Calgary Amateur Radio Association

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  • 28 Sep 2020 9:53 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    The Rocky Mountain Rally is less than six weeks away! 

    Radio Operator Meeting Wednesday 4 November 2020, 19:00 (Date Changed)

    To help you get ready, here is a link to the packing and preparation guide for radio operators who are planning to be part of the rally. Be sure to download a copy and review it so that you have your kit assembled for the event.

    While this guide is primarily oriented at new or returning folks, even experienced operators will benefit from a review of its contents as we get ready for this challenging day. Not everything listed in the guide is a requirement for participation as a radio operator. However, this list is based on the experiences of operators who have completed many prior rally events.  Please consider the material covered by this guide as you make your own preparations.

    Keep checking this forum regularly. As the event approaches, there will be other materials and information posted here that you'll want to review.


    Garry, VE6GDS

  • 11 Sep 2020 8:57 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Registration Now Available!

    The Rocky Mountain Rally volunteer registration webpage is now available. Here is the information you will need to sign up as a radio operator for this event. If you follow this URL it will take you to the main RallyWest page:

    From there click on "Events" in the upper left of the page and you will be taken to a set of images for upcoming RallyWest events.

    Click on the picture for the Rocky Mountain Rally to get to the rally information page. Here is a shortcut:

    Click on the Volunteers dropdown at the top of the page, then click on Volunteer Registration. This will take you to the Volunteer Registration page. Here is a final shortcut:

    Scroll down and look for the "To Sign Up" link beside the blue vertical bar. Clicking on this link will take you to the registration page with the title Rocky Mountain Rally Volunteer Signup. Each time you click on that registration link the system gives you a unique tag, so we can't give you a shortcut here. If you bookmark the link you get after this point, with that unique tag in the URL, you'll be able to go back to your registration record and make updates later. Note that clicking on this link more than once means that you are signing up more than once!

    If you are considering coming to volunteer as a radio operator, then please complete the signup page. If you're not sure you can make it, then indicate in the Comments text box that you are "tentative" for now, but please do sign up. If we have no registration information for you, then it's difficult to assign a role or to contact you if there are urgent changes.

    When indicating the radio equipment that you plan to bring to the rally, try to be as generic as possible. It's much easier to deal with "50 watt mobile radio with APRS and a quarter wave magnetic mount antenna" than a bunch of make/model numbers with which we may not be familiar.

    Finally, please double check that the email address and phone number(s) that you enter on the registration form are correct. Messages that bounce back at us are not getting to you! It's also important to have valid contact information, should a change occur at, or just prior to, the event.

    To accommodate feedback that we have received, we will try to keep the number of mass emails to a minimum. We will usually post material here in the Rally Radio Recce Blog where everyone can find it at their own discretion. That means it is up to you to check here regularly so that you have the latest information. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

    We hope you'll be joining us for a great time at the Rocky Mountain Rally!

    Dana, VA6DJH
    Garry, VE6GDS

  • 03 Sep 2020 11:57 AM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Rally '101' Guide

    To ensure that our radio operators are comfortable with common rally terminology, everyone who is considering participation in the upcoming rally event is encouraged to take a few minutes to review the '101' guide, linked below.

    This document is intended to provide rally radio operators with a foundational understanding of what happens at a rally, who is involved, and where to find more information. Key terms are explained, roles are described, and some important practices are presented.

    Please take the time to download a copy and read it prior to the event. While this guide is oriented at people who have had little exposure to rally events, experienced operators may also benefit from a refresher. In any case, the pre-op briefing will assume that everyone is familiar with the contents of this guide. While specific questions about the '101' material will be addressed, we will not be presenting these basics during the briefing.


    Garry, VE6GDS

  • 22 Aug 2020 5:30 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Rocky Mountain Rally 2020 - Save the Date!!!

    Attention all Rally Radio Operators!

    This has been a very challenging year for everyone, and I'm sure that we're all hoping for better things to come soon. Here is your chance to help start the trend.

    We didn't get our usual weekend in Invermere this year, due to the pandemic. Plans are underway, however, for a Rocky Mountain Rally (RMR) in Kananaskis this fall. So, before the weather turns cool again, be sure to mark your calendars!

    The intended dates for the event are 06 (Friday) and 07 (Saturday) of November, 2020. Recce and other opening activities are planned for the Friday, and a few radio operators are often needed to help with this part of the event. Only one day of racing will occur, on the Saturday. This is when the majority of the radio operations support is required. These dates are a little different than what we've seen at other recent rallies. Be sure to make the appropriate entries on your calendar.

    There has been a little confusion about this event. To be clear, the RMR has been rescheduled to November and there are no plans for a separate Kananaskis Performance Rally (KPR) this year. So, RMR essentially replaces KPR for 2020. Since we'll only hold two rally events this year (we did the Cochrane Winter Rally back in March), we're working hard to make the autumn event a good one.

    The planned RMR is to be held on the Powderface Trail and JumpingPound Demonstration Loop in Kananaskis Country. Experienced operators will recognize these roads as the course that has been used in previous years for the fall Kananaskis rallies. For this year's RMR, the Powderface Trail leg will likely be extended to include the entire 34km of this road. Rally HQ will likely be in Cochrane. This will add some new requirements to operating the radio communication nets.

    While it will be only a single day of racing, the 2020 RMR is still a national series event. This level of racing typically involves more complex and challenging course roads for the rally drivers, which translates to more complex and challenging radio operations to support the event. We'll need plenty of radio operators to cover the extended Powderface leg, which will likely be broken into two "sub-legs" for some of the stages. This will make for some tight scheduling - there could be up to three active stages at a time. We're anticipating lots of interesting radio activity!

    If you've read this far, then you've obviously found our new Rally Radio Recce Blog. As the new official distribution location for official rally information, details about radio operations for RMR 2020 will get posted here as they come available. Check back here regularly to ensure that you have all the latest information about the upcoming event. Let us know if you have any suggestions to help make this blog a better tool for distributing rally news.

    Dana, VA6DJH
    Garry, VE6GDS

  • 24 Jul 2020 12:29 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Hello Rally Radio Operators!

    Welcome to our new home for the latest news and information about all things rally for radio operators. We've moved to a blog format to better deliver quality content and more efficiently disseminate key materials. While the forum will still be available for rally related discussion and questions, this blog will now be the place where you will find official announcements, approved documents, and formal details about our rally events.

    Rallies are complex undertakings. To meet this challenge, we must have the means to provide radio operators with a range of information that helps them to be well prepared. Since details often change as a rally date draws near, we also need a consistent way to communicate updates in a timely manner. The requirement to keep rally information well organized so that essential materials can be quickly located and obtained is pushing us to this new approach.

    We're calling the new blog Rally Radio Recce. For those of you who are new to this scene, recce is pronounced recky. Short for reconnaissance, it refers to the opportunity that rally teams have to get familiar with course roads ahead of race day. In a similar way, we hope that this blog helps our radio operators to get the information that they need to be ready for each rally event.

    We hope that you enjoy our new format. Please let us know how it's working for you and what we can do to make it even better. Thanks for all your support, and we'll see you on rally day!

    Dana, VA6DJH
    Garry, VE6GDS

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