Karkarook Report

It was a blustery but warm day for the Karkarook Park Orienteerng and Sprint ARDF event on Saturday afternoon on 29th August.

Not only was the AR club running the Saturday afternoon Cake-O event, set and organised by Suzanne O’Callaghan, but the numbers were also boosted by AR members having a go at a 2m 5 transmitter Sprint-format ARDF event.

The new Map

Some orienteers were attracted by the new colour park map by AR member Geoff Hudson. This map had as the centrepiece the original 2005 Karkarook Park map by Adam Scammell, but now significantly updated from field checks by Bruce and Geoff. This was then extended by a colour street map of the area north of the bypass road, and extended south into industrial/retail estate. This region had previously been mapped by Steven Dunbar as a B&W street-O map for BK, but the detail was insufficient for park orienteering, so the decision was made instead to make a new colour map of the whole area.

Park O

There is a push to move Saturday Cake-O’s from just another street-O to a bit more park based orienteering, and the new map and the cunning course from Suzanne did not disappoint. She had to avoid much of the newly mapped intricate minor tracks around the lake itself, as this was mid-winter and things had a chance of getting sticky, but expect to see a summer event taking advantage of these in the future.

There was strange indirect hearsay of some discontent from some about actually having to navigate, but this was rumored to be from persons who really should know better anyway (bush-O people), and were really just caught out being lazy.

Notable placings are Lauris Stirling and Ros King in Power Walking, and yours truly & Phil Torode in Run45 (noting that Phil was riding a bike).

Control 9 was one of those controls where concentration was required, unlike depicted here

Sprint ARDF

Five 2m transmitters running 12s each, so the whole cycle takes 1 minute to repeat. The time limit was set to 90minutes, but a soft landing of 5 points/min late was applied instead of the normal ARDF sudden death overtime rule. Each TX was assigned 20 points, but due to a strange MapRun bug, the start and finish both counted as 20 points too.

Transmitter locations

This map segment shows the 5 transmitter locations, but this is hidden from ARDF competitors both on the map and on MapRun when competing.

Some complained that the distance required for this Sprint event were more akin to a full classic ARDF, and though it is true the obstacles did make it longer than a typical Sprint, there were only half the number of transmitters than in a full double-stage Sprint ARDF. Also, here’s what the normal classic ARDF exclusion circles of 500m and 750m look like on this map:

Totally fails classic ARDF exclusion zones

11 ARDF competitors gave it a go on the day of the Cake-O, and Darian completed the event (total 12) only yesterday (Monday 7th). His time has been adjusted to exactly remove the time he spent actually retrieving each of the transmitters (thanks Darian!) as he went. Peter C enjoyed it so much the first time, he revisited Karkarook during the week to try to track down the transmitters he didn’t find the first time around. In that he was 50% successful.

Apologies to Dougie who replied just a tad late.

Here are the results. You can also see the routes taken.

Congrats to the placers: Bryan, Darian and Monica/Rod, just edging out Ewen from the placings, but who also located all 5 TX in time. Bryan also had the extra self-inflicted handicap of not using MapRun, and the transmitters were pretty well hidden from public view.

Here are the 4 routes of those who found all the TXs:

Next Event

Peter Cole is setting the next AR street-O this Wednesday on Academy Hill.

Darian has plans for a Large Sprint format ARDF (or small classic ARDF) possibly using 30s TX timing as a compromise (2.5 minutes per cycle). Those traveling overseas soon should let Darian know when you’ll be back.

We wish Jack (as an official), Peter, Ewen & Jenelle the best of luck in Czech Republic at the World ARDF championships, 2023.

Bellbird Dell RadiO August 13 2022

Setting this course was fun and so different from a StreetO event where only the GPS locations are required – trying to find good “safe” spots to hide Ewen’s 80m transmitters so they wouldn’t be stolen or attract attention was the aim – and fortunately all were hidden well, and performed flawlessly, and were returned home intact. Phew!

I was pleased to find, when walking around the Bellbird Dell area, that the areas which I thought were out of bounds before are now part of a park redevelopment and after I read the sign carefully, walked through a break in the barbed wire fencing to find ideal places to hide transmitters.

Ultimately, after correcting the angle of this map which must have been at least 10 degrees off North, a hand out was made.

