Sunday May 16th 2021

Multi-Tx DF 
Organiser  Roy E (G4JAC)
Location  Arger Fen, near Assington, CO8 5BN, TL 930 353.
Click here for road map with zoom.

As you can see from the above pics this is a beautiful site. For the purpose of this event the only downside being the car park in one corner, the area close to it can be very busy, so the start and Txs needed to be placed away from the centre of public activity.

The forecast for the weekend was awful and I was tempted to cancel but we had done this last November and then, on the day, it was fine. I decided to email those who are relatively new and as yet not totally addicted to DF, warning them of the bad forecast but that the show would go on, if necessary with life jackets!  I was quite relieved when three pulled out, as getting drenched while trying to understand what DF is all about, might have been a terminal distraction!

On Saturday I was on site by 9:30 hoping to dodge showers by allowing plenty of time for  breaks in the car, before the test Tx tests  programmed for 16:00.  Of course this didn't work, once soaked I couldn't  be bothered to change clothes, so pressed on and had all Txs and Triffids in place by 2 pm, just in time for the rain to stop and the sun to come out.  Having lots of time did allow some changes. A and C were essentially swapped so that A had plenty of height to get a signal to the start. L was originally on the opposite side of the lake to M but the path up the side of the lake bank became treacherous in all the rain, as I found sliding down on my backside, so was moved to a lower path, not relalising, until I looked at my gps, that it was very close to K. This caused several people lots of trouble and will doubtless be added to the DF organisers' future list of cunning plans.

Sunday - It had rained much of the night, so I was most relieved when all 10 Txs were heard again in a 2nd test transmission at 10:30 am. Despite the forecast we only had a couple more brief showers, the first was, of course, at 11:00 when I was climbing the hill to set up Tx S  (Start) BUT yah-boo-sucks to the 'great watering can in the sky', this time I had my brolly!

Chris had been beavering since the last event and produced another version of his Arduino controlled DF set. Tests listening for Tx S proved that it was now sensitive enough and so, with a plastic bag for protection, was ready for action. See his excellent blog all about it.

We learned by a card from Colin M and Rosie that Colin F had also been busy .................................  ageing.

At the briefing competitors were asked to stick to paths as far as possible, all Txs could be reached without going through bluebells or thorns. The easy green Txs A, F, K were all very close to paths with clear access.

The Yellow Txs  B, G, L  were more difficult to spot and some searching was needed to find the best way in.  The Reds C, H, M, 1 (ghost) all had difficult approaches from the obvious paths, often needing a circle of minor tracks to be done to find the pain free entrance.

A good outcome from Saturday was that I found this shelter, not far from my original start location - perfect if there was a shower while we were waiting.  However, by the time we had all made it from the car park - with way too much 'Ooh ah, look at them bluebells'  and I had turned off Tx S the event transmissions had started, so no start picture. When I eventually found my camera, all that was left was an empty shelter and Geoffrey waiting for a 2nd check bearing by the path.


B was a bit harder, which side of the pond is it?

G was just off a path but the triffid was hard to spot. Why make some Triffids so hard to see? Allows recovery time for any silly runners!

Left - Gary has had remarkable success with a commercial, single antenna  set, not designed for DF but today he was struggling, so was Richard (above) with a broken sense circuit (see later pic).

Colin M, Tx A is in the holly bush beside him.

In the area of B & C there was a path to the South that was a dead end, Philip tried to use this on his way back to his Joker H,  hence losing loads of points, you can see the Txs that didn't count as a result in red, in 'Times' below.

The original site for A,  C  was the other side of a stream and fence..

A handy marker for those trying to find their way to M without getting scratched.

While others were having trouble Ben was not. He had used a rod set on two previous events but since this was his first using a frame he had started off with Tim. It soon became apparent that he was on top of the new technology and way fitter than 'young Tim'! Here he is spotting the Ghost while Tim is ............

                   .......  where have you been Tim?

As usual at 15:00 the Ghost went silent, giving space on 1915 kHz for longer transmissions from the other red Txs C, H, M. 

More about  timings  and  phases.


Before the event I was concerned that most of the hotshots would finish about 15:00 and be would waiting in the forecast rain until 16:00 to bring their triffid & Tx back. I needn't have worried, it didn't rain and the hotshots had cooled off during the lockdown!

