CARA

Calgary Amateur Radio Association

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Rally Radio Recce

For information - contact

Dana VA6DJH va6djh_rally@oneharding.com,  or

Garry VE6GDS ve6gds@gmail.com


Next upcoming event:

Rocky Mountain Rally 2022 (RMR 2022)
Saturday 28 May 2022,   Powderface Trail 51.0384N 114.8738W
Volunteer Signup: https://caraham.org/RallyRadioRecce/12761364

Maps (.kml)
Radio Configuration Guide
Packing and Preparation Guide, and Vehicle Preparation Supplement
Radio Operations at Rallysport Events '101' Guide


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  • 24 May 2022 11:15 PM | Dana Harding (Administrator)

    Zoom information for the radio operator meeting has been posted on the event calendar: https://caraham.org/event-4837270

  • 24 May 2022 1:28 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    The event maps are now available!

    It is strongly recommended that radio operators use GPS based navigation on rally day.

    The files provided below are intended to help with this part of your rally day. Keep in mind that cell coverage is poor in these areas, so be sure to download map tiles to your device prior to rally day.

    These maps are in KML format. They are not image files! If you need them in GPX format (some GPS devices require this) or you would like them in a CSV to import into a spreadsheet, then I suggest using one of the online converter services available on the Internet. If you want image files, then I suggest making them with an appropriate application that can import KML format (Google Earth, Bing Maps...).

    Contrary to rumour, there are no deliberate deceptions or hidden limitations in these files. While I am as subject to human error as anyone, I have taken steps to ensure that this information is as accurate as possible. I even scan my computer with a reputable anti-malware program to reduce the chances of spreading computer viruses. However, the utility that you obtain from these files will be closely associated with the software that you use to read and display the GPS data within them. I generally use APRSIS32 or YAAC. Some people report success with a program called Gaia. In any case, be sure that you understand your GIS software, its features, and its requirements.

    First is a KML with just the field operator locations (blockers and control points).
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SGQr7CRBvSTh7thRvh4RFED6Mi60EfB8/view?usp=sharing

    Second is a KML with the routes (roads), places of significance, and waypoints. These items are marked to help you navigate to, from, and around the venue.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O-R0ghVwVKDSO2ejH6MvZQK4scSZEHC4/view?usp=sharing

    It is possible for changes to occur between now and the rally, so keep watch in this blog for possible updates.


    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS






  • 22 May 2022 10:59 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    There was a minor inconsistency in the previous version (03a) of this guide. That problem has been corrected in this version. My apologies for any inconvenience.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1felS0It4HC59E4Gc5Yx2jdjz7Mwg9oCJ/view?usp=sharing


  • 21 May 2022 8:52 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Here is a link to the Radio Configuration and Operation Guide for the 2022 Rocky Mountain Rally. This document lists the operating frequencies for the event, presents key radio procedures, and provides recommendations for effective communication practices.

    Powderface Trail is a challenging environment for radio operations. This guide describes means of managing the difficulties that operators may encounter.  Please review the related recommendations.

    Please take careful note of the guidance for minimizing interference!  

    Accidental jamming of event channels, prolonged squelch tails, incorrectly configured radios, and misconfigured digital services can seriously inhibit efficient operation of the event radio network. The sections in this guide that pertain to cross-band configurations and digital operations are especially important to managing interference.

    A copy of the guide can be found here:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rye1TkuuH8vv2uCyXbuC8TPqMqVzheO1/view?usp=sharing


    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS



  • 21 May 2022 12:46 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    A rally radio operations pre-op briefing is planned for:

    Wednesday, 25 May 2022
    19:00 to ~20:00 hrs (7pm to ~8pm) MT
    Zoom virtual meeting (Link to be provided later)

    We will be covering several important topics including emergency procedures. Prospective radio operators who cannot attend are requested to let Dana (VA6DJH) or Garry (VE6GDS) know beforehand.

    In the interests of time, it will be assumed that all radio operators are familiar with the RMR 2022 materials posted to this blog prior to the meeting.

    Hope to see you there!


    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS


  • 16 May 2022 2:09 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    In recent memory, we have not done a spring time rally in the Kananaskis region. So, Dana and I went out to the venue to perform radio testing ahead of the event. This gave us a chance to do a quick inspection of the roads and venue while we were there.

