Multi-Tx DF  Sunday August 8th 2021
Organiser  Gary G6GLP

Location  Bourne Park, Ipswich, Suffolk.
Click here for road map with zoom. 

Event Format - full details here



 
The Ordnance Survey map provided some help on site but Gary's navigational traps were set to offer a serious challenge!




New Rxs on the block!

Chris's experiments over the last 18 months.

George has been designing and building too, see later in report.


And a new DFer too - welcome to Chris B (on the right)


Weapons chosen!







Results

Pos Competitor Hcap Joker A B C F G H K L M 1 Score Raw % Total
1 George F 0 F 20 20 20 80 32 26 26 23 23 0 270 93 270
2 Roy E 69 M 17 0 17 20 23 20 40 40 80 32 289 100 220
3 Chris B 0 * 26 26 80 15 0 0 15 20 20 0 202 69 202
4 Steve S 63 H 0 0 0 26 26 80 20 32 32 40 256 88 193
5 Chris I 2 A 64 40 26 17 17 0 17 0 13 0 194 67 192
6 Tim P 82 C 40 32 64 23 20 23 13 15 17 26 273 94 191
7 Richard S 64 G 0 0 0 32 80 32 23 26 26 23 242 83 178
8 Vaughn L 9 K 23 23 23 0 0 0 64 17 15 0 165 57 156


Times (for info - only points mean prizes!)

Competitor Joker A B C F G H K L M 1 Validation
Chris B * 14:28:31 14:38:25 14:13:56 15:48:51

14:56:49 15:20:37 15:04:49
16:00:00
Chris I A 14:01:50 14:09:15 14:21:51 14:53:40 15:14:43
14:34:55
15:35:54
15:51:57
George F F 14:57:09 15:02:01 15:11:36 13:47:33 13:53:15 14:04:51 14:18:09 14:28:21 14:40:52
15:58:02
Richard S G


14:09:27 13:49:16 14:04:22 14:18:55 14:25:12 14:33:26 14:49:21 15:44:49
Roy E M 15:28:09
15:35:43 14:53:01 15:00:29 15:02:33 14:05:07 13:54:57 13:44:06 14:36:23 15:55:26
Steve S H


14:12:37 14:07:38 14:04:13 14:29:50 14:24:49 14:21:44 13:47:29 15:55:40
Tim P C 13:58:21 14:25:41 14:20:20 14:52:47 15:06:50 15:02:24 15:14:50 15:27:21 15:21:07 14:44:31 15:36:26
Vaughn L K 14:41:12 14:38:33 15:11:24


14:14:55 15:27:03 15:35:42
15:45:19



Multi-Star      George

Ghostbuster     Steve



 With hindsight, a satellite view and no DF set to encourage us to the wrong side of barriers, things look much clearer!


So how did our winner find his way around?  Over to George:

The day dawned bright and sunny... no, hang on, rewind... for me, this day began a month ago...

Though I'm a professional Electronics Engineer, I've never done any receiver design work before, so thought I'd have a go at designing a set, not least because the parts for existing Top-Band DF sets are getting hard to come by.  How hard could it be?  So I'd cobbled together a few modules, arranged then on a sheet of plastic, and taken them to the Chalkney Woods DF hunt in July for a test on the car-park transmitter before the event.  First impression was that strong signal behaviour was very good, followed immediately by the second impression of 'it's bloody deaf'.  I decided there and then that I'd improve it, box it, and take it to the next Multi.

Much of the deafness turned out to be lack of volume caused by the little speaker I'd bought, and was cured with a rummage in the junk box for an old Marine VHF external speaker.  I also experimented with pre-amps, and various forms of sense circuit.

With no test transmitter, I had to resort to an RTTY signal on 2.066 MHz (apparently a Naval Transmitter in the South of France) which comes up every evening after dark.  Not the most predictable way of testing equipment, but hey, it was the best available.  Following a suggestion from Chris, I went for a 3-pole crystal filter with Micro-processor crystals (3.6864 MHz, 22p each).  Worked brilliantly, best value-for-money filter I've ever had.  I think Chris also has a better idea on the local-oscillator synthesizer chip, much smaller and more convenient than mine.

After much mucking about, and a lot of trouble squeezing a collection of test-modules into two odd shaped boxes that I had lying around, I was left with doubts about the sense, the VCO mode wasn't set up so wasn't connected, no idea if the battery was going to last... at least I thought the gain was good enough.  It also looked surprisingly natty, and easy to wave around.

So, back to that bright sunny day... well, it promptly clouded over, but the intermittent sunshine during the afternoon gave a very pleasant temperature for charging about in a park.


I began at the start with Roy's set, could hear and take my usual rough bearings on A, F and K (despite the prior warning that A was very weak), and much to my surprize, not only could I also hear all three on my new set, but the sense was working... and it agreed with Roy's!!!

My Joker was F (which was also a good signal), so I decided to take a gamble on the new receiver, loaded Roy's set (supposedly) carefully into the rucksack and set off with a frisson of excitement back in the direction of the car park.  On moving from the trees out into the open, there was a scene of several DF-ers taking bearings and charging off to the four corners of the park (the joker system is great for that!).  Mine was dead ahead, Rx seems to be working, signal increasing, sense still working correctly (or at least consistently, I'll call it working when I find something).  After running round the trees for a while, bumping into Richard going the other way (disconcerting, am I going the wrong way?) I finally decided it was in the middle, and dived in at speed.  Ducked under a tree, and TWANG... was yanked to a sudden halt by my rucksack, which was now hanging from said tree by the aerial of Roy's receiver which was sticking out of the top of my bag.  Carefully loaded his set back into the bag properly this time, and proceeded to F uneventfully.


