Every year the Harwich Amateur Radio Interest Group (HARIG) operate a fox hunt and this year, Yan M0YNK and myself decided to take part. It’s been years since I was involved with any radio DFing and the last time I did an event, I was the fox. Yan has never done it so this was going to be a new experience for both of us and hopefully a lot of fun.
The start location was in a car park in Harwich and Yan and I were there nicely early for a pre-start bacon roll and a cup of coffee from this van.
At 13:30 on the dot, Jonathan G0DVJ made his first transmission as the fox and we were off. There were only four teams taking part but we did see each other a few times throughout the chase. Here’s a map of the start site, all the spots we took our bearings from and the final location of the fox.
After location 7 we were pretty confident we had a good idea of where he was, Queech Lane in Stutton and so we drove through the next transmission on our way to the road. We were wrong and so we took our next bearing from just outside the village (location 9). Unfortunately the signal from Jonathan was so strong here that we struggled to get any kind of a dip and as a result we went further east. At this time we were less than 1/3 mile away from him but he had already been found and so although our bearing from location 10 was much better, the hunt was over. He was located in Lower Street, Stutton so we were pretty close with our estimate and our bearing from location 10 was almost spot on.
At one point we did start to drive down the road the fox was located on but turned back because Jonathan had made a comment on the air about seeing a bus go past. We decided that the road was too small for a bus but Jonathan confirmed afterwards that he’d actually said a “mini bus”. I must have misheard which was a shame as we were less than 200m from his location when we turned around!
We didn’t have any complicated equipment for this event, a home made two element beam, a handheld and an iPhone app for the actual tracking. We didn’t use a paper map, we didn’t use a compass and all we did was point the beam, click the app and get in the car and drive off.
It was an enormous amount of fun and we’d like to give our thanks to HARIG for the organisation but I think it’s a bit of a shame that there weren’t more teams out hunting. We’ll certainly be taking part again next year and would encourage anyone locally to come along and have a go.
Here are the photographs taken from each location on the map.