Calgary Amateur Radio Association
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Below is some material taken from one of our recruitment bulletins this year. I trust that new operators will find this helpful, as it describes some of the roles and responsibilities of radio personnel at the rally.
Radio Operators Invitation to Participate in the
2018 Rocky Mountain Rally
What is a performance rally?
At a performance rally, vehicles that have been modified for improved performance and safety compete to finish a closed course in minimum time. The roads used for the event are chosen to provide a challenging course for the drivers. Despite these challenges, the cars can achieve speeds well in excess of 100Kph.
Why do rally events need radio operators?
The roads used for a rally are often in remote locations where cell phones and other communication technologies are not viable. Applying good radio operations procedures, rally radio operators observe and report on matters of course safety, conditions, and problems that arise. Some roles also involve controlling traffic flow to help preserve the safety of the course, or riding with one of the safety vehicles to coordinate its activities and movement.
What are some of the radio operator roles at a rally?
Most of the field radio operators are blockers. A blocker drives to a set location along the course road and blocks an intersecting road to prevent non rally vehicles from entering the course during the race. Blockers also record the passage of rally cars during a race stage and monitor the area for potential safety issues.
Control point operators work with other officials to control the entry to and exit from the course roads by the rally cars during the race stages.
Ride-along operators ride with one of the safety vehicles, such as the ambulance, to ensure that the vehicle’s movement is properly coordinated and to communicate information about any situations that may arise.
Location support operators provide radio communications for rally officials or rally car teams at specific locations such as the rally car service depot or designated spectator points.
What kind of training is needed?
Training sessions are provided and will be announced ahead of time. A pre-operation briefing is also held just prior to the event.
Are there any perq’s for radio operators at rally events?
Snacks and lunches are available during the event and all rally radio operators are invited to the banquet that is held at the end of the event. This is a great opportunity to meet other radio operators, as well as the rally teams and their drivers. Radio operators who are assigned to course roles also have the best seats for observing the rally cars on race day. Rally events are one of the very best field radio exercises available to amateur radio operators – they’re a great chance to test your operations skills!
When and where is the rally event?
This year’s Rocky Mountain Rally takes place from Friday 25 May to Sunday 27 May. The headquarters will be at the Copper Point Resort near Invermere. We’ll need radio operators for the following times:
Friday 25 May. The shakedown stages are planned for the evening (roughly 6pm to 10pm) on the Steamboat Lake Road, Northwest of Radium.
Saturday 26 May. The Day 1 stages are planned for the full day (roughly 9am to 6pm) on roads near Dogsleg Lake, West of Radium. Note that there is also a radio operators briefing planned for about 7:30am that day at the Copper Point Resort. This day is when we need the most radio operators.
Sunday 27 May. The Day 2 stages are planned for a shorter day (roughly 7am to 3pm) on the Hawke Road Northwest of Fairmont Hot Springs.
What equipment do I need to bring?
Most radio operator roles require that you bring a vehicle that you are comfortable driving on gravel roads. You will also need to ensure that you have appropriate food, water, and clothing for the conditions. A detailed packing and preparation guide will be provided to all registered radio operators.
You will also need VHF (2m) radio equipment. A mobile radio capable of 20w output or more, and a quarter wave antenna or better, are generally needed. We can sometimes arrange for equipment loans if necessary.
Where can I get more information?
For more information, check out the following websites:
You can also contact the chief radio marshal for the event:
Garry Spicer, VE6GDS: my callsign (at) gmail.com
Doug Howard wrote:
Maybe have a signup clipboard at the Flea Market. Everyone will be there that is active.
Maybe have a signup clipboard at the Flea Market. Everyone will be there that is active.
I see that we have our first ten registrations for the Rocky Mountain Rally! Good stuff! Let's keep that excitement building and keep those signups coming. On rally weekend, it will be great to get out of the cold on this side of the mountains and experience some of the warmth that Invermere tends to get well ahead of our part of the world.
Planning for the rally has been moving forward and I'll be posting more details here soon. At this time, it appears that our headquarters will be at the Copper Point Resort again. For those who have not been at one of these events before, this is a great place to stay while in Invermere. In the past, some operators have brought their families out for a spring weekend in the mountains.
Keep watching this forum for updates.
The CSCC website administrator has informed me that the last of the corrections and updates are now in place and the rally volunteer registration webpage is fully available.
If you follow this link it will take you to the main RallyWest page:
From there you can click on the picture for the Rocky Mountain Rally to get to the RMR page. Here is a shortcut:
If you click on the volunteers button near the top of the page, it will take you here, where you can get more information about volunteering at the rally.
There is an intermediate page here that has the final link to the registration page (last shortcut):
If you scroll down a bit you'll find the link to the "Direct signup form". Click on that and it will take you to the webpage form. (Each time you click on that link it gives you a unique tag, so I can't give you a shortcut here.) If you bookmark the link you get after this point, with that unique tag, you'll be able to go back to your registration record and make updates later.
I'd ask that everyone who is considering coming to volunteer as a radio operator please complete this signup page. If you're not entirely sure you can make it, then indicate in the comments that you're "tentative" for now. We often have people show up at the last minute and I have no registration information for them. This makes it very difficult to assign a role and means you likely won't receive emails if there are urgent updates. It also means that I don't have any emergency contact information for you, should something happen. Additionally, please double check that the email address you enter on the registration form is correct. Messages that bounce back at me are not getting to you!
Based on feedback I have received from numerous operators at our club, I am trying to keep the number of mass emails to a minimum for this event. So, I'll normally post information updates and related materials here in this forum where everyone can find them at their own leisure. I'll try to reserve emails for urgent information or critical updates. That means it's up to you to check here regularly so that you have the latest information. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
I hope you'll be joining us for a great time in Invermere!
VE6GDS (at) Gmail.com
Hello again to all Rally Radio Operators!
We had a great time at the Cochrane Winter Rally event in Waiparous and everyone did a terrific job. So, I'm hoping that you're all planning to come out for this year's Rocky Mountain Rally (RMR) in picturesque Invermere, BC. This year's RMR is scheduled for Friday, 25 May to Sunday, 27 May. Be sure to save the dates!
Event planning is underway, and the volunteer signup service is available. Many of you likely received an initial solicitation email from the new Calgary Sports Car Club (CSCC) Volunteer Coordinator, Cassandra (please join me in welcoming her). However, the website administrator is making a few last updates to the registration page. If you have already signed up, that's great. If not, stay tuned to this forum and I'll advise when the final changes are in place for the registration page.
This year, the CSCC is planning to extend the event by hosting a "shakedown" on the Friday evening. A shakedown is a sort of exhibition round that doesn't directly contribute to points for the rally teams, but gives them a chance to test out their equipment on a real course. We'll need some radio operators for this part of the event, so if you're planning to go to Invermere early on the Friday, perhaps you'd be interested in helping with these runs. When you sign up, please indicate in the comments section if you're interested in a role at the Friday evening shakedown.
Additionally, I'm working with the CSCC RallyMaster and Volunteer Coordinator to make a few changes to the way we're addressing training requirements. We're currently planning a (brief) pre-op briefing for the Saturday morning just prior to the main event, likely around 07:30hrs. We'll also be determining what additional training may be needed, especially for less experienced operators.
I'll post more details here as soon as they are available.