Due to family circumstances, we have had to cancel the Oct. 28 Fox Hunt.
The XRX Amateur Radio held our spring Fox Hunt on Saturday May 17th. The skies looked as if it might rain at any minute, but only a couple of short sprinkles were felt. Five teams took part in the hunt, with the only solo effort this time being Chris KC2VCK.
Four 2 meter FM transmitters were hidden for this hunt. Fox #1 was located off a trail in Gosnells Woods near Vosberg Road in West Webster. It was at the top of a ridge and surrounded by some deep gulleys and ended up being quite a challenge, even for experienced hunters. Fox #2 was running a bit more power, and was not too far away at Irondequoit Bay Marine Park. This site was not that difficult, as it was bounded by Irondequoit on one side and a road on the other, but the route coming from the other side of the bay is a bit roundabout. So to speak. Fox #3 was on a hill off Orchard Park Blvd in Irondequoit Bay Park West. Fox #4 was at the southern end of the bay, just a couple hundred yards into Lucien Morin Park, and conveniently located by McGregors.
First place went to the father and son duo of Bill Kurrasch K2WEK and Paul Kurrasch KC2GTO. 2nd place went to Jon Dickason N2JAC and Bob Karz K2OID. 3rd place went to Chris Warner KC2VCK.
Though this hunt ended up being more difficult than anticipated, I think every team found at least one fox, and probably learned what not to do next time! See you again this autumn.
The XARC Fall Fox Hunt was held Saturday, October 15 – starting in cool weather but finishing to a perfect warm and sunny fall day. Contestants met at the Penn Fair Plaza parking lot in Penfield and left promptly at 9:30 in search for the first of three hidden radio transmitters. The relatively easy first fox was located in nearby Fellows Road Park. The second fox was located in the little known Howell Road Park with the last fox located near the Canal Trail near Wayneport Road bridge. The third fox presented a challenge since it was located in a depression behind the High Acres Landfill which just happens to be one of the highest points in Monroe County. The landfill is also surrounded by a high mesh metal fence that created reflections and shielding when contestants were in route from the Howell Road to Wayneport Road areas.
The scoring was 10 through 1 points per fox with 10 points awarded to the first contestant to locate each fox. Brian (K2AS) finished first with a perfect 30/30 score with Paul (KC2GTO) a close second at 26/30. Bob (K2OID) finished third at 17/30.
At noon, with some contestants still in field, the call went out to meet at the Macedon Hills Restaurant for lunch. Scores were tallied and awards handed out. A good time was had by all. The next hunt is planned for spring 2017. Stayed tuned!
Rich – Huntmaster, K2RAH
The XARC’s annual Fall Foxhunt (radio direction finding) is scheduled for Saturday, October 15th. We will meet/start at the PennFair Plaza parking lot, Penfield on the north-east corner of routes 250 and 441. Registration is 9:00AM with the hunt to begin at approximately 9:20AM. The planned contest run time is between 9:30 and 11:30 with lunch and awards at a local diner to follow.
The hunt is open to all amateur’s regardless of club affiliation or previous experience. If you’re new to foxhunting, all you need to get started is a radio capable of receiving 2 meters.
Hope to see you on Saturday!
~ Rich, K2RAH
- Rich Hull K2RAH, 40 out of 40 Points
- (Tie) Brian Donovan K2AS, Jon Dickason N2JAC 33 Points each
- Bob Karz K2OID 28 points
- Chris Wainer and Harry Ramos W2HRY 23 Points
- Ned Asam W2NED, Gregory Asam, Vince Burolla W2VAB 23 Points (Late Start)
Only two teams, consisting of one person each showed up for the Foxhunt. Two foxes were hidden, and the starting point was at Brighton Town Park on Westfall Road.
Jon Dickason N2JAC found both Foxes first. The first was along the Genessee River off Scottsville Road, and the second was also along the river a little north of there.
K2AS had the dual title of Runnerup/Last Place.
Thanks to Will Mullaney KC2VSJ fot being the huntmaster!
