Calgary Amateur Radio Association
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I don't know about television coverage - but you can find some clips on youtube, and it also seems that a number of people involved (including some of the teams) also like posting some media on instagram. Also a little bit on twitter.
If you look at their history - CARSRallyTV had a much longer video compilation that they published a couple months after Big White, and same story for Pacific Forest Rally. Perhaps their edited video is circulated on the television for two months, and then they post it up on Youtube. (without a television subscription - this will be how I will see it if/when it is made available)
I like some of the in car recordings https://www.instagram.com/p/BjbAcI0lCq3
That poor blocker sign. https://www.instagram.com/p/BjVpGBUBWtn
Garry, sounds like you had a lot of juggling to do, but also seems like you were able to adapt as usual. Sorry I had previous commitments that usually occur at that time of the year.
I believe that they show this Rally in an abbreviated show on TV. I think I watched the Rally East on one of the Sports networks. Do you know if or when they will be showing some of this rally?
Post Action Report - Rocky Mountain Rally 2018
They say that you get out what you put in. If there is any truth to that statement, then this year's Rocky Mountain Rally (RMR) surely produced some extraordinary outcomes. Despite being very shorthanded, the team we fielded came through and did the job well.
Thanks go out to the following people for their part in this year's event:
Perry and Elsie Afaganis, VA6PTA
Shawn Bishop, VE6RMR
Ray Bourne, VE6LG
Richard Dixon, VE6DXN
Art Foster, VE6ACF
Robin Greig, VE6RBN
Dana Harding, VA6DJH
Gavin Jacobs, VE7GSJ
Wilson Loree, VA6JWL
Greg Markham, VA7WGM
Harry Maylor, VE6HRY
Jeff Pollock, VA7BAJ
Stephane Rimbault, VE6NR
Michael Ross, VE6TC
Kurt Schantz, VA6KOS
I'd also like to mention the FRS operators, who worked with our team to fill in a number of required blocker positions:
Thanks go out to Wayne Mayall, VE6TRX and Cassandra Theunissen for filling in a last minute additional blocker requirement from the Rallymaster; and to Jason Shaver, VE6JGS, who was seconded from the Recovery1 role to fill a blocker requirement on Saturday afternoon.
Special mention needs to be made of Dana Harding, VA6DJH and Ray Bourne, VE6LG for the time they put in to get the temporary repeater into place. This is the first time in recent memory that we had the VE6RNQ repeater in use at RMR, so Ray and Dana had to come up with location solutions that were feasible and provided acceptable RF coverage. When we had a few challenges with the VE7RIN repeater it was good that we had VE6RNQ available as an alternate.
This was perhaps the most challenging rally event I have experienced, from a field radio coordination perspective. Due to a significant shortfall in registrations of licenced radio operators, we had to get very inventive in managing resources. Additionally, nature threw a curve at us: Mudslides forced the closure of roads in the area and required late changes to our maps - including one "day-of" modification. The intended Friday evening Shakedown exhibition was cancelled a week before the event, two registered radio operators had to withdraw just beforehand, and a couple other volunteers who were slated for radio support roles didn't show up on rally day. To top it off, one of our more experienced field radio operators was seconded to help with Rally Net Control, as we needed a second operator in place there. Overall, the situation remained very dynamic right up until the cars started down the course. So, I appreciate the patience and flexibility that everyone showed as matters were sorted out.
A couple of our radio operators made the trip to Invermere a day early, to help with setup and Recce (Rally shorthand for reconnaissance - an opportunity for the rally car drivers to check out the course before racing on it). While the weather was good for this exercise, one of our radio operators had a bit of a close scrape, so to speak. Big thanks go out to the Service crew who retrieved and field-repaired the car of Stephane, VE6NR after he encountered a bump-in-the-road just a stone's throw from the end of the course. Things did pan out better for Stephane during the rest of the weekend, as he went on to deliver a rock solid performance at Net Control!
Later on the Friday, a number of the radio operators gathered at Peppis in Invermere for pizza. It was a good chance to socialize and catch up with people before the event. Of course, the pizza was great too!
An optional training session was held on the Friday evening at the Copper Point Resort. The usual safety and procedural topics were addressed, along with a few special requests from Rally Net Control. Thanks, Dana, for providing an "introduction to FRS radios" briefing for people who were going to be involved in FRS relay activities.
The Saturday morning went surprisingly well, considering all of the complications that had to be addressed. I want to recognize Vince, VE6LK (Rally Net Control) for his help and patience during what was a somewhat chaotic start to rally day. As rabbits got pulled out of hats and resources were shuffled to cover several unexpectedly missing operators, Vince kept things rolling forward so that we stayed on schedule. Additional thanks go to Wayne Mayall, VE6TRX for his assistance in getting those rabbits out of the hats. In the end, it was a good morning of racing, with a communications network that did its job.
In the afternoon, a number of the radio operators moved from the East leg of the course to the North leg, to support the next stages. Once again, our radio operators handled this quite smoothly and we were able to keep mostly to the schedule. Our FRS links worked well and the VE6RNQ repeater provided effective coverage to even the most Northerly locations of the venue.
With the first day wrapped up, our field radio operators quickly and effectively exited the course roads in accordance with directions provided by Rally Net Control. After a supper at Copper Point provided by Calgary Sports Car Club, everyone got a few hours of much needed sleep before the second day of racing.
