Championship Radio Foxhunting News

From USA and Around the World

New ARDF Coordinators for the USA

It has been my pleasure to serve as the ARRL ARDF Coordinator since February 1998.  During that time, the sport of on-foot transmitter hunting under international rules has grown steadily in participation and popularity.  Every year since 2001, beginners and experts alike have gathered for the USA Championships of ARDF.  Our country has fielded a team for the biennial ARDF World Championships since 1998 and it has been a better prepared team every time.  USA won its first World Championships medal in 2006 and has medalled every time since.  USA garnered ten medals in 2018, with over half of the team members standing on the medal podium at least once.

Now it is time for me to retire from this position.  It is important for me to turn these duties over to an active and knowledgeable ARDF enthusiast.  I am pleased to announce that ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR has appointed Jerry Boyd WB8WFK of Albuquerque, New Mexico (pictured at right) to be the new ARRL ARDF Coordinator, effective July 1, 2019.  Jerry has been involved in ARDF for many years and has been a frequent medal winner at USA's championships.  He was a leader of the organizers of the USA and IARU Region 2 ARDF championships in 2001, 2005 and 2011 in his home town.  He was on ARDF Team USA for the ARDF World Championships of 2004, 2006 and 2010.

Jerry has been employed in the electronics industry for over 35 years.  He has designed custom RDF receivers ranging from HF to VHF, for both ARDF and search-and-rescue.  His designs also include ARDF transmitters from FPGA-based software-defined radios to simple CW transmitters.

ARRL's ARDF Coordinator has three major responsibilities.  First, in even-numbered years, is overseeing the selection of USA's team to the World ARDF Championships.  The second task is selecting the location and organizers of the annual USA ARDF Championships.  Third is working with the coordinators and working groups of other nations and IARU regions to schedule activities, develop rule updates, and so forth.  In addition, before every meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors, the ARDF Coordinator submits a report on the activities and progress of USA's ARDF development.

I have retired as ARRL ARDF Coordinator, but not from the world of radio foxhunting.  This Homing In site will continue to have news, stories, photos and results of radio-orienteering events.  Working with other southern California ARDF enthusiasts, I will be an active part of our practice and training sessions in local parks and forests.

I truly appreciate the efforts of all who have worked to make ARDF practices and competitions available to aspiring champions.  Thanks to you, ARDF has moved from a novelty into the mainstream of Amateur Radio.  It is recognized as an ideal way to interest young people in our hobby and to get them started.  Please keep up the good work and give Jerry your full support.

Many thanks and 73,
Joe Moell KØOV

Update

On July 1, Jerry Boyd WB8WFK made the following announcement:

First, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to Joe Moell KØOV for serving as ARRL ARDF Coordinator.  I first met Joe via traditional car-type T-Hunting in the early 1990s when Kevin Kelly N6QAB established the first Albuquerque transmitter-hunting group.

My first DF set was a homemade time-difference-of-arrival set.  I started out in traditional car T-hunting using this simple setup.  Later I built a computer-controlled DF set (was published in 73 Magazine) and then moved on to Doppler DF sets.  Also, I worked in search and rescue for ELT location in the VHF aircraft band using homemade CW receivers to get extra sensitivity.

Then in the late 1990s, I discovered on-foot hunting (ARDF) while attending the 1999 Friendship Games in Portland, Oregon.  I found that this let me get away from traffic jams and enjoy the outdoors and nature.  Since then, I have enjoyed doing radio fox hunting on foot.

Personally, I think ARDF is a wonderful way to introduce youth to amateur radio.  There are a lot of basic life skills (map reading, orienteering, critical thinking) that they can learn that helps build their confidence.  Let's get the next generation out into the forest.  I want to thank the ARRL for providing the opportunity to serve in this important position.

As ARDF grows, and changes are made to the committee structure, the workload of the ARDF coordinator will surely increase.  To ensure adequate coverage of responsibilities, I think the position should be shared between two persons that work together as a team.

Therefore, I asked the ARRL President to appoint someone to the ARDF Committee with whom I am very comfortable sharing Coordinator responsibilities.  I asked the ARRL President to appoint Charles Scharlau NZØI (pictured at right) to work with me on the ARDF Committee.  Charles has accepted the offer and will serve in the USA ARDF Co-Coordinator position.

Some background:  Charles has been involved in ARDF for many years.  He, along with his wife Nadia, organized the USA ARDF Championships in 2006, and helped with courses in the USA Championships in 2013; both games were held in their home state.  He has also been a member of the ARDF Team representing the USA at World Championships competitions in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.  Charles is currently working on a program for teaching ARDF to youth.  NZØI has accepted the position effective July 1, 2019.  I personally think Charles is an excellent candidate to work with me in this new position.

