Radio-Orienteering Events in 2007

(In reverse order by date)

Bonelli foxhunt photos

Bonelli Park ARDF on 11/10/07
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV.

Painted RedstartIt was a beautiful fall day in Bonelli Regional Park as over a dozen hams and non-hams gathered for radio-orienteering and good food.

When we held an ARDF event in this park exactly two years prior, the local bird watchers were flocking to see a Painted Redstart (at right) that had been spending time in trees close to the starting point. This bird is usually found only in Mexico or the very southernmost part of Arizona, so it was a "happening" that made the TV news back then.

A few minutes after our arrival this time, April spotted the Redstart again, or maybe it was an offspring. I guess he likes it here, at least in November. This time, only a couple of birders were focused on him. (It's rude to stare at people, but birds don't mind it.) Before the transmitter hunting was over, April had also added Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Sapsucker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black Phoebe and Harrier Hawk to her list.

Marvin's two-meter course was only about 3 kilometers long, but it had some challenges. The hills did some unusual bends and twists to the signals, so two of the experts missed finding one of the foxes. Three new hunters found some of the beginner transmitters, untimed, and then tried out the advanced course.


      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   1:26:36

     Jay Thompson W6JAY        5   1:45:43

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       4   1:47:44

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      4   2:32:02

     Roman Kamienski KG6QMZ    3   3:47:56

     Owen Roth                 2   0:48:40

     Ed Hall KI6JMK            2   1:36:49

     Monique Beringer          1   0:48:04

By coincidence and without realizing it, Marvin set two-meter fox #4 in a stand of trees just 100 yards from the spot where I had placed the 80-meter fox a few minutes before. Most of the two-meter hunters saw the 80-meter setup, so they didn't go out to hunt it later.

Tim and Patricia Beringer fired up the grill and made cheeseburgers with all the fixings. Those and the table full of munches sent everyone home with a full tummy. Sorry, Sizzler! Thanks to them, to Marvin and to April for helping make this a great ARDF event.

Joe Moell KØOV

Angel's Gate group photo

Angel's Gate foxhunt photos

Angel's Gate Park ARDF/ROCA on 9/9/07
Report below by Joe Moell KØOV. Photos above by Joe and April Moell.

This on-foot transmitter hunt on Sunday afternoon, just after the ARRL Southwestern Division convention (Hamcon-07), was similar in most respects to our regular park sessions. It was open to anyone, but only registered convention-goers were eligible for the Hamcon prizes.

Fullerton Radio Club (FRC), one of the Hamcon sponsoring organizations, organized this hunt at Angel's Gate Park in San Pedro. Cloudless skies and cool breezes from the ocean made for perfect weather. FRC previously put on Hamcon hunts here in 1995, 1999 and 2003. This time, only the southern half of this 130-acre park was available, but the hunt was still challenging.

The goal was to have something for hiders at every skill level. I hid 17 two-meter transmitters. Some were in traditional ammunition boxes, but others were the size of a small box of matches. Competitors were given up to 90 minutes to find as many as they could. Six of the transmitters were within the concrete-walled Fort MacArthur Military Museum, where displays of WWI and WWII memorabilia are viewed by the public every weekend. Five of the outside transmitters were on one frequency, transmitting in sequence as an international-rules ARDF course.

Medal winner Jay Thompson W6JAY took two antennas out on the course. It must have helped because he made quick work of the ARDF-timed foxes. Then he bagged six more to end up with a total of eleven. Jay was the only individual competitor. All the rest were in teams of two, including Dennis Schwendtner WB6OBB, an experienced blind transmitter hunter who paired up with Marvin Johnston KE6HTS. Some were experiencing on-foot foxhunting for the first time. Everyone found at least two foxes. Here are the results:

      Name and call             Foxes  Time

     Jay Thompson W6JAY          11   1:19:38

     Dennis Schwendtner WB6OBB    6   1:21:29
         with Marvin Johnston KE6HTS

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH          5   1:23:18
         with Robbie Preston

     Dick Palmer WB6JDH           4   1:27:36
         with Norm Dickhoff KI6HLB

     Brent Scheneman K6ROV        2   1:23:15
         with Jerry Scheneman K6MRB

     Ginger Clark KG6TAU          2   1:24:12
         with Bill Harper WA6ESC

Thanks to FRC president Larry McDavid W6FUB for supporting this activity and to all the FRC members who put on this hunt, including (in alphabetical order) Tom Curlee WB6UZZ, Bill Kohlenberger W6ZJE, April Moell WA6OPS, Cheryl Thorpe KE6TZU and Gene Thorpe KB6CMO. They went to endless Hamcon meetings, gathered prizes, staffed the sign-up and prize tables, surveyed the site and helped me with the transmitters.