Come join us at this year’s Fall Fox Hunt
Where: Starting at Brighton Park off Westfall Rd
When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2015, at 9:00am
Come join XARC and area HAMs for this year’s Fall Fox Hunt. The hunt is open to all amateur’s regardless of club affiliation or previous experience. If you’re new, all you need to get started is a radio capable of receiving on 2 meters. A directional antenna would be a help, and you can find directions to build a simple one with most of the parts from the local hardware store, just google “tapemeasure antenna” or follow this link: bit.ly/tapemeasureantenna
We will start off at Brighton Park at Westfall Rd at 9:00am. An in-park mini-hunt will commence to allow equipment testing and for first-timers to get a little help and ask their questions of the more experienced group. Then you’ll set off through Brighton the City, and possibly other surrounding towns to find several foxes. For first timers, see how many you can find! For the experienced hunter, see if you can be the first to find them all. Hints will be provided during the hunt to help those along who are new and get stuck, specifics to be announced at the event. The event will end around noon, with the group headed to a lunch spot to determine the winner. This event coincides with Rochester River Romance weekend, so stick around after the hunt for some fun and history regarding our city!
Teams can consist of up to 4 people in a group, which can travel together by a single car, or for this hunt, by bike. Teams may not split up their members across multiple physical locations.
Members of the teams do NOT need to be HAMs, so long as they do not transmit of course.
Hunters must be at the park prior to the 9:30 start time to register or they will be disqualified.
No outside help and no starting early!
Foxes will be on “public” property and reachable with a short walk from a parking area. Think parks, trails, canals, rivers, etc. All hiding locations will be south of “downtown.”
Please note: There are several government owned facilities in the area (ROC Airport, EOC, 111 Westfall, etc). Foxes are not hid at these locations, and you should not be hunting from them. You also won’t need to trespass, climb, swim, etc, but a decent pair of boots isn’t a bad idea. Additionally, any area that ends up being closed or with restricted entry as part of other events in the city such as the River Romance festival will not be home to a Fox.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email and I’ll get them addressed.
Hope to see you all at Brighton Park on Saturday, October 3rd at 9:00am.
Saturday May 9th was XARC’s annual hidden transmitter hunt, traditionally held on CQ worldwide foxhunt weekend. I designed this hunt to be easy enough for beginners, but also added two more transmitters for a more challenging hunt. The hunt began in Dryer Rd. Park in Victor. There are dozens of mountain bike trails
here and I worried about hunters getting run over, but we were able to co-exist with the bikes without incident. We started with a practice fox in the parking lot and most of the 8 teams got very close to finding it (hidden in my car), some with newly constructed tape measure beams, or their first time with body fade techniques and
their HTs. Jarred, KF2MR, and his seven year old daughter Danica were the only team to actually find the practice fox. This was their first XARC hunt and Jarred was wearing his Yaesu FT-817 around his neck and using its built-in variable attenuator with a rubber duck antenna with great results, until the battery died.
The first competition transmitter was hidden inside the park and it
was a newly designed quad-fox I put together recently, four
transmitters in one case. The first of the four co-located transmitters is an Alinco DJ-C1 VHF 300mW HT connected to a Byonics PicCon fox controller. To make this easier for the beginners, a second, lower power transmitter on a different frequency was also in the same box. This was a Raspberry Pi computer running the PiFox software with no additional hardware. The Pi played a computer synthesized voice message on 146.565 at very low power, only detectable from about 100 feet. The two other transmitters making up the quad-fox were a wifi access point and an audible beeper.
Jarred and Danica got close to the transmitter and circled it several
times while hearing the lower power message, but failed to think 3
dimensionally and look up in the tree to see the gray ammo box in
plain sight. All the other hunters found the fox in less than an hour and we re-convened at the starting point to start the next leg of the hunt by car. Of the remaining two transmitters, only one was strong enough to be heard, and even then not by all of us, so I suggested they re-start at Finger Lakes Community College’s Victor campus on Route 251 three miles north, where both foxes could be clearly heard. A ½ watt W2NED/W2VAB foxmitter was hidden in Lehigh Crossing Park, between FLCC and Van Bortel Ford on Route 96. Another foxmitter with an 8 watt transmitter was 2 miles west in Fishers Park, along a nice trail between a swamp and a creek. Both had external antennas up in the trees.