Both Charles and I look forward to working as a team to help advance ARDF in the US.  We intend to broaden the ARDF Committee to include more of the ARDF community in the decision-making process.  Rules to govern a larger ARDF Committee have been drawn up, and the beginning of a plan for USA ARDF looking ahead five years is in the works.

During the upcoming championships, Charles and I plan to hold a town hall meeting.  This will be an opportunity for the USA ARDF community to bring your ideas and let us know what is on your mind.  Let us hear your thoughts on how to grow the sport domestically, team selection, jurors, an equipment pool for sanctioned events, World Championships in the USA, or how to ensure that every USA ARDFer's voice is heard.

73,
Jerry Boyd WB8WFK

The new e-mail address for the ARRL ARDF Committee is ardf@arrl.org.  Mail to this address is automatically forwarded to both WB8WFK and NZØI.

The Nineteenth USA National ARDF Championships
And Tenth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships
Near Raleigh, North Carolina, July 28 - August 4, 2019

2019 championships logo

When was the first gold rush in the USA?  If your answer is 1848 at Sutter's Mill in California, you are late by almost fifty years.  The first substantial gold strike was in Cabarrus County, North Carolina in 1799, just outside the Uwharrie Mountains.

This summer, fans of all-on-foot hidden transmitter hunting will "rush" to North Carolina forests of oak and pine for USA's national championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF).  Some will be striving to earn positions on ARDF Team USA for the next world championships, while others will be there just to have fun and learn all they can about this growing ham radio activity.

Registration is now open for these championships.  Members of the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK) have been laying out courses, verifying maps and making other plans for a full week of radio-orienteering fun.  The 2019 USA Championships are being combined with the biennial championships of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (North and South America).  Radio-orienteers from all parts of the country plus visitors from abroad are expected to attend.

BOK logo The schedule begins on Saturday, July 28 as the early participants arrive and check their equipment.  Sunday will feature practice and training courses in foxhunting in the morning and sprint in the afternoon.  An 80-meter practice/training course will be available on Monday, followed by a practice session of a special ARDF event for blind and low-signed individuals.  Normal-sighted persons may participate by being blindfolded.  On Tuesday morning will be a practice two-meter course. Wednesday will be a day of rest, sightseeing, and equipment check.  This will be arrival day for those who do not participate in any practice sessions.  A competitor meeting is planned for the evening.

The first championship event, foxoring, will be on Thursday, August 1.  Friday begins with the sprint championship, followed by the blind ARDF championships, a model event for equipment testing, and a competitor meeting.  The two-meter classic event is on Saturday morning, followed by an awards banquet in the evening with medals for foxoring, sprint and two-meter classic.  On Sunday morning is the 80-meter classic competition, followed immediately by awards presentation and departure in the afternoon.

The competitive courses are open to anyone of any age, with or without an Amateur Radio license.  Medals will be awarded in six age categories for males (M19 through M70) and five for females (W19 through W60), in accordance with IARU rules.  Eligible winners of these championships will be under consideration for membership in ARDF Team USA, which will travel to Serbia for the 20th ARDF World Championships in September 2020.  A maximum of three competitors in each age-gender category may be on a nation's team.

An invitation has been issued to the students and coaches of Guangzhou No. 2 High School in China, who participated in the IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships in 2015 and 2017.  If a sufficient number of young persons take part in these 2019 championships, awards will be presented in additional IARU categories for youth (M13, M15, W13 and W16).

Information Bulletin #3 from the organizers has been issued.  In addition to previous announcements, it includes information on water/hydration and the availability of physical therapy.  Deadline for event hotel registration at the group rate was July 6.  Registration fees for the events went up on July 14.  A link to the bulletin, as well as to the online registration system, is in the event page of the BOK Web site.

For the latest updates by e-mail and to interact with the organizers of these North Carolina championships, subscribe to a special group mailing list for participants and others interested in these championships by sending a blank e-mail to usa2019ardf-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Joe Moell KØOV

Team USA Competes in the Nineteenth ARDF World Championships
Sokcho, Korea, September 2 - 7, 2018

This article has been expanded and moved here.

Ken Harker WM5R Becomes IARU Region 2 ARDF Coordinator

After almost seventeen years of service, Dale Hunt WB6BYU (at left) has stepped down as the ARDF Coordinator for Region 2 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).  Replacing him is Kenneth E. Harker WM5R (at right) of Austin, Texas, who was appointed by the Region 2 Executive Committee in August 2018.

