... by Peter VK6PBS
What are PARG Fox Hunts?
Fox Hunting (also known has ‘hidden transmitter’ or ‘radio direction finding’)
is a popular amateur (ham) radio ‘sport’ or activity. It is an electronic variation
of the ‘hide and seek’ game. No actual foxes or hounds are involved or
harmed in this sport.
The ‘Fox’ is a hidden radio transmitter and controller device which may be
remotely controlled by a Fox Hunt organiser. The ‘Fox’ is programmed to
intermittently transmit a series of identifying tones and a Morse Code (CW) call sign.
The ‘Hounds’ are trackers (licensed amateur radio operators, short wave listeners, their friends and family) who use radio receivers and directional antennas.
These are 3 of PARG's 4 Foxes. They are Baofeng transceivers with remote controlled Fox controllers (which produce tones and CW ID) Any transceiver with any antenna connector (PL259, SMA/BNC/N connector can be used) These are solid steel and lockable ammunition boxes with a PL259 antenna mount on top. The antennas in this photo are VHF/UHF stubby antenna. They can be swapped with any other VHF/UHF antenna by using SMA/BNC/N connector adaptors.
When the ‘Fox’ is on the air, the ‘Hounds’ take bearings with their directional antennas. The ‘Hounds’ must carefully determine the direction of the strongest radio signal from the ‘Fox’, while ignoring reflections. It is easier said than done, so practice and skill are important. some good luck goes a long way too!
This process continues throughout the Fox Hunt until the ‘Fox’ has been found! PARG Fox Hunts may venture anywhere within the Peel Region of Western Australia, which includes the municipalities of Boddington, Serpentine-Jarrahdale (including the twins of Byford and Mundijong), Waroona, Murray (towns of Pinjarra and Dwellingup), City of Mandurah (including Falcon), and also the City of Rockingham (including the towns of Baldivis and Kwinana).
Although Fox Hunts often commence in Mandurah, the Fox Hunt could end almost anywhere in the region. Some PARG Fox Hunts commence in Rockingham and Perth Metro.
The great thing is anyone, licensed amateur radio operator or not, can be actively involved because it does not involve transmissions – only receiving the radio signal from the ‘Fox’. Therefore, the Peel Amateur Radio Group (PARG) welcomes the participation of ALL Fox Hunt enthusiasts from far and wide to attend and take part in the fun. If you would like an invitation to the next PARG Fox Hunt event, contact the PARG secretary.
Attached are articles showing how to construct your own tape measure Yagi antenna for Fox Hunts, and more detailed information about PARG Fox Hunts.
PARG Fox Hunts
Fox Hunt 'Tape Measure Yagi Antenna'