I had put placement locators out using green garden stakes – which are so camouflaged that I had trouble finding them later – but all was set,- transmitters placed, all timing sorted and power on. So I went back to the start at Terrara Park car park – to find several eager participants waving their sniffers in all directions, trying to hear signals with varying success.I turned on mine expecting to hear all five but thought I best have my ears looked at because I could hardly hear anything.

Oh well, I thought,- nothing I can do – if the transmitters are all working these guys will be able to find them they are all so experienced. Then I thought – ” I’ll just try one of the ones Jack had assembled, to see if it’s my sniffer which is the problem – and Boom! – I could hear them 5 and 9 plus. Good one Jack – the club sniffers work better than my overseas one – (The one which you can’t open up and mess around with .)

Here’s the Maprun6 map of the 5 transmitter locations –

Weather reports for that Saturday were that a storm was coming late in the day – in fact even though the sky was clear, with a few clouds appearing, crashing static could be heard from what might be coming up and sure enough it came later but everyone was back before any rain fell.

Altogether there were 9 who did the event. Congrats to everyone taking part. – Bryan, Ewen, Mark D, Pierre, Monica, Mark B, Geoff, Henk and Dianne. I’m glad it worked out and everyone had a good time. Extra points go to Henk and Dianne who found the closest coffee shop to the Start position.


Damper Creek Sprint ARDF Report

Report & Results are below the Event Details

Map has been updated with TX locations.

Damper Creek

As per usual now, it’s a MapRun event. No need to eyeball the transmitter – it is deliberately well hidden from public view.

Event Name: /Victoria/OV-Clubs/AmateurRadioDirectionFinding-ARDF/Damper Creek ARDF July 2022.
In fact, if you are quick off the mark you could even squeeze it in today, Friday!

When: Commencing Saturday 16 July, 1:30pm. Transmitters will run daily from 1:30pm to 5:30pm till at least Sunday 24th July (or later on request).

Start is where the dirt path leaves on the south side of the tennis club carpark, in Federal Reserve, Mt Waverley. Melway 61D9.
WARNING: Don’t forget that once you Start, avoid going anywhere near there again till you actually want to Finish.

Frequency 145.300Mhz. 12s Sprint timing, 5TX. Time Limit 90 Minutes. If you want to give yourself the full time-limit, don’t forget to start before 4pm.
It is possible you may not hear all transmitters from the start location, so keep an careful ear out as you head around. I could hear 4 of the 5 at the Start.


Well done to everyone who gave it a go over the week, a total of 13 competitors.

Special thanks to Geoff, who not only managed to win overall, but did it while picking up all the transmitters for me as well. He had no choice but to do it quickly, as he rang me around 4:30pm today saying he was heading to try the event. I pointed out to him that it was less than an hour before the transmitters were due to turn off at 5:30pm. Geoff figured he therefore might have to run. He managed to locate the last one to collect, #4, just before they all turned off! I hope he had a backpack with him, or lots of roomy pockets. Geoff gets the Golden Retriever award (hey it’s gold for 1st place, right?).

Most people chose the nice weather today to attempt the event, but Henk & Di also struck a good afternoon mid-week. Oddly, noone chose yesterday (Saturday). I wonder why? Jack was first off the mark (last weekend in the drizzle), managing to hold on to the winning time till today. Jack is therefore awarded the Beaver award.

Second place goes to Darian, followed by Mark. However, I should mention Mark’s time may be artificially long, as he accidentally ‘started’ before he even got out of his car. I have instructed him as to how to cancel out and restart in Maprun. He might have even nudged Darian out of second place. Along with Jenelle, Mark also decided on an unconventional route choice off the map. I’m pretty sure you aren’t really meant to do that in ARDF, but Jenelle left the maps at home, so I’ll decide to ignore it this time. It does make sense if you are going between #3 and #4, but probably isn’t much shorter. I have decided to award both Mark and Jenelle with OBE awards (that’s OutofBodyExperience, not OrderofBritishEmpire – I’m not Tony Abbott!). Maybe Mark should also get the Tardigrade award, for his late start?

Many reported not hearing #5 from the Start, but you were forewarned. I note also that most took a more complicated route over two creeks to #2, rather than directly in via the path below. A better map may have helped out here. The dithering by Di and Henk just before #2 makes amusing viewing in replay mode. Di & Henk are hereby awarded the Phaff award.