Dale Hunt was a long-time hidden transmitter hunting enthusiast when he and his wife Kuon KB7WRG helped to organize the 1991 Friendship Radiosport Games in Portland, Oregon, which included the first international ARDF event on USA soil.  Eight years later, Dale and Kuon chaired the organizers of the first IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Portland.  Dale has been a frequent medal winner at ARDF championships within Region 2 and was on ARDF Team USA to the World Championships on six occasions.

Dale writes, "I want to thank all of you in the ARDF community for your support over the years that I have had the honor to serve as the R2 ARDF Coordinator.  The sport has certainly grown since the first Championships in 1999, when 'Will I make it back out of the woods?' seemed more of a concern to some first-time ARDF competitors than how quickly they would find the transmitters.

Dale continues, "Congratulations to Ken on his new role!  I hope you will give him your continuing support and constructive ideas as he takes over.  I expect he may make some changes -- it's good to get a fresh perspective periodically.  Meanwhile, I'll still be around.  A new job with longer hours and limited time off has slowed my ARDF projects down somewhat, but my toe has recovered from the Region 3 Championships in Mongolia and I hope to make it to more events.  I'll continue to contribute to the community where I can.  Besides, I have an 8-year-old granddaughter who is anxious to make it to the national championships."

Ken Harker has been involved in ARDF since 2002.  He has won medals at the USA ARDF Championships numerous times and was on ARDF Team USA to the ARDF World Championships in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018.  He and his wife Jennifer W5JEN organized the USA ARDF Championships in 2008 and 2016.  Ken writes, "I hope to live up to Dale's legacy and I look forward to working with everyone on ways we can grow and promote ARDF in Region 2."

In addition to promoting the growth of ARDF within the region, Ken will represent the region and work with the ARDF Working Groups in IARU Regions 1 and 3 to refine ARDF rules and to plan international events.  He has a personal ARDF Web page that includes his contact information.

More about ARDF organization in the three IARU regions is here.

The Eighteenth USA ARDF Championships
Truckee, California, June 13 - 17, 2018

This article has been expanded and moved here.

Upcoming Championship ARDF Events Worldwide

22nd IARU Region 1 ARDF Championships, September 2 - 8, 2019 in Rogla, Slovenia.

12th IARU Region 3 ARDF Championships, September 21 - 26, 2019 near Wixi City, China.  (Cancelled 6/18/2019)

4th IARU World ARDF Youth Championships, Summer 2020 in Slovenia.

20th IARU ARDF World Championships, September 2020 in Serbia.

5th IARU World ARDF Youth Championships, Summer 2021 in Romania.

23rd IARU Region 1 ARDF Championships, September 2021 in Razlog, Bulgaria.

5th IARU World ARDF Youth Championships, Summer 2022 in Poland.

USA Participates in the Eleventh IARU Region 3 ARDF Championships
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, August 20 - 25, 2017

IARU Region 3 ARDFIARU Region 3 ARDFThe Eleventh IARU Region 3 ARDF Championships took place August 20 - 25, 2017 near Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, sponsored by the Mongolian Radio Sport Federation (MRSF).  There were 109 official competitors from China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and USA in Region 3.  (USA is a member of Region 3 because of the USA territories that are located within the region.)  There were also sixty open competitors, including six from Kazakhstan.  They stayed at the Nairamdal International Children's Center.

This was the first time that Mongolia has hosted the Region 3 ARDF Championships.  Competitors were transported by bus to the two-meter classic competition.  The eighty-meter classic event was close to the children's center.  There was a cultural day between the two competitions, with an opportunity to visit the Chinggis Khagan Statue Complex and the Gandan Temple.  Foxoring and sprint competitions were not provided.

Representing USA were Dale Hunt WB6BYU, the IARU Region 2 ARDF Coordinator and Kuon Hunt KB7WRG.  Here is their report.

ARDF is a Growing Sport in Canada

ARDF Team Canada logoTeam Canada membersThe first formal international-rules ARDF event in North America took place during the Second Friendship Radiosports Games in Portland back in 1991. Two years later, hams in Victoria, Canada hosted the Third Friendship Games, including that country's first radio-orienteering event. Those hams formed the nucleus of a group that continues to grow and promote ARDF throughout all of Canada. Joe Young VE7BFK, a participant in those 1993 games, is now the ARDF Coordinator for Radio Amateurs of Canada, the country's national Amateur Radio organization.

In 2010, Canada sent a team to the ARDF World Championships for the first time. Team Canada participated in the Sixth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico during 2011.

The ARDF in Canada Web site (www.ardf.ca) coordinates and announces ARDF events all over the country and provides all Canadian hams with information about the sport and about ARDF Team Canada. There is also another a Web site with a blog and announcements of ARDF events in British Columbia.

