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don't cut
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay people, ham radio is recognizing us. And we recognize them. This bit is from the July issue of QST, the magazine of the ARRL. It was next to an article on training for emergencies. As I see it, hams use us to train for real emergencies. We can use their training and help in real emergencies both at rallies and in real life.

Well, drat, I have the article saved but can not figure out how to post it.
Richard
 

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Straight @ "T"
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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

You can go to the following link to learn about how to get licensed:
http://www.remote.arrl.org/hamradio.html
Anyone who is involved in the performance rally scene really should get a license. A technician class "ticket" is quite easy to get (you don't need to learn morse code), radios are cheap ($125+ for walkie-talkies, $150+ for a 2-meter mobile [plus antenna]) and frankly it could save a life. But I think everyone on this forum can appreciate that, it's often just a matter of making the time. Get a license book (or download the question pool) and stick it next to the toilet!
Jim Blumenfeld
 
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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

Try [link:www.aesham.com|http://www.aesham.com]

2 meter HT's [link:search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?cartid=a-6994&category=newprices&maxhits=200&keywords=%22two+meter+hand+held%22&go.x=33&go.y=29|here]

2 meter mobile's [link:search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?bool=AND&cartid=a-6994&category=newprices&maxhits=600&keywords=%22two+meter+mobile+radio%22&go.x=14&go.y=8|here]
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

>Where can I find radios that cheap?

I like the Yaesu radios. Take a look at the Vertex (made by Yaesu) VX-150 for an HT and the Yaesu FT-2800 for a mobile. Icom and Kenwood have competitive values as well. I have used www.aesham.com and www.hamradio.com (Ham Radio Outlet - free shipping). Mag mount and permanent mount antennas can be bought from these sources as well as some good deals on ebay.
James B
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

>A technician class "ticket" is quite easy to get (you don't need to learn morse code), radios are cheap ($125+ for walkie-talkies, $150+ for a 2-meter mobile )

I've got a friend thats a HAM guy, he told me I could get a "no-code tech license", i guess this is what you're talking about?

It would have been nice to be able to radio to my crew at Cherokee, cell phones are useless in the forest. Will a handheld penetrate the woods that well? or do I have to have an in-car with a large whip antennae.

One nagging question: if you wreck your car and want to call for help or just let them know you are stopped, usually i'd think that your whip antenae would get broken off from the impact, so what do you do about that?


ClubRally Scirocco Mk1
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

Might bend but won't break unless you roll over on it. You can carry a backup mag-mount or rubber duckie if you're really worried.

I would advise insulating the radio very heavily from shock; they are rated for some shock, but not for all the shock levels of a rally car, especially with hard suspension. We use a handheld with a foam lined compartment.

Be advised that ham doesn't always work in the mountains of TN. Even with repeaters in the area.

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

That's correct, if you are out of range of the repeater(s) then the radio won't get you in direct contact with your crew. The VHF frequencies (2-meters) are essentially line of site. But you may be able to get in contact with the start/finish/spectator (etc) controls and thety could relay your message. If you crash then you will have to wait for sweep anyway, contact with your crew will just help them get ready for when the stage is closed.
Yes if you roll the antenna will probably be toast. You can carry a mag mount or build a simple j-pole antenna that you could toss into a tree.
73 (that means "best regards")
Jim Blumenfeld
W1JIM
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

Having a radio in the car is great. Although I have been accused of using it a little too much :)

We always radio to our crew on a non-rally frequency, usually on simplex which is line of site, but can be between 2 and 50 miles (top of the Zilwakee bridge to just north of Battle Creek). Realistic range is 5 miles.

Radio's have been used on stage to save lives (Mark Utecht in Maine).


I have a Yaesu 'army spec' in the car, never a problem, just bolted in, insulated electronically but not physically. I like ICOMs for the service rig, just a personal preference.

I encourage all competitors to get licensed and carry radio's -- we just need to be careful how we use them, and any good ham will give you the basics on how and when to use the radio. Policy at events as a competitor should be to stay off the net unless there is an emergecny, or to report yourself out of the rally -- after calling in, let them call you back.

Mike
N8WAG
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

To expand on what Mike said, when you get your ticket, volunteer as a ham at a rally or at least listen in on a good net to find out how it works...good net protocol is important. (I recommend the net at Sno*Drift that Mike sometimes runs...he's almost as good as me :)

Bruce
 

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don't cut
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Netiquet

I have noticed that many of us need practice in net operations. Working a net at SCCA races is good. At least here in SowDiv, they run a good net. But the best way to practice is to join a local radio club and work community benefits. For example, the city of Garland TX has a big 3 day 4th of July festival. The Garland Amateur Radio Club provides communication throughtout. This is for such things as lost children. Or work a bicycle race like we are going to do in Paris next weekend.
Richard
KD5PXM
 

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I've been playing the rally game since 1974, and been a licensed ham since 1982, so being one of the resident old farts here on both counts I feel qualified to add my two pence...

Get a copy of the FCC rules and read them VERY VERY carefully, especially the section regarding permissible communications (financial reward etc). Some folk might consider arranging for vehicle service over ham radio a gray area. I've always been mildly concerned about this, and some practices (that are NOT widespread) concerning how scores get relayed. My concerns are known by those in charge in the places in question, and while opinions vary, efforts to err on the side of legality are the rule as best as I can tell.

Generally speaking, though, ham radio is one of the points that helped pro rally break through to where it is now. Ask Jon Davis about the old days, when the field and the workers got sent out into the forest and nobody knew where anyone was until the next morning...

One of the biggest things to remember is how many people out there are listening to you. The scanner community is widespread, and the opinion they hold about us is formed solely by what they hear. Someone acting like the southern end of a northbound horse can ruin it for lots of people for a long long time...

Having that license, having five watts' worth of radio stuck away somewhere padded, AND KNOWING HOW TO USE IT PROPERLY are incalculably valuable out on the stages. Just ask anyone who's been down Missouri way the last couple of years...
 

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The Sno*Drift committee (and before that, the POR committee) went throught this whole discussion, including FCC opinions, during the 80s. The general conclusion, supported by the FCC, was that the iconoclastic OFs who insisted that transmitting scores was impure, illegal, and would be reported by them was WRONG. Even when the event included prize money. It no longer matters. Technology has passed amateur radio by when it comes to gathering scores.
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

We and the repeater operator were given a clean bill of health and had no issues at the 2004 event.

The issue, if one exsisted did not involve the event.

Mike
 

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RE: www.realautosport.com to the rescue ...

>A technician ticket is fairly simple for anyone with an IQ
>over 60.

Lets see, I bought an ARRL "Technician Q&A" book last thursday, read about 1/2 of it over Thurs & Friday eves (a total of maybe 3 hours?), and took my test first thing Saturday morning.

Got 1 wrong on the Technician test. The VEC suggested I take the general exam (not the code at that time though). I missed by one point.

This stuff ain't rocket science.

And the FCC, in a stunning display of governmental efficiency, had my call sign issued by Tuesday afternoon.

Now I need a radio :)

-Mark Holden
KC0SUW

(edit: spelling)
 
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