Bristol Co. RA Foxhunt Update

Fall River ARC/BCRA logoThe Bristol County Repeater Association  (a.k.a. Fall River Amateur Radio Club) held a fox hunt on Saturday, November 21, 2020.

Here’s the recap – First, we couldn’t have asked for better weather! No one found the fox, but WA1LBK’s team was really close and KC1NDQ was closing in also. The fox was in the parking lot, with permission, of Lexi-Lu’s Place (great blueberry pancakes!) at the intersection of American Legion Highway (Rte. 177) and Forge Road in Westport, about .5 miles south of route 6. the coordinates are 41.6347 and -71.6547 or approximately 7.493 miles SW of the center of the designated search area.

KC1LMY used the strategy of getting a bearing and locating all the Dunkin’ shops along that line – not a bad idea, but the last I heard there were more than 35 Dunkies in Fall River alone!

We are planning more hunts – you can check the Fox Hunt page at bcra.club or email KB1CNB@arrl.net to be added to the fox hunt email list.

 

Bristol County RA Fox Hunt, November 21, 2020

BCRA/FRARA logoThe [Bristol County Repeater Association] will be holding its “First (in a while)” BCRA Fox Hunt on Saturday, November 21, 2020.

Check-ins starting at 9:45 am on the BCRA repeater, 145.150 MHz PL 123. Chat and help on the repeater also.

The Fox will activate at 10:00 am on 146.565 MHz FM with a 5-watt signal and will transmit one minute of tone followed by Morse Code ID and four minutes of silence. The hunt will last until 2:00 pm or until all checked in participants have found the transmitter, whichever comes first.

The Fox will be located within a 10 mile radius of the intersection of President Avenue (Rt. 6) and North Main Street in Fall River. ( Latitude 41.7159 Longitude -71.1510 ) The Fox will be in a public place and will be manned at all times. When you have found the fox your time and order of arrival will be recorded and a personalized certificate will be emailed to each participant.

Participants are encouraged to work in teams, and are asked to drive carefully and observe all applicable guidelines, both from the FCC and the state & local governments. Since participants are receiving only (except for radio check-ins) an amateur radio license is not required.

Email questions to Skip at kb1cnb@bcra.club or text to 774-644-3469. After the hunt, your comments, impressions, and suggestions will be welcome!

Join us and have some good amateur radio fun!

Bristol County Repeater Association Meets Online, November 2, 2020

BCRA/FRARA logoMargaret Gaffney, KA1BZE, writes on the BCRA mailing list:

This month, we will be holding a fox hunt on November 21, 2020. More details will come at tomorrow’s meeting. Because of this, we will be having a tech talk on fox hunting after this month’s business meeting. It will again be on Zoom so look for a link in your email through this group.

[Email mmgaffney -at- comcast -dot- net for meeting information.]

 

KD1D Fox is Out Again at a New Location, October 23, 2020

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the NE Mass Fox Hunters list at 4:23 PM on October 23, 2020:
 

As of noon Friday [October 23, 2020], the KD1D Fox is on the air at a Westford Conservation Trust Site.  It will remain there through Monday.

The Site is the Veterans Memorial Complex in the Graniteville section of town. There is an excellent write up of the area at: https://westfordconservationtrust.org/tws_holding/veterans-memorial-complex/ 

Some Hints:

– The site can be approached from at least two directions.   Although one might be tempted to follow a Beacon, greater success may come from finding the Field of Diamonds.  You will know you are near the Field when you see many foxes cavorting.  Do not be deceived – our Fox is not among them.

–  When you come to the table, you will know you are on the right path.

– Like life itself, the trail has several ups and downs.  The wise seeker will carry a staff or hiking stick.

– The hunter must traverse a road made difficult by the presence of many fallen ancients.

– Beware the fortress.  It is deceitful.

Happy Hunting!

73 de KD1D

KD1D Fox is Back On the Air, October 9, 2020

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the NEMass Fox Hunters List on October 9, 2020:

The KD1D Fox transmitter went on the air again  in Westford MA at 1530 EDT on Friday 9 October 2020.  

It will transmit a voice message on 146.565 MHz for approximately 30 seconds which will repeat at 60 second intervals.  I expect the Fox to be operating through the weekend until at least Tuesday afternoon.  For additional information on our club’s Fox Hunting activities, please visit: http://www.wb1gof.org/activities/Foxing/
 
Some clues:

– It is located on conservation land in the northeast section of town and can be heard from Route 40 (Groton Road).