In the photo at right above: Three ARDF Team Canada members examine a miniature transmitter at the ARDF World Championships in Croatia during 2010. They are Les Tocko VA7OM, Joe Young VE7BFK and John MacConnachie VE7GED. (Photo by Ken Harker WM5R)

ARRL ARDF Development Fund Seeks Donations

ARRL logoThe ARRL Fund for the Development of Amateur Radio Direction Finding is now accepting monetary donations to support deserving groups and individuals as they expand international-rules ARDF activities in the USA.

This fund was first established in year 2000 with "seed money" from the Colvin Award, the ARRL Foundation and the ARRL General Fund. In its first five years, payments from the fund were made on behalf of 18 individuals to help defray the cost of their participation in three ARDF World Championships. Grants from the fund have also been made to the organizers of two USA ARDF Championships.

No further contributions are anticipated from the original sources, so the fund has been opened to contributions from individuals and clubs. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged by ARRL, a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions may not be designated by donors to be granted to any specific recipient, individual or group.

Grants from the fund may be requested by groups sponsoring ARDF events in the USA and by individuals who have qualified to represent the USA in ARDF competitions sanctioned by the ARRL or the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Requests for grants should be submitted electronically at least 60 days in advance of need to Mary Hobart K1MMH at ARRL Headquarters (mhobart@arrl.org). They will be reviewed by a committee that includes ARRL's Chief Executive Officer, Chief Development Officer and ARDF Coordinator.

You can help support ARDF in the USA by sending a donation to ARDF Development Fund, c/o ARRL, 225 East Main Street, Newington, CT 06111. Checks should be made out to ARRL with "ARDF Development Fund" on the memo line.

The not-for-profit American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association of Amateur Radio operators, founded in 1914. ARRL is a member society of the IARU.

Joe Moell KØOV

ARDF Training and Practice

Local ARDF sessions for training and practice are sometimes held in the areas listed below. If you are close to any of them, get involved! If you're not, the task of developing ARDF locally is yours. With the help of other hams in your town, it can be relatively easy and fun. This may be just the activity to shake the doldrums out of your club. Start planning now!

Results and Photos of Other Stateside ARDF Events in the Last Five Years

Current SoCal sessions -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2018-2019.

SoCal 2017 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2017, including Hillcrest Park, Lindo Lake Park, Mt. Pinos, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Bonelli Regional Park.

SoCal 2016 -- Southern California (and Arizona) practice/demonstration events of 2016, including Hillcrest Park, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Griffith Park, Lake Murray, Mt. Pinos, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Lake Los Carneros (2), Schabarum Regional Park and Bonelli Regional Park (2).

SoCal 2015 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2015, including Lake Los Carneros, El Dorado Park, Angel's Gate Park, Mt. Laguna, Hillcrest Park, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bonelli Regional Park, Vasquez Rocks State Park and Schabarum Regional Park.

SoCal 2014 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2014, including Bonelli Regional Park, Topanga State Park (2), Tri-City Park, Schabarum Regional Park, Mt. Pinos (2), Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Lake Los Carneros.

SoCal 2013 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2013, including Tri-City Park, Lake Los Carneros (4), Mt. Pinos (2), Santa Fe Dam, Schabarum Regional Park, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Bonelli Regional Park.

June 13 - 17, 2018 -- Eighteenth USA ARDF Championships near Truckee, CA.

July 31 - August 6, 2017 -- Seventeenth USA and Ninth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Cincinnati, OH.

April 6 - 10, 2016 -- Sixteenth USA ARDF Championships near Killeen, TX.

August 27-30, 2015 -- Fifteenth USA and Eighth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Elbert, CO.

June 5 - 8, 2014 -- Fourteenth USA ARDF Championships near Boston, MA.

October 9 - 13, 2013 -- Thirteenth and Seventh IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Asheboro, NC.

For results and stories of events before 2013, see this site's Table of Contents

Additional ARDF Resources In This Site

THRDFS cover Go to International-Style Foxhunting Comes To The Americas -- An introduction to the sport with the history of its development in the Western Hemisphere

Go to Equipment Ideas for Radio-Orienteering -- Simple and inexpensive receiving and transmitting solutions

Go to Radio-Orienteering News for Southern California -- Results and stories of recent radio-orienteering events in southern California, plus announcements of upcoming ones.

Go to Foxhunting for Scouts -- Let's get the kids involved

Go to Extenders Aid Handicapped Foxhunters -- A novel way to include persons with disabilities

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This page updated 15 July 2019