Next up... G.  The receiver sense said G was across the road.  Strange.  Sense still giving believable headings to A,K and F, and it worked all the way in to F.  Ok, map says there is a patch of woodland over there... let's go.  The place looked deserted, but the signal was strong, and rounding the corner, there was Richard... who promptly ran past me going the other way again.  Hmmm.  Still, the signal is good this way, and the path leads deep into a dark tree-lined hole, perfect hiding place.  And indeed, after scrambling across some tree trunks and wading through some undergrowth I found it.  Next up was H, and by the time I got there, both Richard and Steve were tramping back and forth around a large bush.  I briefly confused myself, moved off in another direction, came back, and decided it was a couple of feet into the bush they were peering into.  I ran round the other side hoping for another way in, and heard an exclamation of "THERE IT IS!" from the other two.

Where to next? A and K had both been weak from the car-park end of the park, so I marched straight back into the middle of the park to find K a reasonable signal, and A still weak.  K was to the north, so off I went.  Straight into the woods on the north side of the park, and the little receiver excelled itself by leading me directly to the wire.  It's hard to miss a piece of aerial wire when it's touching the nose of the receiver.  Triffid nearby, and I'd beaten Richard to that one.

Heading for L, I managed to confuse myself, or rather I was confused by Gary who'd hidden M closer to K than L was.  I wasn't expecting that! and as I was hopping channels trying to catch the ghost (which I only heard once, weakly) I got a short part of a transmission that wasn't 'L' in morse, but was a good signal.  Steve and Richard were close by, and after what seemed like ages waiting for L to transmit again, Steve moved off, followed by Richard.  Eventually L transmitted again, and I headed off to find the two 'old hands' emerging from a bush in the distance.  If only I'd worked out what transmission was on... I can see from the timings now that Steve found M while I was looking the other way.  I could have been second or third to that one, rather than forth.  As it happened, I didn't take enough notice of where they emerged, and it took far too long to find the Triffid after arriving at the tree with L's transmitter in it. Bearing to M was back the way I'd come, so back to the scene of my earlier confusion to find M properly this time.

A long way to A... I'm sure everyone had a similar experience with that one... where on earth are the bearings taking me?  out of the park, down the road, into the marsh (slight exaggeration) then I performed an embarrassing amount of tramping up and down to find A. I took comfort from the fact that the grass looked well trampled, so I obviously wasn't the only one to struggle there.  With a sigh of relief, B was a good signal, back towards the marina, so I set off, remembering that the adjacent A137 is where the clutch pedal on my car broke a couple of months ago leaving me without transport to get to the one of the earlier DF hunts.

Still listening for the Ghost while back-tracking to B... nothing heard, must have stopped by now.  That's one aspect of the hunt I haven't come close to managing yet.  Did pick up a couple of bearings to C while listening on that channel though, so flicking the switch certainly wasn't wasted.

The receiver excelled itself again at B, found the Tx wire when the nose of my Rx touched it.  Doesn't get much better than that.  Spotting the Triffid was another matter entirely.  Took another bearing to C, good idea now where it was, but time for a lonely break and a drink of water.

I hadn't seen another DF-er since M, and was wondering what I was doing wrong.  However, just at that moment, as I was setting off for the run in to C, a head appeared out of the long grass, and a shout.  It was Vaughn.  Had I found C's Triffid yet?  ...erm, nope.  Haven't found Tx C yet, but it's a little way behind you.  To which he explained that he knew that, but was a tad frustrated at not being able to find the associated Triffid.  For some considerable time it didn't look like I'd be any use either, but eventually we stumbled across it down in the grass.That was the last of my 9 transmitters, as the Ghost was long-gone by now.

There then followed a pleasant stroll back through the park discussing receivers with Vaughn, and generally hanging out as he went for L and M.  I left him to as I had to return to F to validate, finding Chris B in the bushes looking for it too.  Seriously impressed with his first attempt at a DF hunt.

Final thoughts on the new receiver... I love it.  It's a little lacking in sensitivity (I'll have to fix that) and it picks up a little spurious carrier on 1960 from it's own PIC micro (too many wires from the top to bottom boxes, I'll have to re-arrange the internals to sort that), but I think it deserves the trophy.

Big thank you to Gary for hiding the transmitters (and perhaps a couple of the triffids were hidden a little too well!), and Roy as always for the equipment (and everyone else required behind the scenes to make Multi-DF happen that I haven't noticed yet!)

See you all next time,
George G0JWQ.



Well done George - a fitting Olympic 2020 version of the Multi-Star!

Hero/Handicap point changes this event

 
                                                                 

Other significant HPs  held by those not present at this event are are Colin F 130 and Philip C 119

Careless discarding -   Silly 'boys'  Roy E and Tim P have put themselves out of range of Colin F on 130.
                                           Only Philip and Gary are in a position to depose him!

Level changes  -  we have ways of stopping you winning !   See Jokers

George F moves from level 2 to 3  (green or yellow jokers from now on and cannot discard to below 20 HPs).  

Chris B, having completed his first event very successfully moves from level 1 to 2 - will have a green joker (A F or K on his next event).

For reference - once you have won two events you move to level 4 - any joker and cannot discard below 40 HPs

Next Event
Discussions after the event indicated that many are unavailable for September 5th, so our next event is on October 3rd with Tim in charge.
Watch this page for details