Radio-Orienteering Events in 2012

(In reverse order by date)

Griffith Park ARDF photos

Griffith Park ARDF on 11/10/2012
Photo above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

It was chilly and blustery in Griffith Park on November 10, but that didn't deter the small group of intrepid radio-orienteers that showed up to hunt transmitters on two meters and 80 meters.  The temperature at our gathering point in Mineral Wells Picnic Area never exceeded 62 degrees all day.  There were two beginner 2m transmitters nearby that Pierrette Rizco found in fourteen minutes just for warmup.

Marvin's five-fox two-meter ARDF course was about 3 kilometers long, point-to-point.  Bob Cooley KF6VSE overran his last transmitter and Scott Moore KF6IKO had receiver problems on his first one, making their times longer than expected.

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5   1:17:16  
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   205(1)   202(1)        F 
       14:06    23:33    32:11    46:35  1:12:20  1:17:16 
       14:06     9:27     8:38    14:24    25:45     4:56

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   1:35:43 
      204(1)   203(1)   201(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       36:35    52:36  1:03:13  1:21:53  1:27:07  1:35:43
       36:35    16:01    10:37    18:40     5:14     8:36  

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY      3   1:42:02  
      201(1)   205(1)   202(1)        F
       20:27    54:41  1:32:27  1:42:02
       20:27    34:14    37:46     9:35 

     Pierrette Rizco K6PTR     1   1:14:25 
      201(1)        F
       56:51  1:14:25
       56:51    17:34

To give Chris Sanders KE6BRY a good test of her new 80-meter receiver, I put the 80m transmitter 1.6 kilometers away (as the RF flies) near Travel Town.  Everyone took the winding trail over the hill to get to it, then came back via the main road.

      Name and call             Time   

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        0:46:23

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:06:08    

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY     1:28:22   

As usual, Marvin Johnston KE6HTS and April Moell WA6OPS deserve thanks for course-setting and medical support.

Joe Moell KØOV

Bonelli Park ARDF photos

Bonelli Park ARDF on 10/13/2012
Photo above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

Bonelli Regional Park is a great site for beginner and intermediate ARDF and the weather was pleasant for the enthusiastic group of radio-orienteers who gathered there on October 13.  Some of them warmed up by finding my four two-meter beginner transmitters.  Then they were ready for Marvin's ARDF short-course, with these results:

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        0:34:49    5

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY     0:46:15    5

     Sean Reigle AJ6B         1:11:40    5
         with Michie Reigle KD6CAT

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:21:24    5

     Brooks Kachner W6BJK     1:31:27    3

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     1:57:51    3

Four participants went out to find my 80-meter transmitter with these results:

      Name and call             Time   

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        0:13:25

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       0:18:28    

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     0:18:30    

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY     0:33:38   

Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for another fine ARDF course and to April Moell WA6OPS for Field Medic duties.

Joe Moell KØOV

Mission Viejo ARDF photos

Mission Viejo Beginners ARDF 9/22/2012
Photo above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

Sean Reigle AJ6B OK, the weather could have been a bit cooler, but it was still a great day for transmitter hunting in Mission Viejo and the park surrounding the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center was an ideal place for it.  Sean Reigle AJ6B (at right) made all the arrangements and Heiko Peschel AD6OI brought coffee and donuts for everyone.

The event began with a 45-minute classroom session where the basics were explained and everyone had a chance to ask questions.  Then it was time to go outside and search for five transmitters on five frequencies, hidden by Sean and by Joe Moell KØOV.  If found in optimum order, the course was about 1.5 kilometers long.  Three of the transmitters were down along the trail that parallels the creek and thus didn't provide direct signals to the starting/ending point.

We didn't do exact timing, but Bob Dengler NO6B was first to return after finding all the foxes with his well-used dual-dipole TDOA set.  Christine Sanders KE6BRY also made quick work of the five transmitters with her pink-handled tape-measure yagi and VK3YNG blue box.  Marty Oh KJ6RWE and Pierrette Rizco K6PTR also found all five.  Bob McCord used AJ6B's gear to get three of the transmitters and Brooks Kachner W6BJK got two of them.

