Fifteen US-eligible competitors took home first-place awards in the just-completed 17th USA National Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) in Harrison, Ohio. The competition ran from August 3 through 6 on the 4,345-acre Miami Whitewater Forest and other nearby wooded sites, and it attracted more than 80 fans of the sport — also known as foxtailing and radio-orienteering. This year’s USA Championships were combined with the 9th ARDF Championships of International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU R2) — the Americas. The IARU establishes rules for ARDF competitions. The object is always to find as many of the required transmitters as possible in the shortest time and then navigate to the finish line. Competitors may use only their own direction-finding equipment, in addition to a compass and the provided map.
Classic 80- and 2-meter competitions with up to five hidden transmitters took place on separate days. Course lengths — from start to each required transmitter and then to the finish — ranged from 2.8 to 7.1 kilometers (1.7 to 4.4 miles), depending on age/gender category.