    In general, Powderface Trail seemed to be in good condition. The road was mostly dry at higher elevations but low lying areas were still a little wet. There were a few soft spots on the road but I never felt that my vehicle was at high risk of getting stuck. Off the road, waterlogged soil was present at some locations near creeks, ditches, ponds, and puddles. This could dry up before the event, depending on the weather. There was a little snow along the road, but I suspect that will mostly disappear over the next couple of weeks. Some significant erosion cracks were present on the road surface and care should be used around them. There were numerous small tree branches, sticks, and substantial rocks scattered about. Extra attention is warranted to avoid this debris, especially in places where there is a steep upslope next to the road, as objects can tumble down from above (and clearly have been doing so). The potential for falling debris should also be considered when selecting a spot to park a vehicle or place equipment. Overall, the road did not seem unsafe, but radio operators are encouraged to use a little extra care.

    It appeared that there had been some recent high winds around the north part of the venue, including the North Demonstration Loop. Several fallen trees were observed. Trees and branches that blocked roads had been cut and cleared, so there was no serious impediment to vehicle traffic. Caution is advised when positioning vehicles and equipment, to avoid precarious trees and branches that may yet be at risk of falling.

    We did not specifically check the South Demonstration Loop, as there was a Test Day in progress on that road. No reports of serious road issues were obtained from participants, and the Test Day seemed to be running well. If one of the radio operators who assisted at the Test Day can provide a brief conditions report, I'll append it to this posting.

    There was still considerable snow up on Moose Mountain Road, including the parking lot and lookout locations where we typically position a relay operator and/or backup repeater. It is possible that some of this snow may still be around on rally day. Operators assisting with relay roles and/or temporary repeater support should take this into account.

    Bugs were starting to make an appearance, so insect repellent will likely be an important part of your field kit. The sun was feeling intense and sunscreen would be another good idea.

    For the rally we held in this location last fall, the chief organizer produced videos of the roads. Here are links to those videos:

    1) Jumping Pound Loop Reverse (Westbound)
    https://youtu.be/bnHNemoMrSY

    2) Powderface Down (Southbound)
    https://youtu.be/vQQRmfjcEYI

    3) Powderface Up (Northbound)
    https://youtu.be/OcC4MIrvyqM

    Keep watching this blog as more rally information will be posted as the event date approaches.


  • 14 May 2022 10:26 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    The Rocky Mountain Rally (RMR) is just a couple weeks away and we all need to be prepared for the day.

    Below you will find a link to the Radio Operations at Rallysport Events '101' Guide. If you are new to rally radio operations, or you have been away from the scene for a while, then this document is made just for you! The guide was written to help radio operators get comfortable with the sights and sounds of rally day action. 

    At the pre-op briefing, we assume that everyone is familiar with the contents of this guide.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/171GtEM40hJlq7bUH0MwRNMZhQujiJ6W3/view?usp=sharing


    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS


  • 13 May 2022 11:48 AM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Hello Rally Radio Operators!

    Below are links to a couple documents that you can use to start getting ready for the upcoming Rocky Mountain Rally.

    • First, the Packing and Preparation Guide is a general list that each radio operator should review to ensure their own readiness for the event.
    • Second, the Vehicle Preparation Supplement is focused on what operators should consider to get their vehicles ready for a rally event.

    These guides are oriented at new or returning folks and also serve as secondary checklists for others. The material was provided by some of our most seasoned field radio operators. Only a few items on these checklists are required, as most are recommendations and suggestions.

    Here are links for the documents:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_5DFZw6O_OT4WIRk_gWCBdw9bEN8KDNH/view?usp=sharing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P104FccBXRexTe5mdxtN8i2MeJz1AM05/view?usp=sharing

    Keep checking this blog regularly. More materials and information will be posted here soon. I hope that we'll see you at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Rally!


  • 09 May 2022 2:25 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    The Calgary Sports Car Club is seeking radio operator volunteers to assist with a Test Day this coming weekend (15 May 2022). 

    A Test Day is a more modest undertaking than a full rally. It typically involves fewer rally cars, a shorter route, fewer radio operators, and less formal radio protocols. These events are opportunities for rally drivers to test their cars, work on technique, and practice with the co-drivers. While the atmosphere is more relaxed than that of a competitive event, safety is still a priority.

    If you are interested and need more details, please contact Amanda:
    amandasrallyemail [at] gmail {dot} (com)

    The registration page can be found at:
    https://forms.gle/NVRNfasuKaaGVvET7


  • 06 May 2022 4:22 AM | Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

    Our CARA communications trailer will be deployed at the 2022 Rocky Mountain Rally, at the Jumping Pound Demonstration Forest's Visitor Centre.  It will be used to house the Net Control team, radio operators who control the rally for the day.  Crew should be on site by 06:30 AM MDT and have the trailer ready for operation by 07:30 AM MDT.  Likewise, you would also be needed to pack up the trailer, ready for towing, likely around 7:30 PM MDT, that same day.  If you can help with setting up the trailer, morning and/or evening, please reply to Peter VA6RPL VA6RPL@caraham.org .  Many thanks.  73   :-)

     

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