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

September 21st, 2023

Radio Orienteering Classes

Learn Radio Orienteering (aka, ARDF) as the pros learned it. Nadia Scharlau got her start in radio-O at age 13 and went on to become a world champion. Later, she taught classes to beginners who became world champions themselves. She still uses the same no-frustration step-by-step approach by which she learned the sport 40+ years ago. Now you can learn that way, too.

These classes are for those new to the sport and would like to learn how it is played. Emphasis will be placed on learning to use a radio receiver. Those who have attended previous beginner class sessions and would like a refresher course are also welcome.

Classes are free, but you need to register in our store. Class size is limited to 12 participants.


  • Event Type: Radio Orienteering Beginner Training
  • Date: Two consecutive Saturdays – October 7 and 15
  • Location: 2337-2307 Old Reedy Creek Rd, Cary, NC 27513
    GPS: 35.844772, -78.777725
    Park on the shoulder on the east side of the road. Do not park at the gate or in front of the house at the gate on Old Reedy Creek Rd.
  • Start Time: Everyone should arrive by noon
  • Class Ends: 2:00 PM
  • Instructor: Nadia Scharlau, KO4ADV

All necessary equipment will be provided at no charge. New concepts will be introduced in sequence at each session, but if you can’t attend both sessions, just come when you can. Previously covered concepts will be reviewed at each session so that you can jump right in.

First Timers: A short beginner course will be set with constantly-operating transmitters.

Second Timers: A slightly longer beginner course will be set with “cycling” transmitters.

We will be hiking the courses together as a group, so please arrive by noon to avoid getting left behind!

Those who complete both class sessions may want to try their first solo run at the event scheduled for October 21 at Gray Owl near Asheboro, NC!

August 20th, 2023

Radio Orienteering World Championships

This summer, BOK is proud to have athletes representing the United States in two international radio orienteering competitions.

In late June, BOK sent a youth member to represent the US at the World Youth ARDF Championships. Check out her experience here.

The adult US Radio Orienteering Team will head to Czechia for the 2023 World Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Championships beginning August 27! The BOK team members have been preparing for the championships this summer with a variety of practices around the Triangle. Send positive vibes to the 21 US team members, including 12 who train with BOK!

BOK athletes at the final sprint practice before departure

If you’ve heard of this sport, or haven’t, but are interested in trying it out, check out our schedule for future radio orienteering events.

August 7th, 2023

Results: Radio-O August 13 at Eno River State Park

We had two short classic practice courses available: one on 2m and one on 80m.

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July 30th, 2023

Results of Radio Orienteering at Umstead North

We will have a radio orienteering practice event on August 6 at Umstead North. There will be two courses: one on each band – 80m and 2m. The courses will be classic practice courses, smaller than regulation courses, making them ideal for close-searching practice.

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July 10th, 2023

Results – Expert Radio Orienteering Practice at Raven Rock

Results of this event have been posted:

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