Thanks again to Sean for setting up this "SOARA Saturday Special" and to helpers April Moell WA6OPS and Gary Sanders KC6TWZ.

Joe Moell KØOV

Mt. Pinos ARDF photos

Mt. Pinos Training Camp 8/25-26/2012
Photo above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

Residents of Orange County and the valleys were dealing with temperatures in the high 80s, but on Mt. Pinos, it was cool and breezy.  A jacket was a necessity in the evening hours.

Following the usual format, Marvin Johnston KE6HTS set a full two-meter course on Saturday morning that started at the Nordic Center and ended at McGill Campground.  It turned out to be a hard course, with only one competitor finding all five transmitters.  Number 1 was the most difficult.  It was on the back side of a hill and some never got good bearings on it.

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5   2:34:08  
      201(1)   202(1)   203(1)   204(1)   205(1)        F 
       16:52    31:42  1:02:44  1:46:45  2:20:10  2:34:08 
       16:52    14:50    31:02    44:01    33:25    13:58 

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       4   1:58:56 
      202(1)   203(1)   204(1)   205(1)        F
       18:59    48:24  1:11:33  1:30:26  1:58:56
       18:59    29:25    23:09    18:53    28:30

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        4   2:03:49 
      202(1)   204(1)   203(1)   205(1)        F
       26:42    55:50  1:34:25  1:50:28  2:03:49
       26:42    29:08    38:35    16:03    13:21  

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      3   2:49:42    
      201(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       23:36  1:33:51  2:30:55  2:49:42
       23:36  1:10:15    57:04    18:47

Later Saturday afternoon, Bob Cooley KF6VSE set a foxoring course that started and ended at McGill.  Here are the results (eight 80m foxes):

           Name/Call           Time    Foxes
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      1:11:10    8
     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:28:20    8
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     2:09:25    7

Saturday's supper was the traditional Santa Barbara style tri-tips and all the fixings.  After a good night's rest in the mountain air, Sunday morning's activities started a bit earlier with a full 80-meter course.  Start and finish locations were the same as on two meters.  Transmitter #4 got dropped and damaged, so there were only four foxes to find.

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       4  1:05:51 
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       12:28    38:44    51:13  1:03:19  1:05:5
       12:28    26:16    12:29    12:06     2:32

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        4   1:26:44 
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F 
       11:40    43:50  1:07:31  1:23:20  1:26:44 
       11:40    32:10    23:41    15:49     3:24  

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         4   1:29:08  
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F 
       11:15    38:40  1:12:14  1:26:00  1:29:08 
       11:15    27:25    33:34    13:46     3:08 

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      4   1:58:01    
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       13:37    50:12  1:28:34  1:52:09  1:58:01
       13:37    36:35    38:22    23:35     5:52

Thanks again to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for setting the ARDF courses and roasting the tri-tips, to Bob Cooley for setting the foxoring, to Woody Jackson for timing the starts and finishes as well as making the delicious fruit skewers and lemonade, and to April Moell WA6OPS for Field Medic duties. Also thanks to participants who helped set out and pick up the foxes, including Les Benson W6CGE.

Joe Moell KØOV

Mt. Pinos ARDF photos

Mt. Pinos Training Camp 7/14-15/2012
Photo above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

The unusual overcast skies and high humidity in Los Angeles and Orange Counties were absent at Mt. Pinos during the first of two summer training camps.  Skies were deep blue and completely cloud-free.

Saturday was a busy day with a full two-meter course that started at the Nordic Center and ended at McGill Campground.  That was followed by foxoring that started and ended at McGill.  For supper, Marvin cooked up Santa Barbara style tri-tips and all the fixings.

