January 1998 Foxhunt

Your fox, VK3YQN, for the Melbourne January foxhunt was (Yes-8):
Graham Alston, VK3KOA
Peter Christian
Nick Christie
Luke Gillet
Glenn Hudson
Roger Lewis, (no call)
Bruce Paterson, VK3TJN
Phil (I really must return Geoff’s books) Schneider

Here is the dreaded per-hunt instruction sheet again:

Lord YuQoN humbly requests the services of yon elite band of adventurers to assist him in his search for the Holy Nail.
First you must undertake a series of little tests to prove your worthiness for the gruelling task ahead.

Your first task is to make haste to contact as many of the Five Sheppards of the the Diddledum Moors as you can. The Sheppards may be found as they can be heard calling to their flocks on the psychic bands of 144.25 Megapercepts and 28.45 MegaPercepts. To each Sheppard ye must tell a riddle of letters and numbers, and in time ye will be rewarded. Beware, however, that that the Sheppards are whimsical guardians, and after a time are likely to disappear off chasing stars or something of that ilk.

Yes, there were 5 transmitters running similtaneously all on 144.25MHz, and a single transmitter on 28.45MHz co-located with one of the 2m ones. All were located fairly close to each other around Sunshine. Three of the 144.25MHz Tx’s were randomly intermittant.

The clock was started on all transmitters as soon as a team found any one of the transmitters, and the clock ended up running for 45 minutes. Each team was awarded a score out of 45 for _each_ transmitter, the 5 totalled up and divided by 5 to make the hunt score out of 45. Detailed scores are below, but teams were remarkably close in score on this one, with VK3WWW just scraping in ahead of VK3TKQ, followed by VK3VT 3rd. Jack, VK3WWW very nearly found the “unfound” 2m/10m fox also, but just ran out of time (it was an excellent fox hole).

Then the Lord Yuqon requires you catch the wild magic steed WindBurn. ‘Tis said WindBurn will run forever, lest you pierce her with your sword of light. So enthralled with the beams she will be that she will be rooted to the spot, and should you dare to approach, her innermost secrets can be found. Communicate Windburn’s secrets immediately to Lord Yuqon, lest ye fall from favour.

Peter rode his motorbike in and around the tricky one way streets
near Punt Road, Richmond. VK3VR was first to catch on and flashed
their lights at Peter, who then stopped and handed them a code word
which was communicated to Graham, VK3KOA driving around nearby. Second
was newcomer team VK3HKC (well done guys!), followed by VK3VT.

A furthur test is then to locate Lord Yuqon’s beloved pet parrot, Roget. Roget is an excellent mimic, but has no words of his own, so words must be given to him so that he may speak. To be safe from the cantankerous guardians of the mysterious sideways allocations, ( I guess you know what this is all about, Jack…). Roget will only listen and squawk on 145.3 MegaBeaks using
Feather Manifestation. When found you must present your Caul to the servant of Lord Yuqon.

This hunt was a bit of a test of team ingenuity. The fox was in fact VK3ROG, a simplex repeater. Teams had to talk to the fox in order to get it to transmit, and then DF only ROG, and not other teams trying to trigger it. As more teams got closer it became quite confusing, especially for those trying to sniff it. Apologies from the fox about the poor repeated audio quality, especially when the input signals were weak. This was due to the fact that the repeater was bound up right on top of the venerable Kyokuto Rig with antenna, and it tended to interfere a bit (…well OK, a lot). VK3VR was first on this one, but not before some choice words from Ian, VK3MZ to Geoff, VK3VR about him failing to see the fox about 3 minutes earlier when he shone his torch right at us lying on the pedestrian freeway overpass (Glen Iris), and then walked away.

