Download the championships registration form and instructions.
Go to the Event Hotel registration site.

Event Information

Eighteenth USA ARDF Championships
June 13 - 17, 2018

Truckee, California

ARDF California logo


Wednesday, June 13

While not an official part of the competition, optional ARDF training will take place on Wednesday for practice of various aspects of ARDF.  There are expected to be separate morning and afternoon sessions.  Practice will concentrate on determining reliable bearings, interpreting reflected signals, probable control locations, course strategies, route choices, and other essentials for doing well.  This training will be open to anyone who will be participating in the Championships.  There will be a small fee for the training to cover maps and other expenses.  The training venues will not include the competition areas.  Regardless of IARU category, everyone is encouraged to attempt to find all transmitters.  Exact location for gathering and parking will be announced.

All competitors need to be back to the finish when the course closes.  Do not leave the site without checking in at the finish.

Meals on the training day are on your own.  Attendees are encouraged bring their lunches and to form a group for dinner together at a nearby restaurant.

On Wednesday evening, competitors may check in at Event Headquarters and receive their information packets.

Thursday, June 14

This morning will be the foxoring competition.  The location and start time will be announced..

Information packets will be available at the start of the foxoring event and at the Event Headquarters afterwards.  

Meals today are on your own.  Attendees are encouraged to form a group for dinner together at a nearby restaurant.

Friday, June 15

Today's arrivals may check in at Event Headquarters and receive their information packets.  

The ARDF Sprint competition will take place this morning at a location to be announced.

Meals today are on your own.

Some 2M and 80M transmitters will be on the air for equipment testing from 2 to 4 PM (the Model Event).  Starting point will be announced

In the evening, there will be a briefing for all competitors at Event Headquarters.  There will also be a separate meeting of non-competing volunteers with the Meet Director.  Meeting rooms and times will be announced.

Saturday, June 16

The moment of truth has arrived -- today will be the 2M classic competition.

Meet at location to be announced at 9 AM.  Be prompt so that the group can head for the undisclosed starting point together.  The competition (first runner off the line) will start about 10:00 AM.  

After all competitors have reached the finish, the jury will meet to certify the results.  The remainder of the afternoon is lunch (bring your own) and free time.

Saturday evening is the official banquet and awards ceremony at the Event Hotel.

We expect VIP guests from the American Radio Relay League to be in attendance.  Medals for foxoring, sprint and the 2M event will be presented.

Sunday, June 17

Today is the 80M classic competition.

We will meet once again at the announced location one half hour earlier than Saturday, to be able start the course a half hour earlier to accommodate those with early airline reservations.  Please plan to arrive by 8:30 AM.  Typically, the 80M times are a bit faster than the 2M times.  Afterward, the jury will meet.  Then an awards ceremony will take place to present medals.  The championships will officially end at this time, expected to be about 2 PM. 

Competition Rules and Technical Information

General ARDF Rules

Because no official rules for Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) exist for International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (North and South America), these Championships will follow the current Region 1 ARDF rules.  Any exceptions to those rules that are not stated on this page will be announced at the event briefing and/or in the starting area before the competitions.

Age/gender categories will be M19, M21, M40, M50, M60, M70, F19, F21, F35, F50 and F60 in accordance with current ARDF rules.  If there is registration by a sufficient number of youth, M13, F13, M16 and F16 catetories will be added.  Men competitors ages 40 or older or women competitors ages 35 or older belong to each category from the beginning of the calendar year in which they reach the given age.  Competitors ages 19 and younger belong to each category until the end of the calendar year in which they reach the given age.

Normally the rules do not allow competitors to take transmitting devices onto the course.  However, 2M transceivers are allowable during the 2M event if they are connected to a RDF antenna and are used only for direction-finding.

The use of satellite positioning devices (e.g. GPS) is allowed, provided they do not contain a digital map of the terrain (i.e., they are "non-mapping" devices).

Competition Site Embargo

All Bay Area Orienteering Club mapped orienteering sites within 25 miles of the town of Truckee are under embargo for ARDF, meaning that if you plan to participate in the championships, you may not enter any of these areas until the day of competition.  This embargo prevents anyone from having an unfair advantage in the competition by virtue of having been in these woods recently.  Public highways and towns such as Truckee are unrestricted.

