Results of Southern California
Radio-Orienteering Events in 2003

(In reverse order by date)

Craig Park foxhunt photos

Craig Park ARDF on 11/8/03 (Photos above)

Despite midweek forecasts of rain, it was a perfect day for radio-orienteering at Craig Regional Park in north Orange County on November 8. The sun came out occasionally, but it wasn't hot and there were no raindrops in sight. Here are the results of the two-meter international-rules hunt:

Name and callsign                              Time  Foxes 
Jay Hennigan WB6RDV                           0:48:53  5
Scott Moore KF6IKO                            1:19:01  5
Jay Thompson W6JAY                            1:19:02  5
Tom Gaccione WB2LRH (incl 3 beginner foxes)   1:42:44  5
Tony Boegeman WA6ZMZ and Joe Loughlin KE6PHB  2:11:03  5
Travis Wood AE6GA                             2:18:00  5
Bill Smathers KG6HXX                          2:03:22  3
Gary Holoubek WB6GCT                          2:27:17  2
Richard Thompson WA6NOL                       1:17:55  1

After his blazing performance on the international-rules course, Jay Hennigan WB6RDV took a brief rest, then went out and found all the beginner transmitters. Here are the 80-meter results (one fox):

Name and callsign          Time
Jay Hennigan WB6RDV        14:25
Bill Smathers KG6HXX       23:40
Jay Thompson W6JAY         23:41
Scott Moore KF6IKO         28:27

Most of the attendees were champions-in-training. The beginners, including the anticipated group of 4-H youth, didn't attend. Maybe next time!

Joe Moell KØOV

Click here for results and photos of the on-foot foxhunt at ARRL SW Division Convention (HamCon), September 7, 2003.

Boysen Park foxhunt photos

Boysen Park ARDF on 7/19/03 (Photos above)

Our well-announced radio-orienteering session at Peters Canyon Regional Park had to be cancelled because an official of Orange County Harbors, Beaches and Parks issued a specific prohibition of it. Apparently there was concern that participants would trample the wild vegetation.

In its place, April and I put on an informal ARDF session at Boysen Park in Anaheim. It was primarily for members of the Orange County Amateur Radio Club, where I gave a presentation on foxhunting the evening before. Several persons took the opportunity to try out some foxhunting gear on the four two meter transmitters and one on 80 meters. Nobody was timed, so there are no official results to report.

This is a nice city park, with plenty of places to put transmitters. We'll probably use it again, even though one transmitter was stolen from its hiding place before the hunt started. With the early start, we were able to finish before the heat and humidity became oppressive

Joe Moell KØOV

Santa Barbara ARDF on 6/21/03 by Marvin Johnston KE6HTS

The weather turned out to be almost perfect for the practice held on Saturday, June 21 at Lake Los Carneros in Goleta, California. With overcast skies in the morning, the weather was cool and comfortable for running. There were a total of 9 transmitters, five of which were 2m transmitters for the ARDF Competition, one 80M practice transmitter, and three 2m practice transmitters about 100 feet from each other near the starting area.

I laid out the course with a goal of a 35 - 40 minute winning time. The course length varied depending on the route, but the optimum was probably 1 2 5 3 4, which gave a course length of about 2.5 km. Taking the order of 1 5 2 3 4 would have been a close second.

Most of the hams participating were either planning on or hoping to attend the US ARDF Championships in Cincinnati, OH. We also had four beginners that enjoyed today's event, and we are hoping they will be attending again!

Here are the results:

Two-meter ARDF Event

     Name and Callsign           Time Foxes  Order
     Bob Cooley KF6VSE          38:50   5    1 5 2 3 4
     Jay Thompson W6JAY         40:40   5    5 2 1 3 4
     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV        49:40   5    1 2 3 5 4
     Dean Dods KD6I             54:45   5
     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:00:42   5    1 2 5 3 4
     Matthew Dods KG6EPB      1:12:09   5
     Bill Smathers KF6HXX     1:43:45   5
     Richard Thompson WA6NOL  1:53:10   3
     Jim Whitted              2:37:10   3    5 2 4
     Gab Knapp                1:15:25   1

80 Meter Transmitter

     Name                  Time
     Jay Thompson W6JAY   15:48
     Bob Cooley KF6VSE    30:10

Several others went after the 80m transmitter but were not timed.

Marvin Johnston KE6HTS

Tri-City Park foxhunt photos

Tri-City Park ARDF on 5/10/03 (Photos above)

Making up for last time, the weather was perfect for our National Foxhunting Weekend event at Tri-City Park in north Orange County. With four sponsoring clubs, the turnout was excellent --- a good mix of beginners and advanced radio-orienteers. The area was bursting at the seams with transmitters, including nine on two meters, two on 70 cm (440 MHz) and one on 80 meters.

It might not be healthy to set out on strenuous physical activity right after a big lunch, but that didn't stop these hunters, who had plenty of chow to enjoy from the three barbecue grills.