Peter’s result may not be indicative. He decided to willfully ignore my careful warning, imploring competitors to avoid going too close to the Finish before they actually want to finish, so we will never know what became of him after #3. Did he find any other transmitters? We’ll never know, but I have decided to posthumously award Peter the Icarus award, as all that I found left was a smoldering pile of feathers.

Ewen’s result, however, is even more curtailed than Peter’s, in that it is completely absent. I’m told there is some terrible embarrassment there, which he hoped to avoid by not even uploading his result. Unfortunately that has backfired, as now, due to this very report we now all ponder what he might be trying to hide. Ewen is awarded the Bloody Mary ghost award.

Another thing to note is that the most popular order was 3-1-4-2-5, which probably isn’t the most optimal route. I consider that a bonus for the course setting (or likely more just due to the land topology hiding #5 till later).

Next ARDF event is Sat 13th August at Bellbird Dell, by Icarus. He is also setting the next AR run street-O on Wed Aug 10.


Click here to see results, and view each competitors route.

Report on Radio Combo Event 7 May 2022

A Radio “Combo” event was run in conjunction with the Saturday afternoon Orienteering event at Endeavour Greens on 7 May 2022. Unforunately the weather was rather poor but despite that we had eight people competing.

Five 2m Fox-Or transmitters were placed in bush or park areas on the map and competitors had to locate these once they had reached the large red circles on the map. A copy of the map is below with small blue dots indicating approximate transmitter locations. A 75-minute time limit was set with 3 points per minute late penalty. The event was run using MapRun and no flags were set with the Fox-Ors.

Congratulations to Bruce Paterson who got all 20 orienteering controls and 5 Fox-Ors in the time, achieving a perfect score of 120 points. Newcomer Christopher Hall also did very well, getting all five Fox-Ors and all but three of the orienteering controls. Chris also managed his time very well, returning 30 seconds before the 75-minute deadline. Monica Lo Presti came in third with a respectable 91 points. Jack Bramham was feeling a bit unwell following a flu vaccination the previous day but still went out to get one of the radio controls after spending some time getting MapRun set up on a new phone. Scores are copied below (also available on MapRun “Leader Board”):


Hays Paddock Sprint ARDF Training

Hays Paddock training event is on from 9 Oct – 24 Oct (or later if requested). For now only if it’s in your 15km circle, but fingers crossed that may change, before the batteries die.

Sorry if outside your circle – I tried to suit as many as I could !

The 2m transmitters are on daily from3-7pm daily. Time limit 90 minutes. Frequency 145.300 MHz, 5TX Sprint Mode

The event will be on MapRun6. Use the QR code on the map, “Events Near Me”, or in Victoria/OV-Clubs/AmateurRadioDirectionFinding-ARDF/

The start, as shown on the map, is the northern track junction east of the carpark.

Here’s the map:

So that’s a wrap.
Tracks and results are now visible here

Congratulations to Jack on the winning time, and I think a pretty impressive track. Apologies to those who missed out on hunting down #3, when it had a temporary outage. I can see some spent a while on long excursions looking for a signal. Click on any of the tracks to see where it actually was located. Jenelle just beat out hubby, leading a large cohort who were all close after the 50min mark. And well done to Peter M who, as usual, did the event in PMT as the controls were being picked up. He brought the total up to 16 competitors, which is a great effort.

By the way, #5 was located on the peninsular south of the creek (which is even more ‘loopy’ than mapped), but seems MapRun just allowed check-ins on the north bank, as I can see a few made use of! Oh well. We awarded Greg #4, as he was unable to get there due to the lake flooding.

Many thanks to Bill, who was able to monitor the TXs for me when required, and who we can all thank for restoring #3 to health – three times! (all for differing reasons). The firmware will upgraded so the website auto-update can be stopped for easier/safer delayed-turn-on programming (reason 1). #3 will receive a new battery (reason 2 & 3).

PS: The next version of MapRun6 will have configurable control punch tones, which will be much more satisfactory for handsfree (phone in pocket) ARDFing.

2021 ARDF membership form

If you are a returning Vic ARDF member who has joined via Eventor, and none of your details below have changed, you do not need to fill in a form. Everyone else needs to fill in a 2021 membership form (links below) and send to Kristian and Suzanne, at the address included. Payment details are also in the form.

Attention OV members:

  • If you are a member of another Victorian club, please join that club first, then join ARDF in Eventor.
  • In Eventor, you can still enter any OV event with whichever club you wish to. We encourage entering under ARDF, as this helps our stats.
  • If you wish to join OV, and ARDF is the only orienteering club you want to be a member of, please do not use Eventor to join; fill out this form and Bank Transfer the $45.

