Radio-Orienteering News and Results

For Southern California

Hidden transmitter hunting under international rules (also called radio-orienteering, fox-tailing, foxhunting and ARDF) now takes place regularly in southern California.  Some participants are training for upcoming national and international competitions, but most are just out there for fun and exercise. Here's the latest information on these informal sessions.

Next Event:  Beginner session and antenna building on September 27, 2014 at a location to be announced.  For e-mail notification of these events, you can join the southern California ARDF mailing list.

Mt. Pinos ARDF photos
Mt. Pinos ARDF on 8/16-17/2014
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Weather was much better for the second training camp of the year at Mt. Pinos.  During the day, the temperature stayed in the 70s with very few clouds, and it didn't get too cold for good sleeping at night.

Here are the results of Saturday's two-meter hunt:

     TWO-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5  1:12:02
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       12:34    22:31    33:07    57:56  1:07:46  1:12:02
       12:34     9:57    10:36    24:49     9:50     4:16

     Dean Dods KD6I            5  1:51:55
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       11:28    21:11    53:21  1:21:28  1:46:18  1:51:55
       11:28     9:43    32:10    28:07    24:50     5:37

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        4  1:45:32  
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       28:37    48:56  1:09:56  1:32:19  1:45:32
       28:37    20:19    21:00    22:23    13:13

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      4  2:08:03
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       21:22    53:51  1:29:40  1:55:05  2:08:03
       21:22    32:29    35:49    25:25    12:58

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH       3  2:30:45  
      201(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       22:37  1:37:19  2:17:29  2:30:45
       22:37  1:14:42    40:10    13:16

Les Benson W6CGE put out transmitters again this time for the foxoring session on Saturday afternoon.  Here are the results:

     EIGHTY-METER FOXORING RESULTS -- 7 FOXES
      Name and call             Time   Foxes 

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       0:55:57     7

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        1:11:59     7

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH      1:46:58     5

After foxoring, it was time for another tri-tip supper.  Then on Sunday morning, everyone went back to the ski base for the start of the 80-meter classic run, with these results:

     EIGHTY-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5  1:03:30
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   205(1)   202(1)        F
       11:56    24:04    37:07    45:52    57:36  1:03:30
       11:56    12:08    13:03     8:45    11:44     5:54

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5  1:14:24
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   205(1)   202(1)        F
       12:17    25:08    42:02    54:51  1:08:00  1:14:24
       12:17    12:51    16:54    12:49    13:09     6:24

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      5  2:01:32
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   205(1)   202(1)        F
       18:53    36:33  1:03:17  1:26:40  1:48:13  2:01:32
       18:53    17:40    26:44    23:23    21:33    13:19

Thanks as always to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for designing and setting out the classic courses.  Thanks to the participants who helped pick up transmitters. That includes Bruce Corning, who took time out from training for an upcoming classic orienteering championships.

Joe Moell KØOV

Mt. Pinos ARDF photos
Mt. Pinos ARDF on 7/19-20/2014
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Mt. Pinos is a wonderful venue that southern California ARDF fans have been enjoying for over ten years.  Usually the weather has been almost perfect in July and August, but not this time.  Moist air flowing northward from the ocean west of Mexico and channeled by a low-pressure area off the coast of California brought scattered rain to the mountains of Los Angeles and Kern counties.  Fortunately there was no lightning and everyone had a great time in spite of it.

Ken and Jen Harker, WM5R and W5JEN, drove all the way from Austin, Texas to take part in this "training camp," bringing their well-behaved three-year-old son, James.

