Dual Foxes Of 2007
As Told By The Ghost Rider
on July 21, 2007

        The Ghost Rider was up at 0600 hours and was ready to roll off of Canby. He checked his handy Yaesu Model VX-170 2-Meter Transceiver that he kept by his bedside and there it was: a big beautiful Charlie Whiskey signal on 145.650 MHz. The tones made him feel good! It would be a nice day. It was two-thirds full scale. He thought it must be in his backyard or down in Digges Valley. He figured this would be a piece of cake. As he listen to the Charlie Whiskey, he copied frames 5 then 6; so, it was just activated. Then there was something strange about the signal, there was a weaker set of tones resending everything again about 10 seconds after the first set of louder coded signals. That was really different. He thought no more of it, as maybe Tom Dawson - WB3AKD, the keeper of Foxes, had dreamed up a new modulation scheme or the Fox had blown a gasket. Anyway, off to the IHOP in sleepy Leesburg and then to the LARG monthly meeting.

Breakfast at IHOP in Leesburg. A nice place and the food is great. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.
Our IHOP Breakfast
A Good Time To Catch Up On What's Up!

        The IHOP breakfast was great and the meeting didn't last long. We had some reports on how we did at Field Day which sounded really good. Everyone reported having a great time and really enjoyed themselves. The Ghost Rider reported what he had heard at sunrise and suggested that everyone just head west over Leesburg Mountain. It must be somewhere near Hamilton since it was so strong. By 1000 hours, folks were preparing to go and the Ghost Rider asked if anyone would like to ride with him. Jacob Guepe - KI4SPX of Gainesville said he would like to since he hasn't been on one of these hunts before.

    #1    well, we cleared Leesburg Mountain and there it was: a really nice signal. But as we drove west on old Route 7 through Hamilton it didn't get that much stronger and so it was decided to try the high point in Franklin Park west of Purcellville for our first DF effort. Then Buddy Brewer - K4CJB reported on our club 2-Meters simplex frequency that he was on top of a very strong signal in his backyard north of Round Hill. We heard Denny - KF4TJI and Carol - KF4TJJ say they would go over there and join him in the hunt. We decided to stick with our original plan of DF-ing from Franklin Park. When we  got up to the soccer field it sounded like we were on top it. The 5-element 2-440 yagi said it was on a bearing of 160 degrees but there was also a nice second signal off the backside in the opposite direction; at first, we just past it off as hearing local Fox. So, with the added attenuator we walked along the bearing. We crossed over a bob-wire fence and soon had 120 dbs of attenuation cranked in. It was right here. The attenuator kept the signal low enough and we walked right into it. Jacob was out ahead and walked right up to it. This one had a big "6" on it. It was 1100 hours and time for lunch.

Jacob Guepe - KI4SPX found the first Fox in the field beyond Franklin Pak. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Jacob Guepe - KI4SPX
Walks Right Onto The Fox At Franklin Park

Jacob Guepe - KI4SPX tries his hand at DF-ing. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Jacob Guepe - KI4SPX
Handles The Gear At Round Hill Elementary

       The Ghost Rider proudly reported the find on 2-Meters and was quickly advised by Carol - KF4TJJ that they also had one over near Round Hill where Buddy was hunting. So, all became very clear. Tom had set out two foxes and the crazy signal being heard was in reality from two of them. So, we packed up and went over to the new Round Hill Elementary School to see if we could locate the second Fox.

    #2      Tom had set out other Foxes at the school, so it was a good place to start. Denny and Carol had already moved on. Again, the signal was full scale. The yagi and attenuator quickly have us on a bearing and we search around in a fence row loaded with briers and poison ivory - great stuff. And we made three invasions into the brush before we found this nice path and 'bingo.'  This one had a big "B" on it and was sending a /B. It was only the difference was a "B" and a "6" in the code. So, there was K4LRG/6 and a K4LRG/B out there. Cool stuff; you needed to copy the code. The find was reported on 2-Meters and we headed home.

It wasn't quite noon. We stopped by AI2C's QTH and he showed Jacob his antennas and radio station before dropping him off at the church in Leesburg. About 1300 hours, we could hear Dave Putman - KE4S of Woods Road, Leesburg, Henry Weidman - K2BFY of Sterling, and Steve Reed  - WB4EZM of Sterling and maybe others still out there Fox Huntin'. We trust that they found them all.

Norm Styer - AI2C at Round Hill Elementary School. Photograph by KI4SPX-AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Norm Styer - AI2C
This Stuff Really Works !!!

        The Ghost Rider knows the next hunt won't be this easy. We are sure Tom will challenge us. Like the time we all fell in the creek trying to get up under a country road bridge back in the 90's. But these Foxes had nice strong signals and we won't have to fumble around all day. Just get to a high spot and listen for them. Thanks to Tom Dawson this was a good introduction to Fox Hunting. We hope all eight plus folks enjoyed it and are ready for the next one.

        It was nice riding with you all. Best Regards, Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.