Your Details that may have changed:

  • New SI stick number (did you buy an SI-Air stick recently?)
  • New address
  • Joined/lapsed OV or WIA memberships
  • New callsign
  • New email
  • New contact phone number
  • Sex/Name changed

PDF document: https://ardf.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Victorian-ARDF-Group-Membership-2021.pdf

Word document: https://ardf.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Victorian-ARDF-Group-Membership-2021.docx

Vermont South ARDF 2m Sprint Event

After some teething problems with logging the GPS locations for the start and each of the transmitters only to find the program I used to save the
locations only went down to 3 decimal places. I then went back to the course and tried again using another 2 apps this time it was better. 6 decimal
The MaprunF file was created and sent to Geoff Hudson to create the file for the MaprunF app.
My map was made using Open Street Map but Geoff put the Coordinates onto the Camelot Rise Streeto map. This map had better detail of the area but
the exact start location was slightly out. I know the advertised start location of the bridge was accurate as when I did a test of the event MaprunF
started me as I stepped onto the bridge.
All of the transmitters were located in the park and I noticed from the various course routes that having the Motorcross Track, Whitehorse Waste
Transfer Station and Bunnings did make for some interesting route choices.
Transmitters were activated on December 14th and originally the plan was to collect them on December 24th. As the course dates did not suit everyone it
was decided to leave the transmitters out until after New Years Day. I could hear Transmitter 2 from home so each day between 15:00 and 19:00 I
could monitor it. Occasionally if conditions were good I could hear TX3 as well. From the Bunnings carpark I could hear all of the transmitters with
TX1 being the weakest.
In the time the transmitters were out only 7 people attempted the course and owing to the time of the year it’s understandable. For those of you who did
not do the course and wondering what the terrain is like here is a video I made of my test run: https://youtu.be/qxTOoP5uCfw
Not the best but it will give you a good idea of the area. Hopefully if I make another video like this I will get the map and the synch of the receiver
Peter VK3ADY was the first to attempt the course but did not allow enough time and after he found his 3rd transmitter the timer cut in and all of the
transmitters turned off. Peter returned the following day to find the last 2 transmitters.
Mark VK3BES could only hear 3 of the 5 transmitters. I did hear TX5 come on the day he attempted the course but it may have shut down shortly
after. I was planning to collect the transmitters on Monday Jan. 4th but as TX5 and TX4 were reported not transmitting I collected them on Sunday 3rd.
1,3 and 5 were still going strong but by the time I had collected 3 and 5 TX1 it had gone silent as well.

Name Callsign TX Order Time Distance Date Comment
Peter Cole VK3ADY 5,4,2 01:04:06 3.98 16/12/20
Peter Cole VK3ADY 1,3 34:04:00 1.94 17/12/20 Picking up missed TX’s
J. Bramham VK3WWW 1,5,4,2,3 31:39:00 2.4 19/12/20 Course Checking + Video
Peter Cole VK3ADY 1,5,4,2,3 29:58:00 2.4 19/12/20 DF1FO 2m RX Test
Bruce Paterson VK3TJN 3,2,5,4,1 28:51:00 3.26 23/12/20
Monica LoPresti VK3FFAB 3,5,1,4,2 57:45:00 3.3 23/12/20 Joined by Uncle Rod
Ewen Templeton VK3OW 5,1,4,2,3 32:40:00 2.37 28/12/20
Jenelle Templeton VK3FJTE 1,4,2,3,5 01:00:06 3.29 28/12/20
Mark Besley VK3BES 3,5,1 41:37:00 2.26 01/01/21 TX2 and TX4 not operational

Ashwood South Sprint ARDF Report

This Covid-safe event ran for over 3 weeks for 4 hours a day, stretching from Jack first out the gates on Thursday 22nd October, through to Henk & Di on Saturday 7th October. I suspect this may be the longest foxhunt we’ve ever run?! Perhaps longer even than the US election. Of course this renders it a bit pointless to include the traditional reference to the state of the weather at the event.

