Results of Southern California
Radio-Orienteering Events in 2004

(In reverse order by date)

Craig Park foxhunt photos

Craig Park ARDF on 10/9/04 (Photos above)

A good mix of beginners and experts took advantage of excellent weather and an outstanding park setting on October 9. Craig Park is not large enough to be a championship site, but it is hilly. The start/finish point was at the north end, the highest part.

In orienteering terms, there was about 250 feet of climb on the 2.4 mile (3.8 km) 5-fox ARDF course. The course was about 10 per cent longer than that in practical terms, because competitors had to run around fences and the dam spillway. Everyone who went out on that course found all of the fox transmitters. (Is this a first?)

     Name and callsign      Foxes  Time

     Jay Thompson W6JAY       5   0:52:25

     Marvin Johnston KE6HTS   5   1:00:22

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       5   1:09:06

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     5   1:33:47

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH      5   1:40:10

     Danny White W6DDW        5   2:01:42
        with Phyllis White KG6IXF

Although none of them were more than 500 yards from the start, the five beginner transmitters provided a challenge because of signal bounces. If you didn't find as many as you wanted, come back next time and our experts will give you some pointers.

     Name and callsign      Foxes  Time

     Mark Christian KB6SRT    3   0:45:02

     Frank Shannon KR6AL      3   1:24:36
        with Bill Butler W9GQI

     John Frerichs N6VCW      1   0:46:18

The lone 80-meter transmitter was 0.83 miles (1.33 km) from the start, near the lowest point in the park boundaries. I suspect that the hardest part of finding it was climbing back to the highest point afterwards.

     Name and callsign              Time

     Scott Moore KF6IKO             37:44

     Jay Thompson W6JAY             46:03

     Richard Thompson WA6NOL        55:48

Thanks as always to April WA6OPS for start/finish timing, and (just as important) the cookies.

Joe Moell KØOV

Bonelli Park foxhunt photos

Bonelli Park ARDF on 8/14/04 (Photos above)

Six members of USA's delegation to the 2004 World Championships of Radio-Orienteering got a great sendoff in Bonelli Park on August 14. The weather was nice but the expert course turned out to be a world-class challenge.

This was the first full-length 5-fox ARDF course ever put on in Bonelli Park. Course-setter Marvin Johnston KE6HTS swears he wasn't trying to make it extra difficult, but the combination of hills and the lake made for difficult bearing-taking situations.

     Name and callsign      Foxes  Time
     Scott Moore KF6IKO       5   2:45:28
     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        5   3:02:35
     Dmitri Gropen            4   1:21:28
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      4   2:42:46
     Jay Thompson W6JAY       3   1:29:12
     Danny White W6DDW        3   1:55:00
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     2   2:51:55
     Clare Durand             1   0:42:00
     Sam  Vigil WA6NGH        1   2:16:00
        with Eve Vigil KF6NEW

The 80-meter fox, about one kilometer away, was a good warm-up for some.

     Name and callsign     80-meter time
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      20:00
     Dmitri Gropen            22:00
     Jay Thompson W6JAY       28:00
     Clare Durand             37:00

Newcomer Don Ward rode his bike to and from the site, all the way from north Orange County. He was the only one to try the 4-fox beginners' course. He did very well, finding them all in just under 35 minutes.

Thanks to EMT Bruce Chappell KE6TSM for standing by in case anyone got overheated or injured, and to April Moell WA6OPS for start/finish timing. Jay Hennigan WB6RDV picked up the expert transmitters after the hunt.

Joe Moell KØOV

Tri-City Park foxhunt photos

National Foxhunting Weekend cake

Tri-City Park ARDF on 5/22/04 (Photos above)

For the seventh year, on-foot foxhunting was a main attraction at "Antennas In The Park," a mini-Field Day and barbecue at Tri-City Park in Placentia. This year's event was a cooperative effort of the Fullerton Radio Club, the Anaheim Amateur Radio Association and the Western Amateur Radio Association.

