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RDF Search and Locate Mini-drill

Date: 08/14/21 Start: 8:00 AM End: 12:30 PM Location: Cuesta Park, Mountain View
Credential Credit (What's this?): Yes

 Scenario:  SCC ARES/RACES has been asked to provide and coordinate responders to assist a local agency in finding some lost radios with stuck transmitters in a city park.  Radio Direction Finding (RDF) techniques will be used to locate each transmitter.

FUN Part: A 20 minute briefing and short introduction to RDF will be given at the park before the search teams are deployed.  Participants will self-organize into field teams of two or more people. Teams will need to maintain communications with Net Control.  A map will be provided and used to report grid-based locations.

DRILL Part:  This event is being conducted as a “mini-drill” and will count for SCC MAC county drill event credit.  All radio operators are to follow county procedures for this event, including: Resource Net mobilization and demobilization, all required forms filled out, procedures, equipment, personal dress, etc. in order to receive drill credit).

STAFFING Part: The ICP will include up to four NCO event operators, two NCO resource net operators, and command staff.

RDF Equipment and Preparation: Please bring your own equipment if you have it.  If you don’t have any equipment and are interested in direction finding, you are quite welcome to attend. A limited amount RDF equipment will be available for “loan” during this event.  Please read up and be familiar with the Radio Direction Finding course material located under the Training and Events section of the county website.  A homework email will be sent to each participation - you need to complete the homework assignment.

Covid Procedures: All participants will be required to follow all county and local Covid-19 health orders in force on the day of this event.

Additional information:

  • Plan to walk for 1.5 to 3 miles during the course of the 60 to 90 minute assignment on mostly paved park paths, some grass and/or dirt paths.  No hills.  Dress for the expected weather on the day of the event. Please bring sufficient water and food as for your personal needs. Bring appropriate personal sun protection.  Shorts are permitted at this event. No open toe shoes!!!
  • Bring and wear your lime-yellow identification vest.  This is a very public location and you need to be clearly identified as a ham radio operator participating in the drill.
  • If you have pedestrian 2m RDF equipment, please bring it

Credential Evaluations: A limited number of S3, N3 and F3 evaluation positions will be available.  Please indicate your interest when you register for the event and contact well prior to the event to confirm availability of an evaluation.

Tentative Participant Schedule:

0800-0845, participants mobilize, travel, arrive and check-in at staging

0900-0920, incident Briefing, introduction to radio direction finding briefing and demonstration, personal safety and public awareness in a public park briefing, and field team break outs.

0920-1200, field team deployments

1200-1230, participants check out and demobilize

LOCATION:  Cuesta Park, Mountain View.  Parking lot entrance at intersection of Cuesta Dr and Montalto Dr.

Cardboard Shield Tube:  One of the simplest methods for performing direction finding is the body shield technique using a foil shield tube.  Here is what you need to build one: first, a handheld ham radio receiver or transceiver (e.g., an HT or a scanner) on a lanyard.  Go find a cardboard shipping tube that is sized with a large enough inner diameter so you radio fits inside the tube and a long length so your entire receiver + antenna can be fit entirely inside the tube, cut off any unnecessary amount of the cardboard tube. NOTE: the tube does not have to stay perfectly round and you can squeeze the tube if you need to.  Go get tin foil and cover the tube and one of the openings with four layers of foil.  Completely tape over the foil with duct, gaffers, or similar tape to protect the foil.  What you then have is a tubular faraday cage that is open at one end.  Holding vertically, you lower your radio into the tube with the lanyard until the signal of interest disappears.  We’ll show how to use the tube during the introduction.

Note:  Please review the prior classroom material. 

The following positions are available for this event. You can state your preference when you sign up for the event. The event coordinator will attempt to accommodate your request. Based on the event and its requirements, the event coordinator may move hams to positions other than those requested.

Click on a position title for a description of the specific requirements for that position

Field Operatoryes
Field Operator - F3 Eval0
NCO - N3 Eval0
Shadow - S3 Eval0
Event Staff (with approval)yes
Credential Evaluator0
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