January 2018 Foxhunt

Catherine and Marta put in a Marathon effort.
Here’re the scores:

Hunt 1Hunt 2Hunt 3Hunt 4AHunt 4BScorePosition
Fox1020252
CI0301041
MZ4112193
OW23434164

(one point penalty for not getting in). We generally left the fox going for quite a while.

dB

Gardiners Bend RadiO event – 9 Sep 2017

The Gardiner’s Bend RadiO event on Saturday 9 September 2017 took place on a gloriously sunny spring afternoon and was an opportunity to explore the parkland around Gardiner’s Creek and Ashburton.

6 participants tried out the RadiO combo course – a combination of foxor TXs and street-o controls. 2 went for foxors only.

Darian and Pierre took  a conservative approach and collected 5 foxors without giving in to the lure of more far-flung foxors and controls. Neale did a very efficient course and returned well within the time. It was a long course if you tried to collect them all (over 15 km!). Hamish, Monica and Ian succumbed to temptation and had adventures and were late returning – Monica plagued by an injured ankle and Ian chasing reflections from the Monash Freeway wall.

Jack and Peter enjoyed the sunshine and visited the foxors only – Peter taking the scenic route home.

Thanks to all for coming and helping with the setup and pull down.

GB 9Sep 2017

GARDINERS BEND RESULTS
RADI-O EVENT 9 SEPTEMBER 2017

RADI-O COMBO
NAME 2 PTS 3 PTS 4 PTS 5 PTS RADI-O TIME PENALTY TOTAL
Ian Dodd 8 12 16 25 60 3:19:36 -45 76
Neale Banks 3 12 15 40 3:01:45 70
Darian Panter 4 4 10 50 3:03:10 68
Pierre Brokner 4 4 10 50 3:03:45 68
Monica Lo Presti 6 12 15 50 3:11:05 -21 62
Hamish McDonald 6 3 12 10 50 3:14:10 -30 51
RADI-O
NAME RADI-O TIME PENALTY TOTAL
Jack Bramham 50 2:59:00 50
Peter Cole 50 3:46:00 -84 -34

Suzanne O’Callaghan VK3FSZI

Course setter

STEAMing ARDF

From Monica Lo Presti –  a teacher at Dromana College,

Dromana College offers a STEAM enhancement class for Year 7 and 8 students before school once a week. This term, students began to look at some of the basics of electronics, and even built their own crystal radio from a kit. As part of this program, one of the teachers in charge asked me if I could run a session based on my experiences with amateur radio and ARDF. As a result, on Tuesday 8th August I was able to speak to the students about what Ham radio is, and the activities that those with and without an amateur licence can participate in.

After running through the basics, and showing a short video from one of the Mount Gambier foxhunting championships, students were shown a fox-or transmitter, and how to use a sniffer to find it. I set up a course of five transmitters that were hidden around the school that students then worked in pairs to find. There were varying levels of success with most groups finding at least two transmitters, while some were able to find all five. Some groups also struggled as an unknown source was transmitting a signal in one corner of the course.

Overall students had lots of positive feedback for the morning. Many commented on how much fun they had, along with enjoying the practical nature of the event and excitement of finding the transmitters.

Monica

Woodlands Historic Park 20 August 2017

The RadiO event at Woodlands Historic Park on 20 August 2017 took place on a delightful winter’s day – sunshine, blue skies, no wind and an open bush setting where the wattle is starting to bloom. And some interesting large river gums and creeks for a foxor hunt!

ARDF course setter Suzanne O’Callaghan VK3FSZI collaborated with Tuckonie Orienteering Club to put together a combination course of foxor transmitters and bush orienteering controls – or for those who prefer RadiO on its own, a course of foxor transmitters only.

5 intrepid ARDF members tried out the RadiO courses, alongside around 150 competitors for the MelBushO orienteering course.

Darian Panter VK3FAST was his usual speedy self and cleaned up the foxor only course in under an hour.

Ian Dodd whipped around the combination course, collecting all orienteering controls and the foxors in under 90 minutes. Peter Maloney dropped the furthest controls and foxor for a very respectable second place. And Mike Hubbert and Hamish McDonald explored the creeks for an intense orienteering and foxoring experience.

RESULTS

           
RadiO A – Combo MelBushO and Foxor TXs 90 minutes
Place Name Time RadiO TX MelBushO Penalty Total points
1 Ian Dodd 1:26:59 6 25 370
2 Peter Maloney 1:30:39 5 20 10 290
3 Mike Hubbert 1:27:11 3 17 230
4 Hamish McDonald 1:10:31 5 9 190
RadiO B – Foxor TXs only 90 minutes    
Place Name Time RadiO TX Total points  
1 Darian Panter 0:50:31 6 120

 

Thanks to Ian Dodd for programming the RadiO event into the MelBushO results system.

