Cal Poly SLO Radio-Orienteering and Antenna Building

Saturday, May 20, 2017

CPARC logoThis on-foot direction-finding session is sponsored by the Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club (CPARC).  It is open to ham operators and non-hams of all ages and takes place on the beautiful campus of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.  Your host is Stanton Wu KK6AEE, the Events Coordinator of CPARC.

Measuring-tape beamAll you must have is a transceiver or scanner that covers the ham radio two-meter band.  A few transceivers and direction-finding antenna sets will be available for loan. Better yet, you can build your own RDF antenna and attenuator on the spot from kits.  Then try your hand at a 5-fox two-meter international-rules ARDF course of low to moderate difficulty.  Experts will be on hand to help you with kitbuilding and they can teach you the basic techniques of on-foot direction-finding.

Beginning about 9:00 AM, Marvin Johnston KE6HTS will conduct a clinic for building his kits for measuring-tape yagis and for 90 dB offset-type attenuators in room 116 of Building 20 (or another room as announced).  You can also get the yagi kit and an assembled/tested attenuator in a special housing that goes inside the boom of the yagi. (See photo at right).  The radio club will pay part of the price of your set.  If you register in advance by sending e-mail to, he will have the kits reserved in your name waiting for you.  If you're not an electronic technician, don't worry because there will be plenty of experts to help you.  We want you to succeed!

The transmitter hunt will start about 10:30 AM.  Hunters may start the course at any time until 1 PM.  Course closes at 3 PM.  There is no charge for participation in the hunt.  The course will include the main campus and Poly Canyon, so be sure to bring some water and wear suitable shoes.  A barbecue and social session will follow the transmitter hunt.

San Luis Obispo is on the central coast of California.  From northbound Highway 101 downtown, take the Grand Avenue exit, turn left and go north uphill to the campus.  From southbound Highway 101, take the Monterey Street exit, continue on the frontage road three blocks to Grand Avenue, then go right and uphill on Grand to the campus.  See the map below.

Navigation map

Control flagLook for event signs or an orange and white orienteering flag. (Example at left.)  Park as close as you can to Engineering East Building 20 (the one under the ham radio tower).  Parking permits are not required on Saturday in the general lots, but parking meters may be enforced, so be sure to check the signage in the lot where you park.  More parking information is here.

Partial Cal Poly map

Talk-in is on the CPARC linked repeaters: 146.76(-) PL91.5 and 442.3(+) PL127.3.  Both repeaters are located on the campus.

Questions about the hunt? Send e-mail to

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This page updated 29 March 2017