We're grateful for the site support and nice prizes provided by the Hamcon organization, led by Co-Chairs Jim and Bev Pitman, WA6MZV and WA6TIU. We also appreciate the courtesies of the Ft. MacArthur Military Museum staff members, who allowed us to use their facility for this event.

Joe Moell KØOV

Topanga Park foxhunt photos

Topanga Park ARDF on 8/18/07
Report below by Joe Moell KØOV. Photos above by Joe and April Moell.

The sunshine was really hot but there was plenty of shade at Topanga State Park on this midsummer day. A couple of first-timers joined with some who were training for the USA ARDF Championships. Things got off to a slow start due to a misunderstanding with park staff about access for putting out the two-meter transmitter boxes. After that was solved, there was further delay due to a problem with fox #4. Some participants passed the time by going after the 80-meter transmitter.

First-timer Mike Plaziak KO6CR came all the way from Apple Valley and got his gas money's worth. He started by testing his newly-built yagi on the four beginner two-meter transmitters, finding them all in under 35 minutes. Then he was ready for the main two-meter ARDF course. The idea of 80-meter RDF also intrigued him, and it didn't take much convincing to get him to borrow a set and find the 80-meter transmitter for a finale.

Also finding two of the beginner transmitters was local resident Bryce Anderson K6TI.

ARRL Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton N6AA came down from his home atop a nearby hill to watch a lot of birds and find a few transmitters. He brought Prasad Rajagopal VU2PTT, who is in the USA from Bangalore for an information technology project and has just passed his test for a US ham license. They each borrowed an 80-meter set and worked together to find that transmitter. Then Dick went out on the 2-meter course by himself, with a borrowed receiver/antenna set that didn't work nearly as well as the one he used last time.


      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5   0:37:15

     Jay Thompson W6JAY        5   0:44:25

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   0:54:37

     Monique Beringer          5   1:43:24

     Mike Plaziak KO6CR        4   1:37:18

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      4   1:50:45

     Dick Norton N6AA          2   1:09:01


      Name and call            Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       11:20

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        14:43

     Dick Norton N6AA          16:20
        with Prasad Rajagopal VU2PTT/AF6DV

     Mike Plaziak KO6CR        18:05

     Monique Beringer          36:22
        with Jay Thompson W6JAY

Dick N6AA invited everyone to visit his HF contest station afterwards and ten folks took him up on the offer. We discovered that finding his house was almost as difficult as finding the transmitters, but worth the effort. As we toured the shack, Prasad was busily making contest points on 20 meters. After that, some of us finished the day with a good fish dinner nearby at Froggy's.

Thanks to Marvin for persevering in getting the main 2m course transmitters on the air and providing e-punch. Thanks to everyone else who helped, who participated, and who encouraged the beginners.

Joe Moell KØOV

Lake Los Carneros foxhunt, WB6RDV track

Lake Los Carneros ARDF on 8/11/07

All the Santa Barbara regulars plus a newcomer showed up to run around Lake Los Carneros on August 11. This is an excellent training venue for both beginners and experts. First-place finisher Jay Henningan WB6RDV got a good cardio workout, as you can see from his FRWD Sport Performance Recorder track and stats above.

There were no beginner transmitters. Here are the two-meter ARDF results:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5   0:32:17

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   0:46:56

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      5   0:57:12

     Steve Long AC6T           3   0:54:03

Craig Park foxhunt photos

Craig Park ARDF on 7/14/07
Report below by Joe Moell KØOV. Photos above by Joe and April Moell.

The history of humans enjoying the area of Craig Park goes back over 11,000 years to the Tongva Indians (oops, make that Native Americans) who hunted and gathered there. When oil was discovered in Orange County, the first wells were drilled on this land at the turn of the 20th century. Then in the 1930s after a damaging flood, the Army Corps of Engineers built the Fullerton Dam. The flood basin north of the dam became Craig Park in 1974. It was named after Ted Craig, a former mayor of Brea, Speaker of the State Assembly and Regent of the University of California.

All of these people would have been happy to see how the large group of ham operators and friends enjoyed Craig Park on Saturday, July 14. After the SuperSystem barbecue of chicken, burgers and wieners, many of the attendees tried hidden transmitter hunting. Beginners were encouraged to try to find the five simulated wildlife tag transmitters near 220 MHz using receivers supplied by Communications Specialists of Orange. The next step for some was transmitter hunting on two meters with steel-tape yagis and offset attenuators. There were four practice two-meter transmitters to find. Nobody was timed while searching for the 220 and 146 MHz beginner transmitters.

