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:  Saturday, April 7 at Lake Los Carneros near Santa Barbara.  (Click for directions and times.)  For e-mail notification of these events, you can join the southern California ARDF mailing list.

Santa Fe Dam ARDF photos
Santa Fe Dam ARDF on 1/28/2018
Photos above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

With clear blue skies and temperatures topping 80 degrees, the weather was great for our first ARDF session of the new year.  This on-foot transmitter hunting session was combined with a classic orienteering session of the Los Angeles Orienteering Club.  Marvin Johnston KE6HTS and Bill Wright WB6CMD got a workout beginning on Saturday, setting the two-meter ARDF course plus all of the LAOC classic-O courses.

My five two-meter practice transmitters were found by several participants, untimed, as they prepared for the main ARDF course.  Here are the main course results:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bill Wright WB6CMD        5    49:37
      154(1)   151(1)   155(1)   153(1)   152(1)        F
        4:34    11:30    29:30    39:09    42:40    49:37
        4:34     6:56    18:00     9:39     3:31     6:57

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5    55:26
      151(1)   153(1)   152(1)   155(1)   154(1)        F
       15:00    33:04    41:55    46:47    53:28    55:26
       15:00    18:04     8:51     4:52     6:41     1:58

     Rob Brigham W6ZH          5  1:04:51
      154(1)   151(1)   155(1)   152(1)   153(1)        F
        9:14    21:14    39:35    47:28    54:52  1:04:51
        9:14    12:00    18:21     7:53     7:24     9:59

     David Smith W6DPS         5  1:29:23  
      155(1)   152(1)   153(1)   151(1)   154(1)        F
       11:17    22:25    35:31  1:16:52  1:27:02  1:29:23
       11:17    11:08    13:06    41:21    10:10     2:21

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5  1:32:08  
      151(1)   154(1)   152(1)   155(1)   153(1)        F
       11:21    50:37  1:01:51  1:07:14  1:18:58  1:32:08
       11:21    39:16    11:14     5:23    11:44    13:10

     Rick Stutsman N6IET       5  1:53:14  
      154(1)   151(1)   155(1)   153(1)   152(1)        F
       28:19    39:37  1:05:51  1:27:06  1:33:55  1:53:14
       28:19    11:18    26:14    21:15     6:49    19:19

     Steve Herbert K6CRW       2  1:18:13 
        with Bill Moldt KM6LQD 
      154(1)   151(1)        F
       13:12    33:17  1:18:13
       13:12    20:05    44:56

My 80-meter transmitter was about 600 meters northwest of the gathering area.  Here are the 80m results:

      Name and call           Time  

     Bill Wright WB6CMD      12:25     

     Scott Moore KF6IKO      15:04

     Robert Haggard AD6XJ    25:10
        with Jenna Canillas KBØZDR

Newcomer Bill Moldt KM6LQD brought his Arrow VHF-UHF antennas to try RDF with them.  After that, he worked a few Oscar satellite passes from the park.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

Joe Moell KØOV

Bonelli Park ARDF photos
Bonelli Park ARDF on 11/4/2017
Photos above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

The rain didn't materialize and temperatures remained cool, making it a perfect day for ARDF at Bonelli Park.  Two families and some individuals arrived early to obtain and build antenna and attenuator kits.  Then they tried them out on my practice transmitters nearby.

Marvin Johnston set an intermediate-level two-meter ARDF course, which proved to be more difficult than expected, perhaps because of reflections from the hills.  Everyone found all five transmitters, with these times:

      Name and call           Time     Foxes

     Dean Dods KD6I         1:06:15      5

     Rob Brigham W6ZH       1:10:56      5

     Eduard Nasybulin       1:11:03      5

     Bill Wright WB6CMD     1:12:33      5

     Bob Houghton AD6QF     1:35:14      5

     Scott Moore KF6IKO     2:00:01      5

My plan was to have two 80-meter transmitters on separate frequencies, one 640 meters away and the other 1.06 km away.  This would provide a good test for those trying out the new 80m ARDF receivers by KB1RLI and RigExpert.  Unfortunately, the distant transmitter had a keyer problem and couldn't be heard at the start.  So here are the results for the closer transmitter:

      Name and call           Time  

     Eduard Nasybulin         9:14

     Bill Wright WB6CMD      14:00     

     Scott Moore KF6IKO      17:30

     Bob Houghton AD6QF      18:13

     Dean Dods KD6I          20:20

     Robert Haggard AD6XJ    27:36

Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day!

