Fox Hunt Report for 12th March 1998

This was the first hunt to be started at the earlier time of 6.30pm due to the encroaching lack of daylight.

John (VK1ET) - The Fox was originally planning on placing the fox in the Hawker area - but a large number of Police cars driving around with lights flashing indicated that this locale may not be a very good idea.

A second site was selected in the parkland next to SouthWest Oval in Evatt. Here we find a rope climbing pyramid - closer inspection revealing that the 'ropes' are infact 25mm steel cable covered in a rope outer layer.

The fox was secreted under the bark chips at one corner - a wire antenna hidden in the 'lay' of the rope.

First one the scene was Dave (VK1DC) who I think using signal strength alone quickly located the correct corner - then visually identified the wire antenna.

Next Andrew (VK1DA) and family arrived - followed quickly by Laeli (VK2LO). On seeing the climbing frame, the kids were off to be first to the top - leaving 'dad' to search on his own.

Laeli at this point stepped onto the fox without noticing - quick thinking by Dave recovered the fox before it was seen. Andrew had by now identified the correct corner - but he kept searching to be sure, and to disguise that he had a solution. Andrew's comments were that he had seen the wire - but was not 100% convinced that it may not be a decoy! - HHmmm I hadn't thought of being that devious....

Jack (VK1JA) wandered up as Laeli climbed the frame to check that I couldn't have slipped the fox down the top of the mast.

Meantime Simon (VK1AUS) and passenger - with mostly an omni antenna was getting some hints while he scoured around a nearby church.

After all had found the fox, we decided on a second hunt for the night - Neil (VK1KNP) was in Sydney (Elton John concert - and loosing his radio!) - so the lab was not open.

Hooking the fox to an antenna on the roof of my car, John headed for an alternate site. After driving for a few minutes (in the wrong direction) I turned on the fox and then proceeded via a somewhat wandering route to the new site at Kaleen shops. Set-up at the shopping centre carpark, comments made by Simon made me think he had gone too far, and that the fox could not be heard. So I thought to relocate to a closer position. At a nearby round-about I passed Jack and Laeli going in the opposite direction - so returned to the original location (again passing VK1JA while they were stopped on the side of the road, and hoping they were concentrating on radios and not looking out of the windows!)

Back at the shops and after a further ten minutes it was Simon who drove past the end of the row first, but did not see the car (yes it was under a light - with the parking lights on!) - less than a minute later I saw in the rearview mirror Andrew pull into the spot behind me - before Simon had had time to drive around the car-park again. Dave had retired for the night - not feeling the best - so that left Jack and Laeli to arrive - who walked up less than 5 minutes later having parked the car on the other side of the shops and walked from there.

I think I must give the second hunt to Laeli and Jack - even though they were the last to arrive - had Simon not convinced me to move I am sure they would have been first. Seems they got some very strange readings at one point - and also suffered receiver overload! Wonder why??

John Woolner VK1ET

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