ARDF - Amateur Radio Direction Finding

Details for the next Southern California ARDF Hunt can be found on the Homingin Website.

Transmitters, Antennas, and Offset attenuators for ARDF and Transmitter Hunting.

WB6BYU 80M Receiver kit as shown in the September 2005 issue of QST is sold out but archive information about the kits is still available.

WB6EYV 2M 50 mW MicroHunt transmitter modules (sold only to licensed amateur radio operators).

K0OV Offset Attenuator.

WB2HOL Tape Measure Beam kits.

Note: All kits are sold with permission of the designer.

Click here for some ARDF/Transmitter Hunting equipment/information links I've found on the web.


Below is a virtual ARDF hunt that I found on the web many years ago. I have been unable to find it again, and thus can't give credit to the original author. But it is a very good introduction to illustrate an ARDF hunt!

Virtual Foxhunt

This is a sample foxhunt, it's not as easy as I describe. Frequently, you get lost, your equipment quits. You loose you punch card. You choose the wrong start running direction. You circle around one fox and have trouble finding it, because antenna was placed too low. Many, many more uncertainties you encounter along the competition. Assuming you have to find all five foxes and the run is about 8km(5 miles).

1. Arrival

2. Assemble radio receiver, check it for proper functioning.

3. Right down the foxes frequencies, to be handy during the hunt. Plus there is one more backup frequency for each of the fox.

4. Turn in you receiver to the starting commite, before the foxes start to operate. You are not to lissen to the foxes before you start.

5. Change to running clothes, warm up.

6. Five minutes before your start you will be called by the starting commite. You will be given your punch card. Make sure the punch card is handy, because you'll need to punch it every time you arrive to the fox. Make sure to keep it in save place. It would be very disappointing to arrive to finish without the punch card. Final warm up.

7. One minute before start you get the map and and your receiver. You are not to lissen to the foxes, you must keep your earphone unplugged. Put the map in the special holder, you designed at home. You have one minute to decide, where you are to start running, map should help. Usually run to the corner, to take go the circle motion to the finish, which corner - You decide.

8. Start time. First five minute are most important in the hunt - you select you course, order of nailing down foxes. Always keep your eyes on the map, - you don't want to get lost, hunt without knowing where you are is very unproffessional. You tune in the first fox. Take the direction, draw it on the map. You can do it while running if you feel comfortable with that. Recheck the direction of the first fox, couple of times to make sure you draw it corrdectly. map

9. Second minute. First fox stopped working. Tune in the second fox. Take a direcion of second fox. map

10. Third minute. Second fox stopped working. Tune in the third fox. Take a direcion of second fox. map

11. Fourth minute. Third fox stopped working. Tune in the fourth fox. Take a direction. Don't forget you you have to decide on the order that you want to procceed.

12. 5th fox starts working.

13. 6th minute. First fox start working. By that time you have to have all five directions drawn on the map. Your must decide at least which fox to hunt first. Let's say, you have decided to hunt for the third fox first. map

14. Run in the direction of the third fox. Acationally check the directions of the other foxes.

15. 8th minute, nail donw the third fox. map

16. 9th minute. You decide that next fox will be number four. You have five minutes to get to it.

17. You get there on the 14th minute. map (you should never forget to draw the cross directions, to estimate the fox location, you just draw short marks on the previous directions)

18. Next is the fox number 5.

19. You get there 25th minute.

20. Next fox number 1, you nail it on 36th minute.

21. And the last one is the second fox.

22. 42nd minute you arrive to secon fox. map

23. Rush to the finish. You think you did everything perfectly.

When you got to the finish, you realize that the order you selected was not right - you lost 5 crucial minutes to win the competition. The perfect order was 5-3-4-1-2 . The reason why it happened because running like hell to the third fox, you have missed the 5th, the high level of the signal should have gave you a clue that 5th fox is nearby. (btw, It's very rare and unpractical to put the 5th as the first fox to hunt(unfair hunt can happen), but it happened in this hunt) map.You can easily see that, the order 5-3-4-1-2 would be the best.

Topographical map with hidden foxes marked and the perfect run Note that between fox running mostly is done on the trails. You do know that it's much easier to take a road/trail, than run across the woods. This another reason why you should keep an eye on the map.



This page updated on Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 10:15 PST