Convention results 2018

54th Annual SERG Convention Results

The 2018 Convention was held on Saturday June 9th and Sunday June 10th of the Queen’s Birthday Weekend and by all reports it was a success.

Australian Fox Hunting Championships

The weekend competition commenced at 10:00am on the Saturday morning. The first event was a 10 transmitter Fox-or hunt in the Valley Lakes area of the Blue Lake Precinct in Mount Gambier. The competitors had 90minutes to find as many of the 10 Fox-Or transmitters transmitting on frequencies between 144.00MHz up to 145.750Mhz. This hunt covers a wide area and the organizers can be a little devious when hiding the transmitters. The weather was kind. A fog had settled in the lakes area but with no cloud the sun soon burned it off. It was cool but little breeze and with the sun out all morning it was quite a nice day.

This year thanks to Bruce VK3TJN electronic scoring in the form of Sport-Ident was used. Bruce had arrange for spare SI sticks and control stations for the weekend. We are very grateful for Bruce for providing the system. The ticket system from previous years was not used. The electronic scoring made things a lot easier in that tickets didn’t have to be sorted and checked. It also mean’t less issues with tickets at the Foxors. The one drawback that a few competitors mentioned was they couldn’t check their tickets to see which ones they had.

Each competitor must locate the Fox-Or and “punch” their SI stick into the control station. Once they return to the finish line the details are downloaded from the SI stick to determin which FoxOr they found and at what time. From that information the order they found it compared to the rest of the competitors can be determined.. The scoring is weighted to encourage people to find as many as they can, being first back doesn’t not guarantee first place, although generally you will have got good placings on all the transmitters to do this anyway.

A total of 9 teams competed over the weekend, 7 from VK3, VK3BLN, VK3OW, VK3BQZ, VK3FOX, VK3FAST, VK3MD, VK3TJN and 2 from VK5, VK5TV and VK5FAB.

Competitors Event 1 2017
2018 first event (Photo VK5KET)

 

Team Competitor F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 Score AFHC Points
VK3TJN Bruce VK3TJN 6 2 7 4 1 3 8 7 3 5 2604 10
VK3FAST Darian VK3FAST 8 4 14 8 5 1 4 4 1 2 2599 9
VK3FAST Bryan VK3YNG 7 14 9 7 8 2 2 3 6 10 2582
VK5FAB Cassidy 9 13 13 10 6 7 5 15 5 3 2564 8
VK3BLN Emily VK3ACM 1 3 6 19 11 6 1 14 20 12 2557 7
VK3BLN Adam VK3YDF 3 20 11 12 10 5 12 13 2 6 2556
VK3FOX Kristian VK3FDAC 5 11 16 18 12 4 9 8 4 15 2548 6
VK5FAB Paul VK5PB 10 9 17 1 16 9 10 17 9 7 2545
VK3OW Ewen VK3OW 12 19 2 6 2 11 11 18 18 17 2534 5
VK5FAB Ken VK5KB 16 1 15 22 17 17 6 5 7 11 2533
VK5FAB Monica VK3FFAB 13 17 20 3 18 12 14 2 11 13 2527
VK3BQZ Dennis VK3BQZ 18 18 19 13 20 13 20 1 13 1 2514 4
VK3FOX Greg VK3VT 4 15 8 21 13 8 21 10 21 20 2509
VK3FOX Jono 15 21 1 17 9 14 16 6 19 23 2509
VK5FAB Perry 17 10 18 5 19 16 19 12 9 2285
VK3OW Henk VK3AI 20 16 22 14 22 18 12 14 22 2250
VK5FAB Rod 8 5 9 3 13 9 24 16 2083
VK3MD Hamish VK3DMC 7 12 16 7 15 3 10 19 2081 3
VK3FAST Jeremy 11 12 23 2 15 15 8 4 2080
VK3TJN Ian VK3MZ 2 5 4 23 10 16 22 18 2070
VK3OW Dianne VK3FVXN 19 21 15 21 17 11 15 21 2030
VK3MD Mark VK3MD 6 3 11 4 17 14 1635
VK5TV Bevin VK5TV 14 22 24 14 7 16 1593 2
VK3TJN Suzanne VK3FSZI 23 10 20 23 8 1366

First event results (above)

Event 1 2018 Results

Note: Scoring method is designed to encourage people to find all the transmitters so it is possible to find 9 transmitters 1st and still not place first if you don’t get the 10th.
So depending on the number of competitors each transmitter you find is worth bonus points. For this number of competitors each transmitter is worth 240 points plus the points you get for position.
The position points start at the number of competitors for 1st place and decrease by one as you go down.
Jo Modelling a Sniffer
Jo VK5FAB support crew modelling a sniffer (Photo VK5KET)
Greg VK3VT
Greg VK3VT for team VK3FOX (Photo VK3SLH)
Bryan VK3YNG 2018
Bryan VK3YNG for team VK3FAST (Photo VK3SLH)

Event 2 was an “ARDF” style event for the road. Competitors have to find 4 transmitters and get back to the start point within 2 hours. Each transmitter transmits a morse code Ident on the same frequency, 146.525MHz.

