Multi-Tx Triffid Hunt  

Date Sunday October 2nd 2016

Organiser  Roy (G4JAC) with 10 Txs

Location - Pods Wood  NE of Tiptree

I had intended to investigate the possibility of using Hatfield Forest but an opportunity to advertise the event to local amateurs arose and forced me to make a quick decision on where to hold it, the only easy choice was Pods Wood which we have used several times before.  
With people coming who would need instruction before the event I elected to find locations and hide the Txs on the Saturday.  Normally I would have gone over to check the site on Saturday anyway so this involved little extra time and gave me a far more relaxed Sunday, the experience convinced me that this is the way to do it if you are free the day before the event.  With plenty of time available I really enjoyed burying the transmitters under moss and leaves and giving more thought to placing the triffids.  Operators note that although the software allows the Txs to be programmed for operation up to a month in advance, the batteries limit the setup window to a couple of days before the event.

Above are some of the pictures I took in case I needed to relocate the Txs when they were not transmitting. The Triffids were reasonably easy to spot at the 'yellow' and 'green' Txs intended for beginners but as you can see below at the 'red' harder Txs the Triffids were smaller and a little less obvious - can you spot them - should be easy since the camera was pointing at them.  As per the rules they were all within three metres of the Tx but the competitors didn't know in which direction to look.  It was pleasing to hear at the tea that some had plenty of time to get their breath back while searching!

Can you see it?

OK closer .... obvious eh!

Try this one ...

 .... and another ... easy when you get your eye in!

Sunday morning:

I returned to Tx A with the ticket box, drinks and collection bags for use later.

The Txs were programmed to give some 10 second transmissions to check they were all functioning between 10:50 & 11:30.  I  had a ten minute panic when nothing was heard from any of the Txs at 10:50. The laptop was checked to see if I  had made a programming error but all appeared to be correct, what was going on? Fortunately at 11:00 I realised the problem was with the receiver not the Txs ... PHEW!!!!

With plenty of time available I set up a pre-event practice course for the beginners using 4 spare Txs.

Those trying DF for the first time were John, Tony, Lesley, Diane (and Bill below).
The Plan:
The old hands were encouraged towards the 'reds' south of  the start by longer transmissions from them in the first 40 mins leaving an easy-ish sequence J, I, B, A for the beginners to attempt to the north.  It was all very busy in the last half hour before the start and I forgot about the usual group picture - perhaps a blessing!

Bill is sure it is here ......  somewhere.

Is Colin using a new beam system?

Diane is up for some VCO aided tracking

 Philip was the first one to get back to A with all 10 tickets,  impressively by 2:50pm  but it is 'Points that mean Prizes' had he grabbed enough 40s?

 John had made DF equipment before and was definitely up for it!

 I can see that you can see me ... Tony practising his triffid hide.

 Time for a pint and the results:

Position Competitor Handicap Joker A B F G I J R S Y Z Total Percent
1 Richard S 3 G 32 23 32 64 17 15 15 15 17 17 244 100
2 Steve S 102 Y 40 40 20 20 32 17 20 17 64 40 208 85
3 Philip C 118 S 17 15 23 23 13 13 40 80 40 32 178 72
4 Tim P 96 Z 9 9 26 26 40 40 17 20 20 40 151 61
5 John 0 * 26 64 0 0 26 23 0 0 0 0 139 56
6 Colin M 48 R 8 8 15 15 8 8 52 23 23 23 135 55
7 Rosie M 53 S 11 11 17 17 9 11 32 64 0 15 134 54
8 Bill I 0 * 20 17 11 0 20 64 0 0 0 0 132 54
9 Gary P 138 F 13 13 80 40 11 9 23 26 26 26 129 52
10 Tony 0 * 23 52 0 0 15 26 0 0 0 0 116 47
11 Bob S 0 J 15 20 13 0 23 40 0 0 0 0 111 45

Very well done to Richard, a second place in 2015, now a  2016 Multi-Star and notice below, no discard, clearly he is going for the Hero in 2017!
The handicapping system is beginning to produce a really close finish  note 5th - 9th encouraging us all to keep hunting for that last point that might make all the difference. Thanks to those who are competing with high handicaps allowing beginners like John to show their potential.

So how did Richard  'Our Rising Star' ascend?

Well, it’s all so easy – or is it?

Having taken good bearings at the start I failed to transfer 6 of them accurately to my map. But good enough to see that R, S, Y and Z were close together, and with a Joker of G, easy to decide which route to take. So, off to G but not fast enough to beat Parker Minor who just got in a few seconds before myself.

F was straightforward to pick up as were I and J.

B was heavily populated and I found A  was hard to be sure of being in the right place, but the fallen log was a classic location for the ticket box.

The short tx times for Y and Z have always been a problem for me but meeting Tim at Z confirmed that I was in the right place and 3.15pm meant that a tenner was definitely on.   Z and S followed and R was in the middle of the largest trampled area of woodland known to Multi DFing – thanks to all.

Back to A in completely the opposite direction and thankfully corrected by Steve. 10 minutes to spare.  
I thought that I’d peaked a long time ago but good to win at last, helped by:
  • Pod’s being a very friendly wood. I did not see anyone with the typical limp or wounds
  • Roy’s triffid planting was not too deliberately challenging, all on the ground and no toilet pans
  • The warm-up transmitters helped to get the “ear” in
  • Big advantage from the Handicap system
  • Not making the usual silly mistakes

Oh, and I had a helluva job locating B transmitter to collect it.

Thanks Roy and all and I look forward to being back to the bottom of the ladder at the next event.

Colin F still hangs on to the Hero despite being on holiday. Some strange discarding tactics in this game of snakes and ladders, can any one challenge Colin & Gary; how many points will Colin F discard from the 5 he will get from running the next event; will my nails ever get a chance to grow again?

Next event and the last of 2016 will be held on Sunday Nov 6th in Kent.
Note that we will start and finish 1 hour earlier   12:30 - 15:00 to allow us to collect the Txs in before dark.
Watch this page for details.