– You may park at a public playground (with a porta-potty) near the trail entrance.

-The Conservation area has a name similar to that of Tarzan’s family of origin.   

– The name is also a compound word consisting of “neither black nor white”  and a hard natural object.

Once you find  the trail, the Fox will not be far away, but it may be difficult to see.

If you’re unfamiliar with the area, drop me an email at my callsign @arrl.net and I will help you zero in on the location before you go hunting.

 

Northeast MA Fox Hunting Update

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on NEMass fox hunters list:

* All the 2-meter FM foxes belonging to PART of Westford members transmit on 146.565 MHz.  

* Currently the KD1D and W1HFN foxes use the Squawkbox module, which typically transmits a short (e.g. 30 second)  voice message and repeats once per minute. The low  power output of about 50 mW allows more than one Squawkbox to be on the air if they are far enough apart.  Often, I have one operating in Westford and W1HFN has one operating in Littleton simultaneously.

* Other two-meter fox boxes operated by our club members (including KB1MGI) use the Byonics module which sends a series of tones for a fixed period (e.g. 30 minutes) when activated by the hunter sending a DTMF ‘2’ for two seconds.   

* Occasionally, Andy Stuart, KB1OIQ, puts out an 80-meter Fox operating around 3.6 MHz.  

[KB1OIQ: It is supposed to be the color burst frequency.  This fox is really a Cricket 80A CW transceiver driven by an Arduino.  Yes, it is a bit overkill but I had fun making it.  It consumes too much power, so when it is out, it is usually only for a day or two.  It has a built-in real time clock so it only transmits during the daylight hours (approximately). I also occasionally put out a 2m fox, which is a Byonics MicroFox, transmitting about 15 mW.  This fox transmits 24×7 for several days until I retrieve it. I have also been accused of hiding a fox inside of a plastic owl, up on a tree branch.  Fox hunters claim to have heard the CW message, “I am most wise.”]

* The operators usually post frequency and activation information, when they announce the hunt.  I’ve gotten a bit lazy on that score and will try to mend my ways!

* Similarly, we usually announce the location (usually conservation, recreation or other public area), although lately I have been providing only clues to add a challenge.

* Some of the foxes use an HT transmitting 1 or 2 watts, in which case, we usually just announce the town it is in to practice long-distance direction finding similar to what we would need to track down a repeater troll.

It’s great to have fox hunters from outside the Westford area participating!  I will try to take that into consideration when doling out clues in the future.

73 and Happy Hunting!

Alan KD1D

KD1D Fox is Back On the Air, October 2, 2020

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the NEMass Fox Hunters List at 7:51 PM on October 2, 2020: 

I set the fox loose again Friday afternoon around 5:00 pm in Westford.  It should run all weekend and into Monday.

Some clues:

It is neither ingenuous nor ingenious to say that it is an area named after something that is igneous.

It is in an area with a small rocky stream.

It should  be an easy non-strenuous hunt once you locate the general area.

73 and happy hunting!

Alan KD1D

KD1D Fox is on the loose for the Labor Day Weekend

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the NEMass Fox Hunters List at 8:07 PM on September 4, 2020:

The KD1D Fox is out again after a brief vacation.  It is transmitting on 146.565 MHz, approximately 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off.

Some clues:

1. It is near one of the numbered routes in Westford – specifically the 2nd highest numbered route passing through town.

2. It is on Westford Conservation Land.  

3. The first name of the site is the same as the surname of an Irish nationalist leader who inspired the  rising of 1803,

4. The second name is the last name of former President Richard Nixon’s secretary.

5. Parking is not immediately adjacent to the site.  Fox hunters can park at another nearby wild life area or a nearby residential street.

Happy hunting!

73 de KD1D

W1HFN Fox Deployed in Littleton, August 8, 2020

Barry Fox, W1HFN, writes on the NEMass Fox Hunters List at 1:01 PM on August 8, 2020:

Sorry for the time lapse since deployments,  medical stuff, surgery, etc. Deployed the fox today at the Hartwell reservation in Littleton.  Transmits on 146.565 with a voice ID every 30 seconds.  In a typical (for me) senior moment, I forgot to leave the sign-in log behind.  If you say you found it, I will believe you.