These are without doubt the strangest results we have had, what's going on, LNDFS?        (Longtime No DF Syndrome)
Normally the points table is shown first, times are of minor interest as only 'points mean prizes', it is rare that anyone manages a negative score so how has this happened?  Only times validated at your joker count - the Multi-Spice!

From the times below you can see that everyone manage to find at least one Tx despite various technical failures - Rosie's row is blank but she did find G and F after doing set tests/repairs for about an hour and a half.  After that she thought  there was no point in dibbing.  We all know that DF was designed to teach us how to deal with life, when we eventually grow up, if you are having a bad day, you can usually guarantee someone else is having a much worse one. So when you do get the chance 'dib'!

Below black times count because they have been validated by a later dib at the person's joker before 16:00. (* wild jokers automatically validate). All the red times don't count because they were not 'joker validated' in time.  Gary was really unlucky, dibbing K a second time to validate thinking it was his joker L. He didn't realise his mistake until 16:16 when he collected it.  Philip had fortunately banked some points early but then got on 'the path to nowhere', arriving back at H just in time to hear the 16:00 machine gun.   Richard managed to find 4 but, leaving C at 15:38, with no sense, there was little chance of finding H in time to validate.  Vaughn was also struggling with a lack of Rx sense, so after much wandering came back and made certain of his joker.

So the good news -  the times:

Competitor Joker A B C F G H K L M 1 Validation
Ben G * 13:47:33 13:57:03 15:53:06 15:02:40 15:18:32 15:25:47 14:14:48 14:30:24 14:50:12 14:43:01 16:00:00
Chris I K

13:58:14 15:48:13 14:49:46
Colin F M 14:11:41 14:35:55 14:26:03 15:02:30 15:18:05 15:24:26 14:05:25 14:01:30 13:50:45
Colin M B 14:06:49 13:56:24 14:26:22

14:34:51 15:03:19 15:12:35
Gary P L 15:08:03 15:26:02 15:38:39

14:01:59 16:16:34 13:50:33 14:29:09 -----
Geoff F A 14:45:36

14:08:56 15:25:17
14:59:50 15:03:04

Philip C H 15:08:14 15:26:09
13:40:26 13:53:00 14:13:37 14:48:51 14:59:16 14:39:23 14:33:57 14:13:37
Richard S H 15:16:59 15:26:42 15:38:57 14:27:15

Rosie M G

Tim P C 13:46:57 14:05:58 13:56:29 15:02:11 15:17:56 15:25:09 14:14:32 14:30:38 14:49:09 14:43:29 15:53:16
Vaughn L F



Now the bad news (for some), those 'points that mean prizes':         (Highlighted squares show the doubled joker points).

Pos Competitor Hcap Joker A B C F G H K L M 1 Score Raw % Total
1 Ben G 0 * 32 32 23 17 23 23 23 32 23 80 308 89 308
2 Tim P 98 C 40 26 80 23 32 26 26 26 32 32 343 100 245
3 Colin F 109 M 23 23 32 20 26 32 32 40 80 0 308 89 199
4 Colin M 70 B 26 80 26 0 0 0 20 20 20 0 192 55 122
5 Chris I 2 K 0 0 0 0 0 0 80 17 26 0 123 35 121
6 Geoff F 20 A 40 0 0 26 20 0 17 23 0 0 126 36 106
7 Philip C 87 H 0 0 0 40 40 80 0 0 0 0 160 46 73
8 Vaughn L 10 F 0 0 0 64 0 0 0 0 0 0 64 18 54
9 Rosie M 40 G 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -40
10 Richard S 81 H 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -81
11 Gary P 130 L 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -130

Top man  Ben

Trying to keep up man    Tim

A year older but not out of the running man

Sensless man (one of) Richard.

The Hero League

For those of you who are wondering how it is possible to get a negative score, this is the answer.  The table on the right shows the changes in handicaps after this event. You can see the full table here.

When you win an event you get 50 HPs, (2nd -10) (3rd - 3) (5 for running an event), these count for you in the Hero League but act as a handicap when the next event's results are calculated. These handicaps give those who are new to DF a chance of winning an event. After each event that you attend, you decide whether to keep HPs (going for the Hero Trophy) or discard up to 10 points giving you a better chance of winning the next event's Multi-Star.