There was plenty of sunshine when the two-meter classic hunt began on Saturday morning.  Everyone began from our usual starting location up the trail from the Nordic ski base.  Here are the results:

     TWO-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5  1:58:34
      101(1)   104(1)   102(1)   103(1)   105(1)        F
       15:19    52:41  1:08:39  1:32:07  1:49:46  1:58:34
       15:19    37:22    15:58    23:28    17:39     8:48

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5  3:04:10  
      101(1)   104(1)   103(1)   102(1)   105(1)        F
       18:18  1:12:09  2:08:24  2:39:47  2:52:22  3:04:10
       18:18    53:51    56:15    31:23    12:35    11:48

     Ken Harker WM5R           4  2:22:37
      101(1)   103(1)   102(1)   105(1)        F
       31:54  1:03:23  1:47:06  2:06:24  2:22:37
       31:54    31:29    43:43    19:18    16:13

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      4  2:59:55  
      101(1)   103(1)   102(1)   105(1)        F
       23:24  1:09:13  1:46:13  2:17:03  2:59:55
       23:24    45:49    37:00    30:50    42:52

     Jen Harker W5JEN          3  2:28:47  
      104(1)   102(1)   105(1)        F
       54:41  1:13:03  2:15:27  2:28:47
       54:41    18:22  1:02:24    13:20

     Scott Hanley WA9STI      Did not finish

The foxoring event was to start around 2 PM from the McGill campsite, but it was delayed by a rain shower.  Once that ended, the hunters set out to find eight 80-meter transmitters near seven circles on their maps.  Here are the results:

     EIGHTY-METER FOXORING RESULTS -- 8 FOXES
      Name and call             Time   Foxes 

     Dave Koskenmaki KK6C     0:53:19     8

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       0:57:58     8

     Ken Harker WM5R          1:27:21     8

     Gloria Keawe KE6MQO      2:11:01     7

     Jen Harker W5JEN         1:01:43     4

After foxoring, Marvin got the fire going at the camp and cooked the tri-tips to perfection as always.  But everyone had to eat under umbrellas or inside their vehicles, because the rain came down in earnest at serving time.

Partly cloudy skies were overhead as participants went back to the starting point for the 80-meter classic hunt on Sunday morning.  Everyone finished, the transmitters were picked up, and all were off to their homes or to lunch in Gorman before the mountain rains began again on Sunday afternoon.  Here are the results

     EIGHTY-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5  1:21:55
      101(1)   103(1)   104(1)   102(1)   105(1)        F
       13:50    29:15    40:22    58:41  1:09:39  1:21:55
       13:50    15:25    11:07    18:19    10:58    12:16

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5  1:42:18  
      101(1)   103(1)   104(1)   102(1)   105(1)        F
       17:04    37:36    50:15  1:13:15  1:29:31  1:42:18
       17:04    20:32    12:39    23:00    16:16    12:47

     Jen Harker W5JEN          4  2:05:32
      103(1)   104(1)   102(1)   105(1)        F
       28:05    48:56  1:20:16  1:47:50  2:05:32
       28:05    20:51    31:20    27:34    17:42

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      3  2:28:36  
      103(1)   101(1)   102(1)        F
       29:47    51:42  2:07:54  2:28:36
       29:47    21:55  1:16:12    20:42

     Ken Harker WM5R           2  2:29:01  
      102(1)   105(1)        F
     1:56:42  2:12:54  2:29:01
     1:56:42    16:12    16:07

     Gloria Keawe KE6MQO       3  3:22:32 (Overtime) 
      101(1)   103(1)   104(1)        F
     1:10:06  1:37:58  1:57:08  3:22:32
     1:10:06    27:52    19:10  1:25:24

Thanks as always to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for course-setting and most of the classic event transmitter placement, plus the gourmet cooking on Saturday evening.  Les Benson W6CGE did most of the foxoring transmitter placement and pickup.  Dave Koskenmaki KK6C and others assisted them with transmitter tasks.  April Moell WA6OPS dealt with all the bumps and scrapes, which were mostly minor this time.

Joe Moell KØOV

Tri-City Park ARDF photos
Tri-City Park ARDF on 5/17/2014
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

After a week of blistering heat, the temperature didn't stray above the mid 80s as members and friends of the Fullerton Radio Club gathered for the annual "Antennas In The Park" event.  Los Angeles Section ARES came out to set up some HF stations and try to work the world, while fans of ham radio direction finding were building antennas and searching for hidden transmitters.