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5   1:26:34  
      202(1)   201(1)   205(1)   203(1)   204(1)        F 
       16:23    31:03    48:19  1:02:40  1:23:23  1:26:34 
       16:23    14:40    17:16    14:21    20:43     3:11 

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5   1:36:52 
      202(1)   201(1)   205(1)   203(1)   204(1)        F
       12:14    36:50    52:11  1:22:59  1:32:43  1:36:52
       12:14    24:36    15:21    30:48     9:44     4:09

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      4   2:34:26    
      202(1)   201(1)   205(1)   203(1)        F
       17:52    51:14  1:15:35  1:51:33  2:34:26
       17:52    33:22    24:21    35:58    42:53

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY      2   2:00:06  
      201(1)   205(1)        F 
       17:43    56:34  2:00:06 
       17:43    38:51  1:03:32 

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        1   2:09:52 
      202(1)        F 
     1:07:04  2:09:52 
     1:07:04  1:02:48  

Results of the foxoring course (six 80m foxes):

           Name/Call           Time    Foxes
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      0:53:57    6
     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        1:15:18    6
     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:28:51    6
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     1:48:24    1

Sunday morning's activities started a half-hour earlier with a full 80-meter course.  Start and finish locations were the same as on two meters.

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5   1:17:46 
      202(1)   201(1)   205(1)   203(1)   204(1)        F
       14:15    26:28    53:51  1:08:43  1:13:40  1:17:46
       14:15    12:13    27:23    14:52     4:57     4:06

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5   1:28:36  
      201(1)   202(1)   205(1)   204(1)   203(1)        F 
       17:15    27:34    42:11  1:01:58  1:18:23  1:28:36 
       17:15    10:19    14:37    19:47    16:25    10:13 

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      5   2:05:07    
      201(1)   202(1)   205(1)   203(1)   204(1)        F
       27:01    50:32  1:15:13  1:28:45  1:57:43  2:05:07
       27:01    23:31    24:41    13:32    28:58     7:24

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        4   1:22:01 
      201(1)   202(1)   205(1)   204(1)        F 
       15:17    28:50    51:16  1:14:54  1:22:01 
       15:17    13:33    22:26    23:38     7:07  

Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for setting all of the courses, to Woody Jackson for timing the starts and finishes, and to April Moell WA6OPS for Field Medic duties. Also thanks to participants who picked up the foxes after the events.

Joe Moell KØOV

Mt. Pinos Foxoring on 6/23/2012
Photo above by Joe Moell KØOV.
Report below by Marvin Johnston KE6HTS.

Foxoring is similar to classic point-to-point orienteering with one major exception:  The flag is replaced with a low power 80-meter transmitter (about 10 milliwatts).  Orienteering maps have circles marked on them, representing locations of transmitters.  The transmitters are not necessarily located at the center of the circles.  Competitors use their orienteering skills to navigate to the circles and then use their radio direction skills to find the transmitters.

For the first time in 2012, foxoring will be a part of the World ARDF Championships.  My primarily objective with this course was to give ARDF Team USA members practice at this new type of competition.

The course design was the orienteering equivalent of a short orange-level course.  With a course length of approximately 3 kilometers, the winning time was expected to be under an hour.  Eight transmitters were used, all operating on 3.579 MHz.

Under present rules a foxoring transmitter has to be clearly heard on typical receivers for at least 30m and cannot be heard for more than 250m.  The circles for Mt Pinos were 100m in diameter and my rule for the practice was that the transmitter would be heard from the center of the circle.  One thing I still find strange is that current rules call for no control flags to be used at the transmitter location.  From a course setter's standpoint, the actual transmitter placement is not critical, just put it somewhere where it can be heard from the center of the circle.

Pin punches were used for scoring and were clearly visible from as much as 30m in some directions.  Finding the punch is really a lot easier than it sounds since most receivers can take the competitor close enough to touch the transmitter antenna, which is about 15 inches long.  Each pin punch was located about a foot from the transmitter.

All participants found all foxes.  Here are their times:

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE       45:33 
     Scott Moore KF6IKO      51:25 
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV     59:47 
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX   122:12 

Brad Weyers also started, but he was not familiar enough with the receiver to complete the course.  After everyone else had finished and transmitter pickup began, we left up two transmitters.  With some additional receiver instruction, Brad went out and had no problem finding the two transmitters and bringing them back.