Kristian has just pipped Geoff for the fastest time just under the 3/4 hour mark, but note the impressive minimal distance Geoff managed it in. However, we should note that Kristian had some issues using MapRunG, and was forced to return to his car part way though his run, as well as locating 3 of his transmitters by sight. As the transmitters had been very carefully hidden, as they were going to be out in the wilds for quite some time, this would have been particularly difficult. He also didn’t take out a paper map, complicating things for himself.

Darian, Pierre & Cameron, I’m told, also somehow forgot to use MapRun (?), so also had to eyeball locate some of their transmitters. I’m not sure I completely understand that, but anyway, Darian-et-al’s track was loaded up retrospectively. Unfortunately they were over the 90min time limit, so I had to mark down as overtime, but all their results are still shown. A welcome to first-timer, Cameron.

Jack was so keen he decided to have multiple goes at the event, finding a different set of 4 transmitters each attempt. On his first attempt, he was never able to hear TX#3, so after that I decided to swap TX#3 and TX#5 positions, as the latter was a much stronger TX. Jack returned a second time to check the new TX configuration, and then yet again on a later weekend to post his 2nd result, which I’ve shown at the bottom as unofficial.

Rod notes the event was an excellent start to his weekend, and he & Monica liked the course layout. Their course length is also excellent, only 400m longer than Geoff’s. Di mentioned that she & Henk might well have found all 5 transmitters under the time limit, if Henk hadn’t wanted to actually see all the transmitters (see above!), but as they were running a bit short on time decided to cut out the one over the other side of the creek. Good to know all the transmitters are still working fine after 3 weeks, as they went for a stroll on Saturday 7th.

The first event upload to MapRun didn’t successfully set it up as a Score event as wanted, but unfortunately the second attempt didn’t seem to either. I’ve therefore extracted the results here, taking into account those who eyeball located some TXs, and the TX location swap. Beware that the Track files linked will have TX5 & TX3 swapped still. Many thanks to Geoff for promptly doing the MapRun submission – if you can prepare a (correct), MapRun compatible, kml file for him detailing the TX locations, this is a lot of the work required done.

Ashwood South Sprint ARDF Results
Kris15: 5, 4, 1, 2, 3Track00:43:375.75M30-3431/10/20
Geoff25: 2, 3, 1, 4, 5Track00:45:483.78M65-6926/10/20
Ewen35: 2, 1, 4, 3, 5Track48:18:005.35M70-7426/10/20
Monica & Uncle Rod45: 3, 2, 1, 4, 5Track00:58:204.2W25-2931/10/20
Mark55: 4, 1, 3, 2, 5Track01:03:235.52M60-6401/11/20
Jack64: 2, 1, 3, 4Track00:59:185.18M65-6922/10/20
Doug74: 5, 2, 1, 4Track01:14:575.79M50-5405/11/20
Jenelle84: 5, 2, 1, 4Track01:16:526.11W65-6926/10/20
Henk & Di94: 5, 2, 3, 1Track01:27:185.62M70-7407/11/20
Jack (unofficial)N/A4: 5, 4, 1, 3Track38:47:003.12M65-6901/11/20
Darian, Pierre & CameronO/T5: 3, 1, 4, 2, 5Track01:39:295.49M25-2931/10/20

Here’s the actual transmitter locations:

Sprint Ardf Training begins again!

Sprint training Covid style is available now in Ashwood South. 5TX 2m (on 145.300MHz). Each TX runs for 12s, so 5 TXs form a 1 minute cycle. There is a 90 minute event time limit.

Start location in in Harlequin Dve, at the main park sign. Off Power Ave., Ashwood South.

Transmitters run for 4 hours daily, 3-7pm. I’ll finish the event once everyone has had a chance to try who wants to.

Use MapRunF to register at the controls. Event name is under Victoria/RunFree/ARDF/Ashwood_south_ARDF_Use_this_one_ScoreV90, or “Events Near Me” should have it top of the list if you use that near the Start. Please avoid cheating by looking at the map on the phone, even though it’ll be mostly purple.

PDF version: https://www.ardf.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Ashwood_south_ARDF_Score90-2.pdf

You can currently train on this event in Melbourne if you live within this 25km circle:


Yarren Dheran – 2M ARDF Sprint

UPDATE: Due to the updated COVID-19 restrictions which are effective from 11:59pm on Wednesday, 8th of July, this event will be ending on Wednesday, 8th of July. Sorry, if anyone was planning on attending after this date.

5 Transmitters (145.300 MHz) are located within the parkland.

Transmitters are at least 100m from each other, and from the start/finish.

