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Kananaskis Rally 2018

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  • 05 Nov 2018 11:46 AM
    Reply # 6889979 on 6580746

    Post Action Report

    Rally Radio Operators:

    Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Kananaskis Performance Rally. We had a strong team for the event and it showed. We deployed quite a range of radio communications assets and were able to keep the information flowing despite some challenging RF conditions on the Powderface Trail.

    Recognition goes out to the following people for their contributions to this year's event:

    Pericles & Elsie Afaganis VA6PTA
    Ty Burrows VA6KEK
    Dave Cason VE6DED
    Larry Chapple VE6KC
    Ian Drummond VE6IXD
    Robin Greig VE6RBN
    Dana Harding VA6DJH
    Alan Kearley VE6BUZ
    Ian Kerr VE6IKR
    Lloyd Kortbeek 
    Peter LaGrandeur VA6RPL
    Wilson Loree VA6JWL
    Greg Maciejewski VE6AFT
    Robert MacLachlan VA6BM
    Paul Meijer VE6PKM
    Stephane Raimbault VE6NR
    Kurt Schantz VA6KOS
    Jason Shaver VE6JGS
    Patrick Spencer VE6PDS
    Ken Vigar VE6DXM
    Jim Weisert VE6GO
    Matt Wilfort VA6AMX
    Robert Wilson VE6CCL
    Ian Willumsen VA6IAB

    I'd like to make special mention of a few people who put in extra effort to support us all this year. Dana (VA6DHJ) and Ty (VA6KEK) got the temporary repeater (VE6RNQ) tested and set up on the Powderface Trail. With permission, they took the repeater up one of the logging roads so that it had some significant height. This gave it clear signals from one end of the Powderface Trail to the other, and enabled Net Control to get access to it from near the Service area. At the same time Peter (VA6RPL), Alan (VE6BUZ), Wilson (VA6JWL), Rob (VE6CCL), and Pat (VE6PDS) got the Comms Trailer into place and running smoothly for Net Control. Nice work done by all!

    At Net Control this year we had Stephane (VE6NR) and Ian (VA6IAB). With some coaching from Vince d'Eon (VE6LK), Stephane and Ian stepped up and got the job done - and a fine job it was! While we had a few minor glitches getting set up on the Powderface Trail, these gentlemen kept everything in order and managed to guide us through all the stages without any serious incidents. Proper job!

    We had an early dose of winter this year, with record snowfall striking in September and early October. We all wondered if those conditions would persist into our rally weekend, but things cleared up for the event. We experienced a brief snowfall on rally day, but it passed quickly and only left a little of the white stuff on the roads. Overall, we had good weather and good road conditions for the rally.

    There was a lot of new logging activity along the Powderface Trail and several new logging roads to prove it. One of those roads came into existence in the weeks just prior to the rally, leading to some last minute changes to our blocker plan. The event organizers also elected to extend the course farther south by about 5Km this year. So, the maps changed significantly from previous events.

    Those field operators with APRS screens were most able to adapt to the map changes and find their new assignments, as the changes were quickly reflected on the APRS beacons. Net Control also had an APRS screen in place for this year's event to support their situational awareness. I encourage radio operators who have not used APRS in this way before to consider implementing such a configuration. As Bob Bruninga (WB4APR), the inventor of APRS, has indicated many times - APRS is not a vehicle tracking system! It's a tactical communications system, and is an ideal tool for helping to manage information at an event such as a rally.

    We had three repeaters configured for this event. As Keith (VA6PIX) mentioned at our pre-operations briefing: this may seem like overkill, but we have seen two repeaters fail at an event before, so having backup plans is key to keeping things on track. Additionally, the Jumping Pound / Powderface Trail area has to be one of the most difficult environments in Alberta for VHF Communications. Having options helped us to manage situations as they developed. We used VE6AUY as our approach / departure channel, so that operators could check in and check out as they came in and left the venue. VE6RYC was our main operations repeater, used by Net Control to direct the stages. That is, until we ran into signal fading issues in the afternoon and switched Net Control to the VE6RNQ temporary repeater to finish out the day. Our field operators did a really good job of keeping up with the channel changes. I don't think we had to hunt down anyone who got stuck on the wrong frequency. Great work!

    When it comes to logistics, our field operators shone this year. The Jumping Pound loop operators were ready on time in the morning, despite some map changes that were made to accommodate truck traffic during the event. Our Early Charlie and Early Echo operators got into place and managed to keep the Powderface Trail from being cluttered with cars parked along the road. Our Powderface Trail operators got into place without any serious problems, overcoming a missing operator and a number of map changes that had been implemented just the night before. There were also several operators who transitioned from the Jumping Pound Loop to the Powderface Trail between the morning and afternoon stages. These operators did well to get into place even though the timing was tight and we had a little snow blow through right as the transition was happening. Finally, we got everyone off of the Powderface Trail at the end of the day without any incidents or anyone getting left behind. Thanks to everyone who made this all happen.

    I'd like to take a moment here to relay some recognition from Keith (VA6PIX), the event organizer and 000 official at Kananaskis. At another recent rally (Pacific Forest), a staffer from RallySafe was observing the Net Control function, run by Roger Heward (VE6RAH) and Dave Kissinger (VA6DK). According to Keith, the staffer said "...he’d never seen such a thorough radio operation...". Keith also noted that the radio protocols we use for these events are the result of many years of refinement by all our radio operators. For the unfamiliar, RallySafe is a satellite based tracking tool that the Net Control operators can use to keep track of the rally cars and officials' vehicles. We didnt use RallySafe at Kananaskis this year, so the communications between Net Control and the Field Operators had to be even tighter to ensure a safe and successful event. Well done all!

