W.T. Annual Notes

2018 IDEAS AND NOTES

If you are a Ham Radio Operator and can help with the event, please contact me at knutfinn @ gmail.com We can really use some ham-ops help with some testing during the event for possible alternative solutions. Please feel free to get involved.

We will use any tool required to make this work. Ham Radio Ops knowledge and experience puts everything in to a higher league and “simplifies” this drastically. For now, these are notes and will be placed on the Comm Plan as they formalize.

The good news is that we have both portable ham-repeaters and commercial repeaters available for the event.

Cell coverage is weak around Race HQ. Appears HQ WiFi is improved and usable data connection is available.

One idea this year is for a X-Band repeater to be located either at HQ or Gazebo. According to the radio plots below (although very theoretic) there is no clear benefit to a X-Band versa the added complexity of radio management. This would also require an UTV to transport the equipment.

Another idea is to place a X-Band at HQ (sanctuary) providing VHF simplex coverage as a fill-in.

Comm Plan

RADIO COVERAGE PLOTS

2017 Repeater site. 2018 Potential site at 100′ higher elevation, but 1/4 mile further SSW. Hum?

2017 EXPERIENCE

This is a new race for me (and N2KTO Dave) consisting of a 5K and 10K off-road race. It is a young race started in 2016. Not a lot of  formalized information is available. Radios will be on commercial frequencies at least until we get some more ham participation.

Frequency

  • Commercial

Staff Radios:

  • Race Director
  • Sanctuary Director
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Parking (1 from us + own net)
  • Traffic Approach (1 from us + own net)

Race Course Radios:

  • 13 Stations / Radios

Difficulties:

  • Poor cell coverage at HQ
    • ATT Better
    • Verizon Worse
  • Poor Internet at HQ due to slow DSL
  • Untrained operators
  • Challenging terrain
  • If Gator/UTV – APRS
  • APRS coverage is nil without K1FFK. Place I-Gate at Repeater Site.

Repeater:

  • Portable 20w (45w max) Motorola repeater + 40′ mast place on crest of Reservoir Road. 2018 add APRS Digi with telemetry for battery and repeater temperature.
  • 2 AGM Batteries with auto switchover. 2017 battery 1 maintained and never switched to battery 2.

Remote Repeater Diagram