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) !?!

 

Name

#TXs

Time

Place

Kris Ruuska

5

10:14.00

1

Monica Lo Presti

5

30:30.00

2

Ewen Templeton

5

33:00.00

3

Jack Bramham

4

26:00.00

4

Jenelle Templeton

4

35:00.00

5

Uncle Rod

1+

?

6

 

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.

Successes:

  • 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
10
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

 

 

Candlebark Park July 1 2018 80M ARDF Results

A cold morning saw Greg out of bed early and wandering around Candlebark Park in Doncaster setting out five 80M transmitters.  The event got underway just after the advertised start time of 10:00am. Ten people decided to have a go locating the TXs and Sports Ident was used for scoring.

Some of the early competitors were not made aware of the time limit (was to be 90 Mins) so the following results do not include any time penalties.

 

Name

TXs

Time (MM:SS)

Bruce VK3TJN

5

33:39

Tim Hatley

5

37:02

Jack Bramham

5

61:58

Ian Dodd

5

67:44

Ewen VK3OW

5

69:14

Jenelle Templeton

5

108:25

Peter Cole

5

150:49

Peter Malony

4

189:14

Stuart McWilliam

1

15:00

Nick Wong

1

65:58

For those who would like to check leg time etc the detailed results are at the end of this report.

Soup was provided at the end of the event and it seems a good time was had by all. Many Thanks to Marg for assisting and Ian Stirling for organising the transmitters; Bruce for the SI gear, Ewen for the map, Jack for the club receivers and headphones, the latter three also helped in collecting transmitters.

 

Individual Results – Rows are – TX No; Elapsed Time; Leg Time

(2) (1) (3) (5) (4) (B) F
Bruce VK3TJN 33:39 05:55 10:04 18:00 24:46 29:34 32:59 33:39
05:55 04:09 07:56 06:46 04:48 03:25 00:40
(2) (1) (3) (4) (5) (B) F
Jack Bramham 61:58 07:30 16:21 28:32 43:05 54:54 61:06 61:58
07:30 08:51 12:11 14:33 11:49 06:12 00:52
(2) (1) (3) (4) (5) (B) F
Tim Hatley 37:02 08:09 11:03 22:16 27:28 32:55 36:21 37:02
08:09 02:54 11:13 05:12 05:27 03:26 00:41
(2) (1) (3) (5) (4) (B) F
Ewen VK3OW 69:14 09:35 28:05 40:04 48:59 62:38 68:26 69:14
09:35 18:30 11:59 08:55 13:39 05:48 00:48
(4) (3) (5) (1) (2) (B) F
Ian Dodd 67:44 14:30 29:00 35:57 56:36 62:20 67:05 67:44
14:30 14:30 06:57 20:39 05:44 04:45 00:39
(1) (2) (4) (3) (5) (B) F
Jenelle Templeton 108:25 30:59 56:30 73:58 88:00 97:01 107:38 108:25
30:59 25:31 17:28 14:02 09:01 10:37 00:47
(2) (B) F
Nick Wong 65:58 15:02 65:10 65:58
15:02 50:08 00:48
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) F
Peter Cole 150:49 69:36 87:03 113:26 121:15 142:46 150:49
69:36 17:27 26:23 07:49 21:31 08:03
(2) (1) (5) (4) F
Peter Maloney 189:14 23:32 47:22 90:56 130:57 189:14
23:32 23:50 43:34 40:01 58:17

	

Results for Gresswell Hill WOD Event

World OrienteeringDay RadiO Event

Map: “Gresswell Hill”, MacLeod

Course Setting & Event Management: Bruce (VK3 TJN) & Dianne (VK3 FVXN)


Competitor

Start

Finish

Elapsed

#Tx

Kristian VK3FDAC

14.52

15.25

33

6

Monica VK3FFAB

14.48

15.53

65

6

Hamish VK3DMC

14.59

16.07

68

5

Peter VK3ADY

14.42

15.51

90

4

Mark VK3BES

15.1

15.49

39

3

Jack VK3WWW

14.19

15.07

48

3

Jenelle VK3FJTE

14.05

14.58

53

3

Stuart McWilliam

15.07

16.04

57

2

Henk VK3AI

15.21

15.38

17

1

Rodney VK3FRLS

14.48

15.19

31

1

(equipment issues)

