It was hidden between Sadoval Way and the Union Pacific ( former
Western Pacific ) tracks on the West side of the BART shops in South
Hayward. The signal was blocked some towards I-880 by the embankment and
scaterred around by the large steel buildings of BART's shops across
the street. The parked rail cars were an unexpected bonus. This made
directional readings weak and erratic and I am told that, even with
doppler, you had to go on faith allot.
There were 7 hunters in 3 teams. Sorry I did not get all thier names.
Rich and assistant won with 15.7 miles taking one hour. Next came Don
(IRE) and gang with 17.5 (?) miles taking about 1 hour 15 minutes and,
after an hour and a half with 17.7 miles came Bob.
Afterwards it was off to Dino's on Industrial just West of I-880 for chow.
March 09 Fremont Hunt
The March Fremont area T hunt happened yesterday. I picked up the fox box from Rich at the 7-11 at Niles Canyon Rd and Mission Blvd at 4:30 and proceeded to the corner of Bronze St. and Copper St. in Union city 2 blocks from the Fremont Niles district line just north of Niles Blvd. There is a small neighborhood park there in a standard detached home neighborhood that was rather new and may not have been on some maps.
The 147.015 repeater went dead about 4:45 so we did all communications simplex on the output.
At the 5pm start time Rich reported that he was the only one at the start point. I
turned on the fox box and the hunt was on.
There was a metal utility (?) box about 4 feet high in the park. I placed the fox box
next to it with the antenna 8.25 inches from it so that the utility box would act as a
reflector. The forward direction was toward the start point and the hills south of Niles Canyon. The only way to drive to the fox was from Decoto Rd. 1 mile to the north, on the back side so, in theory, the signal would be stronger from the hill reflections than the direct signal.
After ~45 minutes, Rich announced he was in the area.
About 6:10 Gary announced he was in the hunt and there had been no one else at the start point(???!).
Pete announced that he he had started looking for me from his near by home but could get no response on the repeater and wasn't making any progress hunting so had gone home. It was then he figured out that the repeater was dead.
I watched Rich drive by 3 times and not stop. About a half hour after his last pass he walked into the park and found the fox. It took him 2 hours and about 26 miles.
There is another way into the tract. Silver St. becomes (old?) Niles Blvd at the Union City / Fremont line but for some clearly stupid reason, the street is blocked at the border. Rich had parked on the Fremont side and walked in. Fourth time was the charm. ;>
While we waited for Gary, who by then was in the area, we concluded that Gary had started the hunt at 6pm. Rich mentioned that when driving into the tract he saw a sign saying something like "private property, residents only". I had not seen the
sign. On the way to pizza he pointed it out to me. It was placed in such a way that it was easy to miss. Because of the blocked street at the border, the only way to drive in was through a condo complex and all the narrow streets/alleys in it had such signs as well as the only street going to the housing tract I was hiding in. WEIRD!
Rich and I were speculating on what the function of the utility box was. We were
speculating that it might be for the very nice non standard street lights and I wondered if the fox RF might cause a problem when all of the street lights went out! OH BLEEP!!
The lights then came back on. We moved the fox about 20 feet away.
While still waiting for Gary, he called in and pointed out that the hunt was null and
void or some such because of the sign. Well, he was right. Sorry Gary. ;<
So the hunt was over. We turned off the fox and Rich and I went to pizza at Round Table on Fremont Blvd near Peralta.
Good Pizza. Good conversation. Rich said the signal was "squirely" all the
way. We could not figure out why. Apparently Pete and Gary noticed this too. Weird Hunt.
Fremont hunt 5/2/09
There were only 2 hunters. Rich and I. ;< I started from home here in Union City and Rich from the official start point on a hill side at the south end of Fremont. Our initial bearings indicated midway along 237. Perhaps Alviso or Great America. I drove down 880 and got off at Dixon landing west where I took another bearing, roughly SW. I drove along McCarthy towards 237 taking a few more readings. I was using body fade and signal strength. Right next to 237 Is a trail head And I considered walking north on the trail but then I heard from Rich that he had found the fox and Pete and could see the fox from his vehicle so I knew not to take that walk. I had some bearings south and some SW. I decided to continue south on McCarthy and west on Tasman. when using body fade and signal strength it is not a good idea to drive freeways in the general vicinity of the fox as you may pass by it and stopping on the shoulder to take a bearing is frowned upon. Bearings along Tasman indicated NW and when I got to Lafayette, north so north on Lafayette into Alviso I went, watching the signal strength. When I got to the parking lot at the bay it was strong with no antenna so I knew I had arrived. Besides I could see Rich as well as Pete and his friend Linda.
