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The Southern Michigan Orienteering Club (SMOC) and Amateur Radio Clubs across southeastern Michigan invite you to attend the 2024 USA Radio Orienteering Championships held in the Chelsea, Michigan area this October. 

• Early registration deadline: June 30, 2024

• Regular registration deadline:  August 14, 2024

• Late registration fee period commences:  August 15, 2024

• Final registration deadline: September 15, 2024

List of Registered Competitors

Event Pricing

Event Pricing
EventEarly (Before June 30)Regular (Before August 15)Late (On or After August 15)
Training Camp$10$10$15
Practice Day$10$15$20
SAR Exhibition$10$10$10
Sprint $20$25$30
2m Classic$30$35$40
80m Classic$30$35$40
All Champ Races$100$120$140
All Races, Practices, Trng Camp, SAR team$150$180$220
EquipmentRental Fee
Radio Receiver$5 / day
Compass$2 / day
SI Timing Card$2 / day

You will need to pay for a vehicle pass for the following events & venues:

State Recreation Areas (Training Camp, Fox-O, 2m Classic, & 80m Classic)

Michigan residents:  $19 annual vehicle passport or annual passport “P” on your license plate

Michigan residents must either 1) purchase a vehicle “passport” in conjunction with your annual license plate renewal, or 2) purchase at a State Park, Recreation Area, or DNR Service Center and also pay a $5 service charge.  

Non-Michigan residents:  $40 annual vehicle pass, or $11 per day vehicle pass paid on-site.

Non-Michigan residents may purchase your annual vehicle “passport” online at:

Hudson Mills Metropark (Sprint)

Every vehicle needs a pass to enter the Hudson Mills Metropark.  If you already have an annual Metroparks vehicle pass then you can enter the park with that pass.  If you don’t have an annual pass and need a daily pass, indicate in your registration that you will need a vehicle pass and you will be charged the $10 fee for your daily vehicle pass along with your registration fees.  You will then be given a QR code to bring with you to the event to scan in at the park entrance gate.  

Park Lyndon (Practice Day 1)

Vehicle passes are not required at Park Lyndon

Peach Mountain (Practice Day 2)

Vehicle passes are not required at Peach Mountain and must park offsite, small group only.

What is Radio Orienteering?

Quick Facts

• Also known as “Amateur Radio Direction Finding” (ARDF), the sport of radio orienteering
combines the activities of orienteering (navigation racing) with radio transmitter hunting, giving competitors an exciting physical and mental challenge.

• Competitors hunt multiple transmitters hidden in the woods by using a radio receiver and map.

• The sport has direct application to search & rescue, animal tracking, spectrum management,
law enforcement, military and other important activities.

About the Race

National Ranking Event

• Championship results will be sanctioned for USA Radio Orienteering national ranking calculation.

• Since 2024 is not a World ARDF Championship year, the 2024 USA Championships will not serve as team trials for selection to Team USA.

• National ranking event results are a secondary consideration for team selection and athletes will likely benefit from the experience and preparation for team trials that comes from competing in this championship.

• Training camp and practice event results will not be included in national ranking calculations.

Competition Classes

Women (W)Men (M)Ages
W12M1212 and younger
W14M1414 and younger
W16M1616 and younger
W19M1919 and younger
W21M21Elite / any age
W35M4035/40 and older
W45M5045/50 and older
W55M6055/60 and older
W65M7065/70 and older
W75M8075/80 and older
* Search & Rescue Team of 3 or moreN/A

Race Formats

• Sprint
• Foxoring
• 144 MHz (2m) Classic
• 3.5 MHz (80m) Classic
• Search & Rescue (SAR) Team Exhibition

* We are also consulting with the National Assocation for Amateur Radio (ARRL) about the possibility of adding other senior/youth age classes.

* For the Search & Rescue Exhibition, there will only be on Team class of entry with no age categories involved and at least three people (2 adults minimum) must comprise the team.

Additional Details

Competition Rules
Competition Rules

Download the ARRL Radio Orienteering Rules

Rules Deviations

  1. Sprint TXs:  The Sprint finish beacon and spectator beacon will be separated by 15 kHz. The Spectator and the fast foxes will be separated by 19 kHz.
  2. Exhibition Contest:  More than one event on 12 Oct 2024 to allow for a search & rescue exhibition contest, but this contest does not count for IARU / ARRL championship results. 
  3. Cell Phones:  All participants encouraged to carry a fully charted cell phone for emergency use only.
  4. W75 / M80 Class: Tentatively offering W75 / M80 categories depending on demand.

