Fox Hunting Techniques and Attenuation

Participating in a Fox Hunt really requires no equipment other than a radio. Sure the antennas and attenuators help but they are a benefit…not a requirement. My first Fox Hunt all I had was an Icom IC-2AT. I held the radio to my chest and rotated my body until the signal broke squelch. Doing this allowed me to find multiple transmitters including one someone had in their back pocket.

Using a directional antenna just makes it easier. You start running into issues though when you get close to a transmitter. Reflections can give you false signals and once you get right on top of a transmitter the signal strength can be strong enough to bypass your antenna and go straight into you radio. At that point you lose all directivity from your antenna. A passive attenuator, basically resistors you can add into your antenna feed line can help reduce the power of the signal coming in, allowing you to get closer to the fox without. Even with passive attenuation the signal strength at very close range can be overpowering to your receiver. This is solved with the use of an active attenuator.

An active attenuator allows you to tune your radio to a different frequency, Usually 1 to 4 MHz above or below the transmitter frequency, and dial back into the frequency as much or as little as you want. Having one connected between your antenna and radio total cuts out any bleed through from a transmitter.

Charles Schroeder - KC8EBM