Transmitters are on from 2pm until 4pm each day from Saturday 4th of July until Sunday 12th of July Wednesday 8th of July.

There is no flag or registering device at the transmitters. You will need to use the MapRunF app. To find the event in the app go to Shwerkolt Cottage and press Events Near Me. The event is called “ARDF – Yarren Dheran ScoreRun90 04-07-2020” If you get asked for a PIN enter 6771.

Once you start the event you shouldn’t look at your phone until you finish.

  • The best thing to do is to move off the map screen. Select the centre tab (the symbol looks like a clock). This will show you how much time you have remaining, how many controls you have punched and what the last control was. (Note: the start and finish are counted as controls)
  • Make sure your volume is as loud as it goes so you know when you have registered as locating a transmitter.

Your time will start when you pass through the start/finish location and MapRunF registers that you were there, your time will end when pass though the start/finish location for a second time. (There is no beacon at the finish.)

The Map attached to this blog post is far superior to others that I have seen of this area, but if you wish to use others then feel free. (Thanks Geoff for the map.)

Please park in the carpark at Shwerkolt Cottage and walk north west to get to the Shwerkolt Cottage Orchard Shed (The western most building). The start/finish is the water trough north east of the building.

Some warnings

  • Do not enter the Freeway.
  • There are a number of cliffs in the area. There is no need to attempt to climb up or down any cliff.
  • Do not cross any fences. They are often close to the top of the previously mentioned cliffs.
  • To be fair to all competitors, please only cross the creek using one of the marked bridges.
  • There are hidden hazards in many areas including, logs, rocks, old fences and unmarked low cliffs.
  • There is a busy bike path that runs through the middle of the map, please use caution when entering/exiting or swinging your beam on this path.
  • Some of the ground is very muddy, spare shoes are recommended for the drive home.

If you venture off a track please be careful.

In case of emergency / technical issues

I will be within approx. 10 mins whilst this event is active.

If you are seriously hurt call 000. If you have a minor injury and require assistance then call me.

If one of the transmitters isn’t working then please contact me, I have a spare transmitter, but it may take 20 mins to program appropriately and get it in place.

Whilst you are in the area

I recommend the donuts at The Pastry Board in Ringwood North, or if you want a sugar overload Pizzeria Express has Donut Snack Packs (DSPs).


Results will be available instantly in the MapRunF app but will also be posted on this page.

Vic ARDF Christmas Party

Thanks to all those who made to the Vic ARDF Christmas Party.

The weather turned out perfect, considering the scorcher only 1 day earlier.

The results from the two fun 2m events have been unearthed and are below. Thanks to Darian for working them out. A couple of the 2m FoxOrs had somehow ended up on low power (?), and unfortunately they were some of the more distant ones. One was in constant carrier mode, which was a bit confusing with so much other RF noise around.

2m Sprint Course (~1.5km) 4 TX (something went wrong with TX#4 on the day, but it seems to work fine now!)

Darian 22mins 4TX
Monica 39mins 4TX

2m FoxOr Course (~5km) 9 TX on different frequencies

Bryan 70mins 9TX
Darian 50mins 8TX
Adam 57Mins 8TX
Jack 56mins 6TX
Monica 53mins 4TX
Henk & Di 78mins 4TX
Suzanne 80mins 4TX

Ewen also presented us all with an intriguing ARDF word puzzle that was quite a challenge. No-one got all the words, with I believe the closest being Monica with 15 ARDF words. Other placings went to Mark, Bruce and Henk.

Nibblies and BBQ followed, then we viewed the Legend of Burnout Barry, featuring the well known Invermay Drive in Monbulk. Many also stayed for the feature, chosen by a popular vote of 2 Vs 1, of Jasper Jones.



2m Sprint-TX test practice

2m Sprint-TX test practice

Today was a lovely sunny spring day here in Melbourne, a perfect opportunity to test the new set of 2m Sprint transmitters, following a Street orienteering (Cake-O) event in the far eastern suburb of Chirnside Park. This was also a brand new map, the first time a street-O has been run in Chirnside. The Start/Finish location was the beautiful and manicured Delemere Reserve.

Start / Finish Location

A number of ARDF regulars decided to make the trek to dabble in a bit of Sprint practice, as well as most also competing in the orienteering event prior (which wasn’t quite as hilly as I’d expected beforehand).

The results for the Sprint TX testing appears below too.