Greg Tamblyn

14.58

15.3

32

1

(injured)

 

Gardiners Bend RadiO event – 9 Sep 2017

The Gardiner’s Bend RadiO event on Saturday 9 September 2017 took place on a gloriously sunny spring afternoon and was an opportunity to explore the parkland around Gardiner’s Creek and Ashburton.

6 participants tried out the RadiO combo course – a combination of foxor TXs and street-o controls. 2 went for foxors only.

Darian and Pierre took  a conservative approach and collected 5 foxors without giving in to the lure of more far-flung foxors and controls. Neale did a very efficient course and returned well within the time. It was a long course if you tried to collect them all (over 15 km!). Hamish, Monica and Ian succumbed to temptation and had adventures and were late returning – Monica plagued by an injured ankle and Ian chasing reflections from the Monash Freeway wall.

Jack and Peter enjoyed the sunshine and visited the foxors only – Peter taking the scenic route home.

Thanks to all for coming and helping with the setup and pull down.

GB 9Sep 2017

GARDINERS BEND RESULTS
RADI-O EVENT 9 SEPTEMBER 2017

RADI-O COMBO
NAME 2 PTS 3 PTS 4 PTS 5 PTS RADI-O TIME PENALTY TOTAL
Ian Dodd 8 12 16 25 60 3:19:36 -45 76
Neale Banks 3 12 15 40 3:01:45 70
Darian Panter 4 4 10 50 3:03:10 68
Pierre Brokner 4 4 10 50 3:03:45 68
Monica Lo Presti 6 12 15 50 3:11:05 -21 62
Hamish McDonald 6 3 12 10 50 3:14:10 -30 51
RADI-O
NAME RADI-O TIME PENALTY TOTAL
Jack Bramham 50 2:59:00 50
Peter Cole 50 3:46:00 -84 -34

Suzanne O’Callaghan VK3FSZI

Course setter

STEAMing ARDF

From Monica Lo Presti –  a teacher at Dromana College,

Dromana College offers a STEAM enhancement class for Year 7 and 8 students before school once a week. This term, students began to look at some of the basics of electronics, and even built their own crystal radio from a kit. As part of this program, one of the teachers in charge asked me if I could run a session based on my experiences with amateur radio and ARDF. As a result, on Tuesday 8th August I was able to speak to the students about what Ham radio is, and the activities that those with and without an amateur licence can participate in.

After running through the basics, and showing a short video from one of the Mount Gambier foxhunting championships, students were shown a fox-or transmitter, and how to use a sniffer to find it. I set up a course of five transmitters that were hidden around the school that students then worked in pairs to find. There were varying levels of success with most groups finding at least two transmitters, while some were able to find all five. Some groups also struggled as an unknown source was transmitting a signal in one corner of the course.

Overall students had lots of positive feedback for the morning. Many commented on how much fun they had, along with enjoying the practical nature of the event and excitement of finding the transmitters.

Monica

Woodlands Historic Park 20 August 2017

The RadiO event at Woodlands Historic Park on 20 August 2017 took place on a delightful winter’s day – sunshine, blue skies, no wind and an open bush setting where the wattle is starting to bloom. And some interesting large river gums and creeks for a foxor hunt!

ARDF course setter Suzanne O’Callaghan VK3FSZI collaborated with Tuckonie Orienteering Club to put together a combination course of foxor transmitters and bush orienteering controls – or for those who prefer RadiO on its own, a course of foxor transmitters only.

5 intrepid ARDF members tried out the RadiO courses, alongside around 150 competitors for the MelBushO orienteering course.

Darian Panter VK3FAST was his usual speedy self and cleaned up the foxor only course in under an hour.

