Sunday August 24th 2014  Top Band Multi-Tx  DF  

Our host for the day was Colin M.
Event began at the site; no extra driving involved.

Start Location
   Kent -   Trosley Park near Vigo Village     NGR TQ649615 .
Parking  TQ649617   DA13 0TB   51.331 0.366
Times     Start  13:30  Last transmission 16:00
After Event: Colin & Rosie's BBQ

From Colin:
This hunt was organised at short notice following inclement weather which meant cancelling the previous event. I had already earmarked this site for a DF some time ago. The site is only 2km from home and we have geocached there as well as participating in several orienteering events.

The site is flanked by a steep hill (the edge of the North Downs) between Vigo Village (at top) and Trottiscliffe (at bottom) and the terrain is mixed. It is a popular site for walkers both with and without dogs. I surveyed on two consecutive Tuesdays (while Rosie was out working at the nature reserve!). With the aid of a GPS I marked the proposed TX sites and checked that TX separation distances were acceptable. Then the coordinates were used to map the site. On consideration I had overdone the difficulty factor by placing X and Y right at the bottom of a seriously steep hill so on my next visit X and Y were relocated further to the east (south-east from the start).

Trosley Park,  those with one leg longer than the other, a working DF set, ... oh and long hair  had a distinct advantage.
The Y site required scrambling up a slippery slope and then weaving over / under / around several large fallen trees and Z was to be sited in scrub nearby. Y and Z were very near the start but I reckoned that everyone would have been lured to the west by all the other transmitters long before transmitters Y and Z fired up.

Because this area is so popular with walkers it posed a challenge when it came to siting the A station but I managed to find a quiet backwater just 20 metres from a main path with restricted access. Transmitter I was challenging as it was located in a group of thick bushes slightly downhill but once inside there was an unexpected clearing. R was much further west and required a great deal of searching. I did attempt to make this a high-contrast hunt by making the B,F,G,J and S transmitters easy. These were either on, or very near to, minor paths with reasonably visible triffids.

So that's where they were!
On the day, I set-up the transmitters before breakfast at 8am !!! and arrived on site just after 9. I had allowed 3 hours for setting up before a lunch break at noon. Time flies when you’re setting up a multi-TX event and I only just made it. At the first TX site I stepped backwards on to the aerial hoisting pole – and broke it in half! Then at the dreaded Y site I lost my glasses and spend a good 5 minutes trying to find them (which I did). Then, while driving home for lunch, I suddenly realised that I had completely forgotten to tune-up the mini transmitters!

So I was back to site by 12:30 needing to revisit the four minis TXs before the 1pm start-up. By moving the car to optimum parking positions I was able to revisit all minis within the half hour (with just 1-minute to spare before listening for each transmitter as they fired up for the first time. Little time remained for beginner training before the event so Roy had to step in and show Adrian how to use the set etc.

Everyone came back for a barbeque in our back garden followed by the ritual result declarations, prize-giving and handicap allocations.
Position Competitor Handicap Joker A B F G I J R S Y Z Total Percent
1 Rosie M 0 G 23 40 32 80 0 20 32 32 0 23 282 100
2 Colin F 20 Y 15 15 20 20 26 26 23 23 80 40 268 95
3 Tim P 40 J 26 23 23 23 32 80 26 26 23 0 242 85
4 Gary P 58 S 11 20 0 15 0 23 40 80 32 26 189 67
5 Graham D 0 B 40 52 40 32 0 0 20 0 0 0 184 65
6 Roy E 43 I 13 17 17 17 80 32 0 0 26 32 157 55
7 Adrian 0 * 64 32 26 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 148 52
8 Marie B 0 * 34 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 34 12
9 Stewart B 0 S 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 7
Above yellow shading shows joker, grey numbers are tickets handed in out of time, these do not count.
This event had everything!
While I was dropping food off at the house Colin returned with the news that he had forgotten to tune the Minis - would he get them all set up in time????
I then followed Timbo to the start,  as always he led me astray but on the positive side this did allow me to practice my three point turns (always useful on an on-foot event).  At the parking area I decided to see if I could get the car closer to the start so that I had access to the training Txs and spare sets, going way past the actual start I found myself in the middle of a small triangle of steeply sloping, domed ground. Confident after earlier 3 point turn practice I decided to do one more and beached the centre of the car.  Rocking backwards and forwards while twirling the power steering eventually achieved a pirouette accompanied by graunching sounds from the compressed underbelly.  So our guest Adrian was met by a slightly shaken and stirred stand in tutor.  This was fortunate because had my tuition been up to its usual high standard he would doubtless have achieved one position higher in the rankings, beating me.  My attempt started well enough with Joker 'I' snatched just before Timbo (bonus)  but then the big mistake. I am always telling others of a similar DFing standard if you don't have talent go for the greens first so Y oh Y did I decide to attempt Y and Z?????  ....  OK arrogance! 30 mins at Z and an hour at Y had my fate sealed.   B and A were grabbed and then off to try to regain some self esteem by going for G and F.  Once again some arrogance had me getting G but then instead of taking that ticket back to A I went for F too.  At 3.55 I had them both but now the Multi-Spice engulfed me as I tried to find a quick way back to A. The direct route through brambles and the sound of the machine gun as I approached the group gathered at A ended a perfect example of how not to do a Multi-DF.  Back at the tea my spirits were raised when I realised that I had achieved a creditable 6th out of 9 beating Adrian who had never done an event before and Marie and Stewart who had spent all afternoon running away from the Txs as a result of a reversed connection in the sense circuit, so my pride was restored and I am ready to do it all again on Sept 14th.  
Seriously ... an excellent well thought out event with plenty of challenge for the experts but allowing a beginner some success as demonstrated by Adrian (very well done to him); good to see Colin F back on form with an incredible performance on the reds then being the only one to manage all ten Txs; but it was our first 'Multi-Lady Winner' who grabbed the trophy by being first at two Txs and second in at three more,  Rosie you did it!

