World ARDF Tour 2001 Part 10

Bruce’s Report #10

Well this morning we had the German Championship 2m event, but first, what happened yesterday ?

We arrived and registered for the ARDF championship in a country Bier hall on it’s own about 10 minutes out of Passau, near a small village. After a bit of time there we were taken to the guesthouse, (Das Alte Schule, old school) where we ended up in a nice attic bedroom. We had about 3 hours sleep to recover from the long journey form Canada. Later we returned to the Bier hall to test our receivers and catch up with Rainer Flosser.
Rainer was in a jury meeting, so we had some dinner there and met some of the competitors. I found out that the Ultra sniffer has another small sprugle right on 144.525MHz. Luckily I was able to tune up 5kHz and it was ok (phew !). Met with Rainer and some others and amongst other things had an interesting discussion about electronic tagging. DARC have one set of their own specialised device based on a hard pin contact and an I2C Eeprom inside a blocky card thing you carry around your neck. It works well though.
E Tag ReaderE-Tag

DARC have developed their own software similar to SportID, but much better and easier to use ! Sport Ident has been used once at an international ARDF championship in Czech Republic. They used their own software, and also specially controls built specifically for the event by SportID due to a radiation on 2m problem (they radiate on 144MHz for about 50m or so). This of course means you could hunt the control itself when the transmitter is off, so a special fix had to be done. DARC have offered a deal with Sport Ident to use the DARC software with the SportID hardware (for both ARDF and Orienteering), but SportID so far haven’t leaped at the idea. Maybe worth exploring for Orienteering ? The DARC software has all the web publishing features and leg analysis ability… take a look at the DARC website:

Today we took part in the 2m competition. Well this one has lots more people attending, about 120 ! Also a lot more who looked like they knew what they were doing. The map was not a secret, and many people already had a copy of the orienteering map used before we got given maps at the start. The way the events work here is everyone drives and parks at the finish. There you get your electronic tag and chest numbers.

Everyone then walks all at once to the Start in a big group.

The Start was a couple of km away. I was to be in start group 10 and Adam later in the last group 25. The area is reasonably heavy wooded with rather wet pine trees (I can hear Mark JMD groaning already :-)). We were to start at the bottom of the 1:15000 map and finish to the left, so there was a lot of map left above that ! Quite hilly too, with plenty of dark green about.


Basically I mucked up my first control taking 25 minutes. Things did go better after that, but unfortunately a dud bearing led me to do one in the wrong order wasting about 15->20 minutes. I also got a sore ankle somehow (but I don’t think I twisted it). Lost my compass also while leaping over a creek. All in all a bit of a disaster, but I still got back on time with 5 transmitters (just under the 120 minute time limit). This gave me 17th place in M21, out of 26.

Adam, however, had his turn for this event and managed an excellent event taking 79 minutes. This gave him 3rd place in M21 against some pretty tough competition. He was beaten by Czech Republic. Other foreigners at the event were Czech, Netherlands and England (yes there is an English ARDF team: 2 competitors and a helper). There isn’t a great deal of ARDF activity in England, and it has been furthur curtailed of late by the foot and mouth epidemic restricting that sort of activity. The results from the competition are printed periodically, and they also have a laptop and a special keypad so anyone can call up latest results of their category on demand. Very neat. Afterwads everyone one gets a personal analysis sheet which shows how you did all your legs compared to others who did your order, and the leading competitor. A little graphic shows the order of transmitters you did and whether it is the best order or not.
The prizes were presented that evening at the Bier Hall at what is called a Ham-Fest. This isn’t what we would think it is at first, but is more related to the consumption of pork and beer ! We were there for some time, and also the HausMeister has given us two huge (1.5L ?) glass Bier Steins (we’ll have to fit into the growing volume of luggage somehow).