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North Carolina to Host 2013 US Direction Finding Competition:

from The ARRL Letter on September 5, 2013
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North Carolina to Host 2013 US Direction Finding Competition:

The Uwharrie Mountains of North Carolina will provide the locale for the 13th USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Championships of on-foot hidden transmitter hunting. Fans of this international sport, also known as "foxtailing" or "radio-orienteering," are making travels plans now. Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK will host the event, which will be held October 8-13. This year's USA Championships are being combined with the Seventh ARDF Championships of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU Region 2 (the Americas).

On October 9 are optional practice sessions on 2 meters and 80 meters. October 10 brings model events of two activities introduced last year -- sprints and foxoring -- followed that afternoon by the championship foxoring event. The sprint championship event takes place on October 11.

Classic transmitter hunting championship competition is held Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13. Transmitters will be on 2 meters and 80 meters the afternoon of October 11 for last-minute practice and equipment testing, with a procedures and safety briefing afterward.

All ages and levels of experience are represented at the USA ARDF Championships. These participants are waiting for the signal to head onto the 80 meter course at the 2010 championships in Ohio. [Joe Moell, K0OV, photo]

Saturday morning will be the full-course 2 meter main event, followed in the evening by the banquet and awards presentation. The full-course 80 meter main event takes place Sunday morning, with awards presented afterwards.

In the classic ARDF championships, competitors start in small groups made up of different age/gender 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. A ham radio license is not required. Each participant competes as an individual, and any teamwork or GPS use are 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.

Registration is now open, and an online entry form, detailed schedules, frequencies, lodging information and registration forms are on the BOK website Competitors can avoid late fees by signing up no later than September 15. An e-mail 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 on the Homing In website, including rules and signal parameters. The site includes equipment ideas for 2 meters and 80 meters, plus photos from previous championships. Information about the Amateur Radio Direction Finding Fund are on the ARRL website. Read more -- Joe Moell, K0OV, ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator


The ARRL Letter

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