And to Warwick Davis from Tuckonie Orienteering Club for the MelBushO map.

 

Tikalara Park ARDF Event

Sunday 16th July 2017

It was a cold morning with frost on the ground but the sun was shining and there was no rain about. Ian VK3MZ, Doug VK3JDO and Greg VK3VT had the transmitters out and ready at 10:30 and a steady stream of  participants arrived to try their hand at the 2M full ARDF course or the 80M “Half Sprint”.  Ian VK3MZ had been busy re-programming the 80M transmitters for Sprint use so this was the first Sprint event we have tried.  While there are still a few issues with the keying most participants were able to identify which transmitter they were hearing. In a Sprint event each transmitter is on for just 12 seconds rather than the usual  60 seconds of a normal ARDF event.  The transmitters are  closer together and the overall elapsed time is expected to be within about 60 minutes.

The temperature remained rather low, in the low teens, the whole day but as can be seen from the results a total of twelve participants turned out and had a go at one or both of the courses.  My sincere thanks to Ian and Doug for  helping organise the event and setting up the gear and to Dianne for the excellent scones. Also to those that helped pack up.

Many thanks to the Yarra Valley Orienteering club for the use of their map.

2M ARDF Results

NameCallsignTimeTXs
KristianVK3FDAC0:395
BruceVK3TJN0:565
Hamish1:015
MonicaVK3FFAB2:005
JenelleVK3FJTE1:154
Jack VK3WWW1:154
DianneVK3FVXN1:302
SuzanneVK3FSZI1:151
PeterVK3ADY1:451

80M Sprint Results

NameCallsignTimeTXs
KristianVK3FDAC0:28:425
BruceVK3TJN0:30:005
EwenVK3OW0:51:215
DarianVK3FAST0:51:405
Peter MaloneyVK3CPM1:27:225
Jack VK3WWW0:48:363

73
Greg VK3VT      

April 2017 Foxhunt

Here’re the results – below. Scoring is order based, with an extra bonus point for not finding the fox. The first two hunts were single legged. As we went along we decided, to keep the night moving, to make the remaining two legged.The scoring for the second legs words exactly as the first; order based using elapsed time from the first leg.
We kept the fox running longer to allow teams to get; up to ~1/2 hour on the second leg.
GWS team, nice work. You didn’t hold us up! From bitter experience, when we started (>30 years ago), there’s nothing worse than not finding the transmitter all night, making it difficult to improve. One thing it took us ages to solve, is we could never get a good DF as drove close (<~100m) to the transmitter; the signal would leak into the receiver with the attenuator maxed out (70-80dB).
CheersXAJ/dB

Hunt 1Hunt 2Hunt 3AHunt 3BHunt 4AHunt 4BHunt 5AHunt 5BScorePosition
Fox20234310152
Fast1110000141
GWS55545566416
CI42023222173
MZ03412143184
OW34351534285

The long and winding road from Moldova to Walachia (north to south)

Heading east from Maramures -lush green fields
Heading east from Maramures -lush green fields

Borga Pass Road
Borga Pass Road

Entrance gate to Moldovita
Entrance gate to Moldovita

The long and winding road from Moldova through Transylvania to Walachia (north to south)

Easter decorated egg competition between many of the villages
Easter decorated egg competition between many of the villages

From our rural retreat in Maramures we headed east to Moldova crossing the Carpathians by the Borgo pass road enroute to Bucovina. Egg painting is a competition among the villages at Easter time.

 Roadside Mici BBq
Roadside Mici BBq

Lunch today was Mici, a rectangular meat pattie cooked on a BBQ and served with mustard sauce.

Entrance gate at Monastery at Moldovita - beautiful rose gardens
Entrance gate at Monastery at Moldovita – beautiful rose gardens

Monastery at Moldovita
Monastery at Moldovita

Frescoes on southern wall Moldovita monastery
Frescoes on southern wall Moldovita monastery

Visited two painted monasteries (orthodox). The first was for the local community (Moldovita) and used as a refuge in times of siege. Note the wall and the strong wooden gate.

Monastery at Sucevita for the priests
Monastery at Sucevita for the priests

Frescoes showing the challenges priests faced in trying to get to heaven
Frescoes showing the challenges priests faced in trying to get to heaven

The second was for the clergy (Sucevita). The outside walls of the church was decorated, one illustrating the difficult path in getting into heaven. Inside, the frescoes showed various methods of torture and head lopping. Again a walled garden and plenty of room for the local community to shelter in times of siege.

