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Shotgun!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Obviously events move around and the Rally Net changes quite allot. But I like to have an events frequency setup before an event. SO why not make a thread where we can post our local events and or known networks.
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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One 'why not' is that some event organizers don't want the net frequencies widely known. Some discussions on the net need to be frank to the point where having some illusion of 'privacy' would be a good thing. Also, as implausible as it sounds we had a situation one year where there was active interference with one of our repeaters where a station would purposely double with Net Control making communication nearly impossible for a while.

As a rule I make the frequencies available to those who may need it but I wouldn't go out of my way to make it public. They are fairly easy to figure out and I know they get around, so it doesn't bother me a lot that the information is out there.

That said, I'm not sure I see the value. I don't know any organizer who wouldn't give a team frequencies ahead of the event if asked and repeaters could change at a moment's notice. (Rocky last year was on a completely different repeater that hasn't been used since.)
 

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Shotgun!
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Discussion Starter #3
I have read some sup regs where its posted. Some can argue it has safety value.

It is understandable that some could have valid concerns. But on a recent event even the people that SHOULD be on the net like to sit on their mics and hijack the net...
Organizers (Ham groups that run the nets) know how they could prevent inadvertent broadcasting on the net (use PT to keep repeaters from opening up to those not needing to talk on the net).

On one hand people say its a good thing for stage safety.. then others say its a bad idea because of net security... Call me confused.
 

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Some can argue it has safety value.
And count me among those that do. BUT, I do also understand the concern of having the frequency too widely known. It would approach encouraging people to listen if you make the frequencies too broadly known and then the operations would effectively be done over a public address system. Not necessarily what you want when all hell breaks loose.

Some can argue it has safety value.
It is understandable that some could have valid concerns. But on a recent event even the people that SHOULD be on the net like to sit on their mics and hijack the net...[/quote]
Sitting on mics happens. We were talking about that at the radio meeting and we Think Cochrane was the first event we've seen where it didn't happen. Simply put, more operators means a higher chance of it happening but more 'irregular' users increases it further.

...prevent inadvertent broadcasting on the net (use PT to keep repeaters from opening up to those not needing to talk on the net).
The incident I referred to was anything but inadvertent. It was clearly intentional and directed.
Tones are good, but if you're publishing the frequencies you'll publish the tone as well, it's just part of what is needed. From a safety perspective if you want the teams to be able to use a radio in an emergency, they'll need to set-up the tones anyway.

Some can argue it has safety value.
On one hand people say its a good thing for stage safety.. then others say its a bad idea because of net security... Call me confused.[/QUOTE]
Many things are not black and white. As an extreme case - fire extinguishers are an important safety item but are super dangerous when they come loose in a violent roll. (seen it happen)

Competing teams - both cars and service crew - are among the people I would expect and encourage to be listening to the net. I highly recommend everyone get licensed. While not needed in an emergency, it is a good idea in general.

Beyond that, the net is intended as an operational tool not as part of the 'entertainment' created by the rally. Part of our emergency protocols is to shut down external speakers that are in use by operators. Having dealt with a life/death situation at an event I can assure you I don't want to have to filter the communications for broad consumption.
 

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I agree with the fact that every car having a radio greatly increases the odds of the net getting tied up for one reason or another.

One option for some folks would be to use a scanner instead of a ham radio. The actual need to have to send out a message is usually pretty low and that avoids the chance of someone having a stuck mic or some folks having the to chatter on the net.

Cars on the course can expect another vehicle to come along within a minute or so and the procedures are already in place for dealing with that situation.

At this point there doesn't seem to be enough need to warrant the extra expense for many teams to add a ham radio to the car.

As to the original topic, if you feel there is a real need to monitor the net at an event most scanners can be easily set up to scan the frequency range(s) used by the net and the radios scan those frequencies at amazing rates so you shouldn't miss too much. Plus scanners are often a fraction of the cost of a transmitter and most states allow for them to be used in vehicles (NY is an exception though so be advised).
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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Cars on the course can expect another vehicle to come along within a minute or so and the procedures are already in place for dealing with that situation.
At this point there doesn't seem to be enough need to warrant the extra expense for many teams to add a ham radio to the car.
I'm not sure I agree with that. For a couple hundred dollars you can get a radio in the car and I know I have used my ham radio on several occasions to communicate with the organisers. Having a radio on scene and the ability to get clear and interactive information can be invaluable in a lot of situations. (One of the weirdest ones was a transit road being closed for a medivac helicopter for an accident unrelated to the rally)

I think making a practice of locking the ptt or disconnecting the mike alltogether, but keeping it in the car, is probably worth looking at.

