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2020-12-12 Ottawa 32nd Scout Troop - Transmitter Finding Event

Scroll down for pictures from the event!

Sponsor:Scouts Canada
Times:4 daylight hours
Location:Vincent Massey Park, Heron Rd, Ottawa, ON K1V 2E4,
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Register here:this was a private event for scouts

On Saturday December 12th, a group of 8 scouters together with several scout leaders and some parents with their kids and ARDF Ottawa organizers had one heck of a good time at Vincent Massey Park finding hidden transmitters with our newly acquired Microfox15 transmitters and SNIFFER4 receivers and handbuild directional fiberglass antennas. The organizers spent about 2 hours setting up and hiding the transmitters. The event was also about 2 hours which included some snow, ice pellets and finally some rain, but the scouts said they really had fun and can hardly wait to do it again. Thanks to Harrie Jones VE3HYS, Roger Egan VA3EGY, and Scouter Tom Madden VA3TXL for putting on a fun time for everyone involved.

About ARDF

As you may know, radio transmitter hunting is a popular amateur radio activity. In Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and the USA it is pursued as a recreational activity but there is also a competitive radio sport called Amateur Radio Direction Finding (or ARDF) with international championships held in different countries on a regular basis. Unfortunately, ARDF is not well known or practiced in Canada. There are a few small groups active in western Canada, but we want to help bring ARDF back to Ottawa.

ARDF is similar to orienteering, where participants must locate a number of control markers (flags) spread out over a large park or urban area. Using a map and a compass, participants develop a strategy and then locate the most flags in the shortest period of time. With ARDF, a radio transmitter is co-located with each flag and participants use a radio receiver and directional antenna (they may also use a map and compass) to find them.

We have established a transmitter hunting program development team from the ranks of our local amateur radio operators. We plan to provide equipment, training, and expertise to enable other local groups to host transmitter hunts with their communities throughout the year (primarily May to October).

We received a funding grant from the IEEE in early 2020. Both of the local amateur radio clubs, the OARC and the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club (OVMRC) , have contributed funding to assemble enough equipment for 12 individual participants (or 24 teams of 2). The activity is suitable for any age group at any fitness level, provided the participants have the ability and mobility to move over rough outdoor terrain. Participants under the age of 18 may require permission from or accompaniment by a parent or guardian. In particular, we intend this activity to support local youth groups such as Scouts, Guides, Christie Lake Kids, and the Orienteering Ottawa Club.

COVID-19 Precautions:

To ensure that we can provide a safe environment for everyone, ALL participants must wear a suitable face mask. Masks were available in case anyone forgot theirs. Hand sanitizer was available for all participants. The equipment is sanitized after every use before it is given to the next user.


Please note that the participants gave permission for these pictures to be posted here.

Harrie by the Hog's Back Park map.

Harrie and Tom VA3TXL with scout searching for hidden transmitter #1.

Harrie and Tom VA3TXL with scout searching for hidden transmitter #1.

Scout with hidden transmitter #1 behind him.

Scout with hidden transmitter #1 behind him.

Scout pointing antenna at tag with Q code above hidden transmitter #1.

Scout teams returning from the hunt.

Scout teams returning from the hunt.

The 32nd Scout troop after a fun time searching.

Page last modified on January 23, 2023, at 01:36 PM