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September 2017 Fox Hunt

WGARS held a differnet kind of Fox Hunt (to us, anyway) on September 23rd. First, the boundaries were not our typical "inside the Greenbelt", but anywhere in Carroll county. The other difference is rather than competing, we worked together as a group, calling on home stations to listen for signals in their area and search teams to share any signal reports as well. The hunt began around 10:00AM.

We also utilized some homebrew software to plot the signals and project potential fox locations.  WX4BK and KM4UPX logged the first two signal readings using Yagi antennas, and the software plotted the first projected location, which KM4UPX and his daughter Paige went to.  A third signal report by WX4BK crossed the first two, with an area of about 1/4 mile. 

However, as more readings were posted by stations closer to the projected location of the fox, the more confusing they became. Strong signals were being detected in several locations, in different directions.

KM4UPX and Paige continued to search the area the first few plots pointed to, and located the well-hidden fox on a walking trail behind Midway Church around Noon. Congratulations to the Veal Team!

As it turns out, there were some odd reflected signals that created confusion as we closed in on the Fox, creating confilcting plots.  The initial readings were more distant, and the reflections were not strong enough to get picked up, providing what turned out to be an extremely accuirate plot.  A lesson learned, that it appears to be better to take directional plots from greater distances to plot the general area, then use equipment that offers greater attenuation.

The shared plotting software allowed team members to get real-time readings and also allowd home stations to monitor the progress of the hunt, as wekk as provide some input on potential search locations.

One of the Fox hunters used a loop antenna that was very accurate at close range, while Yagis, even with attenuators, were unable to get a clear reading at close range to the Fox.

Thanks again to WD8LQT from setting the Fox Hunt up and hinding the Fox.


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