Registration is open for the USA ARDF Championships


Registration is now open for the 21st American Amateur Direction Finding Championship (ARDF), scheduled for April 7-10, 2022. The ccompetition will take place in Prince William Forest Park near Quantico, Virginia.

“Radio orienteers from across the country, as well as visitors from overseas, are welcome to attend,” said ARRL ARDF Coordinator Gerald Boyd, WB8WFK. “Competitive courses are open to anyone of any age, with or without an amateur radio license. The results will help select who will be invited to fill positions with the ARDF USA team, which travels to Serbia for the 2022 ARDF World Championships in September.

Wednesday 6 April will be a day of equipment testing and a competitors briefing. From Thursday to Sunday, competitors will have the opportunity to compete in the sprint, fox, and classic courses over 2 meters and 80 meters. First to third place prizes will be awarded at ceremonies following the events.

Members of the Backwoods Orienteering Club (okay) will host the 2022 United States Championships. All are experienced radio orienteers who successfully hosted the 2013 and 2019 Nationals. The Event Director is Joseph Huberman, K5JGH, and the Registrar is Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG.

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) sets ARDF Championship Rules. For scoring and rewards, participants are divided into 12 age/gender categories. In classic ARDF events, competitors start together in small groups made up of different categories. In search of the “fox” transmitters, they sail through the forest from the start corridor to the finish line, a distance of between 4 and 12 kilometers (about 2.5 miles and 7.4 miles). They plot their direction finding bearings on orientation maps that show terrain features, contour lines and vegetation type.

“The USA ARDF Championships are open to anyone who can safely navigate the woods alone. An amateur radio license is not required,” Boyd pointed out. “At the ARDF, personal navigational skills are important because each participant competes as an individual – any teamwork or GPS map use is prohibited. Competitors bring their own direction finding equipment to events, although additional equipment is often available on loan from other participants. Competitors may not broadcast on the course, except in an emergency.

Newsletter #2 contains full schedule, technical details, fees, rule variations, etc. A email reflector is available for Q&A with the organizers, as well as to coordinate transportation and arrange equipment loans.

Announcements, rules, organizer instructions and more are available on the ARRL ARDF website. Basic information on hunting for international-type transmitters can be found on the Home in website, which includes gear ideas for 2 meters and 80 metersas well as photos and stories from previous championships. — Thanks to Joe Moell, K0OV

Dino J. Dotson