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Registration Now Open for USA ARDF Championships


Registration is now under way for the 2017 USA and International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), which will take place August 3-6 near Harrison, Ohio, northwest of Cincinnati near the Indiana state line. Three optional training days are planned for Monday through Wednesday, July 31-August 2 near Harrison, just prior to the championships. If you have never experienced a full ARDF course, this is your chance to do so in a friendly environment. Your only opponent will be the clock.

Thursday, August 3, will be devoted to the sprint event, a short course with 12-second fox transmissions instead of the usual 60 seconds each. Friday morning will be foxoring, a combination of radio direction finding and classic orienteering, followed by a model event for equipment testing and a competitor briefing.

Classic 2-meter and 80-meter competitions take place Saturday and Sunday, respectively. There will be an awards banquet on Saturday evening for presentation of medals for foxoring, sprint, and 2-meter classic. Awards for 80-meter classic will be presented Sunday afternoon, immediately after the competition.

Organizers of the 2017 USA and IARU Region 2 Championships are members of the OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society. They are experienced radio-orienteers who organized the successful national championships of 2003 and 2010. Assisting them will be members of Orienteering Cincinnati.

ARDF championship rules are set by the IARU. For scoring and awards, participants are divided into 11 age/gender categories. In the classic ARDF events, competitors start in small groups made up of different categories. As they seek the hidden transmitters, they navigate through the forest from the starting corridor to the finish line, a distance of 4 to 10 kilometers. They plot their direction-finding bearings on orienteering maps that show terrain features, elevation contours, and vegetation type.

The USA ARDF Championships are open to anyone who can safely navigate the woods alone. A ham radio license is not required. Each participant competes as an individual — any teamwork or GPS use is forbidden. Competitors bring their own direction-finding gear to the events, although extra gear is sometimes available for loan from other attendees. Competitors may not transmit on the course, except in emergencies.

USA’s ARDF Championships are an ideal opportunity to watch and learn from the best radio-orienteers in the US and from around the world, because visiting competitors from numerous other countries are expected to attend

Full information is on the ARDF USA website, including schedule, technical details, lodging, site embargoes, tourism, weather, and much more. An e-mail reflector is available for Q&A with the organizers as well as for coordinating transportation and arranging equipment loans.

The Homing In website of ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, includes basic information on international-style transmitter hunting, including rules and signal parameters. This site includes equipment ideas for 2 meters and 80 meters, plus photos from previous championships. — Thanks to ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV




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