Transmitter 1 transmits for 30 seconds, followed by Transmitter 2 for 30 seconds and the other transmitters follow on filling the 2 minute cycle. There is always a transmission on the frequency all the time. Due to the controllers used there is a little bit of drift in the timing causing the occasional overlap but not sufficient to create problems. Unfortunately this year we had a controller fail on start. This mean’t there were only three foxes to find. At least it happened from the very start so that all teams had the same opportunities. This contributed to the quicker times.

This event provides a different challenge to the normal road event and some of the teams are looking at different strategies to successfully compete in this event. We have been running this event for a few years now, the times are dropping for some teams which means they have got the equipment and the methods working for them, others still have some work to do.

Competitors depart at 2 minute intervals so there is no playing follow the leader.
Each transmitter has some information that needs to be recorded and brought to the finish line as proof of finding the transmitter. This year the information had a theme of women in space and computing, just researching the names was educational. Three of the names came from the movie Hidden Figures, the last was a computing related reference.

Team Elapsed Infos AFHC Score
VK3FAST 0:36 3 10
VK3TJN 0:45 3 9
VK3BLN 0:45 3 9
VK3OW 1:06 3 7
VK3FOX 1:16 3 6
VK3MD 1:21 3 5
VK3BQZ 1:40 3 4
VK5TV 1:56 1 3
VK5FAB DNF 0 0

Event 2, 2018 results above

Event 3 The Wayne Kilpatrick Memorial Night Hunt.

This event is in Memory of Wayne Kilpatrick VK5ZX (SK). The SportIdent system was being used on this event which meant there were no ping-pong balls this year. It was decided to stick with the usual all start at once to ensure all the hunters got the same signal opportunity.

Eight teams departed the start point at the Saleyards at 19:30, VK3BQZ was without some of his regulars and couldn’t arrange another driver so he skipped this event. Didn’t seem like that bad of a decision as the night got colder. VK5FAB were struck down with technical issues so their night was hard. They weren’t alone. VK3OW spent a lot of time circling the 6m fox, much to their frustration. It didn’t seem to help when the 6m fox gave an accidental clue as to his location over the repeater.

The 10m fox was hidden in plain sight in the Bunnings carpark. We didn’t realise until after a few fox hunters had arrived that the antenna was clearly silhouette by the floodlighting from the Bunnings sign. Another unintentional hint went over the repeater when Owen VK5HOS announced to the 6m fox that he was going to Bunnnings. At 9:00pm on a Saturday night Bunnings isn’t open so the 6m fox continued to ask why he was going to Bunnings. Fortunately there was enough competitors at the finish to find the radio call extremely amusing. Greg VK5ZGY was keeping an eye for competitors coming and called out there’s one. It turned out to be a car with a bicycle on the roof.

Not everyone made it to the 10m fox this year.

Competitors at the start of the night hunt 2016
Competitors lined up ready for the Wayne Kilpatrick Memorial Night Hunt
SERG Trophy for Night Hunt (Photo VK5HD)
Team F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Score
VK3BLN 2 3 1 1 3 45
VK3FOX 6 2 2 2 1 42
VK3TJN 4 1 3 4 4 39
VK3FAST 3 5 4 3 2 38
VK3OW 1 4 5 6 5 34
VK3MD 5 6 6 5 6 27
VK5FAB 7 4
VK5TV 8 3

Event 3 results (Night fox hunt)

NERG trophy for first in to last fox- the night fox hunt

VK3BLN were the winners of the night hunt with the highest score and in keeping with the NERG Trophy tradition, VK3FOX were awarded the trophy for being the first in to the 10m Fox. Greg VK3VT is a member of the NERG club so when he gets home he will have to award himself the trophy.

NERG began sponsoring the night hunt trophy because in the past the scoring of the individual legs could mean that the team that won the event, did not necessarily reach the last fox first. NERG thought that first team home should be rewarded, hence they now sponsor the NERG trophy for the Night Hunt. SERG greatly appreciates the support from NERG.

