'Evil Joker' meets the 'Best Man'
we have been here before
, I decided it was just so good that it was a
shame only 5 people came last time. Let's give it another go.
wouldn't believe the problems this gate caused me. If it is opened by
a volunteer it will probably be shut at 4:00pm and if you get locked in
you phone one of 4 numbers to be let out. Sounds fine but it took me
two days to get through - so glad my car was on the outside! Eventually
after several calls and a council meeting it was decided that the gate
would left closed so that there would be no trapped DFers' cars!
Not sure who got married or who is the best man? Official photographer - Ian.
what had I got ready for our intrepid triffid hunters?
In addition to the usual gang I had a couple of people dropping in for
a quick taste of DF as they travelled between the Ipswich
Rally and the Colchester Model Aircraft BBQ - Chris & Paul. Also
Tim was bringing Richard (not to be confused with our 'Best Man' ) who would be handed over at Maxi A
about an hour and a half later. This would make the ticket
somewhat unfair so I decided to add paper tickets just so they had
something to collect.
Also two extra Micros were added, P
& Q which were not on the main search/frequency list.
would enable me to stand near these stations teaching set operation
without giving away the location of Txs which would count in the main
Top left J and Y both on the outside but opposite sides
of two hawthorn thickets. I hoped that running between them our
pretend commandos would go straight through while the more intelligent
- sorry, less experienced beginners would walk around the
A similar scenario was constructed at L and X.
I and W
made use of steep sided banks to give a lopsided radiation pattern for
added amusement. Maxi A was the only station where you had
enter a thicket but I picked a location
where, if you were good at mazes, you could actually get to the Tx
without getting scratched. The placing of Z also followed the opposite
side of the thicket theme. This was the main course
all my easy Jokers'. This just left me two lone Minis H and
to play evil Joker tricks on our old hands. Nun's wood is a
nature reserve but the smaller bit mid way between it and W may be
small but it is truly evil. Thick and growing over a swamp.
trad DFer origins got the better of me and I spent about three hours
one afternoon crawling about in this hell hole deciding where
could put two Minis where they would satisfy the most masochistic
desires of the 'old hands'.
|Driving home from the site I suddenly remembered
that on the
website I say "Anyone attending a Multi-DF should expect that they can
complete an event without becoming unduly stung, scratched or
....... etc. Oh dear I must think again!
Plan B re 'What to do about K and H?
DFers never want to follow a boring footpath, I positioned K
that from the majority of the site the bearing would go straight
through the jungle. In reality you could just walk along the
footpath around it. To maximise beneficial exercise it was just on the
1 Km limit from A. To enhance the illusion that it
was in the jungle I did everything I could to get an above average
signal out of K. Longer aerial, halfway up a bush
maximum aerial height and counterpoise stretched to the maximum.
I hoped from the main site it would appear much closer - in
Now what can I do to make H 'evil' in a non scratchy
sort of way? However, before I go on let's have a break, a
pictures perhaps .....
event didn't start until 1:30, but Chris and Paul said they would be
passing by around 12.30 and would drop in for a quick taste of
Multi-DF. I loaned them some old shirts to protect their exposed arms
in case they got into a battle with a hawthorn bush.
had ploughed through my website, knew all about tickets, posting boxes
etc. and as an ex Marconi man was immediately up to speed.
wasn't far behind, here going for W. That isn't a Micro
a sky hook, my mouse slipped as I did the screen grab!
Paul consulting the frequency list to see what to so next.
|OK, break over, continuing from
above - what was I going to do with H to make it evil but non scratchy?
has shown that Minis can be a real pain to find if they are
within 50m of a power line or close to a wire fence - see this example
and Tim's experience
where Tx L was not intentionally placed near a powerline, the site
geometry just dictated it. On this event it would be deliberate -
'Oh yes' - rub of hands !
The area had power lines running all round it as result of the
equipment used when it was a recycling/landfill site. The
only footpath in the area (other than the one down to K) was the one
running up to H from the bottom edge of the picture. The
was a bit of an embarrassment, although well within 1 Km for crows, a
large ciruit around a private field would be needed to get to it, I was
very conscious that I had blasted Tim for his
railways and rivers event where the 1Km rule was really streeeeeetched.
However, I consoled myself with the thought that the
line running over H would feed signals to the main hunt area,
competitors would never leave the main site - just oscillate
between the various sections of line surrounding them. The
person I thought might get it would be a lone traveller who had Joker H
and would drive directly to it. Did my plan work? The answer is below the
on MNE! Is this fair? If I get Joker H or K I could be
Yep in Multi-DF speak you had an 'Evil Joker'.
the characteristics of Multi-DF where all Minis are similar
that only the very best DFers are ever likely to
DFs generate more different winners; most speeches include "
got lucky and stopped just in the right place at the right time ..... "
At the end of last year we discussed handicapping but
it. Perhaps organisers may wish to bring in the luck factor
mix up the finish order a bit. For all experienced
from the Joker bag, it should work out as fair over several
events. For those with less experience taking a Jolly Joker
offers some protection from bad luck. I shall be interested to hear
what people think about this.
