Transmitter Hunting

WHEN: Has been the first Sunday for a very long time; now we are doing it on a Saturday and TBD on which one we do it on. Sign up for email.
STARTS: 11:00 am
FOX FREQ: 146.565 MHZ (sometimes may have a secondary transmitter OR walking T-Hunts)
 447.180 (-131.8) (Primary)
 147.645 (-110.9) (Secondary)

March 2020

March 21st – Had an impromptu Transmitter Hunt today with TWO transmitters hidden. 5 watts on the 146.565 and a MicroFox PicCon putting out 700 milliwatts on 145.555. Had the usual participants. Would love to have more. Will discuss doing this again on the 28th with the current state of events still allowing us to be outdoors, yet “socially distant”. (Dumb description if you ask me). We can bridge that gap by yapping on the radio with each other and what a better time to do so. Get on the repeaters and play on simplex with your radio friends and see what is working and what is not. We did a lot of that today. With the Transmitters being hidden at Chapparosa Park in Laguna Niguel, we found difficulty using any one repeater (San Clemente, Temple Hill, and Santiago). Of course, once we were all in one location, simplex worked just fine. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. Word has it, that Black Star Canyon was very populated today; perhaps not the most ideal situation in the parking lot, but as long as people are well spread apart from each other it should not be an issue.

Kudos to Richard for doing a grocery run for a total stranger today.  Nice to be able to respond when opportunities present themselves.

Walking style T-Hunts coming as soon as April. (Weather depending and level of outdoor activity allowed with the Coronavirus). I encourage more of you to come out and play. Until then.


Erik – W6INE

KG6FCT T-Hunting is a popular activity among Amateur Radio operators, also known as; transmitter hunting, fox hunting, radio direction finding. A SOARA T-hunt starts with a transmitter on the 2-meter band that is hidden somewhere in South Orange County and is “hunted” or located using radio direction finding techniques. The transmitter is usually on the air intermittently and automatically identifies itself either in Morse code. Amateurs participating in the SOARA T-hunts can expect low pressure, fun events and we encourage all new Hams to participate. This is a good time to ask other Hams for help but they may not tell you ALL their secrets!

The T-hunts start at 1300 hrs (1:00 pm) typically on the first Sunday of the month and usually last 1 to 3 hours. This is a good time to ride with a friend. Snoop around and you should be able to find an experienced SOARA T-hunter to ride with. To receive T-Hunt specific announcements, join the SOARA T-Hunt mailing list at

KI6GOAWhen the transmitter is on the air, the hunters “take bearings” using directional antennas by determining the direction where the signal appears to be the strongest. This is done throughout the hunt until the transmitter is found. Usually, driving to the immediate area of the hidden transmitter is part of the game. Once there, the remainder of the hunt usually takes place “on foot” as you “sniff” out the final hiding location of the hidden-T.

The transmitter transmits on the nationally accepted T-hunt frequency of 146.565 MHz and hunt coordination is on the SOARA 440mhz repeater (447.180-, 131.8hz). The transmitter may be hidden anywhere that is safe and is publicly accessible in Orange County that is south of the I-55 freeway. The hunters may start anywhere they choose.

To put a rumor to rest, you do not need expensive equipment for transmitter hunting! All you need is a 2-meter receiver (a handheld will do), an attenuator and a directional antenna (yagi, quad, etc.). The “tape measure” antenna is a good choice. Other items that can help, but aren’t necessary, are a map of Orange County, a compass, a protractor and refreshments! Most of the equipment just mentioned can be built for a rather cheap price, and it performs exceptionally.

T-hunt11T-hunting is both a fun and a serious activity. The “winner” of a the SOARA T-hunt is the person who finds the hidden transmitter first. The winner is then the person who will hide the transmitter on the next hunt. T-hunters also use their skills to locate downed airplanes, boaters in distress, and sources of radio interference, unlicensed operators and jammers. T-hunters use competitions like these to test their equipment and practice their skills in preparation for more serious situations. is a great source of information and you will find information on building your own tape measure Yagi antenna for receiving.


Page Last Updated: Mar 21, 2020 @ 4:10 pm PT