Those with previous DF experience or who have won events can't discard down to zero -  details are here.

You can see that, despite today's disappointment, our current Hero Gary has not discarded, still prepared to give beginners a 130 start on the next event - that is why he is the Hero and still retains this magnificent trophy!
Competitor Handicap Points Awarded Discard New HP
Ben G 0 50 10 40
Tim P 98 10 10 98
Colin F 109 3 10 102
Roy E 81 5 5 81
Colin M 70 0 10 60
Chris I 2 0 0 2
Geoff F 20 0 0 20
Philip C 87 0 0 87
Vaughn L 10 0 0 10
Rosie M 40 0 0 40
Richard S 81 0 0 81
Gary P 130 0 0 130

Thanks to you all for coming - it would not have been much fun collecting them all in on my own!

The next  opportunity to test your senses will be on June 13th in Hadleigh near Ipswich. Keep your eye on the noticeboard for details.


In the report I mentioned the DF addiction, after this was first published, Geoffrey posted the following on the TopBand DF Association reflector, he competes in many types of ARDF events all over this country and Europe, I will leave you to decide whether he is a suitable case for therapy!

My fourth event was a Multi DF with 10 transmitters hidden around the woodland of Arger Fen and Spouse’s Vale Nature Reserve the site of the two hidden Txs in the first event of the year.  The event started on the Friday for me with printing out the maps and changing / aligning the compass to one more suitable for walking / jogging round a wood, with rain in the offing for Sunday I laminated the map.
My two previous attempts at Multi DF had been less than successful, the first organised in the Mid-Thames area was memorable for the continuous rain and in the second two or three years ago I had loaned my usual DF set to Phil Arnold and used an experimental set which produced excellent nulls but had a sense that reversed every half wavelength, not very successful.
An early start and 132 miles later I was having a mid morning snack in my usual layby then on to Arger Fen parking area to check in and learn that my Joker, double points, is Tx A and therefore the one to go to first, a sandwich for lunch before we walk to the start.  As we walk to the start I listen to the start Tx sending “S”, it is 10 years or more since I heard anything other than “TEST DF” and picking out the single letters will not be easy for me, no sense of rhythm even if I do like listening to Soul and Jazz music.
13:30 arrives and we all start to take bearings on our Jokers etc, I hand draw a bearing onto the map and set off for Tx A using the compass to keep an eye on my course, oh dear, the compass has a mind of it’s own and swings from side to side as I walk, hopeless, my start bearing turns out to be 90 degrees in the wrong direction.  Tx F comes up and is strong so I change course and arrive in it’s area, another competitor arrives and while we wait for the next transmission he explains the finer points of Multi events, the bits Roy had left out!
Eventually finding Tx F I set off for A the one I should have gone to first and then on to K the third 1960 kHz transmitter, after that I retune to 1930 kHz and find L and G, B is strong and off to my left but I will need two transmissions at least to find it and I must get back to Tx A to log in a second time before 16:00 so I pass on B and set off for A finding it for the second time with 20 minutes to spare.

{Hmmm, 20 mins to spare after banking points at A, a risk free attempt at B within 200m? Nothing lost (except a few calories) if you didn't get back to A in time to add points from B.    _ Slave driver, Ed.}
Roy’s instructions are to collect the Tx and logging device so I hang around for 16:00, will anyone else arrive or do I take the equipment back to the car park now?  I wait and chat to the owners of two miniature schnauzers, a competitor arrives and logs in, later he is proclaimed the winner, good thing I waited.
Back to the car park for a socially distanced prize giving and chat, to my surprise I am sixth, will I ever understand the scoring system?  I doubt it, but I have enjoyed the afternoon out and will try to do better next time, a new compass will be a good start and is on order.
Onto the motorway for the journey home and the predicted rain arrives followed by a detour around I know not what and home about 21:30.  364 miles in the day at a mpg of 58 plus 2 1/2 hours of walking and jogging means I am a bit tired.
Many thanks to Roy for all the organisation, his report is at:
Stay safe & best wishes,


Thanks for coming such a long way to be with us and for your efforts in supporting all forms of ARDF, hope to see you again soon.