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Amateur Radio Direction Finding - ARDF

What's it all about?

Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) is the name given to an activity where the participant has to locate a number (usually five) transmitters that have been spread out over a course between four and seven kilometres. The activity is carried out on foot. Transmitters are sequenced on for a minute each and there is a sixth one on a different frequency located at the finish location.

Participants are issued with a map and card and there are orienteering style punches at each transmitter. The participant has to clip the card at each transmitter. The shortest time wins. There is a time limit for each event and participants must reach the finish within this period - overtime is automatic disqualification. events currently being run in Melbourne have two categories - runners and walkers; thus catering for all fitness and skill levels.

Events are held on two bands - 3.5 MHz and 144 MHz. The frequencies being used are 3.585 and 3.600 MHz on 80 Metres and 145.3 and 145.7 MHz on 2 metres.

The Victorian ARDF Group runs regular ARDF events - Transmitters have been built for 80M by Ian VK3MZ and Bryan VK3YNG   built the 2M units.


These events are run according to the International Amateur Radio Union's Region 3 rules Region 3 rules.


What is required is a receiver with a directional antenna that is portable (and reasonably light as you have to carry it around the course). There have been a couple of designs published. Ian Stirling VK3MZ has designed a very effective 80 Metre receiver described in Amateur Radio Magazine for December 1997. This was recently upgraded by Bryan Ackerly VK3YNG and can be found in September 2003 AR. Details are available on the web. Bryan VK3YNG also has an excellent 2 metre design with ready built units available for sale. See Bryans website.

Keeping up to date

There is an e-mail list to keep up to date with ARDF in Melbourne see ARDF list

Event calendar and results

Please see the ARDF group's website for details - www.ardf.org.au

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North East Radio Group, Inc.  Melbourne, Australia.  updated 13th October 2009 VT
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