VK5ZBR Changing Antennas on the Night Hunt
Changing Antennas – make sure it’s the right way around!
Map Markings VK5ZBR
10M Fox antenna at Potters Point
Event 4 Sunday Morning
Photo courtesy of Andrew VK5KET

Event 4 was the Sunday morning sniffer hunt. With only an hour to complete this event is over a smaller area and the layout and terrain actually affects the results. Going off in different directions gives more opportunity to get a good placing on some of the transmitters. The venue is curved around the hill so you can’t seen from one end to the other. It’s other redeeming feature is the close proximity of source of a decent coffee for those not competing or just before they take off for the next event.

Event 4 Results are below.

Team Competitor F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 Points AFHC Score
VK3FAST Darian VK3FAST 1 1 2 7 4 8 8 12 1 9 2597 10
VK3FAST Bryan VK3YNG 8 8 13 4 2 6 1 9 4 10 2585
VK3TJN Bruce VK3TJN 9 7 1 5 1 9 17 6 8 4 2583 9
VK3FOX Kristian VK3FDAC 10 9 8 11 3 13 2 4 6 11 2573 8
VK3FAST Jeremy 2 2 3 10 7 7 13 17 3 17 2569
VK5FAB Cassidy 4 4 4 9 6 18 14 15 11 8 2557 7
VK5FAB Monica VK3FFAB 11 17 9 17 5 2 3 10 7 13 2556
VK3OW Ewen VK3OW 3 3 5 6 10 15 12 14 19 7 2556 6
VK5FAB Ken VK5KB 12 13 11 12 9 11 4 5 5 14 2554
VK3BLN Adam VK3YDF 13 10 14 8 8 5 6 21 2 16 2547 5
VK5FAB Paul VK5PB 14 14 10 13 11 3 5 8 10 15 2547
VK3BLN Emily VK3ACM 18 15 16 1 15 14 16 1 21 3 2530
VK5FAB Perry 5 5 6 16 21 12 21 16 9 18 2521
VK3MD Mark VK3MD 15 16 15 14 12 4 7 13 13 21 2520 4
VK3FOX Jono 22 21 22 3 17 19 15 22 20 1 2488
VK3MD Hamish VK3DMC 6 22 7 15 22 1 3 12 12 2310
VK5FAB Rod 7 6 12 20 13 10 20 20 14 2288
VK3TJN Suzanne VK3FSZI 21 20 23 2 20 19 7 23 6 2269
VK3OW Henk VK3AI 16 11 18 18 17 10 19 16 19 2266
VK5TV Bevin 17 12 17 22 16 20 9 23 15 2259 3
VK3FOX Greg VK3VT 19 19 19 14 16 11 18 17 20 2257
VK3TJN Ian VK3MZ 20 18 20 21 18 2 22 2 2047
VK3BQZ Dennis 23 19 21 19 18 11 18 5 2036 2
Competitors Sunday Morning 2018
Competitors chasing foxes
2 competitors Saturday Morning
Found! Now to set up for the next one.
Event 4 Ewen VK3OW 2018
Ewen VK3OW in action

Event 5 immediately followed the sniffer hunt. Signals were clear at the start of the event so all the teams headed off.

Team F1 F2 F3 Points AFHC Score
VK3BLN 1 1 2 29 10
VK3TJN 2 2 1 28 9
VK3MD 3 3 5 22 8
VK3FOX 5 4 3 21 7
VK3FAST 4 5 4 20 6
VK5FAB 6 6 7 14 5
VK3BQZ 7 7 6 13 4
VK3OW 0
VK5TV 0

Event 5 results above

Event 6, in the afternoon, had the nine teams starting just west of Mount Gambier.

The event was 2m followed by 6m finishing with 80m. This event was also not without it’s problems.

Initially there was a call that a team was bogged and needed extraction and then the 80m fox had transmitter trouble and competitors had to be given a waypoint to get them started to find the final leg.

Event 6 Start
Lined up ready for event 6

If this was Hogwarts (Harry Potter Fame) we would have to award bonus points to Bevin VK5TV. Bevin was competing in the event when he came across VK3TJN. He announced that he was stopping to help them. To return the kindness VK3TJN made sure Bevin found the 2m fox. Greg VK5ZGY left the 2m fox running and came to the aid of VK3TJN. After he put the winch cable back on the winch everything went rather smoothly and we were all out in time for the next event.

