Calgary Amateur Radio Association

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  • 22 Jul 2021 12:05 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Hello Rally Radio Operators;

    Thank you to everyone who has already submitted a response for our Radio Operators survey. The input has been excellent so far. Dana and I appreciate the feedback and the many great suggestions that people have made.

    The survey will remain open until 31 July - which is just over a week away! So, if you haven't had a chance to complete the questionnaire yet,  we'd be grateful if you could take a few minutes to provide us with your input. With just a few more responses, the results will be very substantive and more interesting for the entire Amateur Radio community.

    The instructions for the survey can be found at this prior blog posting:

    Thanks again for all your support!

  • 19 Jul 2021 10:08 PM | Dana Harding (Administrator)

    Some events are coming to a start!

    This past Sunday morning, a hearty group of people were up early and headed out to Kananaskis to participate in and to support a Rally Test Day put on by the Calgary Sports Car Club.

    Recent weather has been hot with a background haze of smoke from distant wildfires. The early morning provided a brief reprieve from the smoke with dense fog and mist, which had mostly gone by 09:00. Overall a cooler day than expected, with a brief interlude of sun in the afternoon.

    There were approximately 10 teams participating with cars who ran 120+ test runs over the ~7.5 hours we were on the course.  The cadence kept the road, and the radio channel, busy.

    This was a great day to be out in Kananaskis - and I even managed to wrangle another couple potential spectators for RMR when a couple of young gentlemen, out for a drive in the area, stopped and asked about what had been going on after they had spotted a rally car.

    Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as we progress towards the Rocky Mountain Rally on 9 October 2021.    Information about that, and any other test days that come up, will be posted here.

    Dana,  VA6DJH

  • 17 Jul 2021 5:31 PM | Dana Harding (Administrator)

    Kananaskis 2021 - Test Day

    {update 2021-07-17}:  VE6AUY has good coverage in the area, I'll be monitoring that on the way in and out.  As per the the provided details, the plan is to operate on a simplex frequency during the event.

    For anyone signed up for the Kananaskis Test Day on Sunday, you should have an email with details.

    I've put the relevant locations into a .kml file:

    See you there
    Dana, VA6DJH

  • 09 Jul 2021 4:01 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Hello Rally Radio Operators;

    Thanks to those who have submitted their responses for our Radio Operators survey. The survey has been available for about a week now, and we are already receiving very high quality input. People are providing us with well thought out material, so I am looking forward to compiling the data and getting a better understanding of what our operators are thinking. Interesting ideas are going to come out of this exercise.

    If you have volunteered for Rally Radio Operations in the past and have not yet taken our survey, Dana and I would greatly appreciate it if you could spend a few minutes and provide us with your input. Don't miss out on this opportunity to have your say in how we plan, organize, and conduct our rally events.

    The instructions for the survey can be found at this prior blog posting:

    Thanks again for all your support!

    Garry, VE6GDS

  • 05 Jul 2021 10:00 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Attention Rally Radio Operators;

    There is going to be an event!

    The Calgary Sports Car Club has advised us that they have a Test Day planned for Sunday 18 July in Kananaskis. While the notice is a bit short, I'm sure there are operators who are interested in an excuse to get out of town and into the mountains for the day.

    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 their co-drivers. While the atmosphere is more relaxed than that of a competitive event, safety is still a priority.

    These smaller, less complex events are much easier to prepare for than a full rally, but still make a great chance to get out of town for a day and have some fun. There are also opportunities for people who are interested in rally radio operations and would like to get some experience with the rally scene before taking on the challenges of a regional or national level event.

    We do not have a lot of detail about this particular event yet. If you need specifics before committing to the Test Day, please contact the Rallymaster and event organizer, Keith Morison (Keith [at] Morison [dot] ca). Dana and I are not directly involved in planning for this event, but we will try to post any information that comes our way.

    Note that Alberta Parks has implemented its new Kananaskis Conservation Pass policy. At this time, we have no information about how this will be handled for rally events held in the park. So, be sure to check with the event organizer about this matter.

    If you are ready to sign up, here is the volunteer registration link:

    Garry, VE6GDS

  • 02 Jul 2021 1:13 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Hello Rally Radio Operators;

    It has been a tough year for everyone and everything, including the rally scene. It appears that the pandemic is finally coming under control. So, I am sure that we are all ready to get back to something more 'normal' in our lives - and that should include rally!

    As you are likely aware, planning is underway to hold the Rocky Mountain Rally in October. It will have been over a year since our last major event, so it will take a little more effort to get ourselves prepared this time. To kick start the process, Dana and I have developed a survey in which we would appreciate your participation. The results of this survey will help us to plan future events (including this fall's rally) and make things as fun and safe as possible.