One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania
One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania

One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania
One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania

Bison
Bison

One of several varieties of deer
One of several varieties of deer

Next highlight of the road was the animal reservation with animals native to the area. One sad and lonely bear, a small herd of buffalo and several different species of deer.

Bicaz Gorge
Bicaz Gorge

Bicaz Gorge 2
Bicaz Gorge 2

Green walnut jam
Green walnut jam

We drove through the Bicaz gorge (river running down the side). Sampled some green nut jam. Walnuts cooked in a syrup halfway between golden syrup and malt extract. An acquired taste.

Lake Rosu
Lake Rosu

Lake Rosu
Lake Rosu

More pretty villages along the way
More pretty villages along the way

Horse and cart - effective mode of transport in rural areas
Horse and cart – effective mode of transport in rural areas

Our route took us past Lake Rosu, really a dam and then onto Brasov.

Black Lutheran church on Brasov
Black Lutheran church on Brasov

Johannes Honter introduced Lutherism to Brasov - pointing at this school
Johannes Honter introduced Lutherism to Brasov – pointing at this school

Johannes Honter school in Brasov
Johannes Honter school in Brasov

Brasov city square
Brasov city square

Brasov is also fortified. City square with Lutheran church – aka Black Church due to a fire. Johannes Honterus was

responsible for setting up the Lutheran church and the building of the first school (directly across from the church). The original school was wooden but suffered the same fate as the church and was rebuilt in stone.

Late night shopping and family time in Brasov
Late night shopping and family time in Brasov

It has been particularly pleasant having an evening stroll through the many pedestrian malls in our travels.

Fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Fortification on the hill outside Brasov

Archery target practice at fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Archery target practice at fortification on the hill outside Brasov

Spectacular view from fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Spectacular view from fortification on the hill outside Brasov

Fort on the hill outside Brasov. Spectacular view of the surrounding country.

Bran castle - summer resience of Queen Mary of Bulgaria
Bran castle – summer resience of Queen Mary of Bulgaria

The scales of justice - not very just
Bran castle -The scales of justice – not very just and a good extortion racket

Scales of justice - basically you needed to way less than whatever you were weighed against to prove you were not a bad person
Bran castle – Scales of justice – basically you needed to weigh more than whatever was considered to be a fair thing to prove you were not a bad person

Bran castle – summer residence of Queen Mary of Romania. No vampires in site. Apparently Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) was have seen it on his way through. The most interesting artifact was the scales of justice. Based on a person’s size and height, if they weighed less than expected they were considered apprentices of Satan and torture would commence. Hopefully you can read the information in the photo.

Peles castle at Sinaia
Peles castle at Sinaia

Peles castle at Sinaia with extensive gardens
Peles castle at Sinaia with extensive gardens

Frescoes inside courtyard at Peles castle
Frescoes inside courtyard at Peles castle

Wax seal on castle door - security business card?
Wax seal on castle door – security business card?

More of the Peles gardens
More of the Peles gardens

Pelisor Castle built for a king's relative
Pelisor Castle built for a king’s relative

Pelisor castle- very Tudor like in style
Pelisor castle- very Tudor like in style

Pelisor Castle 2
Pelisor Castle 2

The most elaborate building in Transylvania is Peles Castle. Unfortunately only outside views, but obviously prime real estate.

Maramures

View from guest house
View from guest house

Our guest house at Maramures is located in a peaceful rural setting apart from the chainsaws, angle grinders and whipper snippers. Hospitality here is exceptionally good.

Open air eating area
Open air eating area

Dinner cooking over the coals
Dinner cooking over the coals

Dinner was in an open air setting

Entree meat balls, soft cheeses, pork fat and tomato with onion bread

Bean soup

Pork goulash

The lightest, fluffiest and tastiest donuts ever with blackcurrant jam

All washed down with Palinka and black currant “cordial”

Folklore group
Folklore group

More dancing
More dancing

Dancing
Dancing

Barsana wooden monastery entrance gate
Barsana wooden monastery entrance gate

New construction Barsana wooden monastery
New construction Barsana wooden monastery

Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery
Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery

Barsana wooden monastery
Barsana wooden monastery

Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery 2
Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery 2

Barsana wooden monastery (washed river stone foundations)
Barsana wooden monastery (washed river stone foundations)

Biblical stories in pictorial form
Biblical stories in pictorial form

Panorama Barsana wooden monastery
Panorama Barsana wooden monastery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needed a sleep in after last night!