Quite a few visitors went out to find the five "easy" transmitters on various two-meter frequencies that were near our gathering area.  Then just before 11 AM, the main five-transmitter ARDF course was on the air. Almost all who tried the course found four of the five, but the elusive MOS transmitter took some extra skill and persistence.  Gloria Keawe KE6MQO did it on the run and was best overall, but the three students from Rowland High School were not to be deterred and eventually figured out where it was.  Here are the results:

     TWO-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Gloria Keawe KE6MQO      1:28:53    5

     Philby Wang KK6IYJ       3:00:11    5
        with Calvin Lin KK6IYL and Ivan Law KK6GRX

     Dan Slater AG6HF         1:23:30    4
        with Allan Keller KK6JHR 

     Roman Kamienski KG6QMZ   1:28:06    4

     Bob Houghton AD6QF       1:48:25    4

     Jack Myers N6WUZ         1:24:49    1

Brooks Kachner W6BJK also punched in at four of the five ARDF transmitters after finding the beginner ones, but he wasn't timed.  In addition, there was one 80-meter practice transmitter nearby, which was attempted by a couple of the attendees.

Thanks to Marvin Johnston for putting on another excellent antenna/attenuator building session and to April Moell WA6OPS for bringing another beautiful and scrumptious Foxhunting Weekend cake for all to share.  Also thanks to the officers and board members of Fullerton Radio Club for sponsoring this fine event.

Joe Moell KØOV

Schabarum Park ARDF photos
Schabarum Regional Park ARDF on 4/19/2014
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Schabarum Regional Park is the most challenging (yes, that means difficult) ARDF venue in the urban Los Angeles area, but it is a wonderful site when the weather isn't hot.  Fortunately, the air temperature didn't exceed 80 degrees on April 19 as a small but enthusiastic group of radio-orienteers took to the trails to find transmitters.

The main feature of this session was a full-sized IARU two-meter course with a separate starting location in the southeast corner of the mapped area.  It's easy to see that it was difficult, because only one participant found all the transmitters.  Here are the results:

     TWO-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Scott Moore KF6IKO         2:11     5

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX       2:05     4

     Mike Plaziak W6AH          3:11     3

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH        3:59     3
        with Steven Sierra KK6KTW

     Roman Kamienski KG6QMZ     3:18     2

While the experienced foxtailers were out on the main course, three new ham operators from nearby Rowland High School learned about measuring-tape yagis and active attenuators.  Then Calvin Lin KK6IYL, Ivan Law KK6GRX and Philby Wang KK6IYJ competed among themselves as they found three beginner two-meter transmitters and one 80-meter transmitter.  Also experimenting and learning on the beginner transmitters were Dale (AG6SC) and Samantha Murry, Allan Keller KK6JHR and Dan Slater AG6HF.

Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for setting an excellent course and to April Moell WA6OPS for providing First Aid.  Also thanks to Bruce Corning, Tom Gaccione and others who helped pick up the transmitters afterward.

Joe Moell KØOV

Santa Fe Dam ARDF photos
Santa Fe Dam ARDF on 3/22/2014
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

What a wonderful day for ARDF it was!  The second day of spring was not too hot and not too cool.  A dozen persons attended, some experienced radio-orienteers and some first-timers.  Two had tried it many months ago and were back to get more involved this time.  For many, the four beginner two-meter transmitters nearby were a chance to check their equipment and gain confidence in their technique.  Then it was on to the full five-transmitter ARDF-style course with electronic scoring.  Here are those results:

     TWO-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5    55:47  
      203(1)   205(1)   202(1)   204(1)   201(1)        F 
        8:55    16:08    27:35    40:53    48:43    55:47
        8:55     7:13    11:27    13:18     7:50     7:04

