Radio Orienteering

Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF)

Welcome to Radio-O.  Here is how it works! We provide a radio receiver with a directional antenna, an orienteering map, a compass, and a finger stick. By pointing the antenna and listening to the signal you can determine the direction of the signal.  Using this information you navigate to the transmitter and punch in with your finger stick. Only the start and finish are marked on the map and it is important to keep track of where you are.  To qualify as finishing you must find at least one transmitter on your course and reach the finish within the time limit. To calculate results -- first; the number of assigned transmitters you found, then; your time on the course. We offer beginner through advanced courses, Regular BOK fees apply, and Pre-Registration is required.

Latest News in Radio Orienteering

June 26th, 2022

Umstead West 80m Radio Orienteering & Beginner Training – 17 July 2022

We will have both beginner and expert 80m Radio Orienteering on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at Umstead West. Address: 2337-2307 Old Reedy Creek Rd, Cary, NC 27513; Lat./Lon.: 35.844772, -78.777725 Everyone must pre-register by Friday July 15 in order to participate.

There will be a shortened “classic” practice course for experienced radio orienteers, with 5 transmitters. There will also be courses for beginners: we will have some constantly-operating transmitters and a 3-fox course for beginners, with instruction available at 10 AM.

Beginner “Chinese” receivers will be available to beginners free of charge. Experienced radio orienteers will want to rent a full-featured receiver if they don’t own one. Be sure to bring wired headphones

Arrival Time Slots: When you choose Arrival Time Slot you should arrive anytime during the hour that you chose. The beginners’ class will start at 10 AM.

All courses close at 2:00 PM: You need to be out of the woods by 2 PM.

Beginner transmitters will operate between 3.51 MHz and 3.56 MHz. The classic practice foxes for experienced radio orienteers will operate at 3.58 MHz, and the finish beacon will be at 3.60 MHz, all with a transmit power of 3W, into shortened vertical antennas – the same equipment and power level used at the USA Championships. It is July, so dress for the weather, bring water, and spray for ticks.

June 7th, 2022

Radio Orienteering Classes at Bond Park

Youth Radio Orienteering.
This is a Town of Cary class at Bond Park, and is not hosted by BOK.
Registration is available online at, by mail, and in person at staffed Town of Cary facilities.
July 6-8, or 11-13, both 3-day classes meet 9 AM to Noon

Do you know of a young man or woman age 11-16 who likes the outdoors and electronics and is looking for a fun summer activity?

There is a unique opportunity offered by the Town of Cary this July: Radio Orienteering. It is an international sport that most folks have never heard of! Radio direction-finding (or Radio Orienteering) is the sport of locating transmitters in the park. It is an outdoor sport that combines maps and compasses with radio receivers and transmitters. Students will learn to read maps, determine directions using a compass, and operate radio receivers to hunt down transmitters. It is all about walking, thinking, and competing. All sessions will be taught by a two-time world champion in the sport. All equipment will be provided. You can view the class description in the Town of Cary Recreation Guide, and instructions for registering are on the last 3 pages of the Guide. Fee: $99 Cary Residents, $129 non-residents.

May 25th, 2022

Results – Raven Rock 2m Radio Orienteering June 5, 2022

Results ALL 5 Foxes 5.0 km 235 m 180 min (5 Controls) 1 Matt Craig   5 p (136:32) 7000530 4 Foxes (not #4)3.9 km 204 m 180 min (4 Controls) 1 Joseph Huberman   4 p (96:56) 2005005 2 Adalia Schafrath-Craig   4 p (103:22) 2049374 3 Ruth Bromer   4 p (125:59) 2005002 […]

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May 4th, 2022

Results: Open Gray Owl ARDF & Orienteering event on May 14-15,

Saturday started out with some steady rain, and a few hardy souls started out, but by 11am the rain stopped and the sun even began to peak out. Sunday was a beautiful day. After the events on both days we enjoyed pizza together sitting out on the deck. For the 2m Radio Orienteering, Joseph built […]

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April 17th, 2022

Open Radio-O/ARDF event at Carolina North Forest, April 24.

We will have an 80 m classic course at Carolina North Forest on April 24, Sunday. Park at the Orange County Health Department off of Homestead Rd (GPS 35.9483 -79.0649, Google maps link). Then follow the BOK signs to pick up your map. For more information about Radio-O/ARDF, see the BOK ARDF page.

The course opens at 10 AM and closes at 2 PM. Everyone must pre-register here to participate. There is no need to sign up for a particular course. Everyone gets the same map. Please register by the end of the day on Friday, April 22.

The course. The homing beacon is the finish. There is only one control to punch at the homing beacon and it is the finish. There is no finish chute. There is a 300 m exclusion zone around the start and around each control. Foxes will be on 3.53 MHz, the homing beacon on 3.55 MHz. For getting all five foxes, the straight-line course length is 4.7 km.