Joe Moell KØOV

Mt. Pinos ARDF photos
Mt. Pinos ARDF on 7/8-9/2017
Photos above by Barbara Johnston.

While most southern California residents were sweltering in triple-digit heat, some ARDF enthusiasts were enjoying a beautiful weekend in the mountains.

There was plenty of sunshine when the two-meter classic hunt began on Saturday morning.  Scott Moore KF6IKO was the course-setter.  Everyone began from our usual starting location up the trail from the Nordic ski base.  Here are the results:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bill Wright WB6CMD        5  1:46:51
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)   204(1)        F
       13:06    29:32    51:19  1:20:42  1:33:47  1:46:51
       13:06    16:26    21:47    29:23    13:05    13:04

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5  2:12:54
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)   204(1)        F
       16:12    40:53  1:03:03  1:32:15  1:50:26  2:12:54
       16:12    24:41    22:10    29:12    18:11    22:28

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5  2:26:07
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)   204(1)        F
       21:07    48:19  1:12:12  1:46:01  2:06:30  2:26:07
       21:07    27:12    23:53    33:49    20:29    19:37

     Eduard Nasybulin          5  3:09:02  
      203(1)   201(1)   202(1)   205(1)   204(1)        F
       14:35    36:52  1:02:32  1:55:05  2:10:41  3:09:02
       14:35    22:17    25:40    52:33    15:36    58:21

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      2  2:25:52  
      201(1)   203(1)        F
       31:35  1:11:02  2:25:52
       31:35    39:27  1:14:50

Saturday evening, Marvin Johnston KE6HTS got the fire going at the camp and cooked tri-tips to perfection as always.  Then after a good night's sleep, everyone was ready for a sprint event on the 80-meter band, with transmitter set by Bill Wright WB6CMD.  Everyone finished, the transmitters were picked up, and all headed off to their homes or to lunch in Gorman.  Here are the sprint results:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       10  0:28:12
      205(1)   202(1)   203(1)   201(1)   204(1)   209(1)   210(1)   208(1)   207(1)   206(1)        F
        4:13     7:50    12:59    15:30    19:55    24:36    25:27    30:06    32:56    36:15    28:12
        4:13     3:37     5:09     2:31     4:25     4:41     0:51     4:39     2:50     3:19

     Eduard Nasybulin         10  0:30:08  
      201(1)   202(1)   203(1)   204(1)   205(1)   207(1)   206(1)   208(1)   209(1)   210(1)        F
        3:59     8:29    14:37    16:42    21:02    25:40    31:15    35:05    37:01    39:02    30:08
        3:59     4:30     6:08     2:05     4:20     4:38     5:35     3:50     1:56     2:01

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       10  0:41:00
      201(1)   203(1)   202(1)   205(1)   204(1)   206(1)   207(1)   208(1)   209(1)   210(1)        F
        6:36    11:50    14:35    19:29    22:12    27:53    30:46    34:12    37:06    39:33    41:00
        6:36     5:14     2:45     4:54     2:43     5:41     2:53     3:26     2:54     2:27     1:27

     Les Benson W6CGE           5  1:24:04  
      201(1)   202(1)   203(1)   205(1)   206(1)        F
        8:34    17:11    24:08    50:37  1:04:07  1:24:04
        8:34     8:37     6:57    26:29    13:30    19:57

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX       2  0:54:30  
        (E-punch error)

Thanks as always to Marvin for organizing the event, plus the gourmet cooking on Saturday evening.  Thanks also to Scott and Bob for setting out transmitters.

Joe Moell KØOV

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ARDF on 5/20/2017
Results courtesy Stanton Wu KK6AEE.  Photos above by Sam Vigil WA6NGH.

Each spring, the Amateur Radio Club at Calfornia Polytechnic Univerisy in San Luis Obispo holds an on-foot transmitter hunting session with an antenna building workshop, led by Marvin Johnston KE6HTS.  Transmitters this year were hidden by Stanton Wu KK6AEE.  Here are the results:

CPARC hunt results

Hillcrest Park ARDF photos
Hillcrest Park ARDF on 5/13/2017
Photos above and report below by Joe Moell KØOV.

"Antennas in the Park" (AITP) has become the biggest annual activity of the Fullerton Radio Club.  Transmitters and receivers from the HF through microwave bands are set up, contacts are made and good food is eaten.  There are also some transmitters hidden away for fans of radio direction finding to seek.

