The MARS (Madras Amateur Radio Society) Fox Hunt was conducted today 28.02.10/Sunday at Chennai. Many teams participated in the event which began in the morning at 8:00 am with the fox making an announcement for commencement and then fox started howling the tone in fox frequency 144.900 Mhz. The timeframe target for locating the fox was 8:00 am to 12:00 am and indicated distance was 60 Kms line of sight from city “0” stone.
The tools of the trade, straight out of a 007 BOND movie, beam antenna, compass , VHF Transceiver etc being kept ready at startpoint for taking initial direction bearning.
The fox tone was given for 60 sec on & 240 sec off and the power was reduced from 50/25 W in the beginning hours to 500 MW by the end of the hunt. Most of the teams started the fox hunt from City/outskirts and then signals indicated West/South West towards Tambaram/GST Road direction. But since signal tracking is a real skill and is influenced by so much extraneous environmental factors, the fox signal proved very elusive and erratic.
The veteran YAESU handy tuned to the fox frequency.
5 teams participated in this years MARS foxhunt as below.
Team 2 : VU2JA, VU2ABS, VU2GPS, VU2VWR
Team 3 : VU3RGK, VU3STJ, VU2LSW , VU2DNY
Team 4 : VU2DRK , VU3MOA , VU3USI
Team 5 : VU3WIB , SWL
Checking signals in the middle of an overbridge.
But the fox signal proved very elusive with conflicting signal strengths as well as directions as time passed . After 12:00 pm /4 hours an announcement was made that since nobody could locate the fox, the hunt would be extended for another 30 minutes.
The "Fox Den"/hilltop marked in square as seen in this sattelite aimage with adjacent shrub jungle/stairs/hills etc.
The "Fox Hole"
The elusive fox was VU2GHX Madhavan . Within 5 to 10 min of the fox locaton announcement most teams reached the spot.
A special mention of VU3WIB (Right) who's spirit & love for the hobby really needs to appreciated as he travelled the entire journey of 150+ Kms with rig/beam on a two wheeler with an SWL.
A good lunch session/getogether was arranged by MARS for all the participants near to the fox den which was appreciated and relished by all. The only regret was that all the day’s hard hunting by teams didn’t yield any prizes to take home, only good memories of this unique experience .