Thoughts and reflections from organizer Erik Sandwall:
Yesterday’s SPRINT hunt went partly OK, except for the fast number3 (fox number 8) which stopped transmitting. Or rather, it did probably send but nothing was coming out. I suspect the cheap antenna banana plug. Let’s see if Robert can fix it.
I put out the two loops of transmitters (slow and fast) during the afternoon. First it was sunny and not so cold and then the temperature dropped and I had hail, rain and snow! Real April’s weather. At the time the hunters arrived, it was quite cold.
I separated the two loops of transmitters into two areas, with the start, finish and spectator beacon in the centre, around the parking at Härskogen. The event was following the international rules completely, which meant a starting sequence with 2 minute intervals. Most of the hunters kept warm by running around in the starting area (LSOK-stugan).
The slow foxes were located south of LSOK-stugan and the fast ones north of the parking. I had borrowed Roberts micro-fox and programmed it to send the letter S continously, as a spectator beacon. I made an extension to the antenna, and I think it was audiable over most of the area.At the start of the finish corridor I put the MO Hjälp-mig-hem beacon, and at the finish line I had the finish punching device.
It was great to see the hunters passing the S beacon, and all looked strong!
Welcome to the next radio orienteering event!
Time: Wednesday April 7, 2021, gathering 17:30, start 18:00, end 20:00
Start: Berghalla sporthall, Bergsjödalen 59, coordinates 57.7602 12.0777. Free parking on the roads Bergsjödalen and Ödegärdet. If you can, try to avoid public transportation, which may be full at this time.
Type: 3.579 MHz (80 m), 5 controls with flags, 2–3 km shortest route
Terrain: Mainly open forest with some footpaths, plenty of hills, and some marshes.
Practice: If there is interest, a basic introduction for newcomers will be given at 17:00. Please email if you wish to join this introduction. A transmitter mounted near the start will transmit continuously 17:00–17:58 for practice.
Organizer: Erik Agrell SM6-8406, phone 0761 191452
What do you get if you combine a small hand-held radio equipment, running (or walking) in the beautiful Swedish nature, and solving a shortest-route problem? You get radio orienteering and in Gothenburg, the local name is Göteborgs Rävjägare (GRJ). Note that we do not hunt any fox (räv), it is just a name from the dinosaur era (1950s). We simply look for radio transmitters hidden in the landscape on a given map with the help of a compass and more importantly a radio receiver. The location of the transmitters are not provided on the radio-orienteering map, unlike regular-orienteering maps.
Your task is to find radio transmitters hidden in the forest. Usually there are five transmitters that takes turns transmitting a Morse signal with its identity while the other transmitters remain silent. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_orienteering and https://pejla.se/ for further information.
All are welcome to contact us and try this sport. See About us / Contact us page for more details.
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Fantastic finish for the night radio orienteering. Thanks to banlaggare Erik Sandwall and the nice little cabin.
Probably a new record for the number of participants at 9 people. Thanks to Robert for bringing in folks. Perhaps, we should have additional bonus points for bringing a new person to this sport.
It was again a close finish with the map scale at 1:6000 and without the screens. Robert took the championship by 8 seconds. The second place was equally tight between Tilak and Albin, where Albin dived for the fox and Tilak dived for the plug a fraction later. Albin was a gentleman in saying that Tilak has the plug and let him punch the control. The difference in the recorded time between second and third is 7 seconds.
Perhaps, the night hunts could be improved with the installation of orienteering screen so that the hunters don’t gather together at the same control, waiting for the next transmission. Perhaps some discussion points for the avslutningsfest.
It was good to see the old timers Ingvar and Lars R.
Some commentary as observed by Tilak and his interactions based on memory after the exhausting run.
I guess this is the closest DM finish with less than a fraction of a second. Although the fox puncher time says 6 seconds. Perhaps the old timers can correct this guess of mine.
The course was set by Erik Sandwall, the winner of last year’s DM 2019. He was very happy to see so many participants. This time the DM was at the hilly landscape of Kvarnsjön, nicknamed as the Alpine of Alingsås. The landscape reminded me more of NM 2019 in Norway.
Two minutes before the transmission, everyone took off towards the northern side to get bearings while I took off south. Some 400m where there was a path to enter Kvarnsjön. I thought fox3 was close by, only to hear fox4 and fox5 even closer. Climbing up and down and up and down for foxes 4 and 5 was fun. Then, it wasn’t clear if fox3 was on the western side or the northern side of the Kvarnsjön. So, I lost one whole 5mins cycle just waiting for transmission where I met Oscar zipping past for fox5. Next transmission I was close to fox3 but lost the transmission cycle, looking around I was lucky to find it. Then, came fox2 which was well beyond the shooting fences. For some 10 steps I started traveling north instead of southeast when I came across a stream. Managed to catch the fox2 after 2-3 5mins cycles later. This is where I met Robert who was going for fox2 along with Albin who was on his second fox for the day. I got a north bearing on fox1 so traveling along the bearing only to be hit by the shooting fence and some tough terrain where I was bearing for fox1 upon a slope that looked like a 85° dip from the horizon. Good shoes with spikes helped. Getting down on the road only to be hit by more tough looking cliffs. Had to navigate well between the gaps. When reaching closer to fox1, suddenly I noticed Robert! Very surprised to learn that he was there for his last fox. He later told me that he took the road on the eastern side which was a great choice. Darn! Why did I not do that? He was happy to see me there as I was still looking for the fox1. Upon noticing Robert in the valley, I started to move midway between where we stood. A logical choice given two independent bearing when there was barely 10 seconds left for fox1 to start transmission. Robert later said that he was looking for every tree along his way to fox1 while I was doing Rabbit hunt search. I think Robert and I saw the fox1 probably at the same time. Robert was one step away from fox1 while I was two steps away. I dived for the puncher plug that resulted in Robert’s hands over my hands with Robert on one knee while I was lying flat on the forest floor with both hands over the plug. There was a slight giggle between us for holding the plug. Probably, we were unsure if the plug was really in my hands. Then, Robert let go and I think he said “you can take it”. I said “Thanks!” He said “we should maintain Corona distance” and we laughed as we walked back to the car. I think it was barely a fraction of a second as to who got to the puncher plug although the recorded time shows 6 seconds apart. I think with NFC touch based timing could prove to be even more interesting for the future.
My guess is that this is probably the closest fought DM. But Robert thinks there could have been closely fought ones in the past. We laughed as we went back to the start over the beautiful landscape.
Daniel mentioned that he went too far north beyond the map to Vänersborg at the start, the map scale 1:7500 was probably a little magnified compared to the standard scale of 1:10000. He took 3 controls. A good number of foxes to catch, given that this was his third hunt since 1986. It was very nice of Daniel to bring coffee, kex and saft for the entire gang. Tack! It was impressive to see Albin, a new comer for DM, to take all 5 foxes. He said he was going along the bearings. Some regular orienteering experience will bring a tougher competition. While the fastest man on this track was Oscar who unfortunately took a suboptimal path with only took 1hr 21mins. If he gets the optimal path, we would have tougher competition.
While walking back to the car, Robert mentioned that he did not expect me to dive and I still have goosebumps thinking about that dive for the fox1.