The Hudson Valley will be home again to the premier radio direction finding (RDF) event for our area and this will be taking place on October 30th 2021 at Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck, NY. GPS address is 68 Mount Rutsen Rd Rhinebeck NY 12572.
The event will take place from 9:00 AM until about 3:00 PM. All who are interested are encouraged to pre-register. There is no fee to attend or participate. Registration survey here.
A combination of area amateur radio clubs will be organizing and participating in this event.
Overlook Mountain Amateur Radio Club (OMARC)
With a membership focus on Ulster county and the Northern Dutchess County area, the OMARC club will be providing lunch and hospitality for the event. Lunch will be served from 11:45 AM until 12:15 PM with snacks and drinks available for the duration of the event.
OMARC will also be supplying some of the hidden transmitters for the hunt and the WA2MJM 146.805 MHz repeater will provide educational discussion relating to this event at various times of day and the entire month of October.
United States Military Academy Cadet Radio Club (W2KGY)
Building on the success of past cooperative events, the USMA Cadet Radio Club will be participating in this event to hone practical skills which can be used in real life scenarios which may involve working across civilian and government response teams.
Hudson Valley Digital Network (HVDN)
HVDN will take the lead on education, coordination and technology that will be deployed for the first multi-transmitter direction finding event in our area.
Additional equipment may be available for those that do not possess some of the tools needed to find the hidden transmitters. Educational session will take place from 9:10 AM until 9:35 AM. Teams of hunters will start off to find the transmitters around 9:45 AM.
Anyone is welcome to attend and you do not need to be a member of any of these clubs or have an amateur radio license. Donations are welcome the day of the event.
Radio Direction Finding Basics
We would like to thank Josh KI6NAZ for a pair of excellent videos explaining a little about the basics of radio direction finding and using the antenna we are promoting for the event.
If you watched Bob's video, he mentioned the UTM grid system which is often used for search and rescue activities. Within amateur radio, we use a system called Maidenhead Grid Locator (MLS) and here is a video which Steve K2GOG created. Grid squares are easy to use to share approximate and fairly specific location with very few characters.
During our RDF event on October 30th, we will be incorporating MLS into the maps which will be issued to the teams who will be looking for the hidden transmitters along with some other interesting objects in the forest.
Some of these may include hidden treasure chests, friendly gnomes, persons of interest and a new set of trail markers that Ferncliff Forest has recently installed.
Please bring your family if this sounds like fun!
October 30th 2021 RDF Missions
Details will be kept a secret, but we will be hiding upwards of 6 different transmitters that will each have different degrees of difficulty to find during this event. This will help appeal to the widest number of people possible.
All transmitters will be operating on the amateur 2m band (144 to 148 MHz). Some transmitters will even be sending images, so using our SSTV skills in the field will become important and will add a unique perspective to this event.
Other training exercises to understand how to use a directional antenna and land navigation will be interwoven into this event.
Expect lots of fun and any questions can be asked in the comments below or during any of the many organized discussions taking place on the WA2MJM repeater.
Or, feel free to contact the UNDR Net team who was responsible for putting this great event together