Transmitter Hunting

WHEN: First Sunday of most months(1) (see calendar for details)
STARTS: 1:00 pm
FOX FREQ: 146.565 MHZ
COORDINATION:
 447.180 (-131.8) (Primary)
 147.645 (-110.9) (Secondary)
MAILING LIST: thunters-join@soara.org

Updated September 2019

Hello Transmitter Hunters!

Summer is still hanging around but a taste of cooler Fall temperatures are around the corner. September has been a difficult month to get the Transmitter Hunt going due to schedules and very warm temps. I’ve updated the calendar to reflect our last postponement for September to the 29th. I think we’ll get this one to roll. I also adjusted the October T-Hunt to the 20th to give some distance from the previous and accommodate scheduling. We’re still working on getting some transmitters so we can do another on foot style hunt. I don’t know when that will happen but will continue to try to make it so.  I also wish everyone a wonderful end of the year as we head into the Fall/Winter Holiday Season (86 days till Christmas as of October 1st – Yes!, HAM’s still like getting gifts)

Itinerary is always subject to change and we will post those changes here. I look forward to seeing a bunch of you come out and join us and have some fun.

Erik – W6INE


KG6FCTT-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 thunters-join@soara.org.

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.

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Page Last Updated: Sep 22, 2019 @ 10:01 pm PT