Experienced radio-orienteers need lengthy and challenging courses, so this year's AITP advanced hunt boundaries encompassed 1380 acres in three cities, with the 57 freeway in Fullerton on the west, Imperial Highway (90) in Brea on the north, McCormack Lane in Placentia on the east, and Bastanchury Road on the south. The route from start to all five foxes to the finish was about 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles). Detailed maps were provided. Only two hunters found them all.

Two foxes were in Gilman Park (Fullerton), one was in Koch Park (Placentia), one was on the west side of Kraemer Boulevard (Fullerton) and one was in front of Epic Enterprise Travel in Brea. (Pat Rickard of Epic Enterprise got flight bargains for several of USA's World Championships competitors.)

     Name and callsign      Foxes  Time
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      5   2:26:00
     Scott Moore KF6IKO       5   2:46:10
     Jay Thompson W6JAY       4   2:18:30
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     4   2:59:30
     Nancy Pistole KF6PAV     1   1:08:30
     Richard Thompson WA6NOL  1   1:25:48
     Scot Barth KA6UDZ        1   1:42:10

Nancy Pistole KF6PAV warmed up by finding 4 beginner foxes before taking on the advanced course.

For beginners, there were five two-meter foxboxes in the park or the next-door schoolyard, including the island in the middle of the lake (about 60 acres in all). They transmitted on five separate frequencies, making it easier for the newcomers to work on them one at a time. Honking and quacking of the geese and ducks was only minor QRM to the intrepid hunters as they tracked them down.

     Names and callsigns                       Foxes  Time
     Karen Kensek KG6CUK and Joe Pingree WB2TVB  5   1:33:55
     Roman Kamienski KG6QMZ                      4   1:26:30
     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH and Vicki Moll          4   1:29:30
     Peter and John Lloyd                        2   Not timed

Thanks as usual to April Moell WA6OPS for handling start/finish timing for arranging for the annual National Foxhunting Weekend cake (photo at top). Thanks also to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS, Richard Thompson WA6NOL and Jay Thompson W6JAY for providing individual instruction and training to some newcomers.

Joe Moell KØOV

Griffith Park foxhunt photos

Griffith Park ARDF on 4/17/04 (Photos above)

The threat of rain didn't deter stalwart radio-orienteers from gathering in the Travel Town section of Griffith Park on April 17. The sprinkles gave way to partly cloudy skies and occasional sun as the day went on. Problems in synchronizing the five 2m foxboxes delayed the start of the main hunt, so most of the hunters decided to start out by going after the lone 80m fox, which was about 0.8 km up the trail. Here are times for the 80m finders:

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      10:46
     Bruce Paterson VK3TJN    11:09
     Dmitri Gropen            11:19
     Rick Barrett KE6DKF      17:30
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     19:35
     Scott Moore KF6IKO       20:31
     Jay Thompson W6JAY       22:29
     Sam Vigil WA6NGH         24:30
     Don Lewis KF6GQ          41:29
     Scot Barth KA6UDZ        51:32

The 2m course was slower than usual because it was quite hilly. The fastest competitor was also the second-to-oldest: Bob Cooley KF6VSE. Some of them, including Jay Hennigan WB6RDV, were flummoxed when fox #3 went off air for a while. When it came back on, they had to decide whether to go back to it or finish the course they were already taking. Results of the main 2m hunt:

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        1:33:20  5
     Bruce Paterson VK3TJN    1:37:10  5
     Rick Barrett KE6DKF      1:46:48  5
     Dmitri Gropen            1:47:06  5
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      2:13:10  5
     Scott Moore KF6IKO       3:24:28  5
     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH      3:31:45  5
     Scot Barth KA6UDZ        2:46:18  4
     Don Lewis KF6GQ          1:54:20  3
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     2:37:32  2
     Jay Thompson W6JAY       0:47:14  1
     Richard Thompson WA6NOL  0:59:20  1

First timers Joe Pingree WB2TVB and Karen Kensek KG6CUK brought their own RDF gear to test. It worked fine and they worked together to find all the beginner foxes. So did Sam Vigil WA6NGH and wife Eve.