Rough Results

Competitors self-timed, as this was only an informal practice, but for the heck, here are the recorded results. You’ll note for both Jack and Jenelle I’ve only awarded 4 TXs. Perhaps Jenelle forgot to get TX#3 ? There’s no punch there anyway. In Jack’s case, he has the wrong punch mark for TX#5. Now I don’t know quite how he managed this, as there was only one punch at each TX. I can only assume he has punched at some random orienteering control, or perhaps at the grey practice FoxOr, instead (in the big tree just near the start) !?!






Kris Ruuska




Monica Lo Presti




Ewen Templeton




Jack Bramham




Jenelle Templeton




Uncle Rod





TX #1 near footbridge

TX #2 in hedge square

TX #3 in the middle of the roundabout (shrubs are a bit bigger than pictured here). Jenelle missed this one.

TX #4 in a different little park well to the south

TX #5 near the tennis courts. Jack didn’t punch at this one.



Testing, Testing…

Another reason was to test the new sprint transmitters in the field for the first time.


  • They all turned on at 2:30pm that afternoon, as programmed to 2 days before, and the transmit sequence was perfect, with no overlap between transmitters.
  • Battery voltage tests afterwards show all transmitter batteries had barely discharged at all, after running for a couple of hours (and 2 days sleeping). Even the Homing Beacon, which has the highest duty cycle, the LiIon cell was still above 4V. Lowest was 3.77V on the test FoxOr transmitter.

Room for improvement:

  • Some had difficulty DFing and IDing the transmitters at the same time. This may be because the CW is achieved by turning the final off and on, but the exciter stays on during the whole 12s. This means in practice, in whoopee mode, the sniffers alternate between a high and low tone, rather than being a definite OFF between the CW pulses, and this is harder for the brain to figure out. Another test version of firmware from Byon turns on and off the entire transmitter, but this suffers from a slow PLL re-lock time, making the pulse ‘soft’ and too short (the lock time was nearly as long as a dit). Perhaps a new special version that pre-turns on the PLL before each final stage pulse could help. Alternatively, something kludgey that shorts the exciter output during the OFF might improve things.
  • There is currently no modulation on the transmitters. Only FM modulation is available, and this seems to spread the power available over a wider frequency band, reducing the range of the transmitters significantly (liatening on whoopee, the exciter alone produces a higher whoopee tone than the modulated FM with final on, effectively inverting the morse, making it very hard to read!). Jack had problems with the Nick Roethe 2m sniffer, as it only engages whoopee when close-in, and with no modulation not much could be heard on AM. No easy solution to this one.
  • Perhaps the dits could be a bit longer. This can be manipulated somewhat in the MicroFox programming, but any changes would then need to be re-cal’d on all transmitters so the on-time window is correct for an integral number of morse words.
  • The Homing Beacon seemed to be down on power at the end. The battery was not the cause of this. Needs investigation. Is the PA getting warm ?
  • Feedback on anything else ?


Sprint Training

With the forecast wind and hail, 9 brave souls attempted the ARDF Sprint training held in and around Deakin Uni. A couple also did some of the Enduro controls, which was an orienteering event starting from the same spot.

The format of the event was a Five-in-Five 2m event, which in theory is possible to complete in about 6.5 minutes, followed immediately by an 80m Sprint ARDF event. Five-in-Five uses classic 5 minute cycle (1 minute each) ARDF transmitters spaced close enough that it should be possible, walking, to get to each transmitter as it comes on first time (for you). Only Jack WWW managed to get the transmitters in under 10 minutes (2 cycles). Good effort, Jack !  He admits he had a bit of luck, with earlier competitors just leaving transmitters as he approached, helping to lead him in. The time limit for this part of the event was set to 30 minutes. The transmitters were all in parkland, just off a track. In you look at the splits, below, you’ll also see Jack was the only one to do the transmitters in order, with everyone else going from #1 to #5, and then to others. Perhaps some just happened across #5 by accident ?

Mark, Suzanne & Rodney elected to only do the Five-in-Five course, with Mark the winner amongst those. Suzanne suffered some late penalties (problems with #1), but still beat out Rodney for second place. Looking at the splits at control 6 (236), Jack was clearly the fastest at this part of the event, followed with an impressive 11 minutes by Jenelle.

