Transmitter Hunting

WHEN: First Sunday of most months(1) (see calendar for details)
STARTS: 1:00 pm
FOX FREQ: 146.565 MHZ
 447.180 (-131.8) (Primary)
 147.645 (-110.9) (Secondary)

Updated July 4, 2019

Hello Transmitter Hunters!

I hope everyone had a relaxing day off for the 4th of July.
I’ve just updated the calendar to relfect the upcooming T-Hunts dates. They are not all on the first Sunday of the month. I postponed August and December as they conflict with other SOARA events. I also postponed September as it landed on the Labor Day Holiday Weekend. We have not expanded the search area back to the full South County boundaries just yet as we want to encourage our less experienced hunters, myself included, to continue to come out and join us for the Transmitter Hunts. As we increase the difficulty, I encourage those hunting to coordinate with each other and work as a team with the first one in still getting the hiding rights for the next hunt. Utilize a map of the area and a compass and take multiple intial bearings from several high points and share that information with each other. How we work the hunts from month to month do not have to be set in stone. If you desire individual competition with each other we can do that. I’m also still working on setting up some “onfoot” hunts for the future but will take some time to obtain multiple transmitters to really enjoy that.

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

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.


Page Last Updated: Jul 4, 2019 @ 12:46 pm PT