Participants came all the way from the Bay area and San Luis Obispo for this hunt, but the most distant visitor was Bruce Paterson VK3TJN from Melbourne, Australia. Bruce is well known to members of ARDF Team USA, because has been on his country's team to the last two World Championships. Team Australia trained with Team USA at a camp put on by Gyuri Nagy HA3PA/KF6YKN in Hungary just before the 2002 World Championships in Slovakia.

Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for setting the main 2m course and to Bruce Paterson VK3TJN for putting out the 3-fox beginner course. As usual, April Moell WA6OPS handled the starting and timing duties.

Joe Moell KØOV

O'Neill Park foxhunt photos

O'Neill Park ARDF on 3/20/04 (Photos above)

It was another perfect weather day for on-foot foxhunting on March 20. O'Neill Regional Park is near Rancho Santa Margarita in southern Orange County. The well-mapped area is big enough for a championship hunt but it also has some ideal areas for teaching beginners. It was fun to watch the Acorn Woodpeckers storing food in holes they drilled in the side of the Nature Center building. Nobody encountered a Mountain Lion, but the Ranger had to evict a snake.

My talk to the South Orange Amateur Radio Association earlier in the week brought out several SOARA members ready to give radio-orienteering a try. The four beginner fox transmitters were all in different directions. One was 50 yards away from the starting point and the others about 300 yards away. The newcomers discovered, just as others have before, that small and lightweight antennas are easiest to carry for long distances, and that an RF attenuator is a must for continuing to get bearings as you close in. I'll bet that they're already working on some new foxhunting equipment to be ready for next time.

Results of the timed beginners:


     Dave Seroski KE6QCK      3:13:55   4

     Roman Kamienski KG6QMZ   1:38:01   3

     Tak Asami W6SI           1:29:31   1
       with Jun and Aaron

Brian Roode NJ6N went out for almost two hours, coming close but without finding any of the beginner foxes. He came back and borrowed an active attenuator, then went out untimed and was much more successful.

The advanced course proved to be excellent training for the upcoming USA Championships. The best way to run it would have been to take the West End trail into the hills, climbing about 100 feet to T#4. If hunters couldn't hear T#2 before, it was strong there and should have been the next target, by going down and up and down the Live Oak and Hoffman Homestead trails. From T#2, the bearings to T#1 and T#5 were in about the same direction, so the best route was to follow the Pawfoot trail and Trabuco Canyon to T#1. From there, a search of the map would reveal a route through the campground and the only easy trail up the 100-foot ridge to the Day Use Area mesa and T#5. From T#5, it was an almost straight shot southwest along the mesa to T#3, then down the hill and back to the finish line. Total distance with that route would have been 5.2 kilometers (3.3 miles) with 410 feet total climb. Nobody did it that way, of course.

As often happens, the two Jays led the standings. W6JAY was on his way to achieving the best overall time for finding all foxes, but he had to come back to the start for a fresh radio battery after finding his first two. Based on the route he described afterwards, he ran at least 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) to get them all. Two of the hunters (KD6I and KE6HTS) had limited time available to spend on the course, but they made the most of it.


     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      2:35:56   5

     Jay Thompson W6JAY       2:40:56   5

     Don Lewis KF6GQ          3:37:48   5

     Dean Dods KD6I           2:24:55   4

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       4:13:56   4

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH      3:30:15   3

     Marvin Johnston KE6HTS   2:13:00   2

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     2:23:01   2

     Richard Thompson WA6NOL  1:08:53   1

Jay Hennigan WB6RDV was the only one with enough stamina and time after the 2m hunt to go out and find the lone 80m transmitter. He ran the 1.3 kilometers (0.8 mile) to get there, found it, and got back in 23 minutes.

Thanks as usual to April Moell WA6OPS for adeptly handling the start/finish timing. Fortunately, she didn't have to do any first aid this time. Also thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for helping train the newcomers and to the two Jays for helping with transmitter pickup afterwards.