Young Jay Thompson W6JAY had an outstanding time on the international-rules course, with Scott Moore KF6IKO of Santa Barbara not far behind. Both have competed at the USA ARDF Championships and are training for future competitions. KF6IKO and KG6HXX were the only representatives of the Santa Barbara area this time. Three others were stuck in VE sessions or had vehicle problems.


     Jay Thompson W6JAY         0:23:58  5
     Scott Moore KF6IKO         0:46:51  5
     Richard Clark N6UZS        1:05:47  5
        with Steve Swartz KC6CDT
     Richard Thompson WA6NOL    1:17:03  5
     David Gordon-Ross N6IDF    1:38:14  5
        with Melanie Gordon-Ross KF6GWV
     Gary Holoubek WB6GCT       2:19:20  5
     Travis Wood AE6GA          2:39:18  5
     Bill Smathers KG6HXX       2:38:10  4
     Hae-Song Hong KE6ZSA       2:02:18  2
        with Il Roh Ga KF6VQG


     Jason Tucker KG6PDS        0:55:48  5
        with John Luthy KF6QCQ
     Gordon West WB6NOA         1:24:24  5
        with observers
     Brian Leger KG6MIV         1:26:24  5
     Martin Hasa KB6MAH         1:12:36  4 (two beginner plus two IARU)
        with Kerry Hasa
     Bill Erickson N6MXU        0:59:45  3
        with Dania Erickson KG6IUP
     Dave Martin KD6QIY         1:31:30  3
        with Pete Martin

The stalwarts expecting a challenging 80-meter fox weren't disappointed. It was in Gilman Park, one kilometer west of the starting point, near Rolling Hills Drive. Only two attendees went for it, with these results:


     Jay Thompson W6JAY         0:14:52
     Scott Moore KF6IKO         0:26:47

Thanks to Fullerton Radio Club, Western Amateur Radio Association, SuperSystem UHF Repeater club and Korean Amateur Radio Association for making this event possible.

Joe Moell KØOV

Hillcrest Park foxhunt photos

Hillcrest Park ARDF on 3/15/03 (Photos above)

A Scottish friend used to tell an old country proverb, "If you don't play golf in the rain, you don't play golf in Scotland." The same is true of most other sports, including radio-orienteering. Check the May 2001 issue of QST and the January 2001 issue of 73 Magazine to read about the ARDF World Championships in China, which took place in pouring rain. Ask Jay W6JAY about the mud -- he was there.

As runners in the Catalina Island Marathon slogged through the downpours on March 15, so did a small but intrepid bunch of on-foot foxhunting fans at Hillcrest Park in Fullerton. There were the usual five international-rules foxes on two meters, plus one each on 80 meters and 70 centimeters. It was a great test of the rainworthiness of nine local radio-orienteers and their gear. Here are the results:



     Dean Dods KD6I           0:48:10  5

     Marvin Johnston KE6HTS   1:02:50  5

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       1:06:56  5

     Richard Thompson WA6NOL  0:57:54  2

     Jay Thompson W6JAY       0:59:30  2

     Martin Hasa KB6MAH       0:59:46  2
       with Kerry Hasa

     Matthew Dods KE6EPB      1:34:45  2

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     1:48:20  2


     Dean Dods KD6I           9:12

     Marvin Johnston KE6HTS   Equipment failure

There was also one transmitter on the 70 centimeter band, courtesy of John Luthy KF6QCQ and Terry Dean N6WI. That band was not timed.

Joe Moell KØOV

Santa Barbara foxhunt photos

Santa Barbara ARDF on 2/8/03 (Photos above)

Clear skies and cool temperatures made it a perfect day for radio-orienteering at Lake Los Carneros. Our host, Scott Moore KF6IKO, set an interesting course of about 3.5 kilometers around the lake. It was a chance to use the excellent full-color orienteering map that Sergei Zarubin of Ukraine made during his visit to the West Coast in 2001. Scott had some maps that were heavily laminated, so you could write on them with a pen and then they could be reused. For those who insisted on foldable paper maps, they were available, too.

The site doesn't have lots of hills, but the lake in the middle made for some interesting bearings. From the north end, four of the six two-meter signals seemed to be coming from within the lake, even though they were on either the east or west side. Nevertheless, everyone who turned in a card found at least one transmitter. Here are the results:


     NAME                      TIME    FOXES
     Jay Thompson W6JAY       0:57:35    6

     Dean Dods KD6I           1:02:41    6

     Marvin Johston KE6HTS    1:14:55    6

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE        1:21:35    6

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV      1:30:40    6

     Joe Moell KØOV           1:32:15    6

     Daryl Widman KF6DI       1:58:57    6

     Art Jury KF7GD           2:21:30    6

     Shannon Dods KG6AAR      2:41:40    6

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     1:47:42    5

     Richard Thompson WA6NOL  1:39:22    3

     Ken Vomosket             1:46:00    1


     Bob Cooley KF6VSE      11:00

     Dean Dods KD6I         12:05

     Jay Thompson W6JAY     14:40

Thanks for participating,
Joe Moell KØOV

Vermont Canyon foxhunt photos

Vermont Canyon ARDF on 1/12/03 (Photos above)

It's good that there are lots of tables in the picnic area just east of the Greek Theater in Griffith Park. We needed them to handle the overflow crowd that showed up early on January 12. Marvin Johnston KE6HTS was Meet Director for this 3-ring circus of outdoor sports, which featured classic orienteering, radio-orienteering (foxhunting) on the 80-meter band, and radio-orienteering on the two-meter band. The Los Angeles Orienteering Club (LAOC) sponsored this event, providing orienteering training and the excellent color maps.