Transmitter Details

Here is transmitter information for the classic ARDF events.  The two-meter frequencies are below 146 MHz to accommodate European/Asian equipment. 

2M foxes:  144.525 MHz, AM modulation (keyed carrier) with CW tones
2M homing:  145.565 MHz, AM modulation (keyed carrier) with CW tones
80M foxes:  3579 kHz, keyed CW (A1)
80M homing:  3547 kHz, keyed CW (A1)

2M transmitters will use omnidirectional horizontally polarized antennas.  80M transmitters will use vertically polarized antennas. All transmitters will identify with a call sign in CW at the beginning or end of each transmission.

Foxoring transmitters will be continuous on 3579 KHz.  Sprint event transmitter and beacon frequencies will be selected from the following:  3510, 3530, 3542, 3579, 3590 and 3610 KHz. 

Map Details (subject to revision)

Scale:  1:10000 or 1:5000
Paper size:  8.5 x 14 inches (21.6 cm x 35.6 cm) or less
Contour interval:  5 meters
Start, finish and exclusion circles will be pre-drawn

Required Transmitters For Each Category

Per IARU Region 1 Rules, or as announced at event briefing

Time Limit

180 Minutes for all categories, or as otherwise announced at the event briefing


Clocks synchronized to a WWVB time standard will be present at both the start and finish areas.  All competitors will use SportIdent for recording their time on the courses.  Your registration fee includes use of a borrowed "e-stick," or you may use your own.

Event Headquarters Hotel (see below)

Hampton Inn Truckee


Location, Lodging and Dining

Truckee, California, population 16,180, is located near Donner Summit along Interstate Highway 80, one hundred miles northeast of Sacramento and 33 miles southwest of Reno, Nevada.

AAA three-diamond rated Hampton Inn & Suites Tahoe-Truckee is the Event Headquarters for these championships.  For this event, the hotel is offering special one-king or two-queen bed room rates of $159/night for Monday through Thursday (6/11-14), $269/night for Friday/Saturday (6/15-16) and $159/night for Sunday (6/17).  These are discounts of 20 to 25% off the hotel's regular two-queen rates, which is much better than AAA/AARP rates.  The rooms have 32-inch flatscreen TV, work desk, easy chair with ottoman, and free WiFi.  Also included is a full homestyle buffet breakfast.  For these group rates, reservations must be made before midnight on Friday, April 27.  You must use this link to reserve at the ARRL group rate.  When you reserve for a span of days that includes both rates, a combination rate will be shown, but you will be getting the advertised rate for each day.

Other lodging options in this popular summer resort town are the Cedar House Sport Hotel, the Best Western Plus Hotel Truckee Tahoe, and the Truckee Donner Lodge.

Coachland RV Park, located just outside Truckee, can accommodate campers and recreational vehicles of all sizes with daily and weekly rates.

For those who want to "rough it," there are two campgrounds on Highway 89 north of Truckee.  Both are on the banks of the Little Truckee River, so they are mostly utilized by fishing enthusiasts.  Upper Little Truckee Campground is closest to the site of the classic competitions, while Lower Little Truckee Campground is closer to the town of Truckee.  Both have potable water and can handle tent camping and camping trailers.  Another Forest Service campground, much busier in boating season, is Lakeside, on the edge of the Prosser Reservoir, ten miles north of Truckee.  Also Donner Memorial State Park in Truckee has camping facilities with showers, but it is more expensive and even more crowded.

The historic downtown Truckee Hotel was established in 1873.  It has been fully refurbished and now has 38 guest rooms.  Guests share 9 bathrooms.

There are many sit-down restaurants and fast food establishments in Truckee (reviews here and here).  According to the local Chamber of Commerce, "Truckee is a foodie's haven."


US ImmigrationCitizens of many countries do not need a visa to travel to the USA for tourism, which includes "participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating."  If you are traveling from a country that requires a visa, get information from the US embassy or consulate in your country.  If you need a letter of invitation, send your request to the contact e-mail at the bottom of this page.