Stewart and Marie had us fully entertained while we were eating:  Stewart has been putting huge amounts of effort into the producing the most sophisticated DF set I have ever seen. Fully digital, new shape , electronic compass - this is going to be a serious threat in the future. However, a rushed setup in the garden to attend this rescheduled event left him with the reversed sense mentioned above.  Marie had his old set and was trying to make 'sense' of Stewart's instructions on how to use the 'sense' while they navigated towards (away) from the Txs.

Rosie now has a handicap, she only changed her mind about what it should be 8 times, ah that feminine prerogative, could have been worse, there were 10 possibilities! Of course as Marie pointed out she already has a handicap it is ......

Waiting for the results ... oh the tension .... nails just couldn't be any shorter ......
Winner's report ......  Rosie says:

As we set off from the start I followed the main upper path round to the right. Gary was ahead of me and Graham behind. Everyone else had disappeared. I soon got tempted by B which was a reasonable signal off to the south, and took the next main path down the hill. I found it quite swiftly for 40 points. I then switched my attention to my joker G. This was quite weak and seemed due west along the lower main path. On reflection I must have gone straight past A here. Eventually got to the area of G and another quick triffid spot for 40 points. Logic told me to find it’s partner F, but S was calling so went there next. Only 32 this time. I thought that I would try for R whilst in the area. I got a good idea of direction and walked to virtually straight to the area without a signal. Unfortunately a couple of transmissions later I was still circling the same tree. At this stage everything else sounded weak, and to the east. Time to go right back up the hill towards F. I spotted Adrian and Colin M and dived down a likely footpath toward the edge of the wood. It seemed quite weak but the bearing turned and after clambering over a pile of brash I managed to spot it without being seen by Adrian. I shot off deciding that J was next and headed south east back down the hill.

 Unaccustomed as I am ........
On the main lower path as I was heading for J suddenly ‘A’ was incredibly strong. I spotted a little path disappearing down behind a big yew tree and followed it. It was quite narrow and windy but I was shortly rewarded with the sight of a triffid and posting box on my right. Backtracked to the main path and passed Colin F puffing along in the opposite direction. I suppose it must have been about 3 o’clock by then. (I didn’t have a watch or my usual GPS for telling the time). Made my way down to the open area for J. Opted to go down through the bushes rather than along the fence line, the set was indicating somewhere between the two. Met Gary who had come round the other way and a cheeky grin gave the game away that he had found it. I had an idea that I was back up the steps through the gate. I passed Roy on the path, he was lamenting about how long he had spent at Y. 
Gary and I went almost full circle as the signal was now pointing back down the hill to a large copse. By this time my knees had had enough and I half-heartedly looked in the first hole with a tree and decided to give up and move on, leaving Gary searching further down the hill. Went back up through the gate near J and onwards to try for Z. The signal seemed quite strong and started to point of to the right, but there was a large fallen beech tree so I decided to stay on the path. Luckily I came across a lane going down the hill. 
A passing walker let me know it was 3:30 by now. I went down the path some distance then climbed up on the bank. I thought if it’s not VERY strong then time to give up. When it came up it seemed to be only a very short distance away. I struggled through the undergrowth and spotted the triffid on the second pass. One last slog up the hill and what seemed a very long way back to A. Finished with approximately 10 minutes left, very pleased with how I’d done. 8 stations including Z! Thought I might have come fourth as other competitors had found 9 or 10 stations. I really could not believe it when the results were announced. Good news – trophy! Bad news – handicap and now I get to pick from the ugly joker bag forever.

I perceived that the competition was weaker than usual with no Phil or Steve and a number of other competitors who had had a hard night the previous evening. I hardly saw anyone else all afternoon.

It seemed that everyone had had different jokers so no one took the same route as me, which was hugely in my favour. 

As I said this event had everything,  good weather, good site, excellent Tx plan, our first lady winner, good food and most important much fun amongst friends; a big thank you  to Colin and Rosie for organsing it at such short notice.

Results of  other events League of Heroes Next event Sept 14th Dates of all events  Multi-DF Introduction