Transmitter Hunting Ottawa Demo Day

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You are cordially invited…

On Saturday September 19, 2020, the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club (www.oarc.net) will be hosting their annual “Radio in the Park” activity at Walter Baker Park, 100 Charlie Rogers Place, in Kanata South off Terry Fox Drive.

This all-day event is an opportunity for members of the local amateur radio community to come out, set up portable radio stations, and make contacts.  In addition, we welcome and encourage observation and conversation with other park users to create awareness and interest in amateur radio.  This year we are adding something new!

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 https://www.ovmrc.on.ca/ ), 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. 

A Youth STEM Education Program

As well as the physical benefits, we will deliver a brief educational component that describes how the equipment works, along with tips and tricks to find the hidden transmitters most efficiently.  We will relate this activity to real-world uses of the technology such as animal and marine life tracking, commercial vehicle tracking, and locating lost individuals and other assets.

COVID-19 Precautions:

To ensure that we can provide a safe environment for everyone,  ALL participants must wear a suitable face mask. A limited number of masks will be available in case anyone forgets theirs. We will have hand sanitizer available for all participants. The equipment will be sanitized after every use before it is given to the next group.

IEEE Demo Session:

Those wishing to participate in the 1 hour IEEE demo session at 9 am please contact Wolfram Lunscher at: wolfram.lunscher@ieee.org

Priority will be given to Life Members



  Date and Time

  Location

  Hosts

  Registration



  • Wolfram Lunscher, Ottawa Section Life Members Chair: wolfram.lunscher@ieee.org

    Roger Egan – Program Manager, Ottawa Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Group email: egan.roger@yahoo.ca

  • Co-sponsored by Ottawa Amateur Radio Club






Agenda

On September 19th, during Radio in the Park, 4 separate 1-hour transmitter hunting demonstration sessions are planned.

Each session will proceed as follows as follows:

  • Welcome briefing – An explanation as described above – 10 minutes
  • Transmitter hunting exercise in the park - 30 minutes
  • Debrief and discussion of possible next steps - 10 minutes
  • A 10-minute gap between sessions will allow one group to leave before the next arrives.

The following stakeholder communities are invited but are limited to a maximum of 10 participants per session:

IEEE Ottawa                            9:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Christie Lake Kids                   10:00AM to 11:00 AM

Scouts                                      11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

[Lunch Break                           12:00 PM to 12:30 PM]

Orienteering Ottawa               12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

The development team will be at the park for the remainder of the afternoon from 1:30pm until 4:00pm to support adhoc participation from the amateur radio community as part of the Radio in the Park event.