That said - not all events run on amateur frequencies.
 

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I am not here anymore
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I'm not sure I agree with that. For a couple hundred dollars you can get a radio in the car and I know I have used my ham radio on several occasions to communicate with the organisers. Having a radio on scene and the ability to get clear and interactive information can be invaluable in a lot of situations.

I think making a practice of locking the ptt or disconnecting the mike alltogether, but keeping it in the car, is probably worth looking at.
I agree with Keith. In some cases, the nearest radio point is too far away.

BTW, I have had so many problems with mic clips falling off, the mic bouncing around, etc. that I leave the mic disconnected until I need to talk on the radio.

alan
 

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your other left, you idiot
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Yikes, I'm with Alan & Keith.

I'd rather have more radios (and trained first aid folks - U.S., Keith) than fewer - you never know when you will need them.

As to the original suggestion - I think publishing a list would not be the best idea (and things do change) - Google is not always your friend. I'm thinking of STPR, where frequencies, and associations to stage, change each year.

I keep my mike attached and my radio off (usually).

ymmv

I agree with Keith. In some cases, the nearest radio point is too far away.

BTW, I have had so many problems with mic clips falling off, the mic bouncing around, etc. that I leave the mic disconnected until I need to talk on the radio.

alan
press on,
 

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Let me clarify what I was getting at.

I'm used to monitoring the net at STPR which can have a fairly large field (this year 60+ cars). I also try to think a lot about "what if this or that happens." It's paid off in big dividends for me and the folks I have worked with.

Although it is way better than several years ago there have been times in the past when there was a bit too much chatter. There probably always will be to one degree or another.

In the past I've heard a fair amount of pretty trivial traffic being repeated time and again for several minutes. It doesn't happen often but it does occur.

That's with experienced radio operators and a pretty darned good net control.

Net control has a lot to do already and while laying down the law and really controlling the net has to be done once in awhile the thought of having too much traffic is a real possibility if even only a quarter of the field has a radio in the car.

Can you imagine what would have happened on the net if the first 4 or 5 cars arrived on the scene of the YF Racing car when it crashed on SS 10 and they all chimed in on the net? Imagine you're a new ham radio operator or you just have a radio but no ticket. You're full of adreneline already and you come upon an over turned car with a lot of damage and one woozy competitor and another who might be unconscious and bloody. You grab the mic and start talking. Loudly and fast. Now multiply that by three or four more cars on scene and very little radio or accident experience.

Now the whole net is pumped up and confused. That's what I see happening altogether too easily.

What happens if someone in a car starts yelling for equipment to dispatch when it's for a simple roll and there's not even a red cross displayed?

It's not that it's a bad idea for teams to have a radio only if they do not have enough experience using it and also with working on a tight radio net. I can envision a situation where that could easily make things even more chaotic.

I'm just a bit wary of that is all. I've seen rally situations where too many people offering to help but lacking experience can make things a bit dicey.
 

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your other left, you idiot
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While we were held at start of the stage with the accident at STPR, I counted cars with antennas. I did the same thing at Idaho the next weekend while we were waiting in a long queue to start. In both cases it was about 1 out of 10 cars had a radio. That could be a long time to wait.

Similarly, I'd rather have the guy behind me know some first aid, rather than none (don't move him).

Your observation of "lacking experience" only points to being trained. Most hams are. A good net will take control of an emergency situation ! (and get rid of the chatter, now) One reason to have a person with rally experience as net control.

My problems have seldom been with rallyists. The red cross protocol works - but could work faster and better with more radios and more first aid training.

Let me clarify what I was getting at.

I'm used to monitoring the net at STPR which can have a fairly large field (this year 60+ cars).

Although it is way better than several years ago there have been times when there's been a bit too much chatter and there probably always will be to one degree or another.

In the past I've heard a fair amount of pretty trivial traffic being repeated time and again for several minutes. It doesn't happen often but it does occur.

Net control has a lot to do already and while laying down the law and really controlling the net has to be done once in awhile the thought of having too much traffic is a real possibility if even only a quarter of the field has a radio in the car.

Can you imagine what would have happened on the net if the first 4 or 5 cars arrived on the scene of the YF Racing car when it crashed on SS 10 and they all chimed in on the net?

It's not that it's a bad idea for teams to have a radio only if they do not have enough experience using it and also with working on a tight radio net. I can envision a situation where that could easily make things even more chaotic.

