Radio Orienteering with the Backwoods Orienteering Klub

We invite you to try radio orienteering with us. Radio orienteering combines all of the elements of traditional orienteering with the use of radio navigation for finding the controls. If you enjoy orienteering, and have an interest in radio, then radio orienteering will probably appeal to you. No license is required, and everyone is welcome to participate.

Like traditional orienteering, radio orienteering is conducted worldwide. There are international rules for radio orienteering, and an international organization that sanctions championship competitions. See below for more information.

Navigating a radio orienteering course is similar to traditional orienteering, except that you get a map with no controls mapped on it, and you navigate to radio transmitters located near control flags. A receiver with a directional antenna (available for loan), and a map and compass, are your tools for finding the controls.

Because the skills needed for radio-O are essentially the same as for traditional orienteering, it is recommended that those who are new to orienteering take the beginning orienteering class before attempting radio-O. Operating the radio receiver is not complicated, and instructions will be provided to participants before they head into the woods. Anyone who owns equipment for transmitter hunting is encouraged to use it, but loaner equipment is generally available at these events.

Instruction is provided free of charge. Registration fees for the radio-O course are the same as for other orienteering courses (see the orienteering information page). The rules for radio-O are the same as for traditional orienteering, with the following exceptions: 1) Transmitters may be found in any order. 2) Participants receive one point for each radio control point punched on their score card.

Not all BOK orienteering events feature radio orienteering. Below is a list of events for which radio orienteering is currently planned. The list is subject to change. You will find directions to our events (sometimes) linked to the on-line orienteering schedule.  When you arrive at an event venue look for our red and white signs  guiding you to the starting location.  If you are planning to participate please e-mail us at least two days in advance so we will be sure that sufficient maps and transmitter hunting equipment are available.
 

Planned Regional Radio-O Events for 2007
Date Location Event Director Club  
November 18
(Confirm by Nov 16*)
Umstead South Nadia & Charles Scharlau  BOK  

*NOTE: PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR PARTICIPATION BY SENDING AN E-MAIL AT LEAST TWO DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT DATE. IF NO CONFIRMATION E-MAILS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY TWO DAYS BEFORE THE EVENT THEN RADIO-O MAY BE CANCELLED FOR THAT DATE. SEND CONFIRMATION E-MAIL TO cscharlau@earthlink.net

For more information on radio orienteering equipment, and transmitter hunting in general, please visit the Piedmont Transmitter Tracking web site.

International Radio Orienteering

Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) is an exciting combination of radio and orienteering. All ages can participate, and no radio license is required.

AMATEUR RADIO DIRECTION FINDING - AN EXCITING AMATEUR RADIO SPORT

ARDF - amateur radio direction finding is an exciting activity attracting people from youngsters and teenagers to experienced old timers and veterans. ARDF joins radio skills --- like construction of transmitters and receivers, knowledge of HF and VHF radio propagation phenomena, antenna patterns, evaluation of strength and quality of received signals --- with orienteering skills like proper use of map and compass, taking bearings, continuous knowledge of one's own position and physical  fitness and ability to run several kilometers in diverse terrain, mostly wooded. But above all, ARDF is the pleasure of being in direct contact with nature, of breathing fresh unpolluted air, and of joining with friends who share similar interests.

Hundreds of ARDF events are organized every year by local clubs, societies, and on the highest level by the International Amateur Radio Union. Participants in these events arrive to the spot announced by the organizer, dress in sport garments suitable for running, and start in small groups to meet the direction finding adventure. Their task is to discover --- by taking radio bearings --- four or five low-power hidden transmitters, located in a forest. The discovery of a hidden transmitter has to be confirmed by personal presence at the spot and punching a score card. The winner of the event is the one who visits all prescribed transmitters and appears at the finish line in the shortest time.

ARDF is not only fun, it is also a powerful tool for attracting people, especially youth, to amateur radio. Thousands of today's experienced radio amateurs started their amateur radio activity as ARDF competitors. Usually there are hundreds of spectators at the start and finish of big events like regional or world championships --- which is usually covered by the media - press, radio and TV. ARDF is the only amateur radio activity in which the general public is invited to not only observe, but to fully participate! Thus, ARDF is a powerful tool for spreading the word of the existence and aims of amateur radio, permitting all to get a genuine experience of ham radio in action. Of benefit to the IARU and its international tasks, ARDF is often a means of attracting amateur societies in developing countries, leading them to join the IARU.

(Adapted from "Information" published by the ARDF-WG of IARU Region 1 - June 1995)

Links

Information on the 2006 USA ARDF Championships that were held right here in Raleigh!

For the latest international ARDF news, including complete ARDF rules visit the Region 2 ARDF Web Site.

Many more links can be found at http://www.qsl.net/nz0i/links.htm

For information on other transmitter hunting activities in the Triangle area visit Piedmont Transmitter Tracking.
 

Backwoods Orienteering Klub

904 Dorothea Drive
Raleigh, NC 27603
Orienteering, The Thinking Sport
(919) 828-6068 In the Raleigh Business White Pages under "Orienteering"
Recorded Meet Information (919) 839-1837
http://www.treklite.com/bok

BOK Home Page   BOK Schedule   Treklite Home Page