    We have used Google Forms for this survey. Forms provides a flexible, efficient, and reasonably secure platform. A link to the survey is provided below. Please read the instructions carefully as this will help to ensure consistency across the responses. We would like to provide anonymized summary information back to the Amateur Radio community, so that everyone can see the results. The intent is to leave the survey open to responses until 31 July. This survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

    Thank you in advance for helping us with this first step in returning to the fun of radio operations at rally events.

    Click on the following link to access the survey form:

    Dana Harding, VA6DJH
    Garry Spicer, VE6GDS

  • 28 Jun 2021 10:10 AM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Rally Radio Operators;

    It has been a while since the last posting to this space, so an update seems in order.

    What a tumultuous year we've had, with events being repeatedly planned and then cancelled due to the pandemic. Thanks go out to all our radio operator volunteers who have stood firm with us and supported our events despite the chaos and disappointments brought on by COVID-19. It is finally beginning to look like we're winning the battle with that virus and things should get back to a semblance of normality this fall. It's time to rally!

    As Dana noted in a prior post, the current date for the Rocky Mountain Rally (RMR) is 08-09 October, 2021. This will displace the usual Kananaskis Stage Rally that has typically been held in the autumn. This means that there will only be the one performance rally event in our area this year. Note that the Pacific Forest Rally (Merritt, BC) is planned for 01-02 October, 2021. That is just one week before RMR. This may make it easier for Eastern teams to attend both events. With a long course road on Powderface Trail, extra cars could make for a busy day of racing!

    While we do not yet have confirmation details, it appears that planning is also underway for the Big White Winter Rally in Kelowna. If both the Pacific Forest and Rocky Mountain rallies proceed as planned, it seems reasonable to assume that Big White will also be a 'go'. This event typically happens in December and has attracted volunteers from the Calgary area in the past.

    Thanks again for sticking with us through the ups and downs of this past year. We're looking forward to getting our rally events back on track and we hope that you will be a part of them. Stay tuned to this space as more updates will be coming soon.

    For those feeling nostalgic and missing the thrills of rally events, take a few minutes to check out the Rocky Mountain Rally webpage:

    There is a YouTube video link posted there with great material from the 2019 Rocky Mountain Rally that was held in Invermere. That was a memorable event and one that will get you thinking of good times coming back soon.

    Garry, VE6GDS
    Dana, VA6DJH

  • 21 Apr 2021 11:11 PM | Dana Harding (Administrator)

    {Update 2021-05-12}: New date has been set for 9 October 2021


    Notice that went out today is below.

    This rollercoaster of a year isn't finished with us yet -   we know that the on and off is hard on the volunteers thank everybody for your continued patience.

    Dana, VA6DJH
    Garry, VE6GDS

    Postponement Announcement

    The organizers of the Rocky Mountain Rally, along with the executive of the Calgary Sports Car Club, regret to announce that the Rocky Mountain Rally will be postponed until later in the year.

    Recently announced travel restrictions in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia have called into question the ability of our participants to travel to Cochrane in late May from anywhere outside of Alberta. While all indications are that the travel restrictions will have ended the week of the event, we have seen similar deadlines come and go with no easing of restrictions. We know how much effort it takes to participate in a rally, and we feel we cannot ask teams and volunteers to plan for an event to which they may not be able to travel.

    We are already evaluating our options and will be proposing a new date to the CARS board for approval as soon as possible. You should expect an announcement within the next two weeks.

    Keith Morison
    Chair – Organizing Committee
    2021 Rocky Mountain Rally

  • 02 Apr 2021 11:32 PM | Dana Harding (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

    This link will generate a unique tag in the URL.  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

  • 02 Apr 2021 11:31 PM | Garry Spicer (Administrator)

    Hello Radio Operators,  

    The Organizing committee of the 2021 Cochrane Winter Rally regrets that we have to announce the cancellation of the event.

    The Calgary Sports Car Club held a lengthy review of the situation in consultation with the event competitors. Given the rapidly increasing  COVID-19 infection rates of the past couple weeks and the ongoing Health Emergency regulations, it was determined that the event cannot responsibly or legally proceed.

    Thank you to all our volunteers for your support. Once again, we had a good number of radio operators sign up for this event. Everyone is disappointed that we have to cancel a rally once again due to the pandemic. We trust that everyone will stay positive and be ready to support our next event. Sooner or later we will get back to having rallies!

    Watch this blog carefully for information about the Rocky Mountain Rally planned for late May. We're going to try the same thing again and hope for better results!

    Garry Spicer, VE6GDS
    Dana Harding, VA6DJH

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