Thanks to Alex Kiperman and Woody Jackson for setting two of the transmitters, to Scott Moore for doing the course a second time to pick up transmitters after the event, and to Brad Weyers for picking up the last two transmitters after he found them.

Marvin Johnston KE6HTS

San Dieguito Park ARDF photos

San Dieguito Park ARDF on 5/19/2012
Photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.
Report below Joe Corones N6SZO and Joe Loughlin KE6PHB.

We converged on San Dieguito County Park in Solana Beach (on the border of Del Mar) at 8:00 AM to start setting out five transmitters for the international-style on-foot T-hunt that had been in the planning stages since the end of October. The plan was set in motion at the end of a San Diego county-wide T-hunt when a discussion was had regarding T-Hunts and increasing participation in the San Diego area.

Five transmitters of various power levels, all with vertical polarization, were placed around the park at locations that had been tested the week before. As the park did not open until 9:30, we had to park outside the park and walk in to place the T's at the predetermined locations. We were finished by 9:10 and took a break while waiting for the gates to open. Once inside, we secured the picnic area that we thought would provide us the best position for starting the hunt and would have as much shade during the day as possible. We unloaded the vehicles and set up the pop-up canopy. At about 10:15, two hams showed up that had attended one of our T-hunt talks at the 6-Shooters meeting and wanted to try it out. They did not have antennas so we outfitted them with an antenna with an offset attenuator, piece of cable and a connector for their HT. Then we gave them some basic instructions on techniques and sent them on their way.

The rest of the Hunters were all from out local group so no instructions were necessary. Here are the results:

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Bryan Elkerton KI6DUR         1:29     5   Advanced team winner
        with Sue Elkerton

     Bill Elkerton W6ZM            1:31     5
        with Robin Elkerton KC6LEA

     Tom Sneden K6VCR              1:43     5   Individual winner

     Tony Boegeman WA6ZMZ          2:33     5
        with Cliff Steagall N5BXE

     Greg Spaulding KD6YQR         2:35     5

     Ron Johnson KK6I              2:36     5
        with Blake Johnson

     Dick Foran WB6ZAM             2:57     5
        with Mary Lou Foran

     David Andreoli KI6VIA         0:58     1   Novice team winner
        with John Akins KI6VIB

Among the visitors and spectators were Joe Moell KØOV from Orange County, Brian McDaniel WB2JCG, one of our regular hunters, Karen Spaulding KI6FON with grandchildren Nate and Mackenzie, Felly Parel KG6KLM, who is N6SZO's better half, with grandchildren Caitlyn, Carson and Celine. A total of 25 people, 14 hunters & 11 spectators enjoyed the BBQ except for Ron Johnson KK6I and Blake who had other commitments. Discussion and response by hunters was that this type of event is something that should occur more often so who wants to sponsor the event in 2013?

Joe Corones N6SZO
Joe Loughlin KE6PHB

Tri-City Park ARDF photos

Tri-City Park ARDF on 5/12/2012
Photos above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

We had a great turnout for the first Orange County on-foot transmitter hunt of 2012.  Besides local foxtailing fans, there were hams who drove from San Bernardino, Duarte, Rowland Heights, Nuevo and Westlake Village.

The antenna/attenuator building session filled a big picnic table to capacity.  Marvin ran out of kits, which didn't deter Robert Haggard AD6XJ.  He built his yagi from PVC pipe and measuring tape that he brought along with him. 

AD6XJ was one of the many who learned by doing as they tracked down the three beginner-level transmitters nearby.  Others included Bruce Jones WA6STA, Damon Jones KI6HPV, Dave Reinhard KJ6REP, Diane Wainwood KJ6JEJ and Tim Wheeler K6POI.