Joe Moell KØOV

Mile Square Park foxhunt photos

Mile Square Park ARDF on 2/7/04 (Photos above)

This radio-orienteering training session was a rousing success as several participants made big improvements in their RDF skills. With flat terrain and few reflections, everyone could concentrate on learning how to get bearings on the run (or walk) and how to close in effectively without overrunning the fox transmitter. It was also a good opportunity to practice map-reading, pace counting and navigating with the excellent Los Angeles Orienteering Club map. Weather was perfect.

Besides the main 5-fox 2-meter course, there were three simpler cycling transmitters plus two more foxes on separate frequencies. Some attendees warmed up by finding the lone 80-meter fox, which was about 3/4 of a kilometer away in the northeast corner of the park.

     Name and callsign     80-meter time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV     12:46
     Bruce Corning           17:02
     Dean Dods KD6I          17:28
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX    35:36

On the 5-fox main course, it was nearly a photo-finish, or would have been if the two leaders had started at the same time. No doubt both will be medal contenders at the USA ARDF Championships here in southern California this June. Here are results of that main two-meter course, which was 4.0 km (2.5 mi) round trip:

     Name(s) and callsign(s)        Time    Foxes

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV           0:42:24    5

     Dean Dods KD6I                0:42:58    5

     Travis Wood AE6GA             1:19:26    5

     Paul Wendee KG6MKI            1:30:34    5
        with Samantha KG6MKJ and Sarah KG6MKK

     Bruce Corning                 1:47:33    5

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX          1:53:24    4

     Paul Broden K6MHD             1:17:21    1

     Tom Fauquet KE6CLS            2:00:41    1

Congratulations to all!

Joe Moell KØOV

Travel Town foxhunt photos

Griffith Park ARDF on 1/11/04 (Photos above)

Weather was perfect for the first radio-orienteering session of 2004. The Mineral Wells (Travel Town) section of Griffith Park turned out to be a more difficult venue than expected, probably because of the hills. They taxed some hunters' endurance and caused confusing two-meter reflections in several places.

A reporter and a photographer from the Los Angeles Times came out to see what this radiosport is all about, and they got a good workout in the process. The reporter accompanied J. Scott Bovitz N6MI, while the photographer did the course with Don Lewis KF6GQ.

Here are results of the main 5-fox two-meter course, which was 3.9 km (2.4 mi) round trip:

     Name(s) and callsign(s)        Time    Foxes

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV           1:42:35    5

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE             2:13:29    5

     Don Lewis KF6GQ               2:55:00    4
        with Times photographer

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH           3:00:18    4

     Jay Thompson W6JAY            1:56:04    3

     Travis Wood AE6GA             1:53:35    2

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX          2:35:18    2

     Paul Wendee KG6MKI            2:59:42    2
        with Samantha KG6MKJ and Sarah KG6MKK

     Dean Dods KD6I                3:19:00    2

     Dennis Schwendtner WB6OBB     1:30:50    1
        with Richard Thompson WA6NOL

     Dmitri Gropen                 1:30:58    1

     Scott Bovitz N6MI             2:34:10    1
        with Steve Tice

Dmitri Gropen was a first-timer at southern California radio-orienteering, but he had learned the sport earlier in his native country, Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union. After having trouble finding one fox with a Ukrainian RDF set (time above), he went out later with a borrowed Russian set, untimed, and found another fox.

This was the first of a series of foxhunting sessions leading up to the USA ARDF Championships in mid-June, staged by Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club and the Los Angeles Orienteering Club. These sessions provided training for potential competitors and experience for the crew of SBARC and LAOC volunteers who put on the championships.

Joe Moell KØOV

THRDFS cover Go to Southern California ARDF -- Current radio-orienteering news and results

Go to International-Style Foxhunting Comes To The Americas -- How we're getting the ball rolling

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

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

Go to Local ARDF Contacts -- Links to hams and groups that are doing international-style foxhunting in North America and around the world.

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This page updated 13 January 2011