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Registration Opens for USA ARDF Championships


Registration is now open for the 2019 USA and IARU Region 2 Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), set for August 1 – 4. Competition venues will be near Raleigh, North Carolina.

“The USA 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,” said ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV. “Winners who qualify by citizenship or residence may be selected for positions on ARDF Team USA, which will travel to Serbia for the 2020 ARDF World Championships.”

Thursday, August 1, will be devoted to the foxoring championship. Foxoring is a combination of radio direction finding and classic orienteering. Friday morning will be the sprint, a short course with 12-second fox transmissions instead of the usual 60 seconds each, followed by a model event for equipment testing and a competitor briefing.

Classic 2-meter and 80-meter competitions will take place Saturday and Sunday, respectively. An awards banquet on Saturday evening will include presentation of medals for foxoring, sprint, and 2-meter classic events; awards for 80-meter classic will be given out on Sunday afternoon immediately after the competition.

Four optional training days are planned for Sunday through Wednesday, July 28 – 31, just prior to the championships. This pre-event training offers the experience of a full ARDF course in a friendly environment, with the clock as your only opponent.

Members of the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK) will organize the 2019 USA and IARU Region 2 Championships. All are experienced radio-orienteers who organized the successful 2013 national championships. The event director is Joseph Huberman, K5JGH, and the registrar is Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG.

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) sets ARDF championship rules. For scoring and awards, participants are divided into eleven 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 ranging from 4 to 12 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 by themselves. 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.

Information bulletin #2 contains the complete schedule, technical details, lodging, T-shirts, fees, rule variations, and more. Bulletins and links for online registration are on the event web page on the BOK site. An email reflector is available for Q&A with the organizers as well as for coordinating transportation and arranging equipment loans.

Basic information on international-style transmitter hunting is in the “Homing In” website, including rules and signal parameters. This site includes equipment ideas for 2 meters and 80 meters, plus photos and stories from previous championships. — Thanks to Joe Moell, K0OV    



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