Late start, headed for the local market, plenty of “stuff” to buy from clothing, shoes, manchester and tools. Too late for the animal market. Probably a good thing.

Checked out a modern monastery at Barsana, beautiful wooden buildings and gardens, church with pictorial stories.

Memorial to the opponents of the communist regime, very bleak place.

In a complete contrast we visited the Merry cemetery at Sapanta with colourful wooden headstones with pictures of deceased in their occupations and poems about them (all in Romanian of course)

Memorial to the Communist Resistance prisoners
Memorial to the Communist Resistance prisoners

Letters written by the prisoners
Letters written by the prisoners

Inside the prison
Inside the prison

Individual prison cell
Individual prison cell

Memorial wall and watch tower
Memorial wall and watch tower

Sapanta Merry Cemetery
Sapanta Merry Cemetery

Sapanta Merry Cemetery 2
Sapanta Merry Cemetery 2

Spent a leisurely afternoon in the outdoor area. We have eaten so well the last few days Ewen has survived since breakfast on only one jam pancake.

Railway station at Viseu de Sus
Railway station at Viseu de Sus

One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train
One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train

One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train 2
One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train 2

The line followed the river
The line followed the river

View along the valley from the train
View along the valley from the train

Another view along the valley from the train
Another view along the valley from the train

Our guide enjoying some down time
Our guide enjoying some down time

Big enough oil can ?
Big enough oil can ?

Running repairs
Running repairs

Picnic ground at the end of the line
Picnic ground at the end of the line

Hurry up and get this show on the road!
Hurry up and get this show on the road!

Still transporting timber the old fashioned way
Still transporting timber the old fashioned way

We could not escape Maramures without a ride on the Mocanita narrow gauge railway at Viseu de Sus very close to the Ukrainian border. For the more ardent train fans it was a 1930s vintage steam locomotive that was used to transport timber down the valley. Originally timber was floated down the river, but after a dam burst the train line was built. The 21km ride to the turn around point was supposed to take just over 2 hours. It became pretty evident early on that at the current speed something was amiss and it would be a lot longer (3 hours eventually). Repairs were needed along the way and after much banging and crashing a bearing was suitably adjusted and we continued on our way. Included in the tool set was a most impressive oil can.

The track followed the river most of the way. Still plenty of logging happening here with some unorthodox methods of transportation. A large tractor pulling 10 -15 m logs down the river and smaller pieces being drawn by horse driven carts.

At one point the river narrowed with steep cliffs and caves hidden behind bushes. It was here that the German army had a first aid centre and stored supplies. It was also the point when they planned to ambush the Red army. There was a small museum at the turn around point and a picnic ground.

The return trip took only 90 minutes which was a relief. Sufficiently rocked, rattled and shaken for the complete trip.

There are a few obstacles along the roads in Romania, this cart was one of the smaller ones.

PS  Jenelle is having a love hate relationship with the formatting!!

One of the smaller obstacles along the road
One of the smaller obstacles along the road

Norton’s Park Combo (Sat 27 Aug)

While the weather on the day was blustery but fine,
the heavy rain of the last few weeks, has made it soggy underfoot,
however most competitors made it to all 4 Radio Controls.

We had 9 starters in a combo event, with cakes afterwards.

First Name Second Name 65 min place 01-05
2 Pts
06-10
3 Pts
11-15
4 Pts
16-20
5 Pts
Radi-O
Controls
10 Pts
Return Min
(or part there of)
Final Score
After Late
Tim Hatley 1 4 4 5 5 4 3:02 105
Jim Glaspole 2 3 1 4 4 4 3:04 85
Adam Scammell 3 2 2 3 2 4 3:05 69
Neale Banks 4 3 2 2 1 4 2:58 65
Suzanne O’callaghan 5 1 1 2 2 4 3:10 48
Dianne 6 0 0 0 1 4 2:58 45
Denis Haustorfer 7 0 0 0 0 4 2:57 40 RadiO Only
Junken Okabe 8 0 1 2 0 2 3:03 31
Abi Salek-Beard 9 2 1 1 2 4 3:27 0

(Just remembered 65 Min for the Combo event, scores updated)
Hamish McDonald

Not so lost in Transylvania

Blacksmith shop with industrial strength nails
Blacksmith shop with industrial strength nails

City square Sibiu
City square Sibiu

Arrived safely in Transylvania in the town of Sibiu, only slightly misty and light fog. It is light till fairly late and enjoyed strolling around the city squares and along the old wall. The squares were within the fortified walls and protected the guilds of many crafts. The blacksmith’s shop had a good array of industrial strength fasteners.

