A fox hunt is a game where people, often amateur radio operators, hunt for a small battery powered transmitter called the “fox” which is hidden in advance.
The transmitter sends out a signal for a few seconds at specific intervals. Contestants using radio receivers attempt to locate the fox.
Several techniques are used:
- The best and most expensive technique is to employ radio direction finding equipment made specifically for this sort of task. Due to the expense, this option is unlikely to be used in our club events but its existence is noteworthy.
- The next best technique is to use a directional antenna connected to a radio that displays received signal strength on a meter. While the fox is sounding, you change the direction of the antenna until you achieve the strongest signal. At that time the antenna should be pointed in the direction of the fox.
- The last, cheapest and most common method is to put your body between the fox and your radio receiver. This is called the “Body Fade” or “Body Shield” method. By holding the receiver close to your stomach or chest and turning 360 degrees at some point your body will be in between your radio and the fox. At that point, the fox’s signal will be weakest. It is best to have a radio with a signal strength meter. If not, sometimes you can tell be listening where the signal is weakest.
Strong signals, especially when you get close to the fox, sometimes defy these techniques or make an accurate direction hard to detect. When this is true try removing the antenna from the radio or using an shorter, poorer antenna to attenuate the signal.