Radio Transmitter Direction Finding

Radio Direction finding is a hobby shared by CB Radio operators and Amateur Radio operators alike. This is an outdoor sport, and is by no means cheap!

Equipment that is used in RDF can be quite complex and the actual sport itself is quite physical. A radio transmitter is setup in a location such as a public park, car park or any public location. Generally it is physically hidden to some extent to prevent easy sighting of it.

Operators form teams, 4 people to a team being a good size. From the 'fox hunts' I've been too (RDF is also referred to as fox hunting) there would be the driver, navigator (read the local map directory) & person monitoring the signal. I wasn't involved in a particularly successful team though! We had complications and arguments frequently. The signal monitor would be yelling directions, the navigator trying to direct the driver and the driver trying to keep his cool. An extra person was the 'sniffer', the one to get out somewhere and run on foot with handheld equipment to try and 'sniff out' the transmitter.
Equipment Required includes (Breif list):

Fox hunts last a few hours and it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to track down a transmitter. Some transmitters stop/start transmitting to make things even harder. This sport is not cheap depending on how enthusiastic you are. You can drive moderately hard to get to a spot quickly, but the harder and faster you go the more wear and tear on your vehicle & the more dangerous it becomes. Remember, Speed Kills. Any car will do the job, as long as it's reliable and has some go in it. Also remember that car loaded with people drinks more petrol. Small cars may not be a healthy choice for teams of 4 people. Don't forget you have to fuel the car too!

Antennas have to be mounted on the vehicle, and should be able to be rotated while mobile as well. A completely external system would be good, but a hand operated directional antenna will do the job. It's not necessary to drill any holes into a vehicle. Equipment can be mounted in the car where you want, or you can just operate it on your lap.

This page was provided as a simple explanation of what 'foxhunting' actually is and a few aspects as to how to do it. 

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This Web page was last updated on Friday September 21, 2001

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