Lutheran church Sibiu with 4 towers
Lutheran church Sibiu with 4 towers

Blacksmithing display
Blacksmithing display

stone masonery
stone masonery

Note the 4 towers on the church, this meant the town had a legal system and justice would be metred out for criminal behaviour. (we escaped Sibiu without penalty)

Climbed the clock tower of the Lutheran church, the clock was very old, but the driving mechanism was very up to date (electronic). Pipe organ inside.

Outside there was a display of blacksmithing and stone masonery

Stained glass window Orthodox church Sibiu
Stained glass window Orthodox church Sibiu

Inside Orthodox church Sibiu
Inside Orthodox church Sibiu

Carved entrance door Orthodox church Sibiu
Carved entrance door Orthodox church Sibiu

Orthodox church with exquisite stained glass windows, gold leaf frescoes and intricate wood carving.

Road side stop enroute to Biertan
Road side stop enroute to Biertan

? Magic mushrooms at road side stop enroute to Biertan
? Magic mushrooms at road side stop enroute to Biertan

More magic mushrooms
More magic mushrooms

Road side stop along the way, a little sample of what we are expecting in the ARDF area. Interesting fungi. Not the edible kind.

3 walled church in Biertan
3 walled church in Biertan

Door with many locks (19 altogether)
Door with many locks (19 altogether)

Square and round (improved design) towers Biertan
Square and round (improved design) towers Biertan

Shortbread moulds in museum
Shortbread moulds in museum

Genuine Singer machine for sewing leather
Genuine Singer machine for sewing leather

Grave digger's house biertan
Grave digger’s house Biertan

At Biertan, fortified church with 3 walls of protection and if that failed there was the room with the door with many locks. The town was settled by German people and hence the buildings have a similar style about them. Many German people left Romania after Ceausescu was deposed, but send their bodies back to be buried in the cemetery here.

Food and hospitality is excellent in Romania. 250 mls of house white of exceptional quality for under $3 and then complimentary palinka and black currant “cordial”. We enjoyed a late evening stroll around the city wall at Sibiu.

City fortifications Sibiu 1
City fortifications Sibiu 1

City fortifications Sibiu 2
City fortifications Sibiu 2

We thought of you all as we headed off to the salt mine in Turda (this word causes me some grief) today. Salt mining was one of the main industries in Transylvania.

Many flights of stairs to climb
Many flights of stairs to climb

View of lower level from top
View of lower level from top

DSC_0178 (Medium)

Upper level walkway
Upper level walkway

Lower level playground
Lower level playground

Lower level playground
Lower level playground

Salt mine walls and ceiling
Salt mine walls and ceiling

Birds eye view of lower level of salt mine
Birds eye view of lower level of salt mine

Salt crystal formations
Salt crystal formations

More salt crystal formations
More salt crystal formations

Many flights of stairs to the bottom, the queues were quite long for the lifts, so we got lots of exercise. To make it entertaining for the families they have installed a children’s playground on the bottom layer. Of course we had to ride on the ferris wheel, but there was also table tennis tables, pool tables, mini golf, even a pond with paddle boats but no coffee!!

Ewen is still puzzling how the walls stay up. If you take a vertical cross section it looks like a conical flask about 90 metres deep, with elevated platform at the neck. Not good if you don’t do heights very well.

Another interesting old wooden church tucked off the road on the way to Maramures. Inside was particularly interesting.

Typical roadside views
Typical roadside views

Oldest wooden church
Oldest wooden church

Oldest wooden church 2
Oldest wooden church 2

Inside oldest wooden church
Inside oldest wooden church

Inside oldest wooden church 2
Inside oldest wooden church 2

Using a ladder to get into heaven
Using a ladder to get into heaven

Bucharest and heading to Transylvania

Parliament House
Parliament House

Our trip began with a short 20 hour flight to Bucharest. The most impressive building in the city is the Parliament House, second largest building only to the Pentagon. Ceausescu thought he would leave his mark by commencing this build, fortunately for the people of Romania he didn’t live to see its completion. It is a magnificent building inside, very tastefully decorated with high ceilings, marble floors and beautiful rugs and chandeliers. (no photos unfortunately as did not have a camera pass)

View from balcony of Parliament house
View from balcony of Parliament house

Arc de Triumph - Bucharest
Arc de Triumph – Bucharest

 

 

 

 

 

Music Hall - Bucharest
Music Hall – Bucharest

Light globe changing in Music Hall
Light globe changing in Music Hall

Ceiling of music Hall
Ceiling of music Hall

Another beautiful building was the auditorium for musical concerts. We chanced upon workers changing a light globe, quite an art in itself.

We visited the old town and enjoyed a drop of the local ale.