I have learned that it's important to start the tranmitter hunts early, before everyone chows down on the hamburgers, chicken and sausages that Albert Solomon AG6OF cooks up.  Otherwise, they will be too stuffed to search.

There were four practice transmitters close by on different frequencies in the two-meter band.  Several novice foxhunters sought them out, including Tom Smith KB6A, Linda Endsley KJ6IHB and Mike Sussman.  That was a prelude to the ARDF course, with five two-meter transmitters on the same frequency, each transmitting for sixty seconds in sequence.  Each competitor is started separately, as the first transmitter comes on the air.  Here are the results of that hunt:

      Name and call           Time    Foxes

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       0:43      5

     Eduard Nasybulin         0:59      4

     Bob Houghton AD6QF       1:10      4

     Rick Stutsman N6IET      1:19      2

The 80-meter band is also very important in the world of ARDF, although fewer hams have equipment for tracking on that band.  I had plenty of equipment to loan, so anyone could try if they wished.  Here are the 80m results:

      Name and call           Time  

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       0:10     

     Eduard Nasybulin         0:16

     Wil Anderson AA6DD       0:48
        with Robert Haggard AD6XJ     

     Justin Miller KI6AFZ      DNF

After running (or walking) up and down the hills of Hillcrest, hunters enjoyed a slice of the traditional Foxhunting Weekend cake, courtesy of April Moell WA6OPS.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day!

Joe Moell KØOV

Bonelli Park ARDF photos
San Diego area ARDF on 5/6/2017
Photos above and report below by Joe Corones N6SZO and Joe Loughlin KE6PHB.

It was a cold and miserable day at Lindo Lake Park in Lakeside, California, where the San Diego T-hunt Group held its annual international-style on-foot transmitter hunt.  Tony Boegeman WA6ZMZ, Joe Loughlin KE6PHB and Joe Corones N6SZO converged on the park at 7:30 AM to occupy a few tables in one of the picnic areas.  The threat of rain was looming in all the weather reports, so we did not unload any of the items we needed for the BBQ.  Tony was left guarding the ice chests while Joe and Joe set off to plant the 5 hidden T's.  This was the first time we used the Marvin Johnston tiny T's so we were anxious to see how they performed. 

Returning about 9:20, we began organizing our paperwork and setting up a practice T on 144.100 MHz.  It was misting/drizzling during this time, but we were under some trees so it was not to bad.  People started showing up and several started hunting before 10:30.  The drizzle became heavier and many just hovered around until about 11:30 when we started a few more.  The last start was at 12:50 and weather was pretty decent, so we decided to BBQ earlier than the 3:00 PM time stated in our flyer.  As we were wrapping up the BBQ about 3:30, it was starting to get pretty wet again, so we kind of threw things in the vehicles, picked up the T's and headed home.

We had a total of 21 people on site, nineteen of whom were licensed hams. Only one new person was present this year, Fredric Raab KK6NOW.  He was interested in tracking the rockets that his club launches in the desert.  We loaned him one of Marvin's tape-measure beams with a 4 MHz offset attenuator and guided him through finding the practice T.  Then we set him loose.  He managed to find two of the T's before running out of time and having to leave.  We think he had a good time.

      Name and call         Time Foxes  

     Bill Wright WB6CMD     0:39   5

     Bill Elkerton W6ZM     0:44   5 
        with Robin Elkerton KM6HKS, Bryan Elkerton KI6DUR, Bryan Kukuk KG6SMT and Niki

     Marvin Johnston KE6HTS 0:59   5

     Dick Foran WB6ZAM      1:04   5 
        with Mark Ording K6MHO

     Matt Tucker N6EAJ      1:15   5 
        with Ed Hall KI6JMK

     Greg Spaulding W6BAF   1:55   5

     Robert Dexter N9SCD    0:52   3

     Fredric Raab KK6NOW    1:01   2

Other hams present who may or may not have hunted a little include:  Tom Sneden K6VCR, Karen Spaulding KI6FON and Brian McDaniel WB2JCG.  Also present were Jim and Kaila, helping with the BBQ.

See everyone next year!

Joe Corones N6SZO and Joe Loughlin KE6PHB

Results and Photos of ARDF and ROCA Events in the Last Five Years

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.

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.

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 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.

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 15 March 2018

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