For more experienced hunters, the timed 5-fox international-rules two-meter course was more of a challenge than I anticipated. Total course length by direct route was 2.1 miles (3.35 km) Only one hunter found fox #3, which was next to a chain-link fence in a reentrant on the west side. Here are the results:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   1:15:50

     Jay Thompson W6JAY        4   1:01:30

     Monique Beringer          4   2:28:28
        with Marvin Johnston KE6HTS

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      3   2:25:28

Three participants found the lone 80-meter transmitter, which was 0.7 mile (1.14 km) away, near the dam. The perseverance prize goes to KE6ZSA, who didn't find this transmitter with the German ARDF set, came back and got additional instruction, then took the Ukrainian set and found it. Results:

      Name and call            Time

     Scott Moore KF6IKO       0:28:40

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX     0:34:05

     Hae-Song Hong KE6ZSA     2:08:00

Thanks to everyone who made this event a success, including the SuperSystem and Fullerton Radio Club members who made sure that everyone was well fed.

Joe Moell KØOV

Long Beach Scout-O-Rama photos

Heartwell Park Scout RDF on 6/2/07
Report below and photos above by Joe Moell KØOV

For the fifth year, Scouts of all ages had the opportunity to try transmitter hunting at no charge during the Long Beach Scout-O-Rama in Heartwell Park on June 2. RDF was part of a comprehensive Amateur Radio display set up by Associated Radio Amateurs of Long Beach (ARALB) and Orange County Hospital Disaster Support Communications System (HDSCS). There were six standalone hidden transmitters on the 2-meter band plus five pulsed 218 MHz wildlife tag transmitters. There was also a simple 3-fox course on the 2m band.

Teaching RDF to the Scouts were (in alphabetical order) Tom Gaccione WB2LRH, Marvin Johnston KE6HTS, Joe Moell KØOV, Jay Thompson W6JAY and Richard Thompson WA6NOL. Attendance was up this time, so all of the teaching hams were kept very busy helping groups of two or three Scouts at a time.

Tri-City Park foxhunt photos

Tri-City Park ARDF on 5/12/07
Report below by Joe Moell KØOV. Photos above by Joe and April Moell.

The CQ Worldwide Foxhunting Weekend was celebrated in grand style at the annual "Antennas In The Park" event in Placentia, California. This annual cookout and mini-Field Day at Tri-City Park is organized by the Fullerton Radio Club. Supporting clubs this time included the SuperSystem UHF Repeater organization, Western Amateur Radio Association and Anaheim Amateur Radio Association. Although the main two-meter 5-fox international-style transmitter hunt wasn't scheduled to start until 12:30 PM, most transmitter hunters arrived well before the noontime barbecue. They came from as far away as San Diego and Santa Barbara. Some immediately went out to find the four beginner two-meter transmitters or the lone 80-meter transmitter.

Among the early starters were two sightless hams. Alex Valdez K9BLK of Brea had never tried radio foxhunting before, but he was a quick starter after lessons from Dennis Schwendtner WB6OBB of Santa Barbara. Yes, it really was (and you know someone had to say it, so here it comes) the blind leading the blind! Dennis has been the navigator on mobile T-hunts in Santa Barbara for decades. He's even mentioned in THRDFS.

After feasting on barbecued chicken, hot dogs, cheeseburgers and Korean ribs, it was time for the main radio-orienteering event, to be followed by the Foxhunting Weekend cake provided by April WA6OPS (photo below). No, the blind team didn't win the hunt, but they had a very respectable time. Best was young Jay Thompson W6JAY, who was 9 seconds behind the Tri-City Park record that he set back in 2003. After recovering from that, Jay helped some passing park visitors learn about radio-orienteering.

      Name and call            Foxes  Time

     Jay Thompson W6JAY          5   0:24:07

     Mike Herlihy KG6MSV         5   0:43:00

     Marty Herlihy K6KTP         5   0:44:40

     Jim Ford N6JF               5   0:51:20
        with Ken Erickson KG6TES

     Tony Boegeman WA6ZMZ        5   1:00:04
        with Joe Corones N6SZO and Joe Loughlin KE6PHB

     Dennis Schwendtner WB6OBB   5   1:07:57
        with Alex Valdez K9BLK and Marvin Johnston KE6HTS

     Dick Palmer WB6JDH          4   1:02:15

Many people from all the participating clubs contributed to the success of this Antennas In The Park event. Thanks to all of you.

Joe Moell KØOV

2007 Foxhunt Weekend cake


Griffith Park foxhunt photos

Griffith Park (Travel Town) ARDF on 4/7/07
Report below by Joe Moell KØOV. Photos above by Joe and April Moell.