There was no competition since only Rich started at the start point. Rich was Doppler equipped. He got on 880 at Dixon Landing and turned west on 237, passing Lafayette to Caribbean where he doubled back. That is the problem with Doppler. It is too easy to pass a turn off and add 5 more miles to your route. I speculate that if I had been at the start point and followed the route I took from Dixon landing, I might have had the lowest mileage and have won.
Then it was off to Round Table on Fremont Blvd. near Peralta for some pleasant banter and Pizza.
October 2009 Fremont area hunt
Steve turned on the fox at 6pm, right on schedule although it was hard to tell at the start point. I stayed with Gary AJ6AMG at street level while everyone else went up the hill to try to hear it.
Steve was modulating a very weak signal with white noise so it was hard to recognize it from the usual noise level but I detected a slight increase in noise at the 146.565MHz fox frequency with my HT. Forehead fade seemed to indicate more or less 280 degrees, towards the south end of Coyote Hills.
Gary hooked up his newly built home made 4 element cubical quad beam to his hand held scanner and discovered why a scanner may not be the best choice for such work. Having a very wide front end it was being overloaded by out of band signals so he could not detect the fox. We then tried my HT (Alinco DJ596) and we had maybe an S4 signal from the direction of the Dumbarton bridge toll plaza. He also has a DJ596 he could have used but better still would have been his Radio Shack HTX202. I know because I also have one. The front end is very tight, 2m only, and has great sensitivity. If you can get one of these long out of production HTs, preferably with the AA battery pack, do so. Even if the TX is dead they are excellent for 2m transmitter hunting.
Eventually the rest came down from the mount including my partner Pete N6YIF and off we went.
Pete had the same bearing (280 degrees) as Gary so we set coarse for the toll plaza by the shortest route. We had no signal in the car, not on the doppler or the mag mount. As I recall we had no signal on the mag mount until we were north bound on Cherry crossing Stevenson. There was not enough signal for the doppler until after Mowry. We made a left turn on Central and seemed to get a false doppler bearing to the right as we crossed the tracks but we stayed on coarse towards the toll plaza.
The signal then went dead so we stopped at Willow and Enterprise (in Newark) to wait for the signal’s return. Pete got out his home made yagi to see if he could receive the signal. I was going to bring a camera. I sure do wish I had. He made the yagi with metal tape measure “tape” for the elements. An excellent Idea since it allows it to be folded for storage. There is one major problem with the design though. In high winds it folds up on it’s own. The wind was gusting over 40mph ;>. What a great picture that would have made.
After maybe 20 minutes Steve got the fox back on the air and the hunt resumed.
There is a problem with getting a weak start point bearing towards Coyote Hills. It is usually a reflection from a fox in north Fremont or Union City near the hills. Not last night though. It was in a parking lot at the west end of Thornton right where it turns north.
Pete and I were the first to arrive but more importantly, with the lowest mileage so we won, again. We spent most of the time waiting for the others in our cars because of the nasty chill factor.
Two hunters gave up. Gary (KJ6AMG) headed for home because he felt he was getting a re-lapse from a cold he hoped he was over, and Bernard who joined us for pizza at the Round Table in Centerville where we had the usual excellent pizza and conversation.
Fremont hunt 2/6/2010
Pete and I won, again, yawn.
Most if not all, got a bearing ~toward the Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza. But then a reflection off the Coyote Hills is not uncommon. But then it was to be an "easy" hunt so a reflection was less likely. We took the shortest route, crossing 880 at Automall, then north on Boyce/Cherry.
