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.

Results and photos from the session at Bonelli Regional Park on October 22, 2016 will be available here soon.

Next Event:  To be announced soon.  For e-mail notification of these events, you can join the southern California ARDF mailing list.

Hahn Park ARDF photos
Hahn Park ARDF on 10/8/2016
Photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Members of the Westside Amateur Radio Club of Los Angeles have been participating in our on-foot transmitter hunting sessions for about a year.  Steve Herbert K6CRW and Joe Santana K6GTE have learned the joys and tribulations of foxhunt organizing by putting on club-only sessions at parks and schools in the Santa Monica area.  Their success encouraged them to put on the club's first open session at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area on October 8, 2016.

This is a fine park with recreation areas and some hilly wilderness.  Steve estimates that the ARDF course was about three kilometers in length.  Afterward, he wrote:

"The competition course was marked with newly-acquired orienteering flags and three-digit codes adhered to the fox boxes for confirmation of the find.  Three practice foxes were set up near the staging area for participants to tune up with.  Some technical glitches with our synchronized phone/mp3 players had us starting an hour late and a couple other glitches made it a bit challenging.  The battery in Fox #1 died prematurely a couple of hours into the contest and Fox #3 had an unusual transmission pattern of being on for 14 seconds, off for several seconds and on again for about 10 seconds before stopping.  This was caused by a programming error of the phone/mp3 player.  While not our best showing, everyone worked with it and we went on."

Many of the participants found all of the practice transmitters, including the team of Richard McDonald KK6MRH and wife Charina.  Then Charina went out on her own to find two foxes on the main course.  Here are the main course results:

      Name and call           Time  Foxes

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       1:06    5

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:17    5

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      1:00    4

     Richard Stutsman K6IET   2:22    4
        with Angelo Banfi KM6ECH

     Charina McDonald         0:30    2

Steve writes, "Thank you to everyone who came out and made it a good day of hunting in this new venue for us!"

Mt. Pinos ARDF photo
Mt. Pinos ARDF on 7/23/2016
Photo above by Scott Moore KF6IKO.

When the temperature is in three digits in the Los Angeles basin, the mountains are the best place for ARDF.  So it was on July 23, when Scott Moore KF6IKO set a two-meter course at Mt. Pinos, near Frazier Park.  The starting point was near the Nordic Ski Base and the finish was at McGill Campground.  "A tough but fair course" was the description of Bill Wright WB6CMD, who found all five transmitters with the best time of the day.  Here are the results:

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       2:46:00    5

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        3:01:00    5

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     3:10:00    3

Many thanks to Scott for helping to train ARDF team USA!

Los Carneros ARDF photos
Lake Los Carneros ARDF on 6/11/2016
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Overcast skies never cleared and drizzle prevailed for much of the day at Lake Los Carneros for our June ARDF event, but the turnout was good and everyone had fun on the courses.  Two new family groups came out and learned skills by hunting my two practice transmitters.  Then they headed out on the main two-meter course with help from Julianne Walsh KI6DYX to the Vahey family and course-setter Marvin Johnston KE6HTS to the Tegan family.

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Dean Dods KD6I           0:31:07    5

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      0:36:08    5

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       0:36:52    5

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        0:38:08    5

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       1:00:56    5

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     1:04:20    5

     Rick Stutsman N6IET      1:27:42    5

     Lacie Harper             1:28:50    5
        with Tegan and Bodhi

     Steve Hebert K6CRW       2:12:01    5

     Mike Vahey N6MDV         2:13:20    4
        with Scott Vahey KM6COI and Karen Vahey K6VHY

Five hunters had enough moxie left after their two-meter run to try my single 80-meter transmitter, which was one kilometer away near the opposite corner of the park.

      Name and call           Time  

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV     25:03     

     Scott Moore KF6IKO      26:00

     Bill Wright WB6CMD      30:30     

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE       34:00     

     Dean Dods KD6I          36:47     

Thanks to Marvin for course-setting and teaching, to Julianne for teaching and to April Moell WA6OPS for helping with the start/finish and hydration.

Joe Moell KØOV

San Diego ARDF photos
San Diego ARDF on 5/21/2016
Report below and photos above by Joe Corones N6SZO and Joe Loughlin KE6PHB.

The fifth annual San Diego T-hunt Group's on foot transmitter hunt was held at Lake Murray on May 21 in conjunction with the CQ World Wide Foxhunting Weekend.  It brought out a total of 46 people, including 36 hams and eleven other folks related somehow to participants in the event.  This was quite a jump from our normal 20 to 30 that we have had in the past!  We were on site about 7:15 AM to start unloading supplies for the BBQ and other equipment.  Tony Boegeman WA6ZMZ arrived about 7:45 to provide security for everything while we put out the five hidden T's that had been programmed to start at 10:00 AM sharp.  Thanks to Tony for his presence and assistance or we would have not been able to stake out a nice picnic table under a gazebo close to the tot-lot in the park.  It turned out that during the day there were at least 300 people occupying areas of the park close to where were set up.  I actually missed two phone calls due to the noise of all the kids screaming & yelling on both sides of us.

