Some of our members frequently fan out across York Region on a weekend morning to find the "fox" in a foxhunting game. The "fox" is a volunteer member who hides him/herself somewhere in York Region and begins transmitting low-powered radio signals.
The hunters use directional antennas and other equipment to determine the location of the fox. They have a friendly competition to be the quickest at finding the fox's transmitter. All have usually found it within a couple of hours.
The foxhunting games are played for fun - and we do have fun - but they also polish our skills in the art and science of radio-direction finding. Using those skills we can identify the sources of radio interference, illegal transmissions, or or other problems affecting the airwaves.
If you are interested in joining us we can teach you what to do, and even lend you equipment to do it. The games are VERY relaxed, and it is strangely true that many of the winners of our games have been first-timers!
For more information, come out to one of our meetings or contact us via our Contact Us page.
York Region Amateur Radio Club Annual GTA Fall FoxHunt
The York Region Amateur Radio Club's annual Fall Foxhunt (radio direction finding) is scheduled for Saturday, October 20th.
The hunt will start from your QTH but entrants can meet for breakfast at Wimpys Diner, 15480 Bayview Ave, Aurora, ON L4G 7J1
Registration is between 8:00AM - 9:00AM with the hunt to begin at approximately 9:30AM.
The planned fox hunt operation time is between 9:30AM and 11:30AM. The hunt is free and open to all amateurs regardless of club affiliation or previous experience. Most of us hunt in teams of two or three. Many teams (including the winners of the last hunt) aren't formed until the day of the hunt. If you’re new to foxhunting, all you need to get started is a radio capable of receiving 2 meters. Fox hunting is challenging and fun. We will be using lower power than in the past to make it harder to locate the beacon.
Tips and Tricks
York Region has a lot of hills and valleys which can play havoc with signals as well as the Aurora ridge blocking signals as well.
A past winner had an R6 Scanner radio with a tape measure beam, and the previous winner used a 4 element Quad through the sunroof on the Radio Van.
1. Attenuation is important as one nears the fox as well as getting a good bearing
2. Quads may be preferred to yagis due to the antenna lobe pattern to ensure a good bearing up front
3. A radio with a proper or expanded S-meter is highly useful….3 segment S meters are useless
4. Remember, to take two bearings before heading towards the beacon as you get closer.
The behind the scenes Doppler System Proof of Concept system will be in play again from the unmarked cruiser. Enhancements are being made to a GPS interface integrated with Google Maps and Canada Topo. This will help reduce the amount of noise and interference complaints we have been getting.