When we got to Mowry the doppler said turn left so we did. another block and it said turn left again and we did, into a parking lot at Sport Field Park. There it was. We were the first to arrive and with 7.3 miles. Maybe 10 minutes later Rich drove in with 7.4 miles. He said he had done everything perfectly. I said, so did we. ;>
Third was 7.8 miles. There were 7 teams. All found it. I think the high mileage was ~16 miles.
Then off to Red Robin at Newpark Mall.
Pete will be hiding for the March Fremont hunt.
Fremont area hunt February 2012
I was the fox for today's Fremont area transmitter hunt.
I hid it in Fremont on the north side of Owhanee Court about half way down the block.
This was about 3/4 of a mile north of the start point just over a ridge so there was no direct path for the signal. It was a 1/4 watt signal into a regular "rubber
duck" hidden in a pile of brush. As I had hoped the signal at the start point was
weak. It seems most if not all of the 7 teams in the hunt got a bearing more or less in the right direction but assumed it was much farther north and headed north on Mission Blvd past me. Some went as far as Ohlone College before realizing they had gone far too far and then turned back. Then most went east on Stanford Avenue (as planned) passing within a short block of me but there was no way to get to me without going back to Mission Blvd. Reflections off of Mission Peak added to the confusion.
The hunt started a 5pm. The shortest possible distance was 1.0 miles.
The first to arrive was Rich KN6FW with new hunters Phil KJ6MTS and son Jeremy at 5:30. They came in third with 6.8 miles.
The second to arrive was Don KD6IRE and Linda KE6BEO at 5:45 with a second place 5.3 miles.
The third to arrive was Rolf K6NFI and Pamela KG6EDX at 6:00 with a WINNING 4.6 miles. Congrats to Rolf and Pamela.
The forth to arrive was Pete N6YIF and Linda at 6:05 with a forth place 10.2 miles.
The fifth to arrive was Gary WB6YRU at 6:25 with a fifth place 13.5 miles.
The sixth to arrive, and winner of the OPEC Award was Gary KJ6AMG at 6:50 with 26 miles.
Note that the 10% rule did not apply tonight.
Dan KJ6CPX and Robin KI6YTA had gotten within maybe two blocks before giving up. However they were the first to pizza which was at the Round Table on Mission Blvd between 680 and 880.
When hiding in a residential area you run the risk of being "challenged" by a
resident. Sure enough, tonight shortly after Rich arrived the resident across the street came over and said to Rich something like, "Hey, is this a transmitter hunt?"
It seems he is a HAM, Chris KD6ZXH. He hung out with us for about an hour.
Fremont area Thunt May 2012
I hid the transmitter for today's Fremont area transmitter hunt at the south end of Christi street perhaps 200 yards west of the south bound 880 truck scales. I used Pete's (N6YIF) 1/2 Watt fox box placed on the ground next to a PG&E transformer box so that the signal was blocked up Christi but open towards the start point where the signal was said to be weak. The cyclone fence in front of it didn't help much. I used a "rubber ducky" antenna. The hunt started at 5pm as scheduled.
I noticed the 147.015+ repeater was only S3 where I was when it should have been full scale so I did most of the communications simplex on the repeater output.
First to arrive at ~5:38 was Don AI6RE with Linda KE6BEO after 8.0 miles winning 2nd place.
Second to arrive at ~5:43 was ROLF N6NFI with Pam KE6EDX after 6.2 miles winning 1st place.
Third to arrive at 6:25 was Rich KN6FW with Tony AB6BR after 30.0 miles winning 4th place.
Fourth to arrive at 6:35 was Bill AF6AE after 19.9 miles winning 3rd place.
Last to arrive at 6:55 was Gary KG6AMG after 33.0 miles with a tie for 4th place (10% rule) and the OPEC award.
Rich says they blew by the truck scales and went as far north as Mowry before turning around.
Garry says he chased a phantom signal south as far as Tasman before turning around.
Pete N6YIF couldn't get the the start point in time so was going to start at home but he had no signal there and couldn't make contact via the repeater so didn't participate.
Don AI6RE will be the fox for June's Fremont hunt (June 2nd). See you then.