 

 

 

 

View from hotel window
View from hotel window

Many old buildings in state of disrepair, including this ruin outside our hotel window. (more interesting than a carpark) Taken from our room as there was a sign outside indicating no photos to be taken (left over from communist regime)

From Bucharest we headed west to the church (in white limestone) where the Romanian kings were buried. Lavishly decorated inside. Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) lived in the building behind this church.

Kings church
Kings church

Ornate interior of Kings church
Ornate interior of Kings church

Crumbling fortifications protecting Transylvania
Crumbling fortifications protecting Transylvania

Romanian donut
Romanian donut

 

 

 

 

This is one of the fortifications that the Austrian Hungarian Emperor sent German people to build in 12-13th century. It has suffered due to earthquakes over time. Opted not to climb the 1460 steps. Chose to indulge in a Romanian donut instead!

Dam wall
Dam wall

The road through the valley leading up to the pass to Transylvania
The road through the valley leading up to the pass to Transylvania

Enjoying the view
Enjoying the view

Transfagarasan Road 1
Transfagarasan Road 1

Transfagarasan Road 2
Transfagarasan Road 2

Cable car
Cable car

There was a very large dam (about the size of Hoover Dam) that needed closer inspection. Traversed the Transfagarasan Road (of Jeremy Clarkson fame), (perfect for road testing a corvette or similar vehicle) and then took a cable car for a less exhilarating ride.

Please excuse the erratic formatting. Only get to practice this once a year.  Jenelle

VK3CI July 2016 Fox Hunt report

For the July hunt we were pleasantly surprised to get 4 teams (MZ, BLN, FAST, FOX) despite a number of people being unavailable. The hounds gathered in Glen Waverley for a cold but fortunately dry night of hunting. All hunts were on 2m and single leg.

Fox team for the night was Ian (CI), Mark (BES), Suzanne (FSZI), Kostas and Pano.

Details of each hunt
#1: Pano and Ian were hidden in a bush at the northern end of a grassy laneway near Brandon Park. A few hounds tried to get in by simply saying it’s in the bush without seeing either us or the fox. All found us except MZ, with Darian first in.

#2: The fox was located at the north end of a long pathway that runs between shops/factories and a shipping container yard. The only way in was from the south but teams tried to get in from the east which was close to the fox (strong signal) and appeared to possibly offer access. Darian worked this out first and then Marta appeared a very short time later. Unfortunately MZ and FOX did not find this within the 10 minutes.

#3: Pano and Ian were standing under shallow alcoves just under Ferntree Gully Rd at the end of another grass lane. Teams trying to access us from FTG Rd would have been only 2m from us but unable to see us or access us due to the large drop. Thanks to Bruce for discovering this while cycling to StreetO. Only 2 teams found us within time – Darian first, followed by Marta a minute later.

#4: We were in a clump of trees near where the bike path goes under the Monash Freeway. We had expected teams to come to us along the bike path, either from the west or north. But the teams all approached us from the south and crossed the creek. Fortunately it had not rained for a while so there was not too much water to cross! MZ seemed to get their act together in this hunt – despite earlier DNF’s they were first to arrive. This improved performance however was short-lived.

#5: The fox was located under the metal steps of a portaloo located behind houses along the north side of the railway line near Carnegie station. Pano and Ian were hiding nearby, behind a large signalling control cabinet to watch for any hounds crossing the tracks from the south side. That’s where we spotted Darian. Fortunately he kept running until he found the pedestrian crossing about 50m past us. Pano jumped into the loo and sure enough Darian thought the fox was inside and was greeted by a smiling face but no fox. Didn’t take him long to find it however. A few minutes later BLN’s car appeared almost opposite us in a street on the south side. Marta jumped out, yelled something at the car, jumped back in and they drove off. Roger also approached on foot from the south side and kept running past and crossed at the correct place but arrived a minute after time was up. BLN finally arrived close behind (as expected they drove in). David complained the signal was weaker than expected, probably due to the Faraday shielding of the loo steps and trailer. If Marta had stayed out of the car and run where Roger and Darian went she would probably have got in within time. We felt generous so gave Roger and David 8 and 9 respectively rather than 10. BLN had been within a couple of minutes of the winner in the previous hunts – maybe the change was due to David and Marta’s baby testing out the touch screen rather than fox issues? – Never too young to start fox-hunting. This was the first test of CI’s fox controller which was quickly thrown together to turn an old IC22 into a fox – cycles PTT with a (sinusoidal) morse ident added every 2 minutes. From reports it seemed to work ok. Not bad for < $5 plus some junk box bits.