Sunday went quite smoothly by comparison. Our field radio operators all made it to the course and were in place in good time. While there were a few incidents with the rally cars, once again our operators handled those situations well. We had some glitches with the VE7RIN repeater that may have been due to the heat of a warmer day. Net Control also had to work around some equipment problems. However, we had enough resources in place to be resilient in the face of these challenges. So, the radio problems caused no significant effects on the racing schedule that day.
While several of the rally cars did not finish the entire two days of racing, and there were two or three "memorable occurrences," I am unaware of any serious injuries. Our field radio operators effectively supported Rally Net Control in handling the incidents that did happen and safety was maintained throughout the event. Also, our field operators did a great job of getting into place, operating a complex radio network, and getting back out safely again. We're getting much better at checking in and checking out at the start and finish of the day. This makes it much easier for the organizers to know that everyone is accounted for throughout the event.
I'd like to recognize the assistance of the CARA executive in the execution of this year's RMR. Without their unwavering support, this year's RMR would not have been successful. From helping to recruit operators to working through the process of obtaining funding, their work was key to making this event happen.
Please join me in congratulating Cassandra Theunissen of the Calgary Sports Car Club. This was the first rally event for which Cassandra served as the Volunteer Coordinator. The RMR is a challenging undertaking even for an experienced coordinator, so Cassie did a great job of pulling this all together. I hope she will be returning to help with future events.
For those who may not have already found the race results from this year's RMR, they can be found here:
Finally, here are some links to pictures and video that you may wish to check out. Thanks to Dana and Wilson for these:
If anyone else has pictures or video that would be good for sharing, feel free to post links here on the forum or send them to me and I'll get them posted for you.
Once again, we had a tremendous time thanks to the efforts of many people. Invermere is a great place for a warm spring weekend and these rallies are still one of the very best field operation events available to amateur radio operators. If you haven't been out to one before - or you have not participated lately - I encourage you to consider coming out and joining us for the next event.
Garry Spicer, VE6GDS
Chief Radio Marshal, Rocky Mountain Rally 2018
On Friday evening, after supper is done, we'll have a brief orientation session for radio operators at Copper Point in the Jade meeting room. I'm going to request that we start no later than 9pm, as we all need a good night's sleep. If people can arrive a little sooner than that, we'll get underway a bit early.
This session is optional! It is being provided to assist operators who feel that they would like more information about what their roles entail.
We'll also have one of our accomplished operators providing a briefing on FRS radios and their use at rally events.
Since we'll have our pre-op briefing at 07:30hrs Saturday morning at Copper Point, the Friday evening orientation will only be covering basic rally material and some emergency procedures. This is information that experienced operators have heard many times. However, for people who are new to the rally scene, this may be useful background before heading out to the field.
Friday Supper in Invermere
It looks like we have a number of people who are interested in pizza at Peppis Italian Fuel in Invermere (1018 8th Ave) on Friday evening. I'll aim to be there by about 6pm and get a table or two set aside. Those working Recce on Friday afternoon might be closer to 6:30 getting there, so I'll try to hold some seats.
If you're planning to come and haven't already let me know, then please send me a quick email so I can estimate how many places we'll need.
See you in Invermere!
<mycallsign> at gmail.com
The APRS objects for RMR 2018 should now be visible on the IS. I'll beacon them on RF tomorrow on my way to Invermere. The objects include waypoints, points of interest, access points to the courses, control points, and blocker locations.
See you there!
En Route Repeaters
I trust that everyone has their kit together and is ready to head for Invermere! It looks like the weather will be mostly favourable, so it should be a great time.
Here are some repeaters that you may want to monitor along the way, if your route takes you from Calgary to Radium.
VE6RYC 146.850 -0.6 T110.9 Calgary Nose Hill, CARA, Calgary to Canmore
VE6AUY 147.060 -0.6 T110.9 Cochrane, Wildcat Hills, CARA, Northwest Calgary to Canmore
VE6RMT 147.360 +0.6 T110.9 Canmore, CARA, Canmore to Banff
VE6HWY 147.330 +0.6 Lake Louise, Protection Mountain, CARA, West of Banff to Lake Louise and East Kootenay National Park
VE7KNP 146.700 -0.6 T131.8 Kootenay Crossing, Wild Rose, Kootenay National Park
VE7PNR 146.880 -0.6 T131.8 Radium, Mount Sinclair, Wild Rose, Kootenay National Park and East Kootenay region
VE7RIN 146.85 -0.6 Fairmont Hot Springs, EKARC, East Kootenay region
Radio Operators Handbook
Here is the Radio Operators Handbook. This document is the one that all radio operators will need to have nearby on rally day. It has basic radio configuration information, radio operator checklists, operating procedures, assignments, maps, directions, schedules, and log sheets. While printed booklets should be available at the briefing on Saturday morning, I advise that all radio operators have a copy (printed or electronic) with them just in case.
Recce Radio Operators
For those radio operators who are planning to help with recce on Friday, I have been instructed to ask you to check in at the Amber room at Copper Point Resort. There will be other rally folks there who can help you get set up.
Updated Radio Configuration Guide
Here is an updated guide with some minor errata addressed. Sorry for any inconvenience and thanks, Dana, for catching those items.