I hid the transmitter for today's Fremont Area Transmitter Hunt in the parking lot at
Bronco Billy's in the Alvarado district of Union City, about two miles from my house. I chose a place that close because I had to drive my Plymouth with the leaky radiator and four miles is about as far as I could safely go. Yes, we had our after hunt
"pizza" at Bronco Billy's. By hiding there the chance that some one would want
to go somewhere out of my range for pizza, like Round Table in Centervile, would be about zero.
I used Pete's (N6YIF) about 1/2 watt fox box attached to a very good car mounted
The repeater (147.015) used for talk in was intermittent at best as it would occasionally come on and stay on for a while with busts of static. Apparently the repeater operator eventually turned it off so it would not interfere with our fall back mode of simplex on the output.
The hunt started as scheduled at 4pm with the usual start point on the hill side of the Warm Springs district of Fremont, 13 miles away by the shortest route according to Google Maps. There were seven teams in the hunt.
The first to arrive was Rich (KN6FW) and friend at 5:04 with 18.5 miles. SECOND PLACE, 10% rule.
A minute latter We watched Gary (KJ6AMG) drive by.
The second to arrive was Rolf(N6NFI) and Pamela (KG6EDX) at 5:06 with 18.9 miles. THIRD PLACE.
Apparently both Rich and Rolf followed Mission Blvd to Hayward before turning west.
Third to arrive was, finally, Gary (KJ6AMG) at 5:30 with 17.0 miles. SECOND PLACE.
Fourth was Bernhard (AE6YN) and Al (WT6K) at 5:38 with 15.4 miles. FIRST PLACE!.
Fifth and last was Gary (WB6YRU) at 5:56 with 19.6 miles. THIRD PLACE, 10% rule.
Robin (KI6YTA) and Dan (KJ6CPX) arrived at 6:08 but that didn't count since they had called Pamela to find out where to go for pizza after giving up.
Pete (N6YIF) and Linda gave up and went to pizza but, due to previously mentioned
difficult communications, they went to Round Table in Centerville to wait for us.
Fremont Area hunt, January 4th, 2014.
I rode along as navigator with Pete N6YIF and his friend Linda.
No signal at start point so Gary (the fox) gave us a bearing of approximately North West.That was probably within 3 degrees of spot on.
Warren Ave to I880.
North on 880 to Mowry, East to Blacow, North to Thornton then
West to Newark Blvd, North to Jarvis, East to Lake and the closed overpass
Where we first detected the signal when I walked out unto the overpass with
Pete's 4 element beam with a blue box tone generator thingy. The bearing was correct.
Onto 84 East at Newark Blvd. East on Decoto Rd.
The doppler kicked in and directed us across Alvarado Nile Rd. instead of the ideal
left at Paseo Parkway. We were chasing a reflection off the hills.
Doppler directed us into Decoto on 5th and eventually out on H to Alvarado Niles Rd, Right to Central and left to the end at a court next to the levy where "you are here" began to activate.
Went "down stream" to Cann park where I could get up on the levy with the beam and determine that it was on the other side of Alameda Creek, probably on the levy, and it was.
We then attempted to drive to the other side but somehow wound up in the Tropics mobile park next to 880. (Dont ask). Then 880 to Fremont Blvd. to Beard and the fox.
We then realized why we could not hear the fox most of the way. The fox was unusually low in power with a "rubber ducky" antenna part way down the north side of the levy which blocked the signal to the South but not East to the hills (reflection) or West accross the bay where Andy DD got the signal. Andy said he also heard it well on the Dumbarton Bridge high rise. He started the hunt from his home.
By the way, according to Google Maps, the shortest route would have been 11.3 miles via Paseo Padre, Grimmer, Osgood, Washington, Fremont Blvd and Beard.
Thank you Gary (KJ6AMG) for a chalenging yet enjoyable hunt.
August 1, 2015 Here is my story:
Pete and I noted like the others that the signal was clearly horizontal at the start point. It was also stronger than usual. Since we knew it had to start out vertical, there was speculation that it was a reflection off the Coyote Hills near the Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza but it was too strong for that. The bearing was toward the toll Plaza. Then there was speculation (mine) that it was refraction over the hill in front of us, and not line of site, from a transmitter only a few miles away. Nope.
