August Fox Hunt: Friday August 6th @ 18:30

Our next monthly fox hunt is scheduled for the evening of Friday the 6th of August, commencing at 6:30pm.

Hunters are invited to meet from 6:15pm at the starting location, being the southern end of the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Jeffcott Road, North Adelaide.

This hunt will again see us hunting a couple of 2 meter hidden transmitters throughout the Adelaide metropolitan area and one 70cm fox.

As usual, we will liaise to discuss our progress throughout the night on the club’s VK5RSB 70cm repeater.

This event is open to all interested parties, members and non-members so we hope to see you all there.

If you don’t have any fox hunting equipment but would like to get a taste of what it’s all about, feel free to send us an email as sometimes out hunters have a spare seat in the cars for others to tag along.

AREG Foxhunting Activity in June/July – Get Involved!

AREG members are having their interest in Fox-Hunting rekindled thanks to the efforts of Theo VK5IR. Anyone can participate and you can use some fairly simple equipment too. The hunts are conducted on both 2m and 70cm at present and are usually held on the 2nd Friday of the month.

Keep watching the AREG Website for details!

Report: River Paddling Marathon 200 – 2021 Radio Safety Support Event

The Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group, in conjunction with the Riverland Radio Club, has for many years now provided support to the Marathon Canoe Club’s 200km long River Paddling Marathon down the Murray River held over the June long weekend each year.

After being interrupted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was back this year, running again from Berri to Morgan across South Australia’s Riverland region.

Devlins Pound 100km event Start Day 2 – Photo courtesy Ivan VK5HS

AREG & RRC assist this event by building and running three radio networks aimed at tracking the participants through the course as well as monitoring the event progress downstream through the position of the safety boats. Over 25 volunteers man positions along the river Murray from Berri through to Morgan over the full 3 days of the annual June long weekend.

THREE-DAY

The networks are:

  • Network 1: – 147 / 439 MHz Amateur Radio based voice network using either the regional VK5RLD 2m repeater or VHF/UHF simplex frequencies. This connects 21 checkpoints to the safety comms bus with the volunteer amateur radio operators acting as spotters and trackers monitoring the progress of each canoe down the river.
  • Network 2: – 162 MHz Commercial VHF – as radio amateurs are not aboard the individual safety boats, a separate commercial VHF network is established across the event enabling the command bus to maintain contact with the 4 full time safety craft that manage the river closure and render assistance to the paddlers as required
  • Network 3: – 145 MHz APRS – unmanned tracking beacons are installed on each of the safety boats so that the safety team can keep tabs on the location of each of the safety craft over most of the event.

Over 1100 hours of volunteer effort is contributed to the event each year with AREG & the Riverland Radio Club combining forces to ensure the safety of the event participants. This is one direct way that the Amateur Radio service can directly provide a benefit to the public.

Communications Command Bus – provided by Peter VK5KX

The event has numerous obstacles to overcome including muddy bog-hole checkpoints (eg New Residence on day 1) and River Locks (the 200km event passes through three of these on its journey downstream).

Lock 4 team marshaling the paddlers through the lock on Day 1

From a radio perspective, much of the event is in very challenging terrain with coverage required at water level at the bottom of 20-30m canyons for much of the trip. Extensive use is made of both portable repeaters and manual relay stations to get the messages through.

Portable Repeater installations across the event

Most of all everyone who participated just enjoys being out in the countryside counting canoes in the sun (and fortunately again we didn’t get any significant rainfall during the event).

Checkpoint Operators by the banks of the Murray River

This year was also notable for AREG in that for only the second time since the club has been providing support did one of our own members receive the Marathon Canoe Club of South Australia’s David & Sue Speck Volunteer Award. Matt VK5ZM was the recipient this year. As lead organizer and volunteer safety officer, Matt has championed AREG’s involvement in this event since 2015. A very deserving recipient indeed! Congratulations Matt!

Matt VK5ZM receiving the Volunteering award from Andrew Stoodley, MCC President.

All up this was another very successful event, and a very enjoyable one too for all of the participants. We look forward to seeing the team join us again in June 2022!

We must say a special thank you also to all of the members of both AREG and the Riverland Radio Club who turned out to support this event. Your contributions combined to ensure the safety of over 100 participants again this year. Well done!

July Fox Hunt – This Friday Night!

With the River Paddling Marathon behind us, we can return to our usual second Friday of the month fox hunts.

The next AREG fox hunt will be held this coming Friday night, July 9. The hunt will again commence from the southern end of the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre.

