Fantastic Fox Finder from KIØHG—Construction Details

Foxfinder, folded for storage/travel

Foxfinder, folded for storage/travel. Velcro fasteners keep antennas in place.


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Hidden transmitter hunting, aka fox hunting, is a fun activity with serious overtones. Ideally it’s a game, but the same equipment and skills can help find those in distress or track down a jammer. This post provides a schematic and construction details for a circuit developed by Dave Sharpe, KIØHG. His circuit below is by far the simplest direction finder I’ve run across. It works with two dipoles on a pole and provides a tone when the antenna array isn’t quite pointed right, and nulls the tone when it is. I’ve used mine in many a two-meter fox hunt and it takes me right to the fox. Let’s start with the schematic.
Transmitter Hunting Schematic from KIØHG

Transmitter Hunting Schematic from KIØHG


Let’s walk through the schematic. (At the very bottom of the post I’ve provided part numbers for jameco.com.)

  • The single IC is a 74HCT04, a CMOS hex-NOR-gate that takes very little current. Wire it as shown
  • The audio tone is generated by two of the NOR-gates back to back with the 22K fixed resistor and the 10K potentiometer along with the .05μF capacitor.
  • The diodes are all 1N4148 or 1N914 RF switching diodes. These are really inexpensive. The two in the middle go on the perf board along with the 680pF capacitors. The other two are at the very ends of the equal-length coax sections, as shown in the figure below
The antenna jacks at one end of the fox finder

The antenna jacks at one end of the fox finder. Both ends are identical. I chose to connect the 19-inch antennas with banana plugs.

  • The inductors can be store-bought, or can be made by winding magnet wire using a 1/2-watt high-value resistor—the old-fashioned cylindrical kind. The resistor should be greater than 100KΩ. The resistor is not important to the circuit.
  • The pieces of coax from the circuit board to the antennas must be of the same length! Get this right, down to the millimeter!
  • A Radio Shack perf board makes a great circuit board, as shown in the figure below.

Foxfinder perfboard

Foxfinder perfboard, Radio Shack 276-150.


Here’s what it looks like with the antennas inserted:
Hidden transmitter hunter ready to go

Foxfinder with antennas inserted. I used coat-hanger wire. You can also use welding rod. Note the wire nuts on the tips for safety. You don't want to get poked in the eye!

Components are available at Radio Shack or at www.jameco.com.

  • 12μH inductors, Jameco 372171, 15¢ each
  • 1N4148 diodes, Jameco 151247 (also available from Radio Shack), 2¢ each.
  • 470Ω resistors, Jameco 690785 (also available from Radio Shack), 2¢ each.
  • 22KΩ resistors, Jameco 691180 (also available from Radio Shack), 2¢ each.
  • 10KΩ potentiometer, Radio Shack 271-343, $2.99 each, also available from Jameco as part number 241294.
  • 0.05μF capacitor, Jameco 332507, $1 each (seems to me very pricey)
  • 680pF capacitors, Jameco 332427, 10¢ each
  • Circuit board, I used Radio Shack 276-150, $1.99 each.
  • 74HCT04 hex inverter, Jameco 44898, 25¢ each

Be careful wiring and have fun! Fox Finder operating instructions in another post.

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7 Responses to Fantastic Fox Finder from KIØHG—Construction Details

  1. Dave says:

    Good point! Thanks for spotting that. Give me a few days – I think I’ll make a video showing how to use it. 73, Dave

  2. Steve N0HGV says:

    You mention operating instructions for the fox finder but no link. Help!

  3. dave says:

    Jerry, the dimensions are not critical. Mine is 25 inches long.

  4. Jerry Williams says:

    Dave,

    Thanks for the plans.
    1 Question, what are the dimensions of the board in the middle?

    73
    Jerry

  5. Bill Bear says:

    Dave, thanks for the demonstration and program at the club meeting. Also for posting this on your website. I have orderes my parts and hope to have an antenna assembled shortly.

    Bill
    kc0qxx

  6. dave says:

    Joe, good to hear from you. Yes, the book is still available from the MFJ website here. Our club president has asked me to introduce the group to fox hunting. I have the technical parts lined up; next comes some easy fox hunts. Sorry I won’t make it to Albuquerque this year—sounds like fun! 73, Dave

  7. Good to hear that you are still interested in transmitter hunting. Is your foxhunting fiction book still in print? USA foxhunting championships are in Albuquerque this September and it would be great if you could attend. 73, Joe, K0OV

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