Registration is open for the 15th USA and 8th IARU Region 2 Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) championships, August 27-30, in Elbert, Colorado. The event will take place at the Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch, a 3300-acre site at 7000 feet elevation, about 40 miles southeast of Denver.
An optional ARDF “training camp” will take place on Monday through Wednesday, August 24-26, just prior to the competition, with separate morning and afternoon sessions planned for each day. Participants may attend as many sessions as they wish. Training sessions will concentrate on how to take reliable bearings, interpret reflected signals, and determine likely transmitter locations, as well as on course strategies, route choices, and other essentials for success.
The championship competition begins on Thursday, August 27 with foxoring — a combination of RDF and classic orienteering on 80 meters, in which participants navigate to marked locations on their maps where very low power transmitters can be found nearby. A 10-transmitter short-course sprint competition on 80 meters will take place the next day.
The classic full-course 2 meter main event gets under way on Saturday morning, with five transmitters in a very large forest. The banquet and awards presentation follows that evening. A similar full-course 80 meter main event takes place Sunday morning, with an awards presentation to follow.
ARDF championship rules are set by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Participants are divided into 11 age/gender categories. In classic ARDF championships, competitors start in small groups made up of different categories. Working independently, they navigate through the course — a distance of between 4 and 10 kilometers — seeking hidden transmitters. They plot their direction-finding bearings on provided orienteering maps that show terrain features, elevation contours, and vegetation type.
The USA ARDF Championships are open to anyone of any age who can safely navigate the woods by themselves; a ham radio license is not required. Participants compete as individuals and bring their own direction-finding gear to the events.
More information is on the Event Information Page. Register by June 30 to avoid additional fees. All entering the ranch must be registered. For additional information on ARDF, visit the Homing In website. — Thanks to ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV