Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has awarded a grant to the Sangamon Valley Radio Club (SVRC) in Springfield, Illinois for a new project to introduce youth, outdoor enthusiasts, and members of the public to amateur radio.
The grant is for Radio Orienteering activities, also known as Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF). SVRC will purchase transmitters, controllers, receivers, maps, and other items needed to conduct successful Radio Orienteering events. In addition, there will be several events for SVRC members and local youth groups such as Boy Scouts of America and Civil Air Patrol.ÿ The events will allow participants to learn the technical and outdoor skills needed to succeed in Radio Orienteering.
Radio Orienteering is an international sport. Participants use handheld directional radio receivers, compasses, maps, and radio-direction finding skills to search for transmitters operating in the 2-meter and 80-meter bands. They use their athletic, orienteering, and technical skills, attempting to locate low-power transmitters and get to the finish line first.
The ARRL ARDF Committee explains that in "this sport there are no vehicles, traffic jams, or exhaust fumes. Radio Orienteering (aka, Amateur Radio Direction Finding, or ARDF) brings radios into the great outdoors with maps and compasses, providing a uniquely enjoyable way to learn new radio skills.... It involves constructing direction-finding equipment, training amateurs in the rules of the sport, and organizing events in the USA" and other countries.
The 20th IARU World Championships in Amateur Radio Direction Finding will be held in Borovets, Bulgaria, August 28 - September 3, 2022. The 22nd USA Radio Orienteering Championships will be held April 19 - 23, 2023, near Dallas, Texas.
The Sangamon Valley Radio Club plans to share their experiences and equipment requirements to help other amateur radio clubs who may be considering similar events and programs.
More information about the Sangamon Valley Radio Club can be found at their website.
ARDC is a California-based foundation with roots in amateur radio and the technology of internet communication.
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