#6: Suzanne and Mark located the fox in Sir Zelman Cowan Park west of the Monash Freeway in a narrow area between the freeway fence and some cricket nets. It seems that the wire fences shielded the signal in some directions. MZ were first to drive into the closest car park to our location but decided the signal was too weak so unfortunately for them went away and tried to approach via the creek under the freeway. Ironically we had earlier thought of putting the fox there but thought the creek was a bad idea if there was heavy rain on the night. BLN, FOX and FAST all approached from a different direction and ran to us across one of the ovals, arriving in fairly quick succession – but apparently a few of them had thought the creek was the likely location of the fox and had already done a run down the Gardiners Creek drain.

#7: When Pano & Ian arrived at the planned spot near the start of Whitehorse Rd we thought it might cause a problem with residents so we investigated the park neartby. Fortunately a small drain was found in a hill that fitted the fox perfectly. All teams found it pretty easily, most via the nearby side street, within a couple of minutes of Darian who was (yet again) first. Mark and Suzanne were surprised to catch up with the hounds while driving east along Toorak road on the way to the supper location. Knowing that the fox location was near Burke/Whitehorse Road, we were amused that no-one had headed north by the time we saw them well east of Burke Road. We resisted the temptation to yell out “turn left” as we passed them. By the time we reached Warrigal Road, the last of the hounds headed north and we proceeded to supper.

The late start and need to wait a couple of times for teams to gather their runners and assemble for the next hunt meant we were a little further than hoped from the supper location when we renamed hunt 7 the supper hunt and abandoned the remaining planned locations.

BLN and MZ both won a hunt, thus just preventing FAST getting a perfect score. Scores have been posted to the web site (note FOX is up next month), details below.


HuntBLNFASTFOXMZ
130310
2101010
31024
41150
590108
601110
71022
Total1623344
Place2134

A big thanks to Olga and Pierre for braving the cold and organising a BBQ supper in Halliday Park for everyone – yummy!

And also thanks to Mark MD for loan of his baby monitor / fox and battery.

Melboure July fox hunt 2016

        VK3CI July fox hunt report

For the July hunt we were pleasantly surprised to get 4 teams (MZ, BLN, FAST, FOX) despite a number of people being unavailable. The hounds gathered in Glen Waverley for a cold but fortunately dry night of hunting. All hunts were on 2m and single leg.

Fox team for the night was Ian (CI), Mark (BES), Suzanne (FSZI), Kostas and Pano.

Details of each hunt
#1: Pano and Ian were hidden in a bush at the northern end of a grassy laneway near Brandon Park. A few hounds tried to get in by simply saying it’s in the bush without seeing either us or the fox. All found us except MZ, with Darian first in.

#2: The fox was located at the north end of a long pathway that runs between shops/factories and a shipping container yard. The only way in was from the south but teams tried to get in from the east which was close to the fox (strong signal) and appeared to possibly offer access. Darian worked this out first and then Marta appeared a very short time later. Unfortunately MZ and FOX did not find this within the 10 minutes.

#3: Pano and Ian were standing under shallow alcoves just under Ferntree Gully Rd at the end of another grass lane. Teams trying to access us from FTG Rd would have been only 2m from us but unable to see us or access us due to the large drop. Thanks to Bruce for discovering this while cycling to StreetO. Only 2 teams found us within time – Darian first, followed by Marta a minute later.

#4: We were in a clump of trees near where the bike path goes under the Monash Freeway. We had expected teams to come to us along the bike path, either from the west or north. But the teams all approached us from the south and crossed the creek. Fortunately it had not rained for a while so there was not too much water to cross! MZ seemed to get their act together in this hunt – despite earlier DNF’s they were first to arrive. This improved performance however was short-lived.

#5: The fox was located under the metal steps of a portaloo located behind houses along the north side of the railway line near Carnegie station. Pano and Ian were hiding nearby, behind a large signalling control cabinet to watch for any hounds crossing the tracks from the south side. That’s where we spotted Darian. Fortunately he kept running until he found the pedestrian crossing about 50m past us. Pano jumped into the loo and sure enough Darian thought the fox was inside and was greeted by a smiling face but no fox. Didn’t take him long to find it however. A few minutes later BLN’s car appeared almost opposite us in a street on the south side. Marta jumped out, yelled something at the car, jumped back in and they drove off. Roger also approached on foot from the south side and kept running past and crossed at the correct place but arrived a minute after time was up. BLN finally arrived close behind (as expected they drove in). David complained the signal was weaker than expected, probably due to the Faraday shielding of the loo steps and trailer. If Marta had stayed out of the car and run where Roger and Darian went she would probably have got in within time. We felt generous so gave Roger and David 8 and 9 respectively rather than 10. BLN had been within a couple of minutes of the winner in the previous hunts – maybe the change was due to David and Marta’s baby testing out the touch screen rather than fox issues? – Never too young to start fox-hunting. This was the first test of CI’s fox controller which was quickly thrown together to turn an old IC22 into a fox – cycles PTT with a (sinusoidal) morse ident added every 2 minutes. From reports it seemed to work ok. Not bad for < $5 plus some junk box bits.