An ARDF sprint event has a 1 minute complete cycle, with each transmitter only on for 12s each. This was set in an area with both complex buildings, the university, and parkland around Gardiners Creek. TX #5 and #4 were in amongst the buildings and this proved too much for Jack and Peter, but not so Kris and Jennelle, who both managed those with ease. Monica liked #5 so much she punched it twice (see splits below) !  Clearly after being so flustered by those two tricky TX’s, Jack and Peter both also forgot to punch the Finish Beacon (which you are required to do at international events).

And TX #1 in the uni accommodation area ? Well, it had to be there didn’t it 🙂  Can’t make it too easy !  Generally competitors had to plan and DF carefully in this event, as it could be easy to end up the wrong side of the creek. Competitors doing both events had an un-timed (up to a 10min limit) transition leg between 2m and 80m, to get their 80m gear in order. I’m happy to say the software handled this perfectly, and I didn’t have to adjust the times it published at all.

Yep, we got that hail, and the heavy rain, but luckily both were only for short bursts, being perfect running conditions otherwise. Monica says the hail even helped her spot TX#5, as she sought shelter under cover. Besides, it’s good practice and testing for your gear, as sometimes weather can be quite unpredictable at international events. Torrential downpours are not uncommon. Thanks to Ewen for the new 80m Sprint TXs. Proto TX#1 for the 2m set has now been completed (and works), so soon we’ll have a 6-TX set on both bands.

Thank you to everyone who helped pick up the transmitters afterwards, just before the rain came (again). Apologies to Monica for not giving her a key on her first attempt.

Here’s the map, with TX locations shown. I’ve used A->E for the 80m TX, and 1->5 for 2m TX. BB was the location of both 2m and 80m beacons.

Here’s the full results:

Name Callsign Course #TX Score Late Penalty Time Place   1 Time 2 Time 3 Time 4 Time 5 Time 6 Time
Mark VK3BES FiveInFive 6 51 0 22:24:00 1 231 11:17:00 232 12:15:00 235 14:17:00 234 19:42:00 233 21:45:00 236 22:49:00
Suzanne VK3FSZI FiveInFive 6 24 27 38:39:00 2 231 17:40:00 232 18:57:00 233 23:24:00 234 32:43:00 235 36:17:00 236 39:06:00
Rodney VK3FRLS FiveInFive 13 20 0 20:53:00 3 231 01:28:00 235 02:44:00
1 Time 2 Time 3 Time 4 Time 5 Time 6 Time 7 Time 8 Time 9 Time
Time 11 Time 12 Time 13 Time 14 Time
Kristian VK3FDAC FullSprint 13 102 0 39:11:00 1 231 01:16:00 235 03:39:00 234 05:07:00 232 12:18:00 233 13:25:00 236 14:06:00 37 15:45:00 33 19:24:00 31 24:25:00 32 28:49:00 34 33:23:00 35 40:13:00 36 41:18:00
Jenelle VK3FJTE FullSprint 13 102 0 47:25:00 2 231 01:21:00 235 03:13:00 233 06:17:00 232 07:12:00 234 09:18:00 236 10:53:00 37 14:40:00 34 27:46:00 35 31:46:00 32 37:11:00 33 45:30:00 31 48:15:00 36 51:38:00
Ewen VK3OW FullSprint 13 102 0 69:51:00 3 231 01:17:00 235 05:46:00 233 11:08:00 232 11:49:00 234 14:23:00 236 15:59:00 37 17:48:00 33 20:37:00 31 25:19:00 32 30:53:00 34 40:53:00 35 69:21:00 36 71:57:00
Monica VK3FFAB FullSprint 13 102 0 74:25:00 4 231 01:20:00 235 10:35:00 232 12:12:00 233 14:03:00 234 14:36:00 236 15:50:00 37 22:50:00 35 27:48:00 32 35:04:00 34 43:50:00 33 68:04:00 31 76:13:00 36 79:52:00 35 27:51:00
Jack VK3WWW FullSprint 13 81 0 43:09:00 5 231 01:26:00 232 02:46:00 233 03:52:00 234 04:42:00 235 05:32:00 236 07:44:00 37 09:53:00 31 16:05:00 32 21:10:00 33 43:52:00
Peter Val FullSprint 13 81 0 74:24:00 6 231 12:01:00 235 13:39:00 232 17:16:00 233 18:44:00 234 19:49:00 236 21:23:00 37 23:57:00 33 47:57:00 31 52:24:00 32 60:16:00