ARES District 3 Bulletins 2017

TO:    ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS  (OFFICIAL)
       ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE  (INFORMATION)
FROM:  KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3 EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.

WOOD COUNTY BULLETIN NR 17.21          DATE: May 21, 2017
SUBJECT: WE PULLED IT OFF, BUT

We pulled off the communications for the last road race, but it could have been a lot better.  We had problems getting the new experimental portable repeater systems to work.  It wasn't the fault of the repeaters, but the making sure all of the Hand Held radios were programmed and set up properly.  We didn't get a good test to see if the portable repeaters would cover the race route.

We were using two portable repeaters set up a the same location. Both of the repeaters were set up as a Cross Band Repeater that would receive on two UHF frequencies and re-transmit the signals out on a two VHF frequencies.  From previous tests the systems seemed to work pretty good.  At the beginning of the race there were problems with those at the Mile Markers having trouble hearing the Race Control, and the Race Control hearing the Mile Markers.  After the race was under way, the problems seemed to work themselves out, and went away.

The problem appeared to be another radio with its Cross Band Repeat function turned on.  After a while the problem disappeared, but we didn't have time to see how the portable repeater systems worked before the race was over.  Other problems that took over was the sitting up the runner Database so the Race Announcer could get the information of the runners as they approached the Finish Line.  All of the problems were worked out, but not before we failed to do an outstanding job at the race.

The problem with another radio with its Cross Band Repeat function turned out, may not have been the problem.  When putting all of the Hand Held radios back on charge, it was found that one of them had its VOX (Voice Operated Transmit) function turned on.  It was one of the Hand Held radios that had been used for the starting of the race, but was turned off later after the race was underway.

With a little better planning the race communications would have been a lot better.  These are the kind of problems we want to work out before we need to use such a system during a real disaster or emergency.

Ken Harris WA8LLM
WCEC
Wood County WV