Mazama, Washington 98833

T-Hunting in the Methow

Known by various names, "Transmitter Hunting" is the game whether it's called bunny hunts, rabbit hunts, fox hunts.  I learned it as T-Hunts or T-Hunting.  The fun is to find it.  If you have  gone GeoCaching, then you already have an idea that what sounds lame before having done it, really is surprisingly entertaining.  This is very similar to the WDFW attaching radio collars to critters, except the critters have that added ability to move about the county.  Most T-Hunt transmitters are stationary.

You do not need to be a ham to hunt.  Anyone with an interest in RDF (Radio Direction Finding) is welcome.  It really is a lot of fun and it can be done by vehicle or on foot, though both are common.  It will be up to the rabbit, fox or bunny to set the rules for the hunters prior to the actual hunt session.  Typically refreshments may be provided by the bunny post find.  ;-)

We expect to put on the first hunt in the spring though we may do a few simple practice sessions for those interested.  If you don't have the equipment then just ride and watch.  Hopefully the experience will spark an interest and the hunts will continue for a long time to come...rather appropriate for the Methow I think.


Just the Facts


Basic introduction by Steve Roderick - KA1C , 2008

Fun Intro Let's Go T-Hunting (in Southern California by Joe Moell, K0OV)


The Art and Science of Radio Direction Finding (RDF)


Simple to Complex, Cheap to Expensive or Home-brew to Store-bought

Bunny Forum Methow Valley Forum for T-Hunting


Running list of T-Hunt possibilities and variables

More Hunts

Thoughts about good T-Hunt planning and execution (live link)

Bunny Test 7/24 transmit Information on this Mazama transmitter (check page before listening)
Offset Atten What is it and how to use one...on a Yagi Beam

More Equipment

Yagi Ant 3 element yagis made from PVC and tape measure (kit) (2,3,4,5,6,7)
Searcher Ant Compact Doppler kit from Rainbow kits
Offset Atten Arrow's 4 Mhz offset attenuator (nice inline for their loop antenna)
Loop Antenna Arrow's Loop Antenna (complement their offset attenuator)
Offset Atten Home-Brew Offset Attenuator

We will use 146.565 Mhz (with PL encode 110.9) for the bunny transmitter, somewhere between 50 mW and 1 Watt output into a 1/4 wave spike or stubby rubber antenna, generally vertically polarized, at least in the beginning.  You may wish to be able to tune to the edge of the bunny frequency, 146.580 to 595 either by VFO or more memory channels.  If you will be using a dual-band radio, you may wish to memorize the 3rd harmonic frequency of 439.695 also.  These are techniques to aid in your ability to lower the signal overload as you get very close to the bunny so that you can still determine direction.

An interesting alternative may be to use the McClure input of 147.82 as the bunny TX.  This would insure that you can always hear when the bunny begins transmitting even if you can't always here it directly.  Short repeater chatter of 30 seconds while hunting may make it more enjoyable for the hunters as well as interested non-hunters.  This sounds odd, but it actually has some cool benefits like not having to change channels or carry another radio. 

Another option is the 52 simplex remote base (bunny on 146.520 PL encode 100.0) that would repeat the bunny as well as hunter traffic onto 446.000 simplex.  So many ways to put on a T-Hunt!  Much more to stay tuned...


  Revised: 02/02/2014 NO7RF/R Webmaster