The main event was a full-length five-fox 80-meter ARDF course, set by Marvin in Vermont Canyon, with plenty of hills and valleys to provide a physical challenge. The 80-meter band was chosen because ground-wave radio propagation on these frequencies is almost always point-to-point with no signal reflections. That simplified the direction-finding efforts for the non-ham first-timers from LAOC. This was only the second time that a full-length 80-meter ARDF course has been set in southern California --- the first was in June 2000.

We knew that only a few participants would bring their own 80-meter ARDF sets, so we pooled all of the gear we could gather, including several sets loaned for the occasion by Dale Hunt WB6BYU near Portland, Oregon. When I saw the arriving vans full of Girl Scouts and the long lines at the sign-up table, I began some serious worrying. As it turned out, the Scouts decided to do the yellow or white orienteering courses first, and most of them were too tired after that for a full 80-meter course. Besides the orienteers, we had some "regular hams" including Dick Dabney W5UFZ visiting from Albuquerque (where they just had an ARDF session in the snow!)

We couldn't do "mass training" for 80-meter ARDF because the competitors arrived a few at a time (thank goodness!) and there were significant differences in operation among the various types of ARDF sets. So each competitor or team got individual instruction. Through the day, every piece of 80-meter gear we brought was used. Some sets went out on the course more than once. We were concerned about the little PJ-80 Chinese units because they have low audio output and relatively shallow bearing nulls, but most users found some or all of the foxes with them.

Here are the results of the 80-meter foxhunters who were officially timed and who found at least one transmitter:


     Jay Thompson W6JAY         0:57:40  5

     Dean Dods KD6I             1:04:02  5

     Robert Cooley KF6VSE       1:36:51  5

     John Norin KE7HX           1:38:45  5
        with Cris Norin, James Norin, Mark Norin

     Scot Barth KA6UDZ          1:41:58  5

     Scott Moore KF6IKO         1:51:12  5

     Noah Elhardt               2:09:14  5

     Pat Richardson             2:11:30  5

     Bruce Corning              2:41:43  5

     Dick Dabney W5UFZ          2:35:44  4

     Allan Pincus               1:27:59  2

     Pep Charusanti             2:02:21  2
        with Susan Yu

     Jim Whitted                2:17:40  2

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX       2:32:25  2

     Kim Wright                 2:34:00  2

     Richard Thompson WA6NOL    0:53:38  1

     Michele Romanini KG6MWZ    1:29:29  ?

The two-meter transmitters (five non-synchronized foxes on separate frequencies) were intended for beginners, to show them the difference between 80-meter and 2-meter signal propagation. Four of them were in the hills within 250 meters of the start point, and the fifth (which nobody tried to find) was about 1.1 km away. Since almost everyone wore themselves out on the 80-meter and non-radio courses, the 2-meter foxes were mostly used for equipment checks. For instance, W6JAY and WA6NOL tried out their new "Sniffer 4" sets from Australia.


     Jay Thompson W6JAY         0:42:15  2

     Richard Thompson WA6NOL    0:45:58  2

In addition, Scot Barth KA6UDZ and Mike Lebo N6IEF found one 2-meter fox each, untimed.

Then Paul Wendee KG6MKI and Elaine Alston showed up with about a dozen grade-schoolers from the Rancho Capistrano Wranglers 4-H club. These kids still had plenty of energy after their orienteering experiences, so they split into two groups (boys versus girls) and set out after the 2-meter transmitters. Bouncing 2-meter signals can give confusing bearings, so they were given plenty of help and training by Jay Thompson W6JAY.

April Moell WA6OPS provided First Aid, took ARDF sign-ins and kept the equipment table organized. Bill Smathers KG6HXX and Scott Moore KF6IKO handled the starting line and the Dean Dods family (KD6I) took care of the finish line. These folks did the timing for all events, both radio and non-radio. Profuse thanks to all of you.

Joe Moell KØOV

THRDFS cover Go to Southern California ARDF -- Current radio-orienteering news and results

Go to International-Style Foxhunting Comes To The Americas -- How we're getting the ball rolling

Go to Equipment Ideas for Radio-Orienteering -- Simple and inexpensive receiving and transmitting solutions

Go to Foxhunting for Scouts -- Let's get the kids involved

Go to Local ARDF Contacts -- Links to hams and groups that are doing international-style foxhunting in North America and around the world.

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This page updated 2 August 2004