Text Message updates for Black River Stages
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Thread: Text Message updates for Black River Stages

  1. #1
    NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!! Anders Green's Avatar
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    Exclamation Text Message updates for Black River Stages

    We gearing up for the mass text messaging for Black River Stages! We've ironed out the few little sign up hiccups we had in the past, and also added the ability to send yourself a test text any time to make sure things are working properly. Checking the archive from Rally Tennessee, we did about 50-60 updates over two days. (The one I remember most was when Team USUK got an update mid-transit about the coolant puddle they left at the last control and that's how they knew they had a leak!)

    I just checked and we have a number of folks signed up already, but if you haven't yet, you can log in here to the database (same one for volunteers and racers too):
    http://blackriverstages.com/2010/text-login.php

    Remember, there are two channels, General and Scoring. All the "Stage 3 started" and "Car 7 rolled" and "Regroup shortened" type stuff go in General, and Scoring has just numbers... an overload of numbers if you're not super into that. If you sign for both, they're all just mixed in together.

    I'm also thinking about doing something like "Cloud Computing", that is, virtual outsourcing. In particular, finding a volunteer who can't make it to the rally, to help write texts based on phone in/text in reports from competitors. So the racers would have your number, call/text in interesting stuff ("I lost a wheel" or "Replaced transmission") and you would log in to the texting database and blast it out to everyone. This kind of reporting, in this day and age, doesn't need to be done by someone at the rally. You wouldn't even need to be in the same time zone, really! Since we have night stages, somewhere west might be even better!

    Always looking for neat ways to make it more interesting for the volunteers. (Which is an interesting discussion itself... what other tasks could you outsource? Could the scoring team be spread across the nation? If you're calling in scores and posting to the web anyway...)


    If you're interested in the volunteer spot... I guess there should be some auditions of 140 character update messages.

    Cheers,
    Anders
    NASA Rally Sport Director
    Your question is probably answered in Rally University.

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  3. #2
    NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!! Anders Green's Avatar
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    Upgraded the scoring software... it's now dumping out text message suitable results for after each stage. Here's an example:

    NRS after SS1 [#1 M.Donn ][#7 E.Mcco +21][#86 M.Gott +42][#11 M.Hord +60][#10 S.Wrig +62][#45 O.Sims +65]

    Still not sure which is the most intuitive format... the number of seconds from the leader (as shown) or the number of seconds from the previous racer. Thoughts?

    Cheers,
    Anders
    NASA Rally Sport Director
    Your question is probably answered in Rally University.

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    Rally, Win, Drink Beer Jard's Avatar
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    From leader...
    J. Lantzy

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  6. #4

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    Agreed. From leader.
    Travis Sleight
    Saratoga Springs,NY
    KC2QIU

  7. #5
    Feeling like an "old timer." RRR_K2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Green View Post
    (The one I remember most was when Team USUK got an update mid-transit about the coolant puddle they left at the last control and that's how they knew they had a leak!)
    Yup, nothing like waiting for another competitor to stop and pull you out of being stuck/high-centered and getting a text that you're "off"...

    In all seriousness, this really is an awesome service (when you can get cell coverage ).
    Matt Kennedy
    www.RockyRoadRacing.com

    Good drivers have dead flies on the side windows. - Walter Röhrl

  8. #6
    NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!! Anders Green's Avatar
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    Ha! Matt, now you can rag on even more people, because they probably got the same text before they even started the stage, so they KNEW you were out there and STILL didn't stop! *grin* They should have been planning on pulling you out.

    The cell signal report for BRS is 2-4 bars of Verizon at all start/finish locations except one. If you don't have Verizon... you should get Verizon if you want to make calls/data at rallies.

    Anders
    NASA Rally Sport Director
    Your question is probably answered in Rally University.

  9. #7
    L5 Lg > 4 into Broken
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Green View Post
    If you don't have Verizon... you should get Verizon if you want to make calls/data at rallies.

    Anders
    Seriously, if it wasn't a work phone i wouldn't have AT&T.

  10. #8
    100 K right 4
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    I can only attest to Texas and Goose Pond. Texas there is ATT coverage on about 1/3 of the stage including start and finish

    Goose Pond you have coverage at start when you are going in and for about half of the stage including both of the large jumps. Its gone at various points including the end.

    It might be better this year though, don't know as I haven't been up there in awhile. Got a friend with a camp on tidd rd and there is coverage on most of that for ATT.

    All that said verizon is def a better idea up here.

  11. #9
    International Rallying Icon Brian J's Avatar
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    Sprint coverage has been decent for me up there, but then again, that's likely due to the fact that it roams on Verizon's network.
    -Brian Johnson

  12. #10
    NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!! Anders Green's Avatar
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    Looks like the end result was about 57 text updates for the two days of racing. The scoring texts were auto-formatted properly by the scoring software, so that worked nicely. As discussed here, they were in "seconds from leader" format.

    On coverage, it seemed that many folks on a variety of networks were able to get service there, which is a change from what felt like Verizon-only just a couple years ago. Not quite everyone, still, but I had 5 bars & internet at my cabin.

    Cheers,
    Anders
    NASA Rally Sport Director
    Your question is probably answered in Rally University.

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