Colin rushing passed Maxi A.
Tim delivering new Richard to me for some guidance.
The null is pointing straight at Z - one in the bag.
also found Q we call in at my car for a drink and another long sleeved
shirt. Thus protected I leave Richard to do battle with Q and X.
Chris heading for Mini I.
Very well done
to Richard (1) first time at the top and Rosie; steady you are treading on male egos here.
first time DFers all found 7 stations. In Richard (2)'s case
six Micros and the Maxi. Chris and Paul missed Micro Y but
to find Mini I. First ever use of a DF set and 7 stations
for running the challenging
event on Sunday, well at least especially for me.
managed to cock-up my
performance with a return trip near to the start, only to
that you were indeed to the far east of Colchester. Never heard the A
station whilst passing thro' or even when on Clingoe Hill
managed to lose about 3/4 hours of contest searching time.
pleased enough to manage to
find 6 eventually.
also to a new winner
I don't believe it - having put H right under a power line 6 people
2nd - I don't believe it. The 'Joker Bag' contained 3 of each Mini letters (H...L) Look at the JL column. In the luck
of the draw three picked H (lies, damn lies, statistics)
In this particular strategic
Peter's "I always ignore what my Joker is" strategy came out top".
- Yep if its evil, that's the way to play it! (Note the As
in the Joker column were used for special purposes, first as a Jolly Joker
and second to allow an experienced competitor - Tim - to bring a
beginner to the operator. A was not included in the Joker draw.)
So H was
nowhere near as evil as I thought, though some did have just a tiny bit
of difficulty finding the Triffid which was placed conveniently
by the side of the path. The first person there
do some Indian style tracking and found where I had gone behind the
hedge 30 metres down the track and come back up beside the Triffid to
place the Mini safely the other side of some severe brambles and
nettles to keep it safe from the public. Fortunately my
evil Joker K did what it said on the tin ... leading all those jungle
starved trad DFers through their own personal heaven ... swamp, flies,
nettles, brambles, alligators ... well OK a just a slight
So a 'good time' was had by all - well except Ian,
but I'll let him tell you about that (see opposite), I'm off to the 'fish and
chip tea'....... Thanks to everyone for coming along, especially the
'first timers' I hope we may see you again one day.
See the Colchester League here
|OK Ladies and Gentlemen, please take your seats, its time for the 'Best Man' .|
|Weak to fair signals were copied at the Start, with bearings indicating
Brightlingsea as a distinct possibility. Second bearings were taken at
Frating. Plots here said further south with a fair spread of Mini
On to Flag Hill and it was by then 99% certain* that
Roy had set up shop on the old Landfill site, now a Country park. (*99%
certain usually means 100% wrong!)
We had been here before and it felt familiar. On the previous occasion warning signs for Adders were prominent....
Larby and I split up at the entrance wishing each other "Good Hunting!"
had drawn the A station (Maxi) as my "Jolly Joker". Not quite as jolly
as I had hoped since upon my arrival at the tx someone else had already
nabbed the 40 points. Hmmm....
Cunning strategy was then
deployed. Noting the strengths and directions of all remaining stations
I decided to go to the far north west end to bag a Micro and its parent
Mini as I was on "fresh legs" and nobody else appeared to be about.
as I approached the footpath to K, I saw Philip returning from the
fallow field and assuming he'd had success going that way I did the
same thing and "cut the corner".
After 200 yards the field
became overrun with 6 foot high nettles, bracken, brambles, fallen
trees etc turning into swamp. The ground could not be seen and I fell
quite a few times tripping on rabbit holes. The thicks became
completely impenetrable. As I was pondering encounters with reptiles I
was just 20 feet from the path I wanted, but I had to turn back. This
episode must have wasted 15 - 20 minutes. However once back on the path
things settled down and K was bagged - eventually.
A brisk walk
along the river enabled more points to be collected at which point I
met with Larby who said he only needed 3 more stations. I only then
needed 2, but we both needed H.
I had an idea Mini H was
somewhere right back near the road. Once there the bearing said East,
meaning the tx was not anywhere near the others and way out on its own.
Eventually it was located. Phew!
Thank you Roy for an excellent
and challenging afternoon. Unaccustomed as I am at Winner's speeches I
am very happy to have broken my "Multi DF" duck. (Please send Medal in
My pleasure Richard, COD?