BTW, wear your hiking shoes, its a long walk.

73,

Barry, W1HFN

Amateur Radio Direction Finding Seminar on ARRL Learning Network

From the USA ARDF Championship mailing list:

ARRL members will have an opportunity to learn the basics of The Sport of Finding Hidden Transmitters On Foot. The presenter, Robert Frey, WA6EZV, will be conducting the webinar on Thursday, August 20, 2020, 12:30 PM PDT / 3:30 PM EDT (1930 UTC). There is no charge for attending the Zoom presentation. Register online at http://www.arrl.org/ARRL-Learning-Network

KD1D Fox is “On the Loose” in Westford, June 12, 2020

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the writes on the NE Mass Foxhunters  list at 5:16 PM on June 12, 2020:

I found a nice den for the fox in Westford.  It has a new case and a bigger battery (which I expect to last well into next week).
 the KD1D Fox transmits about 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off and can be heard telling an old tale. It is transmitting on 146.565 MHz and is in a location that won’t interfere with Barry’s Littleton fox,

If you need some help, just ask and I will provide clues, such as:

“It’s not far off the beaten path.”  and
“Warmly greet the chef.”

There is a logbook next to the transmitter, but you can also just confirm where and when you found it by:

Email: kd1d@arrl.net
Voicemail or text: 978-376-2267

Happy hunting and stay safe!

73,
Alan KD1D

W1HFN Fox Deployed in Littleton, June 12, 2020

Barry Fox, W1HFN, writes on the NE Mass Foxhunters  list at 3:17 PM on June 12, 2020:

The W1HFN fox is out at the Bumble Bee park in Littleton.  Frequency is 146.565 with a continuous voice ID every 30 seconds.  Parking is at  N42° 31.643′

W71° 29.566′ more or less.  Good luck to all!
73, Barry – W1HFN
PS NO PI within sight!

Two Foxes in Westford, September 22, 2019

John Salmi, KB1MGI, writes on the foxhunting list at 10:10 AM on September 22, 2019:

I placed out two fox boxes this morning.

One is the 2 meter 146.565 DTMF tone 2 to activate. The second one is a 70 cm 432.300 DTMF tone 2 to activate.
 
Both foxes are hidden in Westford at the Mass Audubon [Nashoba Brook Wildlife Sanctuary] off Rt 225 near Powers Road. 
 
I don’t know how long the batteries will last; maybe a few days.
 

W1HFN Fox is Active in Littleton, September 21, 2019

Barry Fox, W1HFN, writes on the foxhunting list on September 21, 2019 at 12:47 PM:

Located in the conservation land off Hartwell Avenue in Littleton, MA.  Frequency of 146.565 with a 30-second voice every minute, runs continuously, no need for a tone.

You will not hear it in the parking area as I have modified the antenna (actually a 52 ohm resistor) and the signal is really weak until you get quite close, more of a challenge this way?

I forgot the log, so if you find it either take a picture or describe the location.

Happy hunting!

73,
Barry – W1HFN

Westford Foxes on the Loose, September 1, 2019

Andy Stewart, KB1OIQ, writes on the foxhunting list on September 1, 2019 at 11:24 AM:

The KB1OIQ 2m and 80m foxes have been deployed.  I will leave them out until Tuesday evening around 6 PM.  I’m 99% certain the 2m battery will last.  The lifetime of the 80m battery has been improved but only experimentation will  show me how long it will last.

The 2m fox frequency is 146.565 MHz. The 80m fox frequency is the TV color burst frequency:  3.5795 MHz.

Subtract 1 character from this encoded message to get the clue as to where the foxes are hidden.

Example:  TEXAS becomes UFYBT

DJEFS NJMM QPOE NVMUJQMF FOUSBODFT

KB1MGI: I still have your 80m fox receiver.  Please contact me so I can get it back to you.

Have fun and 73,

KD1D Fox Out for the Weekend in Westford

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the foxhunting list on August 30, 2019 at 4:24 PM:

The KD1D Fox transmitter is OTA as of 1600 EDT on Friday Aug 30. 

Since it’s a holiday weekend, I made it fairly easy to find in the  Nutting Road area [of Westford]. Very little bushwhacking should be required.

I am working on some new enclosures that allow the use of a bigger  battery, but for now, I expect it to run for at least 2 days.

Happy Hunting and a great Labor Day Weekend to all!

73 de KD1D