The D/F Hunt on 28th July 2021 was the first actual meeting of LRS members since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Fox station GM3HAM/P was operated by Peter GM4DTH. Photos by Alan GM3PSP, Briain GM8PKL & Peter GM4DTH.

 

Report by Peter GM4DTH: 

The reduction of public health restrictions allowed the Lothians DF Hunt to be held, the last hunt being in 2019. This was the first date not to conflict with the health restrictions as there is a post-hunt meeting to serve as a debriefing and allows competitors to discuss their progress.
 
 
This year the fox kept the transmitter on for the full duration of the hunt. The aim was to speed up the hunt as the daylight hours were shorter than our usual dates. The fox used a simpler aerial and ground system to facilitate rapid dismantling. The vertical (30 foot) is usually helically wound to improve efficiency, this time it was a straight conductor. A nearby fence provided a part of the ground/counterpoise. The station configuration was the same as the last few years using an Elecraft KX3 and matching autotuner running 3W output. Modulation was from a tone generator in the handset feed. Battery was a 6 cell LIPO block with a DC to DC converter giving 14V.  
 
The site chosen was at Grid Ref 239685 near White Lady Walk south of the springs that provided drinking water in the past and not far from the Caiy Stane. This is about a mile from the start. Down the path you end up at the Braid Burn. Near to the end is a building that combines the water from the local springs. See:
 
The 20-minute penalty clues, none of which were requested, were: 1. Go south. 2. Caiy Stane 3. Head north to woods ‘White Lady Walk’.
 
 

The start-point was the "Tardis" (former police box) on the corner of Braid Hills Road and Braid Hills Approach. Local resident Briain GM8PKL mentioned that it had recently been bought by one of his neighbours. 

 

First to arrive was Mike GM8KCS followed by Melvyn GM4HYR on his scooter.

Photographer Alan GM3PSP had arranged to travel as a passenger with Mike.

 

Brian GM4DIJ (photo by Briain GM8PKL).

 

Local resident Briain GMBPKL walked a few steps from his house to "cheer" us off!

 

Melvyn GM4HYR with Alan GM3PSP (fitted with mobile antenna).

(Photo by Briain GM8PKL).

 

Brian GM4DIJ, Briain GM8PKL  Melvyn GM4HYR & Mike GM8KCS.

 

Right on time at 19:30 the Fox station GM3HAM/P started operating. His signal was very week but eventually all contestants could hear it. Fox Peter kindly ran the Tx continuously which helped a lot.

A listener's report from Toby MM0TSS in Newton Mearns 44 miles away confirmed reception but weak.

 

It soon became apparent that the Fox must be located somewhere near the Hunter's Tryst tavern which was guessed to be the post-Hunt rendezvous! Here is Mike GM8KCS taking a bearing at nearby Morrison's supermarket. Nevertheless, the Fox proved quite difficult to find.

 

The Fox GM3HAM/P was located in woods beside White Lady Walk.

He was running only 3W to a vertical antenna.

Results: 1. Melvyn GM4HYR at 2017.

2. Mike GM8KCS at 21:14 (almost an hour later).

3. Brian GM4DIJ did not locate the Fox and stopped at 21:15.

 

 "Fox Cub" - IC-705 rig used by Peter to communicate with the LRS Viral Net on 2m SSB during the D/F Hunt.

 

 Map of the area, showing Start & Fox locations.

 

Close-up of Fox location in woods beside White Lady Walk.

(Horizontal orange road is Oxgangs Road).

 

As guessed, the post-Hunt rendezvous was the Hunter's Tryst tavern where Peter had booked a table.

Melvyn GM4HYR, Peter GM4DTH, Mike GM8KCS, Alan GM3PSP.

Mni tnx to Peter for organizing this event.

==================================================================