Will KC2VSJ and Scott KC2ZQU were able to find all three foxes
and take the lowest numbered tags for the best score of the day.
Ned W2NED and Gregory also found all three and tied for second
place with the team of Rich K2RAH, Bill K2WEK and Paul
KC2GTO. Jarrod and Danica teamed up with Bob K2OID to find a
second fox. Lee WB2JOR teamed with W2NED to find two foxes.
Rookie hunters that were able to find the first fox were Kelly and
Chris KC2VCK, Harry KD2DWA, and Sandy KA2HQZ.
We met for our traditional post-foxhunt lunch at Mickey Finn’s in
Victor for some welcome air conditioning, cold drinks, good food
and fox hunt bonding.
Gimmicks like multiple transmitters are my way of trying to spice up
the hunt and make it interesting for those of us that have been doing this for over 15 years, but more gimmicks can
sometimes add confusion to the hunt and this one was no exception. Foxhunt fever can also be a factor even for us
veteran hunters, when your adrenaline gets flowing and you charge through the prickers/swamps/cliffs instead of looking
for an easier way to the fox. I’m glad we had a great turnout, especially from some rookie hunters, and hopefully they’ll be back for more fun in October for our Fall hunt.
If you’ve been wanting to try foxhunting, but haven’t been able to make it to one of ours, consider hosting your own. We’ll lend you the transmitter and help with other logistics or you can just wrap a rubber band around an HT. When the hunters get close, they’ll hear themselves coming over the air. You can hunt with your club, grandchildren, hamfest, etc. even indoors. Hiding the fox can be just as fun as hunting, especially if you can watch the hunters, or help the kids learn how to body fade.
Here is a PDF of Fred’s slides from the April 9 XARC Meeting.
On Saturday, October 11, XARC sponsored its Fall Fox Hunt. Ned, W2NED, and Vince, W2VAB were hunt masters. We had planned the hunt to be a challenge for the most experienced hunters, but not too difficult for beginners. As usual, we all had a great time. Seven teams started and five teams found at least one fox. The top score was achieved by Jon, N2JAC and Laura, who found all four foxes for a score of 43. Second and third places were secured by Pete, W2SKY, and Bob, K2OID, who found three foxes for scores of 34 and 33 respectively. All hunters tell me that it was a very challenging hunt. Everyone was busy right up until the time we gathered for lunch at the Fruit and Salad Company in Bushnell’s Basin.
We met at the north end of the Tinker Farms Nature Park at 9:00 AM for registration and practice. At 9:30 the hunt began, and three of the four foxes could be heard form the starting location. Each fox had a unique number, frequency, tone, duty cycle and data rate. Although not advertised in the beginning, the fox numbers, tone, and data rate all increased for foxes one through three. We had hoped that this would become evident as one progressed along the path from the start location in Tinker Park (upper left) to the final fox hidden along the Erie Canal. But, alas, things were not so simple.
Fox One was located within the Tinker Farm Nature Park — less than a quarter mile south of the start location. It was a low power fox with a short, “stubby” antenna. While two other foxes actually had stronger signals at the start, Fox One actually became much stronger as one walked south in the parking lot. Once this became evident, Fox One could then be easily located in the woods in the South East corner of the park.
Foxes Two and Three were 6 watt transmitters with vertical coax dipole antennas. Both had strong signals at the start locations and were strategically located on high ridges in Mendon Ponds Park and Powder Mill Park. This caused the signals to appear to be everywhere as they echoed through the ravines and along the streams of the parks. It is just the sort of situation that makes fox hunting so interesting.
Fox Four was located on the south side of the Erie Canal within a quarter mile from the lunch location. It was fairly easy to find once one discerned which side of the canal to look.
Everyone found the hunt challenging, and it did meet the general objective of allowing newcomers to find at least one fox, while being sufficiently challenging to keep our best hunters interested. This hunt emphasized the fact that having a good hunt strategy is more important than having the best and most expensive equipment. More on this in future posts. I hope to see more hunters at the Spring Fox Hunt.