The Five Sisters Unmerciful abode in the Valley of the Eye. Glen Iris of course !
Chariots or divining devices therein cannot be used in the Valley of the Eye, so worthy foot soldiers must attempt this task alone.
An ARDF hunt.
The Eye is always upon you, and will shrivel to ash those who commune in the Valley. ie. No Talking to each other
(I doubt if this one was obeyed, but what the heck).
The Five Sisters know each other so well they never feel the need for more than one to speak at a time, but to compensate they talk at a greater frequency than normal (145.3 MegaPhonemes). Each valient foot warrier must prostrate themselves before each Sister and surrender their map parchment for the Sister to mark with a sign.
Ye must beware to _never_ spend more than 1 hour in the Valley of the Eye, or ye will be surely sacrificed.
The Lord will reward only the foot soldier with the most signs from each band of adventurers. Even Lord Yuqon would not stoop to abandoning unsucessful soldiers to their fate in the Valley of the Eye, so he will light a beacon to guide them home (145.7 MegaLumens).

This sort of event seems to bring mixed reactions. There are those who loved it, and those who can’t stand it. I agree it does leave those without sniffers without much to do, and this is a valid reason for avoiding pedestrian ARDF hunts as part of a foxhunt evening. I can’t agree that the darkness is a problem, especially as the event was held on a Street Orienteering Map (kindly provided by the Bayside Kangaroos orienteering club) rather than in parkland.
The hunt was scored out of 20. Each ARDF Tx _not_ found by a competitor scores 4 points. Each minute taken by a competitor _after_ the first person back with the same number of Tx’s found
scores 1/2 a point, to a maximum of 3 points (ie. It’s always better to find more Tx’s than get back earlier, as long as you don’t exceed the 1 hour limit). The scores differ a little from those hastily
calculated on Friday night as we have decided to allow a 5 minute time bonus to all competitors due to some confusion at the Start (that, and the fact we couldn’t put up with any more whingeing). The ARDF hunt was won by Mark, VK3JMD for the VK3VR team. Second was Adam, VK3HDF for VK3WWW and third VK3TKQ. Well done also to VK3PW and VK3HKC who at least gave it a go, and proved you can do OK by walking.

Armed with the knowledge and tools now gained, adventurers must
embark on the most challenging task of all. To search the Burnt Forests for the Holy Nail.

Cancelled due to lack of time. (It was only a supper hunt anyway).

Supper was held at my place in Ashwood, where results similar but not
identical to these were eventually read out (the ARDF really takes
a while to work out the scores too!):

1st VK3VR on 37 points,
2nd VK3WW on 54 points,
3rd VK3TKQ on 59 points,
4th VK3BLN and VK3VT on 69 points,
6th VK3HKC on 70 points
7th VK3PW on 79 points 
             all out of 85 points.

DETAILS for those interested

Detailed scores:

Team        Sheppards          Mobile    Roger     ARDF    Total   Place
VK3BLN  {45,33,13,45,45}=36     5         8         20      69      4
VK3PW   {45,45,45,45,45}=45     10        9         15      79      7
VK3TKQ  {11,32,34,45,45}=33     10        10        6       59      3
VK3VR   {45,44,32,45,18}=37     0         0         0       37      1
VK3VT   {45,45,38,45,3} =35     4         10        20      69      4    
VK3WWW  {26,45,45,45,0} =32     10        8         4       54      2
VK3HKC  {45,45,45,45,8} =38     3         10        19      70      6

The full ARDF scores on an individual rather than best of team basis

Team    Number    Minutes    Score/20
VK3PW    1         31         16
VK3PW    0         65         20
VK3PW    2         65         15
VK3VR    5         64         0
VK3VR    3         60         8
VK3VR    3         76         20 (overtime)
VK3WWW   2         53         12
VK3HDF   4         59         4
VK3TKQ   4         63         6
VK3TKQ   2         53         12
VK3HKC   1         65         19
VK3OW    3         67         20 (sorry!)
VK3BLN   3         79         20
VK3VT    0         5          20 (just didn't try)

The various fox locations were:

KIR cts fox (1W): Off New Street 41F11
WWW cts fox (500mW): Railway siding off McDonald Rd 41A7
YNG random mode 4 ?: Willow Tree off Paramount Rd 41E6
WIA Fast random (3W): Opposite Bike track 41F6
290R/10m 1.5s pulse (2.5W,40W): Beside new works 41D6

Somewhere in block bounded Swan, Burnley, Punt & Bridge Rds, Richmond.

SE Freeway overpass, Glen Iris 59J7