    I have another item of thanks that needs to go out. After the Cochrane Winter Rally back in March, Roger Heward (VE6RAH) took the time to forward a list of suggestions for improvements to the CARA Communications Trailer. Peter (VA6RPL) and the rest of the trailer crew put a lot of effort into implementing many of those suggestions. As a result, the Net Control operators for the Kananaskis Rally had a much upgraded environment in which to work. Thank you Roger and the Comms Trailer team.

    For those who may be looking for them, you can find the results from the rally here:
    http://cscc.ab.ca/kananaskis/2018/results/event1/summaries/overall.html

    I did get some photos sent to me and I'll aim to get those posted soon. If anyone else has photos, please let me know and I'll make them available.

    Once again, we had a great day at the Kananaskis Rally and all our radio operators did a commendable job of supporting the programme. Thanks everyone and I hope to see all of you at Cochrane!


    73,
    Garry Spicer
    Radio Coordinator, Kananaskis Rally 2018

  • 05 Nov 2018 11:16 AM
    Reply # 6889902 on 6580746

    Hi Rob;

    Thanks for the feedback about signage. I'll relay this to the event organizers and see what their thoughts are.  I remember what it was like for my first couple of rallies, and it was difficult at times to know if I was on the right road or not.

    Perhaps a short presentation to the club members is in order to show people how to use the .kml / .kmz / .gpx files to set up electronic tools such as GPS devices or APRS software. Out in the bush, in the dark, I have found that these tools are often effective ways to find my way around.

     

    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS

     

  • 29 Oct 2018 8:18 AM
    Reply # 6877911 on 6719810
    Robert (Administrator)
    Robert wrote:

    FEEDBACK AND DEBRIEF

    Wondering is the CSCC Rally organizers would conciser posting signs along the root, say at blocker positions, ahead of time so the public is made fully aware that a CAR  Rally  is going to be going on. 

    I had to deal with some campers / hikers who were in before stage start and "did not see any sign" that our event was happening.

    Seems like other years CSCC had larger signs.  I think I even missed the road closed posting when I was looking for the stages.  Was it that the signs were provided by some one else.
    The one I did see was in relatively small print. I should have taken a picture.

    Perhaps when they are setting up the day before they could put up one of those vertical flags used by car lots to attract attention at or near blocker positions would get the word out

    Last modified: 29 Oct 2018 1:38 PM | Robert (Administrator)
    Moved reply from Kananaskis Rally 2018: 30 Oct 2018 11:57 AM
  • 27 Oct 2018 10:07 PM
    Reply # 6876437 on 6580746

    Map Update

    We've had to make some last minute map modifications to accommodate recent changes to the Powderface Trail. Here is an updated .kml file. There are a couple of minor assignment changes to sync up with this new map, but we'll be able to handle those tomorrow with our standard procedures.

    See you in Kananaskis!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FSx26wFVjem9YFkmvTQtlak8zTVDOAew/view?usp=sharing

    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS

     

  • 24 Oct 2018 11:56 PM
    Reply # 6872640 on 6580746

    Assignments!

    Here is the current assignment roster. Have a look and if you have concerns about your assignment please let me know. We'll have a chance to check this out at the pre-operation briefing tomorrow evening, so I hope to see you there.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MhggXa6AKbsYxqDczs1ackyvHstUe6PW/view?usp=sharing

     

    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS

     

    Last modified: 24 Oct 2018 11:57 PM | Garry Spicer
  • 23 Oct 2018 3:33 PM
    Reply # 6870610 on 6580746

    Radio Configuration Guideline: Minor Update

    Here is a minor update to the Radio Configuration Guideline to accommodate a request for UHF assignment.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/17ARU9I1zsA7nwVm4MGF9OKqHfthm5ai_/view?usp=sharing

     

    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS

     

  • 21 Oct 2018 8:29 PM
    Reply # 6844868 on 6580746

    Last Call!

    Hi everyone. It's last call for radio operators for the 2018 Kananaskis Rally. If you're intending to join us, please make sure that you have registered on the Rallywest site. The instructions are provided in a previous post in this forum topic. I'll be putting together the duty roster shortly, so I need your registration details as soon as possible.

    I have also started to beacon the ARPS objects on the IS side. If you're running ARPS Droid or want to check APRS.fi, then the objects should show up there. I'll beacon them intermittently this week so that you can have a look.

     

    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS

     

  • 20 Oct 2018 8:15 PM
    Reply # 6832956 on 6813655
    Robert (Administrator)

    Equipment Loans

    If you're in need of temporary installation equipment for the rally, such as a mobile radio with a mag-mount antenna, please contact Rob via: inventory@caraham.org

     CARA has 

    • two 2meter mobiles available ; some configuration required.
    • two X band packages

    73,
       Rob , VE6CCL

     


    Last modified: 24 Oct 2018 7:28 AM | Robert (Administrator)
  • 19 Oct 2018 11:45 PM
    Reply # 6823552 on 6580746

    Updated Map

    There were some minor errors and updates that needed to be addressed in the previous version of the map. Here is an update that should provide better information.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ifJvnT8Qw2wcItG_IAFxT9B6_l8bzhlQ/view?usp=sharing

    73,
    Garry, VE6GDS

     

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