I'm just a bit wary of that is all. I've seen rally situations where too many people offering to help but lacking experience can make things a bit dicey.
press on,
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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Can you imagine what would have happened on the net ... You grab the mic and start talking. Loudly and fast. Now multiply that by three or four more cars on scene and very little radio or accident experience.
Which is why first-aid training for competitors is fairly important. One of the main topics discusses is usually scene management and how to effectively manage getting help. I actually can't imagine ANY competitor jumping onto the radio without first getting some basic information about the accident first. If one car has been sent on to the next radio point I'll gladly take a second report from a car that has stopped at the scene.
 

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I believe my voulenteer packet has always contained some basic information on how to communicate on the net in case of an emergency

"BREAK BREAK BREAK , I need EMS at road block 4. stop the stage!"

I don't have any of the volunteer packets in front of me right now. but i do believe they spell out what to do and not to do. and some basics of net communication in an emergency situation
 

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Zero Cents!
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Which is why first-aid training for competitors is fairly important. One of the main topics discusses is usually scene management and how to effectively manage getting help. I actually can't imagine ANY competitor jumping onto the radio without first getting some basic information about the accident first. If one car has been sent on to the next radio point I'll gladly take a second report from a car that has stopped at the scene.
And that's exactly what happened at STPR, Keith. Two cars actually went through to get help (not sure why) while the rest of the competitor cars ended up waiting at the scene. We were the 6th car to be stopped on stage, which makes us the 8th car to actually show up after FY went off. We were the FIRST car on scene with a radio.
 

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Zero Cents!
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I believe my voulenteer packet has always contained some basic information on how to communicate on the net in case of an emergency

"BREAK BREAK BREAK , I need EMS at road block 4. stop the stage!"

I don't have any of the volunteer packets in front of me right now. but i do believe they spell out what to do and not to do. and some basics of net communication in an emergency situation
I talked to Anders and a bunch of other competitors about this at the Saturday night campfire at Hyperfest. Even with the discussion as to do you implement the red cross radio procedures as training for competitors or do you do it as a check list on the page opposing the red cross; I still think a written list of Do A-D is the best approach.
 

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I agree with Keith. In some cases, the nearest radio point is too far away.

BTW, I have had so many problems with mic clips falling off, the mic bouncing around, etc. that I leave the mic disconnected until I need to talk on the radio.

alan
Check your manual. My radios have a lock feature which we always use when we're on stage. Usually we're broadcasting on APRS during our runs and we don't want to start squawking on the wrong frequency if it gets nudged by bumps and jumps. I too like to have a radio in the rally car for emergency use and to keep informed about delays etc.

Simon
 

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Check your manual. My radios have a lock feature which we always use when we're on stage.
Good idea, but for some radios unlocking the PTT can be 'involved' enough that unless you're very familiar with the radio you'd have to think about how to unlock it. This would become a significantly more difficult task when you're hopped up on adrenaline. Other radios are really simple to unlock, if you remember. Locking the dials so you don't change frequency and disconnecting the mic sort of mixes the best of both.
You lock the operating frequency so it doesn't get bumped and all you have to do is connect the mic to use the radio. If you have to unlock the radio to transmit you might nudge the frequency or channel selection at the same time.
 

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your other left, you idiot
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Also, what if someone else needed to use your radio (and you couldn't tell them how)...........

Good idea, but for some radios unlocking the PTT can be 'involved' enough that unless you're very familiar with the radio you'd have to think about how to unlock it. This would become a significantly more difficult task when you're hopped up on adrenaline. Other radios are really simple to unlock, if you remember. Locking the dials so you don't change frequency and disconnecting the mic sort of mixes the best of both.
You lock the operating frequency so it doesn't get bumped and all you have to do is connect the mic to use the radio. If you have to unlock the radio to transmit you might nudge the frequency or channel selection at the same time.
press on,
 

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While we were held at start of the stage with the accident at STPR, I counted cars with antennas. I did the same thing at Idaho the next weekend while we were waiting in a long queue to start. In both cases it was about 1 out of 10 cars had a radio. That could be a long time to wait.
That may be a false count. I only carry my HT in the car, hence no antenna. It certainly should be good enough to get to stage start, finish, spectator.
 

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Good idea, but for some radios unlocking the PTT can be 'involved' enough that unless you're very familiar with the radio you'd have to think about how to unlock it.
It is far easier to unplug and plug in the RJ11 connector than it is to negotiate the controls to effectively do the same thing.

alan
 

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That may be a false count. I only carry my HT in the car, hence no antenna. It certainly should be good enough to get to stage start, finish, spectator.
Same here. However, even with a Diamond 1/4 wave antenna on it, sometimes it still comes up short. I remember one event when the car broke on stage hearing a discussion on the stage frequency asking if anyone knew where we were, but not being able to reach anyone to let them know.

alan
 
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