As usual, we advertised that we would have "limited" equipment to loan out.  That went really fast as we had 10 to 12 people who had never attempted ADRF before.  We tried to pair people up and get them on the right track.  Our practice T on 144.100 was on all day and many people located that with assistance.  But explaining the techniques as they looked for the practice T resulted in some discrepancies in our paperwork as we were not at the starting table all the time to be able to smoothly transition everyone out on the course.  So this summary has been pieced together and somewhat simplified.  We hope we have not omitted anyone in the process.

                 SINGLE HUNTERS
      Name and call          Time   Foxes

     Bill Wright WB6CMD      1:50     5

     Greg Spaulding W6BAF    2:15     5

     Tom Sneden K6VCR        2:57     5

     Alan Fedder N6DII       4:50     5

                       TWO-PERSON TEAMS
      Names and calls                          Time   Foxes

     Bill Elkerton W6ZM and Robin Elkerton     1:57     5

     Dick Foran WA6ZAM and Mark Ording K6MHO   2:05     5

     Alex W6AWB and Andrew                     2:18     5

     Matt N6EAJ and Ed KI6JMK                  3:35     5

     James KM6BZB and Becky KM6BXA             3:35     4

                       SEVEN-PERSON TEAM
      Names and calls        Time   Foxes

     Bruce Denny K6AUW       2:04     5
         with Nevin, Tom KJ6VOC, Daniel KM6BXP, Beth, Aaron and David

Other team participants finding various numbers of T's, hams and friends present during the event:  Gwen W6OKY (first time out) and Ron K6RSH (first time out), Ed WA6YVX and son Jeff KM6BUX, Gary KK6YKC (first time out) and Jack N6FUG (first time out), Darl KK6BKC (first time out), Drew KB9FKD (first time out) and son Daniel, Bud AE6BH (first time out) and son Nevan, Brian WB2JCG, Daniel KJ6IOB, Robert N9SCD, Karen KI6FON, Bryan KI6DUR and wife Nicky, Branden KM6BXN (first time out), Tony WA6ZMZ, Joe KE6PHB, Joe N6SZO, the ham who was with the kids at the tot-lot who came over and found the practice T, forgot to get his call sign (first timer), Mary Lou, Jim and Kayla.

The BBQ started about 3 PM and everyone seemed to have a good time sitting around and discussing the day's events while enjoying burgers, hot dogs and cold liquid refreshments.  Thanks go out to Tom KJ6VOC, Daniel KM6BXP and Brian WB2JCG who helped us haul all the supplies and equipment back to our vehicles.  We hope everyone had a good time!  See everyone next year?

Map of transmitter locations and more photos are here.

Joe Corones N6SZO and Joe Loughlin KE6PHB

Hillcrest Park ARDF photos
Hillcrest Park ARDF on 5/14/2016
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

"Antennas in the Park" (AITP) is an annual tradition for the Fullerton Radio Club (FRC) and this year's was the best attended in a long time.  The FRC directors decided to include a barbecue this year, with President Albert Solomon AG6OF as the Chief Cook.  He prepared quite a spread, including hamburgers, chicken and sausages.  All the food and drinks had an unintended consequence, because two of our regular transmitter hunters decided to eat first.  Afterward, they were too full to foxhunt.  Next year, the rule will be "hunt first, eat later."

I had three easy transmitters on two-meter frequencies for the newcomers.  Among them was Tom Smith KB6A on his first transmitter hunt, helped by Julianne Walsh KI6DYX.  They also served as warm-up for the experienced folks who later tried the full five-transmitter ARDF course. 

Since this is a public park with lots of activity, there were no flags and all of the two-meter transmitters were well concealed inside the shrubbery.  Here are results of the two-meter ARDF course:

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       0:59:39    5

     Rick Stutsman N6IET      1:31:10    5

     Steve Hebert K6CRW       1:33:01    5

     Cliff Pratt N6PWC        1:36:19    4

I put out an 80-meter transmitter, because that is an important part of championship ARDF competition.  Will Anderson AA6DD and Robert Haggard AD6XJ used this transmitter to test and tune up their R3500D 80-meter ARDF sets from Chinese Radio Kits.

As usual, there were other activities at AITP this year.  Walter Clark brought out some unusual microwave gear for show and tell.  Portable QRP HF stations were set up and operated by Bob Thornburg WB6JPI and Dick Palmer WB6JDH.  Dan Slater AG6HF flew one of his many quadcopters.  And of course there was the traditional Foxhunting Weekend cake from April Moell WA6OPS.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day!

Joe Moell KØOV

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ARDF on 5/7/2016
Photos above by Maria Pikusova.

Bob Cooley KF6VSE finished first in 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 17 seconds.  In second place, only 33 seconds behind Bob was Dean Dods KD6I at 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 50 seconds.  The weather was great for the hunt and we all had a blast at the barbecue!.

