Amateur Radio in Australia (VKFAQ)


Hidden transmitting hunting

This photo shows some VK1 amateurs and VK1DA's enthusiastic children searching for a hidden transmitter in the Belconnen area of Canberra, Australia around 2000.

You can see that all "hunters" are using directional antennas. What is not so readily seen is the small receivers being used to listen to the signal strengh as the antennas are turned towards or away from the radio signal.

The receivers used have a circuit to convert the signal strength into an audible tone, the frequency of which will vary as the signal strength increases or decreases.

In this picture, my daughter Amie, who was then about 10, was chasing the fox to try to beat her older brother Peter to find it. Peter thought bushes were a better hiding place than open water.

Photo by Neil VK1KNP.

Fox hunting or amateur radio direction finding

Also known as hidden transmitter hunts, fox hunting tests the skills of its participants by requiring the competitors to locate a hidden transmitter in some defined area. Using directional antennas and other direction-finding equipment, you can find the direction the transmitted signal is coming from.

Hunts can take place either on foot, or in vehicles, or both, and also have practical applications in developing skills for locating interference (intentional or otherwise) to communications.

Amateur Radio Direction Finding (or ARDF) has grown to become a worldwide sport, particularly strong in China and Eastern Europe.

The Victorian ARDF Group provides more information and info about their activities.

Fox hunts are conducted by amateurs at each major convention or field day, including the big events such as the Central Coast field day at Wyong in February, the SERG field day at Mt Gambier in June. Some clubs run transmitter hunts as practice for these events and to find interference sources.


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