March 2022 Meeting: The Hunt Is On

On Wednesday, March 2, SPARC welcomed Scott Bovitz, N6MI and Bill Hacker, WB6MGT as they presented “Transmitter Hunting: How to Drive Yourself Crazy, Hunt Sometimes-Hidden Signals and Still Have Fun on a Weekend!”

Both Scott and Bill have been licensed operators since 1969, and of all the aspects of the hobby, t-hunting is the one they are most passionate about. Scott explained that the best way to think of t-hunting (also known as fox hunting) is “electronic hide and seek.” Scott and Bill have been on day-long hunts that have taken them throughout Southern California, into Arizona and Nevada, and as far as St. George, Utah. The image above shows a gathering of t-hunters earlier this year in Palm Springs.

A tiny transmitter, or “fox box,” made from an Altoids tin. This model of transmitter is a fun DIY project and the perfect size for a t-hunt in a park.

All it takes to get started in t-hunting is a handheld and, ideally, a four-element Yagi antenna. Scott’s mobile station is far more elaborate, based on an Icom 7100 and a sturdy antenna mast that slides in through the roof of his car. Hidden transmitters broadcast a beacon signal on 146.565 simplex, the nationally-coordinated t-hunt frequency. Typically, when a hunter finds the transmitter, there is a sign-in sheet for logging call signs, mileage driven, and the time. There are usually no prizes, just bragging rights.

Here are a few links that Scott shared for those who’d like to explore t-hunting:

Southern California Transmitter Hunters (greater LA)
Southern California Transmitter Hunters (San Diego area)
Homing In, a site maintained by Joe Moell, K0OV
Will Burt, a commercial source for industrial-grade masts
Byonics, manufacturers of pre-built transmitters

Scott on the cover of 73 magazine in 1988

SPARC thanks Scott and Bill for a funny and inspiring evening. Happy hunting!