Ian Dodd whipped around the combination course, collecting all orienteering controls and the foxors in under 90 minutes. Peter Maloney dropped the furthest controls and foxor for a very respectable second place. And Mike Hubbert and Hamish McDonald explored the creeks for an intense orienteering and foxoring experience.

RESULTS

           
RadiO A – Combo MelBushO and Foxor TXs 90 minutes
Place Name Time RadiO TX MelBushO Penalty Total points
1 Ian Dodd 1:26:59 6 25 370
2 Peter Maloney 1:30:39 5 20 10 290
3 Mike Hubbert 1:27:11 3 17 230
4 Hamish McDonald 1:10:31 5 9 190
RadiO B – Foxor TXs only 90 minutes    
Place Name Time RadiO TX Total points  
1 Darian Panter 0:50:31 6 120

 

Thanks to Ian Dodd for programming the RadiO event into the MelBushO results system.

And to Warwick Davis from Tuckonie Orienteering Club for the MelBushO map.

 

Tikalara Park ARDF Event

Sunday 16th July 2017

It was a cold morning with frost on the ground but the sun was shining and there was no rain about. Ian VK3MZ, Doug VK3JDO and Greg VK3VT had the transmitters out and ready at 10:30 and a steady stream of  participants arrived to try their hand at the 2M full ARDF course or the 80M “Half Sprint”.  Ian VK3MZ had been busy re-programming the 80M transmitters for Sprint use so this was the first Sprint event we have tried.  While there are still a few issues with the keying most participants were able to identify which transmitter they were hearing. In a Sprint event each transmitter is on for just 12 seconds rather than the usual  60 seconds of a normal ARDF event.  The transmitters are  closer together and the overall elapsed time is expected to be within about 60 minutes.

The temperature remained rather low, in the low teens, the whole day but as can be seen from the results a total of twelve participants turned out and had a go at one or both of the courses.  My sincere thanks to Ian and Doug for  helping organise the event and setting up the gear and to Dianne for the excellent scones. Also to those that helped pack up.

Many thanks to the Yarra Valley Orienteering club for the use of their map.

2M ARDF Results

NameCallsignTimeTXs
KristianVK3FDAC0:395
BruceVK3TJN0:565
Hamish1:015
MonicaVK3FFAB2:005
JenelleVK3FJTE1:154
Jack VK3WWW1:154
DianneVK3FVXN1:302
SuzanneVK3FSZI1:151
PeterVK3ADY1:451

80M Sprint Results

NameCallsignTimeTXs
KristianVK3FDAC0:28:425
BruceVK3TJN0:30:005
EwenVK3OW0:51:215
DarianVK3FAST0:51:405
Peter MaloneyVK3CPM1:27:225
Jack VK3WWW0:48:363

73
Greg VK3VT      

Norton’s Park Combo (Sat 27 Aug)

While the weather on the day was blustery but fine,
the heavy rain of the last few weeks, has made it soggy underfoot,
however most competitors made it to all 4 Radio Controls.

We had 9 starters in a combo event, with cakes afterwards.

First Name Second Name 65 min place 01-05
2 Pts
06-10
3 Pts
11-15
4 Pts
16-20
5 Pts
Radi-O
Controls
10 Pts
Return Min
(or part there of)
Final Score
After Late
Tim Hatley 1 4 4 5 5 4 3:02 105
Jim Glaspole 2 3 1 4 4 4 3:04 85
Adam Scammell 3 2 2 3 2 4 3:05 69
Neale Banks 4 3 2 2 1 4 2:58 65
Suzanne O’callaghan 5 1 1 2 2 4 3:10 48
Dianne 6 0 0 0 1 4 2:58 45
Denis Haustorfer 7 0 0 0 0 4 2:57 40 RadiO Only
Junken Okabe 8 0 1 2 0 2 3:03 31
Abi Salek-Beard 9 2 1 1 2 4 3:27 0

(Just remembered 65 Min for the Combo event, scores updated)
Hamish McDonald