VK3TJN What were they thinking
What were they thinking VK3TJN ((Hint: Nice flat area surrounded by reeds is usually designated Swamp!)
VK3TJN Bogged to the Axels
VK3TJN bogged to the axle
Team F1 F2 F3 Score AFHC Points
VK3FAST 1 2 1 29 10
VK3BLN 2 1 2 28 9
VK3BQZ 3 3 4 23 8
VK3OW 5 4 3 21 7
VK3FOX 6 5 5 17 6
VK3MD 7 6 9 5
VK5FAB 8 7 9 4
VK3TJN 4 7 3
VK5TV 9 3 2

Event 6 results above

Event 7, the last fox hunting event for the weekend is the 1296MHz fox. For the last few years this event has had the fox hiding somewhere in the country side and not in the one of the craters and it was the same again this year. Competitors start at a high point with a good initial bearing, strangely enough when they took off some of them took different directions.

Team 1296 Fox Score
VK3BLN 1 10
VK5FAB 2 9
VK3OW 3 8
VK3FOX 4 7
VK3TJN 5 6
VK3FAST 6 5
VK3BQZ 0
VK5TV 0
VK5MD 0

Event 7 results above

Australian Fox Hunting Championship Results Summary.

Callsign Event 1
Points
Event 2
Points
Event 3
Points
Event 4
Points
Event 5
Points
Event 6
Points
Event 7
Points
Total
VK3BLN 7 7 10 5 10 9 10 60
VK3FAST 9 10 7 10 6 10 7 59
VK3TJN 10 9 8 9 9 4 5 54
VK3FOX 6 6 9 8 7 6 6 48
VK3OW 5 7 6 6 3 7 8 42
VK5FAB 8 2 4 7 5 5 9 40
VK3MD 3 5 5 4 8 5 30
VK3BQZ 4 4 3 4 8 23
VK5TV 2 3 3 2 2 2 15

Congratulations to all competitors for a very a competitive and enjoyable weekend. We should also mention the people who took time out of their weekend to hide and play foxes. Andrew VK5MAS, Tim VK5AV, Owen VK5HOS, Colin VK5DK, Peter VK5KBF, Greg and Gabi VK5ZGY and the Naracoorte Radio Club Ross VK3KBO, Alan VK5ZLT and Phil VK5PCL.

As is becoming traditional, the convention dinner after the presentations was well attended and if the noise level is anything to go by, everyone had an enjoyable time.

Convention Dinner 2018
The Sunday night convention dinner

Home brew competition 2018

This year there were 7 entries in the homebrew competition. They were as follow:

Joe VK3YSP and Julie VK3FOWL displayed and demonstrated their mini satellite ground station. Based on a wifi enabled Raspberry PI to mobile phone app, it was a complete tracking system and included a SDR receiver for monitoring. It was intriguing that the constructors were able to do both azimuth and elevation with one sensor providing both magnetic direction and accelerometer elevation.

Sat Tracking Antenna
Joe and Julie’s tracker

Perry Burns was our youngest entrant and he had constructed a sock warmer for his mum.
Based on 2 heat pads from SparkFun he included an LED to indicate power on and used the safety of a 12V 1A plug pack.

He documented his project very well.

Sock Warmer Documentation

Photos courtesy of Chris VK5MC
Sock Warmer
Brian VK3YNG displayed his Fox Box Mk3 fox transmitter for operation between 2.5MHz – 1300MHz.
His emphasis in design was low power consumption using two AA cells and low level spurs for testing purposes.
It included a 4 layer board.
Fox Transmitter
Brian’s Fox Transmitter

Ralph VK3LL and Damien VK3KQ showed their large display GPS locked start clock.

It had a number of features for use as an event timer.

Powered from a LiPO cell 11.1V to manage the 400-700mA power draw of the clock.

GPS Start Clock
GPS locked start clock

Gary VK5JR displayed his conversion to 10GHz of MITEC RX/TX. Labels clearly showed functions.

The device was capable of GPS stabilized if 10MHz is provided. So far Gary has worked the length of the street with 100mW. Greater distances to come.

VK5JR 10GHz Mitec Rx/Tx
Gary’s RX/TX

Tony VK5ZAI showed his 10MHz GPS standard.

Tony does a great job of presenting this kit from Silicon Chip.

Due to the original microprocessor not reading the NMEA data correctly at 9600baud Tony enlisted John VK5DJ to successfully redo the software to read the chosen GPS.

VK5ZAI GPS Standard
GPS controlled 10MHz standard by Tony VK5ZAI

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