Stanton Wu KK6AEE
President, CPARC

CPARC hunt results

Schabarum Park ARDF photos
Schabarum Park ARDF on 3/12/2016
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Schabarum Regional Park is great for ARDF practice because main course competitors can start at the southeast corner of the Powder Canyon Wilderness and work their way to the finish area in a picnic grove.  Unfortunately, we discovered on arrival that Powder Canyon was closed due to rain the day before.  So the course was much shorter than planned, with both start and finish in the grove.  It was beautiful because the trees were in full bloom.  The cold front had dropped the temperature into the 40's overnight, and it only got into the 60's during our time there, making for great ARDF weather.

It was good to have two newcomers from Glendora.  With borrowed antennas and attenuators, they quickly figured out how RDF is done and found all four of my beginner two-meter transmitters nearby.  Then they went out on the main two-meter course with help and additional training from Julianne Walsh KI6DYX.

Steve Hebert K6CRW and Bob Houghton AD6QF greatly improved their individual results on the main course with help from their new MK4 "blue box" ARDF sets from Australia.  In what may be a first, all of the main course participants found all five transmitters.

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       0:52:45    5

     Steve Hebert K6CRW       1:08:14    5

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       1:10:20    5

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      1:13:02    5

     Bob Houghton AD6QF       1:32:50    5

     Michael Pearlman W6MAP   2:16:05    5
        with James Robertson W6JDR and Julianne Walsh KI6DYX

Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for having antenna kits and tools at the ready, and for putting out the main course.  Thanks to Bill Wright WB6CMD and Julianne Walsh KI6DYX for help with transmitter pickup after the hunt.

Joe Moell KØOV

Griffith Park ARDF photos
Griffith Park ARDF on 2/13/2016
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Unusually warm February weather brought out a fine group of transmitter hunters to the Travel Town section of Griffith Park.  It was good to see a group from the West Side Amateur Radio Club, including Richard (KK6MRH) and Charina McDonald.  Richard is blind, but he's pretty good with a beam and a blue box.  He and another ham from the club (Rick Stutsman N6IET) tracked down the two beginner transmitters nearby, then they were ready for the main two-meter course.

      Name and call             Time   Foxes

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        1:07:50    5

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:22:22    5

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       1:37:15    5

     Steve Hebert K6CRW       2:31:10    3

     Richard McDonald KK6MRH  1:11:05    1
        with Clif Pratt N6PWC, Julianne Walsh KI6DYX and Snow

     Brooks Kachner W6BJK     1:39:25    1
        with Susan Kachner

The 80-meter transmitter was 1.25 km away.  You could go directly over the hills to it, or take the trail around the hills.

      Name and call           Time  

     Bill Wright WB6CMD      0:43:20     

     Scott Moore KF6IKO      0:56:30     

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH     1:13:38     

Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for setting most of the advanced course.  Thanks to Tom Gaccione WB2LRH and Julianne Walsh KI6DYX for helping to train newcomers, and for everyone who helped pick up transmitters afterwards. April Moell WA6OPS was ready with First Aid supplies, as always.

Joe Moell KØOV

Bonelli Park ARDF photos
Bonelli Park ARDF on 1/23/2016
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

The cool cloudy weather was nearly perfect for on-foot transmitter hunting at Bonelli Regional Park on January 23.  Except for a very brief sprinkling in the early afternoon, the rain stayed away all day.  My practice transmitters got lots of visitors as participants checked their gear and prepared for Marvin's five-fox two-meter ARDF course.  Six tried this main hunt, with these results:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5  1:12:27
      203(1)   201(1)   204(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
        7:21    16:10    23:35    51:08  1:00:25  1:12:27
        7:21     8:49     7:25    27:33     9:17    12:02

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5  1:48:41
      201(1)   203(1)   204(1)   202(1)   205(1)        F
       24:11    38:36    55:35  1:31:18  1:40:20  1:48:41
       24:11    14:25    16:59    35:43     9:02     8:21

     Bll  Wright WB6CMD        5  2:20:50
      204(1)   201(1)   203(1)   205(1)   202(1)        F
       36:20  1:01:20  1:13:57  1:49:48  2:10:08  2:20:50
       36:20    25:00    12:37    35:51    20:20    10:42

     Robert Haggard AD6XJ      3  1:37:12
      204(1)   201(1)   203(1)        F
       28:47    42:03    55:04  1:37:12
       28:47    13:16    13:01    42:08

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH       2  2:08:31
      201(1)   203(1)        F
     1:00:54  1:19:19  2:08:31
     1:00:54    18:25    49:12

     Steve Herbert K6CRW       1  2:45:42
      203(1)        F
       13:55  2:45:42
       13:55  2:31:57

Five persons went out to find my 80-meter transmitters, which was 950 meters away.  Here are their times:

      Name and call           Time  

     Bill Wright WB6CMD       34:22     

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       39:15     

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH      45:58     

     Bob Houghton AD6QF       51:45
        with Rick Ebert KE6ONX     

Thanks as always to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for setting the main course and to Tom Gaccione WB2LRH for helping with transmitter pickup.  Julianne Walsh KI6DYX helped train newcomers.  April Moell WA6OPS was standing by with First Aid gear, just in case.

Joe Moell KØOV

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

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.

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.

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 23 October 2016

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