The hills of Griffith Park always provided a challenge by bouncing two-meter signals. Such was the case on April 7. It was a perfect day to hunt radio transmitters as well as to watch birds and other critters. The thermometer hovered around 60 degrees for the duration.

With no beginners in attendance, all of my entry level transmitters went unfound. But there was heated competition on Marvin's 5-fox 2m ARDF course, which was about 5 kilometers around. Here are the results:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         5   1:20:01

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5   1:21:17

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   1:26:11

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      5   2:30:08

After completing two meters, everyone stuck around to try my 80-meter transmitter, with these results:

      Name and call            Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       17:55

     Bob Cooley KF6VSE         22:51

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        24:44

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      37:58

Thanks to everyone who stayed and helped pick up the transmitters. Also thanks to April for all the Easter treats.

Joe Moell KØOV


Hillcrest Park foxhunt photos

Hillcrest Park ARDF on 3/10/07
Report below by Joe Moell KØOV. Photos above by Joe and April Moell.

Hillcrest Park in Fullerton is an ideal location for transmitter hunts for beginners. It's not too big, but the hills keep everyone from watching each other on the course and add some interesting signal reflections. We had a good turnout of newcomers and folks whom we haven't seen for a while at our March 10 event. Participants came from as far away as San Diego and Santa Barbara. Weather was near-perfect. Almost everyone tried the international-rules ARDF course, which was about 1.3 kilometers around. Several also found the 80-meter transmitter.


      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5   0:27:50

     Jay Thompson W6JAY        5   0:37:40

     Bill Elkerton W6ZM        5   0:42:10
        with Robin KC6LEA and Bryan KI6DUR

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   0:45:23

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      5   0:57:16

     Tom Gaccione WB2LRH       5   1:03:55

     Marty Herlihy K6KTP       5   1:05:46

     John Frerichs N6VCW       5   1:27:27

     Paul Broden K6MHD         2   1:01:00

     Steve Ostrander K6OST     2   1:48:20
        with Tyler

     Dick Palmer WB6JDH        1      ?


      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Raul Mendez KG6YFS        4   0:32:34


      Name and call            Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV        6:20

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX       9:52

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        11:16

     Doug Knudson KB6ZMQ       48:40

Some other visitors, including Charles and Mary Wallace, Dave West KI6EPI, David Jeheber WA6EKR and David Corsiglia WA6TWF, went out to find the beginner transmitters without being timed, some by themselves and others with expert help.

Thanks to all the experts who helped out the newcomers. Also thanks to April WA6OPS for getting everyone started and finished.

Joe Moell KØOV


Lake Los Carneros foxhunt photos

Lake Los Carneros ARDF on 1/6/07
Report below by Joe Moell KØOV. Photos above by Joe and April Moell.

A warmer-than-anticipated day made for a good turnout and excellent radio-orienteering at Lake Los Carneros, just west of Santa Barbara, on January 6, 2007. It was good to see some newcomers trying the sport for the first time, with lots of expert help.

Since the full ARDF course was relatively short, there were only two beginner transmitters --- just enough to give some practice to the first-timers and warm-up for the others.

To nobody's surprise, the best time on the full course was turned in by Jay Hennigan WB6RDV, who has medaled at the USA ARDF Championships and finished 16th on two meters in the World Championships last September. Jay made a trip around the lake to bag four of the five foxes in 37:20. Unfortunately, due to a command error (oops!), the fox #5 had been accidentally silenced when he got close to it. So Jay headed for the finish and decided to go out again to find it when it was restored. He was given a fresh start coincident with #1 going on, as all others were. He got #5 and returned in 4:57, which means that he found it and was back at the finish before it went off!

Results of the two-meter five-fox ARDF course:

      Name and call          Foxes  Time

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       5   0:42:17 total for two runs

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        5   1:00:01

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      5   1:07:16

     Terry Newman AE6JR        5   1:14:40

     Steve Ostrander K6OST     4   2:03:28
        with Tyler and Diane

     Alex Das KI6FDO           3   2:02:14
        with Darryl Widman KF6DI

     Tony Cirineo KD6DUV       3   2:15:38

     Travis Wood AE6GA         ?      ?
        with Garrick

One 80-meter fox was available and four participants found it, with these elapsed times:

     Scott Moore KF6IKO        0:13:45

     Jay Hennigan WB6RDV       0:15:28

     Bill Smathers KG6HXX      0:16:33

     Terry Newman AE6JR        0:44:52

Thanks to Marvin Johnston KE6HTS for organizing this event and updating the map. Also thanks to April Moell WA6OPS for performing her usual fox-wrangling, timing and medical duties.

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 26 April 2010