A programming error on my part made for a very unusual advanced course.  Instead of all five transmitters (MOE/MOI/MOS/MOH/MO5) being on the same frequency for one minute each in sequence, they were all on different frequencies in the top two MHz of the band.  That resulted in somewhat longer-than-usual competitor times.  Here are the results:

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Sherman Lam KJ6PJH       0:56:20    5

     Bob Houghton AD6QF       1:06:14    5

     Dan Slater AG6HF         2:04:15    5

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY     1:05:37    4

     Greg Kawasaki WA6NJI     1:49:25    4

     Tim Millard KJ6NGF       2:13:15    4
         with Sheri Millard

Thanks to everyone who came out.  I had a great time and I hope you did, too.  Special thanks to April WA6OPS for providing the traditional Worldwide Foxhunting Weekend cake.

Joe Moell KØOV

Lake Los Carneros ARDF photos

Lake Los Carneros ARDF on 4/21/2012
Photos above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

While temperatures in Orange County were pushing into the 80's, and further inland they were into the 90's, the thermometer barely got into the 70's near the coast of Santa Barbara. That made this Saturday a great day for ARDF at Lake Los Carneros.  This was the morning after a presentation on ARDF at the evening meeting of the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club, so there were some first-timers who came out to see what it was all about.  Everybody found all of the transmitters!  Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for putting out a good course and to Darryl Widman KF6DI for presenting the program to SBARC.

Here are the results:

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      0:32:42    5

     Dean Dods KD6I           0:36:10    5

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     0:57:23    5

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       0:58:00    5

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY     1:01:18    5

     Darryl Widman KF6DI      1:51:45    5
         with Gilbert Cruz KI6RRG

Joe Moell KØOV

Santa Fe Dam ARDF photos

Santa Fe Dam ARDF on 3/11/2012
Photos above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

Our mix-in with a regular meet of the Los Angeles Orienteering Club brought some winter-weary ARDF fans out of the woodwork and gave some LAOC members a chance to see radio-orienteering for the first time.  Scott Moore KF6IKO and Jay Hennigan WB6RDV came down from Santa Barbara.  Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for putting out an ARDF course in addition to working on the e-punch system for LAOC.

Joe Moell KØOV

Cal Poly SLO ARDF photos

Cal Poly SLO ARDF on 2/25/2012
Photos above by Marcel Stieber AI6MS
Report below by Edwin Ng KJ6KTD.

The Amateur Radio Club at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo (CPARC) held its third annual transmitter hunt and equipment building session on Saturday, February 25.

Instructed by Marvin Johnston KE6HTS, four students built tape measure yagi antennas with pre-built offset attenuators at one of Cal Poly’s fully equipped microwave engineering labs.  While the antennas were being assembled, Marcel Stieber AI6MS, CPARC Co-Advisor and Edwin Ng KJ6KTD, Vice-President, set a challenging five-transmitter course with the entire Cal Poly campus as the boundaries.  The hunt began at 11 AM with the results shown below.  The participants were split into two groups, general public and student members.


     Name and call               Time   Foxes   Award

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         0:54:39    5   1st General
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       1:01:58    5   2nd General
     Marvin Johnston KE6HTS    1:33:00    5   3rd General
         with Javen O'Neal KF7JO
     Milton Davis AI6MD        2:19:04    5   4th General
     Julianne Walsh KI6DYX     2:41:00    3   5th General

     Justin Kenny KJ6KST       1:09:00    5   1st Collegiate
     Chris Blackmer KJ6MNK     2:00:00    5   2nd Collegiate
     Glenn Bruner KJ6MNL       2:18:49    5   3rd Collegiate
         with Elijah
     Robbie Campbell KJ6RRX    2:27:18    5   4th Collegiate
     William Blodgett KE6RKT   2:34:00    5   5th Collegiate
     David Troy KJ6RPX         2:41:00    5   6th Collegiate
         with Tannis Hodge KJ6RRK
     Jessica Sherbon KJ6DNR    3:33:00    5   7th Collegiate
         with Cliffton Star
     Shaun Koide WH6DPB        1:49:10    3   8th Collegiate

The event came to an end around 3:30 PM.  Many thanks to Marvin for all his continuous help in preparing for the event and making it possible.

Edwin Ng KJ6KTD
CPARC Vice-President

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

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

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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 23 April 2013