     Gloria Keawe KE6MQO       5  1:27:17
      203(1)   205(1)   202(1)   204(1)   201(1)        F
       15:37    25:15    57:42  1:07:19  1:17:19  1:27:17
       15:37     9:38    32:27     9:37    10:00     9:58

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      5  1:28:14  
      201(1)   204(1)   202(1)   205(1)   203(1)        F
       18:22    33:54    52:47  1:14:30  1:22:18  1:28:14
       18:22    15:32    18:53    21:43     7:48     5:56

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH       5  1:51:21
        with Steven Sicrra and Robert Marcario
      201(1)   204(1)   202(1)   205(1)   203(1)        F
       28:05    49:59  1:09:08  1:30:31  1:39:56  1:51:21
       28:05    21:54    19:09    21:23     9:25    11:25

     Mike Plaziak W6AH         5  1:58:47  
      203(1)   205(1)   202(1)   204(1)   201(1)        F
       34:30    44:48  1:15:33  1:39:41  1:51:38  1:58:47
       34:30    10:18    30:45    24:08    11:57     7:09

     Bruce Corning             5  2:00:16  
      201(1)   203(1)   204(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       21:03    58:30  1:25:43  1:40:47  1:52:22  2:00:16
       21:03    37:27    27:13    15:04    11:35     7:54

     Julianne Walsh KI6DYX     5  2:43:26  
      201(1)   204(1)   202(1)   205(1)   203(1)        F
       41:28  1:19:06  1:57:52  2:25:49  2:33:58  2:43:26
       41:28    37:38    38:46    27:57     8:09     9:28

     Allen Keller KK6JHR       2  1:49:58  
      203(1)   201(1)        F
       17:45  1:01:16  1:49:58
       17:45    43:31    48:42

Several people discovered ARDF on 80 meters by finding my nearby practice transmitter on that band. Two intrepid hunters went out to find the second 80m transmitter that was considerably farther away. Here are those results:

     EIGHTY-METER ARDF RESULTS -- 1 FOX
      Name and call             Time   

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        22:10

     Gloria Keawe KE6MQO       57:25  

Thanks to Marvin Johnson KE6HTS for running the antenna workshop and setting out the two-meter course.  Thanks to April Moell WA6OPS for being available for First Aid and public relations.  Thanks to Tom Gaccione WB2LRH for helping to train newcomers in RDF techniques.  Thanks to everyone who helped pick up transmitters at the end.  Last but not least, thanks to Rafael, Cynthia, John and the rest of the staff of Los Angeles County Parks for providing a wonderful venue for ARDF.

Joe Moell KØOV

Cal Poly SLO results
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ARDF on 2/22/2014

The Amateur Radio Club at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo (CPARC) held its fifth annual transmitter hunt and equipment building session on Saturday, February 22.  The event was organized by CPARC Social Coordinator Drew Troxell KK6AEB.

Instructed by Marvin Johnston KE6HTS, several 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, Kenneth Finnegan W6WKF (CPARC Projects Manager) set a challenging five-transmitter course with the entire Cal Poly campus as the boundaries.  The hunt began at 11:30 AM with the results shown above.  The participants were split into two groups, general public and student members.

Topanga Park ARDF photos

Topanga Park ARDF on 1/25/2014
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Warm weather brought lots of hikers to Topanga State Park on January 25, and a good group of radio-orienteering fans, too.  In addition to our regular group of enthusiasts and trainees, we had some first-timers who heard about our event on the PAPA repeater system.  Also coming out to build antennas and learn about direction-finding were several students and their mentors in the Science Club at Bethany Christian School in Sierra Madre. 

There were three two-meter and one 80-meter practice transmitters near the picnic area for practice and antenna testing.  A dozen intrepid souls set out on the full two-meter ARDF course that Marvin Johnston set.  If you did it perfectly, you walked or ran about 1.5 miles.  If you didn't, you can read Marvin's course analysis to see how you might have done better.