5-6 Oct (Sat-Sun): Training Camp – Silver Lake, Pinckney State Rec Area; Pinckney, MI

7 Oct (Mon) – Rest day, tourism/cultural outings

Cultural outing – Henry Ford Museum & F150 Factory; Dearborn, MI

8 Oct (Tues)Practice – Sprint & Fox-OPark Lyndon/Pinckney State Rec Area; Chelsea, MI

9 Oct (Wed) Practice – ClassicsStinchfield Woods / Peach Mtn Radio Observ.; Dexter, MI

Info Mtg, Radio Telescope talk, dinner; American Legion Post 31, Chelsea, MI

10 Oct (Thurs) –  SprintHudson Mills Metropark; Dexter, MI

    Cultural outing – Dexter Cider Mill; Dexter, MI

    Dinner outing – Metzgers German Restaurant; Dexter, MI

11 Oct – (Fri)Fox-OWinnewana, Waterloo State Rec Area; Chelsea, MI

              Service project – TBA

12 Oct – (Sat)2m ClassicEddy Discovery Ctr, Waterloo State Rec Area; Chelsea, MI

                2m Search & Rescue Exhibition – See details in “Search & Rescue” section

            Awards Ceremony & Dinner; American Legion Post 31, Chelsea, MI

13 Oct – (Sun)80m ClassicBishop Lake, Brighton State Rec Area; Brighton, MI

                         Checkout, departure

Sprint:  3.5 MHz (1 minute cycle – 12 seconds)
  • ON7YD ATX80 by G3ZOI, RF power 1 W
  • Antenna: Crappie pole 26 foot w/ 3×16 foot ground radials
  • Frequency:
    TX 1-5: MOE-MO5 – 3.510 MHz
    Spectator beacon: MO – 3.560 MHz
    TX 1F-5F: MOE-MO5 – 3.579 MHz
    Finish beacon: MO – 3.545 MHz
Foxoring:  3.5 MHz  (Continuous)
  • RF power – Field transmitters: 10 mW,  Beacon: 1 W
  • Antenna:
    Field transmitters – 30 cm vertical + 30 cm counterpoise
    Finish beacon – Crappie pole 26 foot w/ 3×16 foot ground radials
  • Frequencies:  TXs 1-10 – Continuous carrier pulse – 3.579 MHz,
    Finish beacon – MO – 3.545 MHz
80m Classic:  3.5 MHz  (5 min cycle – 1 min on / 4 min off)
  • ON7YD ATX80 by G3ZOI, RF power 3W
    • Foxes: TX 1-5: MOE-MO5 3.579 MHz or TX 1-5: MOE-MO5 3.510 MHz
    • Finish beacon: MO – 3.545 MHz
  • Antenna: 8m vertical + 8 m single and 3 radial counterpoise
2m Classic:  144 MHz  (5 min cycle – 1 min on / 4 min off)
  • Foxes:  G3ZOI TRO-2, RF power ~0.75W
    • Frequency:   TXs 1-5:  MOE-MO5 – 144.525 MHz
    • Antenna: Turnstyle using four 19-inch arrow shafts
  • Finish beacon:  TYT TH-UV88 HT with Arducon controller, RF power ~1W
    • Frequency:  MO – 144.825 MHz
    • Antenna: Eggbeater
Timing and Scoring

SportIdent (SI, non-AIR) at all controls.  Control numbers are written on the SI units.

Control Flags / Stands

Sprint: 30×30 cm 3-sided white and orange flag at S (spectator) and B (beacon) controls, black or yellow SI stand (no flag) at all other controls

Foxoring: 30×30 cm 3-sided white and orange flag at B (beacon) control, no flag and black or yellow SI stand at all other controls

80m Classic:  Standard 30×30 cm 3-sided white and orange flags

2m Classic: Standard 30×30 cm 3-sided white and orange flags

Map Details

Sprint map scale: 1:5000 (tentatively)

Foxoring map scale:  1:10,000 (tentatively)

Classics map scale:  1:10,000 (tentatively)

Exhibition map scale: Any map may be used according to the team’s choice.  Many SAR teams use USGS 1:24,000 topo quad maps.  Orienteering maps are also permitted.  

GPS Tracking

Livelox GPS tracking will be offered so you can record, replay, analyze, and compare your races with family, friends and fellow competitors.  Bring your GPS tracking watch and then after the race you can upload your track and replay the race animation to see where everyone ran and see how well you raced!


Medals will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in each IARU Region 2 / ARRL USA competition class.  The top finishing team in the search & rescue exhibition will receive an award.  A “Paul Bunyan Trophy” will also be awarded to the top-scoring male and female athletes who successfully complete all championship races, the search & rescue exhibition race, service project, volunteer, and demonstrate positive sportsmanship. 

Get Ready

World-class radio orienteers Charles and Nadia Scharlau (NZ0I & KO4ADV) will provide a quality training camp to all radio orienteers, beginner through experts, who wish to improve their skills the weekend prior to competition week (5-6 Oct 2024) . . . Learn More

All competitors and local search & rescue teams are invited to compete in an exhibition search & rescue distress beacon contest to be held in the 2m band on 121.775 MHz after the 2m Classic championship concludes . . . Learn More

Practice Days

Two practice events (Oct 8-9, 2024) will be offered before official competition begins.  The first day of practice will include Sprint and Foxoring format mini-courses to be held at . . . Learn More

Beginner Instruction

If you or anyone you are bringing with you to the event are new to radio orienteering or need help with a refresher, rest assured there will be people to help beginners at the event and we will have equipment to loan to those who need to rent it ($10 per day of use.)


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