#6: Suzanne and Mark located the fox in Sir Zelman Cowan Park west of the Monash Freeway in a narrow area between the freeway fence and some cricket nets. It seems that the wire fences shielded the signal in some directions. MZ were first to drive into the closest car park to our location but decided the signal was too weak so unfortunately for them went away and tried to approach via the creek under the freeway. Ironically we had earlier thought of putting the fox there but thought the creek was a bad idea if there was heavy rain on the night. BLN, FOX and FAST all approached from a different direction and ran to us across one of the ovals, arriving in fairly quick succession – but apparently a few of them had thought the creek was the likely location of the fox and had already done a run down the Gardiners Creek drain.

#7: When Pano & Ian arrived at the planned spot near the start of Whitehorse Rd we thought it might cause a problem with residents so we investigated the park neartby. Fortunately a small drain was found in a hill that fitted the fox perfectly. All teams found it pretty easily, most via the nearby side street, within a couple of minutes of Darian who was (yet again) first. Mark and Suzanne were surprised to catch up with the hounds while driving east along Toorak road on the way to the supper location. Knowing that the fox location was near Burke/Whitehorse Road, we were amused that no-one had headed north by the time we saw them well east of Burke Road. We resisted the temptation to yell out “turn left” as we passed them. By the time we reached Warrigal Road, the last of the hounds headed north and we proceeded to supper.

The late start and need to wait a couple of times for teams to gather their runners and assemble for the next hunt meant we were a little further than hoped from the supper location when we renamed hunt 7 the supper hunt and abandoned the remaining planned locations.

BLN and MZ both won a hunt (impressive for MZ as it was only Ian and Roger), thus just preventing FAST getting a perfect score. Scores have been posted to the web site (note FOX is up next month), details below.

HuntBLNFASTFOXMZ
130310
2101010
31024
41150
590108
601110
71022
Total1623344
Place2134

A big thanks to Olga and Pierre for braving the cold and organising a BBQ supper in Halliday Park for everyone – yummy!

And also thanks to Mark MD for loan of his baby monitor / fox and battery.      

Woodlands RadiO

Nine runners enjoyed the ARDF competition and fine weather at Woodlands Historic Reserve on 17 July 2016.   A short 2m Fox-Or course was also set up with three transmitters for people to try.

All went well apart from Tx 4 antenna wire falling out of the limb I’d thrown it over resulting in a weak signal which made everyone think Tx4 was miles away!  This was exacerbated by Tx 5 strong signal, that location was more in the open.  Not having set up 80 m before I was learning on the go and I did not install all of the antennas the same way which added to the variables.  Kris Ruuska instructed novice James Kanjo in the art of ARDF but they still ran the course in 55 minutes, Jack doing very well equalling their time and making a video with the Go Pro.  Some had time to compete in the orienteering as well.

One fox-Or transmitter also had very low power (afterwards I find it was set to low power), this combined with hearing signals from the other two fox-ors, one quite strong due to the topography, made for some extra running about!

Thanks to everyone who assisted and for efficiently collecting the transmitters afterwards.

Grant Jeffrey

Woodlands Historic Park, 17 July 2016
ARDF Orienteering, 80 m, 5 Transmitters, course length approx 5.1 Km
Place Name Start Time Finish Time Elapsed Time Checkpoints
1 Ian Dodd 12:00:00 12:47:30 0:47:30 5
2 Jack Bramham 10:30:00 11:25:00 0:55:00 5
3 Kris Ruuska 10:25:00 11:20:00 0:55:00 5
4 James Kanjo 10:25:00 11:22:00 0:57:00 5
5 Doug Canning 11:00:00 12:44:00 1:44:00 5
6 Peter Maloney 11:15:00 13:17:00 2:02:00 5
7 Janelle Templeton 10:35:00 12:39:00 2:04:00 5
8 Suzanne O’Callaghan 10:40:00 12:11:13 1:31:13 1
2 m Fox-Or, try it – three foxes only.
Place Name Start Time Finish Time Elapsed Time Checkpoints
1 Tim Hatley 11:48:00 12:17:00 0:29:00 3