Mobile T-Hunts for Beginners
in Southern California
Southern California has many mobile transmitter hunts every month, ranging from simple to very long and difficult. For hunts where everyone starts at the same place such as the Fullerton Radio Club hunt described below, you can show up there just before the hunt starts and it's likely that someone will offer you a ride-along.
For general information about southern California mobile hunts and the types of RDF equipment that our hunters like to use, see the article "Let's Go T-Hunting" at this site. Plans for building this equipment and mounting it on your vehicle are in my book. If you don't want to build your own equipment, follow this link to sources of ready-made gear.
Once you have your RDF equipment and vehicle ready, here are three regularly-scheduled hunt opportunities in Orange County that are suitable for first-timers:
- Fullerton Radio Club (FRC) hunt. Go to the top of Skyline Drive in Fullerton, just east of Acacia Avenue, and sign in at about 7:45 PM on the third Saturday of each month. (Nowadays, you can only park on the north side of Skyline.) The transmitter goes on the air at 8 PM on 146.565 MHz simplex. To win, your mission is to find the transmitter (there's supposed to be just one, transmitting continuously) with the shortest elapsed odometer mileage. The transmitter is to be within these boundaries:
- Along 10 freeway from 605 freeway to 71 freeway
- Along 71 freeway from 10 freeway to 91 freeway
- Straight line from 91/71 intersection to Jamboree/Chapman intersection in Orange
- Along Jamboree Road from Chapman/Jamboree to Jamboree/PCH intersection in Newport Beach
- Along PCH between Jamboree Road and San Gabriel River
- Along San Gabriel River between PCH and 22 freeway
- Along 605 freeway from 22 freeway to 10 freeway
- The FRC hidden transmitter must be within 100 feet of access by standard passenger car. The hunt usually ends at 11 PM, unless the hider agrees to keep the T on the air for teams that haven't found it yet. A restaurant for post-hunt gorging and story-swapping may be announced at the finish.
- Orange County RACES (OC-RACES) hunt. Start from anywhere on the third Monday of the month, just after the OC-RACES net concludes. That net begins on 146.895(-) PL136.5 at 7:00 PM. The hider will transmit occasionally on the repeater input (146.295 MHz) and will be on paved, publicly accessible property. No fees will be required to drive directly to the radio fox. This is a "cooperative" hunt, so participants may compare bearings on another repeater -- listen for an announcement of that frequency. First to find wins.
The hider may give clues if the transmitter isn't found in an hour or so. Check the OC-RACES Web site before the hunt, as there will usually be an announcement telling in which city the transmitter is to be hidden.
- South Orange Amateur Radio Association (SOARA) hunt. Start from anywhere on the first Sunday of the month (except December) at 1:00 PM. Listen and hunt for the hidden transmitter on 146.565 MHz simplex, but also listen to the SOARA repeaters on 447.18(-) PL131.8 and 147.645(-) PL110.9 for hunt coordination information. First to find is the winner.
The transmitter will be south of the 55 freeway in Orange County. To help beginners, the hider may give some hints after a while. Check the SOARA Web site for more information and recent hunt results.
See you on the hunt!
Joe Moell KØOV
You never know what you'll find at the end of a mobile T-hunt. For the a Fullerton Radio Club hunt, I once used this motorized mount (originally made by the late Clarke Harris WB6ADC) to sweep the quad slowly back and forth. It sprayed the signal up and down Pacific Coast Highway and across the buildings at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach for lots of moving reflections. To see a dozen night-vision photos of another typical FRC T-hunt, click here.
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This page updated 20 May 2016