Like Roland said, it's possible. Organising a group of people with H/T receivers and putting a Transmitter Beacon in a park like the Botanic Gardens will require us to inform the IMDA and they in turn will require us to get permission from NParks, who in turn will require us to explain what on earth is a "fox-hunt" or Ham radio. If we don't explain the "fox" correctly, NParks may require us to get some sort of clearance from the police and the AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority)
And if 2m or UHF H/Ts are used, the IMDA may do a spot check to make sure everbody's H/T has been Individual and Type approved!
Another foreseeable problem will be the uneasiness caused to the public since this will be the first time this sport is conducted in Singapore. Imagine people running around with Yagis or Loop antennas. Actually it doesn't sound so bad. But I think that's what the Hash House Harriers thought when they organised a run in a pulbic area. See this report
It may be much easier if the foxhunt event was conducted on a School Campus, like NTU, NUS, or the Polys. You just need to inform the School Admin and you can get away with everything else.
If you are not particular about the frequency used, you may want to consider using the Medium Wave AM broadcast band, 535 - 1605 kHz. Portable MW radios, those with ferrite rod antenna should be easy to acquire. As you may already know, ferrite rod antenna are bidirectional and have 2 very distinct null points which are suitable for direction finding. The only other thing you need will be a low power AM transmitter (maybe 1 watt??) feeding into a long wire antenna. The efficiency is really low but if you can put a decent signal out to about a kilometer, you are in business.
Why the MW band? If I am not mistaken, no one is using this band here. And there is a very very very extremely low possibility that the signal will cause interference to somebody ...unless you have significant harmonics extending into the HF and VHF spectrum. If there is interference and there are complaints from whoever, a team consisting of 3 men and a specialised vehicle from a certain government agency will come looking for the source of interference and things can become ugly, quickly. Technically and legally, you do need a license for the transmitter and a spot frequency.
Post by Roland Turner 9V1RT on Oct 15, 2017 22:30:53 GMT 8
We'll certainly need the consent of the owner/authority of the land where the fox(es) is/are placed. It happens that, unless someone is organising on a campus, most of the better options are likely to be NParks land, which means working through their somewhat unpredictable application process. I notice that there's an Orienteering Federation here which runs regular events; presumably they have suitable experience and a clearer picture of how to get to yes with NParks. It would be perfectly reasonable to use the term "radio orienteering" when discussing it with NParks in order to simplify the discussion; that term is used in tens of thousands of web pages already. It may even make sense to run the first couple of hunts in co-operation with the Orienteering Federation, although it's not clear how such a partnership might work.
The frequency question is an interesting one. Most of the regular fox-hunts elsewhere appear to use 2m and 80m. We're not constrained of course, but making use of existing experience is often worthwhile. We might also consider running a first hunt with a fox on each band at the same location to facilitate both the use of complying HTs for 2m and kit-built/home-brew ARDF receivers for 80m. I'd also be somewhat interested in experimenting with 70cm; yagis for 2m look ungainly to be running around with. MW is an interesting option; this would provide an interesting use case for 600/630m operation in Singapore.
We certainly shouldn't repeat the Harriers' error of placing visible items in public places without sign-posting and first gaining the consent the relevant owner/authority. In digging about I found at least one US group that makes a habit of giving a heads-up to local police about the fox, rather than about the participants, the concern being that an ammo box with an antenna sticking out of it found behind a bush might prompt fears of a terrorist incident. Whether (and how) to do so here is not clear to me. Frankly, it seems excessive: if the land owner/authority has cleared our use, and we've posted a sign explaining how to get more information (including the phone number of an organiser) then I would imagine that the risk of an incident of the Harriers' type was small. Again, I suspect that the Orienteers' experience will be relevant as they're likely to be placing gear ("control point" flags) that are rather more conspicuous than transmitters.
I'm not in a position to drive this at present, but would be happy to help with approaches to relevant organisations if someone else were undertaking the running of the event as a whole.