Airport logo

For those traveling by air from overseas or distant cities in the USA, the recommended airport is Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), which is served by numerous airlines including Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United.  Service is provided to major hubs including Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Nine car rental companies operate from Reno airport.  Most have counters at the baggage claim.

Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK) is a non-towered regional general aviation airport located two miles southeast of Truckee.  It has no scheduled commercial passenger flights.  The Red Truck Cafe at this airport is a regional favorite.

North Lake Tahoe Express provides scheduled coach service between Reno Airport and various Truckee locations including Truckee Airport, the Amtrak depot and downtown.


For those who prefer rail transport, Truckee Station (TRU) is served by the California Zephyr.  It travels between Chicago and San Francisco (Emeryville) daily, arriving in Truckee westbound at 9:37 AM and eastbound at 2:38 PM.   Connections can be made to major cities in the west from Emeryville and in the east from Chicago.  The Truckee station has an indoor waiting room but it is normally unstaffed and does not provide checked baggage service.

Competitors and visitors are encouraged to provide their own ground transportation during their stay, as is customary at American orienteering events. Persons who will need transportation assistance to the event site, or to/from an airport, bus or train station must notify the organizers at the time of registration.

Driving Directions from Reno Airport to Truckee

From the airport, follow signs to US Highway 395 northbound.  In approximately two miles, transition to Interstate Highway 80 westbound.  Continue to the California State Route 89 exit at Truckee.  Exit to the south on State Route 267 into the town of Truckee.

From eastbound Interstate 80, exit at Donner Pass Road and go east on Commercial Row into Truckee.

Truckee town map

Truckee region map

Weather and Climate

The Donner Pass region, including Truckee, is classified as having "dry-summer continental climate."  There are an average of 274 days of sunshine and 201 inches of snowfall in an average year in Truckee.  The average daily high temperature in mid-June is 75 degF and the average daily low is 32 degF.  The probability of rain on any given day in June is 14 percent and average June rain amount is 0.02 inch/day.

Open Regional Repeaters For Travel Coordination

Nearby repeater to be announced.
Wide-area repeater to be announced.

Local Simplex Frequency

146.52 MHz (monitored when possible)

Medical Care

The event's First Aid team will be stationed at the finish line on competition days. The team will monitor 146.52 MHz simplex (or other frequency as announced) during the competitions for emergency calls.  Note that competitors are forbidden to transmit while on the course except in an emergency.

The nearest 24-hour emergency medical facility is Tahoe Forest Hospital at 10121 Pine Avenue in Truckee.  It has a full Emergency Department, 25 acute care beds and 36 long-term care beds.

Volunteers and Sponsors

Volunteers are needed to help put on a smoothly running championships.  Some of the tasks that volunteers will help support include:

Start area:  Managing the equipment impound area and the start process.  Ensuring that competitors start on time, in the proper order.  Recording starts and start times.
Finish area:  Timing incoming competitors at the finish.  Operating the SportIdent equipment and compiling results.
Controls:  Helping to set and retrieve, and in some cases, observing at the transmitter locations.
First Aid:  Assisting arriving runners with hydration and medical needs.

Volunteers will receive T-shirts and food in exchange for their help.

The organizers gratefully recognize support from Bay Area Orienteering Club and OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society.  Additional club and individual sponsorship is welcome and encouraged.  Contact the organizers for more information.

Important Regulations

Fun Facts

Contact: [, also Yahoo group]

The event organizers are looking forward to welcoming you to the Championships and providing an outstanding radio-orienteering experience.

Jay Hennigan WB6RDV, Meet Director
Bob Cooley KF6VSE, Course Designer and Registrar
Joe Moell KØOV, USA ARDF Coordinator

Download the championships registration form and instructions.
Go to the Event Hotel registration site.

Send inquiries to the organizers by e-mail to  For the latest updates, subscribe to a special group mailing list for participants and others interested in these championships by sending a blank e-mail to


OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society

Bay Area Orienteering Club

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Back to the Homing In site home page

This page updated 14 March 2018