28th Scantic Spring Splash Downriver Race March 30, 2019
HamComm.org – The Glue Which Keeps The Race Flowing!
Video of the New Springborn Dam Rapids
This is What It is All About!
Send me Your Splash Comm Pictures
Scantic Spring Splash March 30, 2019
This is the 28th year for this race. It is also the 24th year for ham radio. We started as a handful of guys with beams and ht’s. Later we used cross-band repeaters. We’ve been through the route of club coordinated radio, CERT and back to grassroots committee controlled communications. The comm-team grew to about 30 operators and dwindled off.
On the peak years the racer’s comments were consistently “WOW! Best organized race in the state.” A part of this was without question due to ham coverage. From a race committee standpoint we need ham-radio to keep the event a well-run machine and to maintain our goals we keep the organizational parts on a committee level. With this said we are so dependent on each every volunteer – this means YOU. Our Comm efforts coordinate Shuttle Busses, Racer Safety and overall information / logistics. 20+ years ago cell phones and cell coverage were dismal at best. Now, it is a part of life. From a comm standpoint, we simply adjust. However, we are down to one talk channel (nets) and need in reality 2-3 to maintain race safety/logistics and transportation logistics flowing real time. For many years we used 4 nets to accomplish everything.
In most Public Service events, ham radio is a messaging medium. Since I am a Committee member we use ham-radio to “command” the race. Thus, we need you to feel empowered to communicate in a tactical format between stations. Race HQ is also monitoring, but is not a Net Controller in most ham-sense, but a “coordination central”. Race HQ has always been co-located with race registration and scoring. Race information is available from Race HQ and Race Coordinator (N1ATP). Most decisions will be made on the fly by the Race Coordinator (N1ATP).
At the end of the day – YOUR volunteer time, as an individual or as a team, is crucial to the success of the event and we, the race committee, Thank You!
WE WOULD LIKE YOUR COMM and CERT RELATED PICTURES
Please take selfies during the race and send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org Keep them Communication and Splash related.
Every year we try new things. For 2019 the considerations are:
- Keep HamComm staging as las year at mid-race.
- Move Race Net Control to this same location. The barn becomes very noisy and busy as the race goes on. Moving net control will allow a quieter environment.
- Single operator as Race Admin in the barn with a headset.
- DMR was cool for us DMR Enthusiasts. With the drop of Fermi Parking the extra comm infrastructure was needed. This year, we will most likely be back to K1ENF and simplex direct.
- The X-Band repeater filled in nicely from Start to PHB (Springborn Dam) area.
- NOVICE RACE may be discontinued due to lack of interest and we lost access to a good finish area.
- DMR was fun, but was a lot of work for one guy to organize and set up. Bus communication was drastically reduced since Fermi Remote Parking was not used. In 2019, we’ll try a combined single channel on K1ENF. We’ll have the simplex freq’s as backup.
Please join our email list so that we can keep you informed:
HAM OPS REGISTRATION
There is a link on this website to pre-register for the event. Here are the benefits;
- Choice of T-Shirt or Food Ticket
- Pre-Assignment (Please note your preference. We’ll do the best we can.)
- Report Time Assigned – less wait time
- Information provided in advance
- Better coordination for the event
During registration you will be asked if you want a food-ticket to be used at Race HQ Concessions or a T-Shirt.
I would also put a folding chair in the car since in most locations you can enjoy a “recliner”.
HAM RADIO STAGING AREA
Monitoring Simplex Analog 446.1 PL100
The ham radio staging area has been moved to Powder Hollow Brewery, 504 Hazard Ave, Enfield, CT 06082 to de-clutter the Race HQ area during the crazy morning registration hours.
You will be given a report time based on your assignment to reduce your wait time. When you arrive to staging you will receive your assignment and Parking/Access Pass for your vehicle. If needed, you may also sign out a DMR radio.
Here are the areas CERT and/or Ham Radio may be used (and shine):
- NET CONTROL combine with Staging. Please bring a laptop with SLACK installed. APRS will be displayed on iPad(s).
- BUS COORDINATION – 3 hams (2 buses, Fermi)
- RACE LOGISTICS – 1 ham at Start (can be parking ham)
- TIMING RADIO SUPPORT – 2 hams (Start, Finish)
- PARKING @ START – 1 ham + 3 non-hams (Knut JR has been doing this w/ fam)
- PARKING @ RACE HQ – 1 ham + 4 CERT non-hams
- RIVER SAFETY – min 4 hams (Bailey Rd, Springborn, Stokers, Chimney)
- 14 hams + 6 non-hams/CERT)
K1ENF 442.4 +5 PL94.8
+ Simplex as in freq plan.
Using K1ENF for Busing and Portable DMR Repeaters for Race K1ENF + Portable DMR Using all analog K1ENF + Simplex
RADIO / EVENT LOGS
This year we would like the radio comm-log to be filed in Slack. Additionally, we would like the passenger load to be logged for each bus run. This will be noted in the comm log.
We will again dispatch the buses based on APRS tracking. Each bus will be outfitted with a 10w Byonics APRS tracker. At Race HQ two iPads will display maps for the West and East area of the bus routes. It allows the most efficient use of the buses. The APRS enthusiasts can follow this on their smartphone, iPad or computer at APRS.FI
You can also help if you have APRS on your smartphone or HT by beaconing your tactical race position.
The Springboard Dam (portage area) was removed before the 2018 race. This makes the river below the CT-191 bridge narrow and fast and not conducive for a Novice Finish and boat pull-out. There are some new unknown safety concerns through this area and we will (if possible) place a ham operator by the rail-road overpass. Spectators are expected on the Rt191 bridge and along Water Street.
NOVICE FINISH MAY BE BACK in 2020? This year the Novice Finish may be moved to Bailey Road. This may cause some logistic issues and Bus Novice may need to move from Water Street to 11 Bailey Rd. All car parking on the North side of the street (odd numbered side).
During the peak years we had close to 170 boats and 200 racers. Over the last 15 years the race has slowly lost size. We are spending some time looking for all the reasons for the decrease. Convenient parking is without doubt one of them.
SPREAD THE WORD – HAVE YOUR HAM-FRIENDS SIGN UP
We always look for more ham-radio help. Please have your ham-friends sign up below.
2020 HAM-OPS REGISTRATION
It is ready to go:
|DMR REPEATER||HQ RADIO SET||APRS||INTERNET|
|Business class DMR Repeater will be placed at Race HQ with a beam upstream.
A 2nd repeater will be placed on the East side of the event with an omni-directional antenna.
The two are linked via LTE internet on Brandmeister Network.
|2 HYT MD-782 DMR, 2 UHF Motorola CDM-1250 (Can become UHF repeater), Dual-Band Yaesu FT-8900 (6m, 10m, 2m, 70cm and X-Band Repeater) and a 35amp Power Supply||APRS digi and I-Gate. One at each repeater site.||LTE Internet Gateway with router|