So Pete and I took Paseo Padre to Auto Mall to Osgood to Washington to Fremont Blvd. As I recall the signal was always there but extremely weak on the 1/4 wave mag mount once off the hill, Not strong enough for a doppler bearing. Somewhere around Central the doppler kicked in causing us to go left (West) at Decoto Rd. over the Nimitz then right at Newark Blvd.
We then took the first left going west on Kaiser Dr. to Paseo Padre then right. Yes we should have turned left but the doppler was a bit ambiguous at that point. The next intersection was the entrance road to Coyote Hills, Paterson Ranch Rd. where we pulled into the parking lot next to Paseo Padre to sort things out.
Body Fade and beam told us to go back toward the 84 freeway. It was at that time we received our first friendly challenge by a security sensitive, and curious, citizen. It was a park ranger who , once satisfied that we were not ISIS, gave us some interesting suggestions on where to look. We drove south on a dirt road immediately next to Paseo Padre to a "pump house" as suggested and took another bearing confirming the Ranger's advice was not helpful so we got back onto the pavement headed south. Once on top of the overpass over 84 we got a solid and strong doppler bearing that took us to the parking lot next to Thornton at Marshlands Rd. about 100 feet from the now abandoned section of Kiote Drive.
Bearings were again ambiguous. We walked around the lot awhile trying to figure it out. Reflections from a big rig in the lot and the near by high power lines didn't help. I walked across Thornton a started north on the gated off Kiote for maybe 50 yards. The signal was so strong that I had it on my HT with no antenna and full attenuation but I could not get a bearing so back to the car. I told Pete that we needed to go to the other end of the closed section of Kiote to take a bearing however Pete convinced me we needed to go to the nearest park which was Bridgepoint and via Cedar. If we had gone the other way via Jarvis we would have driven by Kiote and the doppler would have told us to turn right on Kiote. Oh well.
We got to the park and the fox was not there. We did find Garry KJ6AMG there taking readings. The signal was much weaker though.
Then Pete did something rather odd. While I was out of the car talking to Gary, he drove off very slowly to the north end of the park and stopped for awhile. He must have gotten a very interesting reading there and drove off. I expect he thought it was only a block or two away. It was not.
It was then we, Gary and I, were "challenged" by another concerned citizen. A lady and child. After a brief hello goodbye I started off north on Spruce after Pete while Gary explained our actions.
I did not have my map with me so I followed body fade which took me to Merion, back to Spruce to Wentworth and Firestone and then to Kiote and to Pete's Gary's (AMG) and the foxes cars at the gated entrance to the north end of the closed section of Kiote. Yes, where, earlier, I wanted to go to take a bearing. I found Gary the fox and Pete returning to the cars. I walked with Gary AMG down that closed section of Kiote to the transmitter where I met up with Bernhard and Rob approaching it from another direction.
I guess I arrived at ~7:10. The hunt started at 5. My mileage? Would it be different than Pete's? If I had caught a ride with Gary AMG from Bridgepoint Park could I have chosen Gary's lower mileage? Just askin.
By the way, I suspect the signal was flipped to horizontal by the adjacent high power lines which may be why doppler seemed less effective than usual.
August 12th 2017 Thunt
How I found it.
From the start point we pretty much agreed the bearing was toward Palo Alto. Since it was a challenge hunt and since Don (the fox) had trouble getting into the repeater I concluded it was accross the bay.
I went down Warren towards the bay then south on Fremont Blvd while listening on my 4 1/2 foot antenna on the trunk. I hoped to find a spot with a strong enough signal to take a body fade bearing but found none although I ussualy could barely hear the fox. I had no beam or doppler.
Then west on 237. I considered taking Carribean towards the bay to get a bearing but decided not to.
Then north on 101 and thought I would go out to the bay at shoreline for a body fade bearing. BAD idea! I lost a half hour in traffic before turning around.
Then north on 101 as the signal strength increased so towards the bay on Embarcadero, except I messed up and wound up on the west side of 101 where I stoped, took a bearing and checked the map. Then east on Embarcadero to the south end of the Palo Alto airport where the you are there went off so into the parking lot at the duck pond and body faded across the street to the fox at the EcoCenter.