Radio-O Training Exercises

Filed under: Radio Orienteering by Joseph on July 23rd, 2016

Map Reading – Line O

The map has a network of purple lines (that are not physical trails in the terrain) following the lines offer several route choice options to the transmitters.  Controls are set along the line and off the line at some key decision points.  Participants are instructed to only follow the lines to the transmitters, and to punch the controls that are on the line, but not to punch any controls that are not on the line.  Scoring:  one point for every correct control; negative two points for every wrong control (not on the line); ten points for each transmitter.

Taking Accurate Bearings

These exercises are done on blank “maps” that only have the participants location and north lines so that on multiple attempts to take bearings there are no clues as to where previous bearings were taken.  A fresh blank “map” is used for each new set of bearings.

Part I:  Transmitters are set out transmitting continuously on different frequencies and participants are instructed to take as much time as necessary to get accurate bearings.  The bearings are checked and participants are encouraged to try different techniques until they are able to consistently take reliable bearings.

Part II:  Using different transmitters from Part I, participants take careful bearings and then move to a new location to take cross bearings to locate transmitters.  Scoring is done by distance to the actual location.

In these exercises participants move about 5 meters between each set of bearings so that there are no hints from the terrain as to the angle of previous bearings

Taking Fast Bearings

Part I:  Five sprint transmitters are set out on a 1 minute cycle, and participants practice taking bearings to all five transmitters.  The goal is to get all five bearings accurate to five degrees, first in two minutes, and then in one minute.

Part II:  Participants take the 5 bearings in one or two minutes from two different locations to get cross bearings.  Three sets of bearings are taken on three different “blank” maps and scoring is done by the adding the total errors from the cross bearings to all the transmitters.

Blindfolded Radio-O: The Final 50 Meters

This exercise is a variation on “Blind ARDF”.  There are 3 transmitters, each with operators in an open area.  Participants are divided into teams of three people.  One person is blindfolded, and the first transmitter is turned on to run continuously.  The blindfolded one tries to locate the transmitter, while his teammates keep him from running into anything and keep him safe.  As soon as he is two meters from the transmitter he is told “next”, and the first transmitter is turned off and the second one turned on; this repeats with the second and third transmitters.  The groups rotate until everyone has had a chance running blindfolded and turning on and off transmitters.  Scoring is by the team with the shortest total time.

Course Planning

Different ARDF maps from competitions are displayed to the group and a the coach discusses various courses that could be set and the pros and cons of possible transmitter locations.  The coach takes suggested locations from members of the class and the suggestions are also discussed.  The goal of the exercise is to help the competitor assess the venue to make more intelligent decisions about route choice & possible locations.

Using Map Boards

People with different techniques show and explain how they use map boards.

  • Using a compass rose on the map board and degrees on your compass
  • Using reverse degrees on your compass
  • Attaching a compass to your receiver
  • Attaching a compass to your map board
  • Using a thumb compass
  • Using push pins to mark transmitter locations
  • Using wax pencils

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