Hunters are free to meet in the car park from 6.15pm with the foxes (beacon transmitters) being switched on at 6.30pm.

As always, everyone is welcome to join in and we invite you all to liaise on the VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 MHz (-5 MHz offset & 91.5 HZ CTCSS required on the input).

See you on the night!

Next Fox Hunt – 25/06/2021 – NEW START LOCATION

Members and friends are advised that our next monthly fox hunt is scheduled for the evening of Friday, the 25th of June.

Due to noise on the 2m band at our previous starting postions, we have decided to try a new and more central starting loaction this month.

Hunters are to meet at the southern end of the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Jeffcott Rd, North Adelaide, from 6.15pm and our regualr 144MHz and 433MHz foxes will be activated and the hunt will commence at 6.30 PM.

As usual, all particpants are welcome to liase with AREG’s VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 (-5MHz 91.5Hz CTCSS).

Everyone (members and non-members) is welcome to join in and we look forward to seeing you on the night.

Next AREG Foxhunt: Saturday May 15th 5:00pm

The next AREG Foxhunt will be held on Saturday May 15th, starting at 5:00pm.  This hunt is being called the “AREG Masters Hunt”. The aim is to encourage all of the old school fox hunters in particular, as well as our new generation hunters to come along and have some fun. It is an ideal chance to blow the cobwebs off your hunting equipment, particularly if you are planning an assault on the National Foxhunting Championships in Mt Gambier in June.

The winner of this series of hunts, which will be the first person to find both 2m fox transmitters, will  qualify for a special AREG Foxhunt trophy to be presented at the June AREG meeting.

There will also be a bonus 70cm fox deployed for those with 70cm equipment.

Team ZSN at the Mt Gambier Foxhunting Championship

The fox hunt will start from the car park of the AREG clubrooms, Phelps Court, Fulham. Hounds are asked to liaise via the VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 (-5MHz 91.5Hz CTCSS).

After the hunt, everyone will be invited to gather at a venue (TBA) for a coffee and a catch up. Details will be finalised over the VK5RSB repeater. We hope to see you all there!

 

Next Event: Come and Try Fox Hunting & BYO Picnic – Sunday April 11

The next AREG hosted fox hunt will be another hand-held foot hunt and BYO picnic on Sunday the 11th of April at Morialta Mukanthi Nature Play Space in Woodforde, commencing at 10.30am. This location has large area with plenty of places to hide the foxes, lots of shading, a BBQ area and public toilets onsite plus a fantastic kids playground.

AREG will deploy 6-8 hidden beacon transmitters on the 2m amateur band and possibly one 70cm beacon. The challenge will be to see who can find them the fastest!

To participate, just bring along your direction finding antennas and receivers. We will do staggered starts and you will be free to hunt the transmitters in any order you like!

If you haven’t got any ARDF gear of your own, AREG will have at least 1 or 2 loan sets of gear available, based on the very popular VK3YNG sniffer receivers, or we can arrange to buddy you up with one of the club members who do have equipment, so you can get a first taste of fox hunting ARDF style.

At the conclusion of the fox hunt, we will gather for BYO picnic lunch, so bring along your food, drinks and a chair or a picnic rug. This will be a family friendly event but children must remain under your supervision at all times. All members and visitors are welcome to join us. Don’t forget to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP!

AREG will most likely be gathered towards the rear of the park on the day but if you have trouble finding us, put a call out for VK5ARG on the VK5RSA or the VK5RSB repeater and we’ll guide to where we are.

Also, don’t forget that if you’d like to stay up to date with what we’re up to at AREG, why not consider subscribing to the AREG news mailing list. This is open everyone and all you have to do to subscribe is send an email to announce-subscribe@areg.org.au

See you there!

73

 

AREG March Foxhunt: THIS FRIDAY 6.30pm

The next foxhunt run by AREG will be held this Friday, March 12th. The hunt will again start from Lockleys Oval. Hounds are asked to gather from 6.15pm and will be released at 6.30pm. Three foxes will operate on the 144MHz and 439MHz bands from somewhere in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

Team ZSN at the Mt Gambier Foxhunting Championships

The frequency of the fox(es) will be broadcast on AREG’s VK5RSB Summertown 70cm repeater on 439.900 MHz (-5MHz) a few minutes before 6:30pm with all invited to liaise and discuss their progress on the repeater throughout the night. (Remember VK5RSB requires a 91.5Hz CTCSS tone on its input).