July 16, 2014

EARS Members Attend North Fulton Fox Hunt

On Tuesday evening, July 15, 2014, EARS members David Ross and Jody Huneycutt attended the July meeting of the North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NFARL) at the invitation of Tom Koch, who is a member of both organizations.  The program was Fox Hunting and NFARL members possessing radio location antennas brought them in anticipation of a Fox Hunt on the grounds of the North Fulton Park where the meetings are held.

The hunters were divided into four groups, each with a group leader (anyone who brought an antenna).  Since only three NFARL members brought antennas, the leader of the 4th group was EARS member Jody Huneycutt, who brought his tape measure Yagi-type antenna to the meeting.

One of the other three groups was led by Tom Koch's neighbor, who brought his Ed Fitzpatrick design antenna (made from one of the two antenna kits Tom bought at June's EARS meeting).

As to the results of the hunt, none of the groups with the specific fox hunting antennas found the fox in the five minutes allotted to each group.  The signals were too strong and all the antennas indicated the same signal strength in every direction.  None of the antennas had any provision for attenuating the signal.

The only person actually finding the fox (a transmitter identical to the one featured in the video shown at our January meeting, wherein the hunt was for a missing Easter bunny) was an NFARL member who used his HT with the small rubber duck antenna, and who shielded the antenna using his body and a sheet of aluminum foil wrapped 3/4 of the way around the radio.  When he got a nulled signal in this manner, he knew the transmitter was in the direct opposite direction from which he was facing.

The hunt and the presentation were enlightening.  The presenter had won a wall plaque trophy in a fox hunt held in Texas in the late 70's.  The slide show can be accessed via the NFARL website at, and is well worth watching.

 It appears that when we have our fox hunt later this year, we should make some provision for acquiring variable strength attenuators for our antennas.  Trying tuning slightly off-frequency or using the 3rd harmonic of the transmitted frequency did not work to attenuate the signal.  It was either absent completely, or overwhelmingly strong.

Please think about these two, or any other alternatives you might think of before next months meeting.


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