     TWO-METER COURSE RESULTS -- 5 FOXES
      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5    43:13  
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       10:10    19:08    33:07    38:11    41:52    43:13
       10:10     8:58    13:59     5:04     3:41     1:21

     Dean Dods KD6I            4    57:31  
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F       
       20:05    29:33    38:09    48:20    55:41    57:31
       20:05     9:28     8:36    10:11     7:21     1:50

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5  1:01:43  
      201(1)   204(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F       
       15:54    24:14    48:58    54:02  1:00:15  1:01:43
       15:54     8:20    24:44     5:04     6:13     1:28

     Gloria Keawe KE6MQO       5  1:49:15
     and Geraldine Keawe 
      202(1)   205(1)   201(1)   204(1)   203(1)        F       
       20:58    29:39  1:12:30  1:24:50  1:44:07  1:49:15
       20:58     8:41    42:51    12:20    19:17     5:08

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5  2:03:46  
      201(1)   204(1)   202(1)   203(1)   205(1)        F       
       13:42  1:20:52  1:36:39  1:46:37  2:01:32  2:03:46
       13:42  1:07:10    15:47     9:58    14:55     2:14

     Avi Carmi K6AVI           5  2:08:05  
      204(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)   201(1)        F       
       54:47  1:13:02  1:23:17  1:30:57  1:53:10  2:08:05
       54:47    18:15    10:15     7:40    22:13    14:55

     Scott Hanley WA9STI       3  2:10:32  
      201(1)   204(1)   205(1)        F       
       17:04  1:25:33  2:07:46  2:10:32
       17:04  1:08:29    42:13     2:46

     Chris Sanders KE6BRY      3  2:54:37  
      205(1)   201(1)   204(1)        F      
       39:21  1:27:56  2:44:06  2:54:37
       39:21    48:35  1:16:10    10:31

     Julianne Walsh KI6DYX     1  1:10:25  
      202(1)        F       
       38:13  1:10:25
       38:13    32:12

In addition, Norm Goodkin K6YXH and Jonah Levenson KJØNAH went out and found MO5 without being timed.

Several folks tried finding the demonstration transmitter on the 80-meter band with our loaner gear.  Everyone agrees that RDF on this band can be just as much fun as on the two-meter band!

Joe Moell KØOV

Results and Photos of Previous Years' ARDF and ROCA Events

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.

SoCal 2012 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2012, including Travel Town, Tri-City Park, Lake Los Carneros, San Dieguito Park, Mt. Pinos (3), Murray Community Center, Santa Fe Dam, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Bonelli Regional Park.

SoCal 2011 -- Southern California (and Arizona) practice/demonstration events of 2011, including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Yuma Fairgrounds, Lake Los Carneros (2), Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area, Schabarum Regional Park, Topanga State Park, Angel's Gate Park, Bonelli Regional Park and Tri-City Park.

SoCal 2010 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2010, including Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Schabarum Regional Park, Travel Town, Mt. Laguna, Mt. Pinos (2) and Tri-City Park.

SoCal 2009 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2009, including Bonelli Regional Park, Topanga State Park, Tri-City Park, Schabarum Regional Park, Craig Regional Park, Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area and Lake Los Carneros.

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

June 1 - 3, 2012 -- Twelfth USA ARDF Championships near Mt. Laguna, CA.

September 16 - 18, 2011 -- Eleventh USA and Sixth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Albuquerque, NM.

May 21 - 23, 2010 -- Tenth USA ARDF Championships near Cincinnati, OH.

June 5 - 7, 2009 -- Ninth USA and Fifth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Boston, MA.

THRDFS cover Go to Championship Foxhunting News -- Results of recent international competitions and announcements of upcoming ones.

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 Electronic Scoring for ARDF -- What it is, how it works, and why it's gaining popularity.

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

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 August 2014

As seen in @LA:  The Guide to Greater Los Angeles and Southern California