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Section to Pits coms?

Sceep

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Couple things happened over the weekend that had me thinking about communications from sections to pits. A few details here might not make sense if you wern't at our meet, or know the area. Overlook them.
1. Saturday in Afternoon Section 9 we had a sportsman rider come very near tumbling down into a very deep chasm. Luckily he and bike highsided and stayed on top but it spooked us scorers a little bit. Had he and bike went down in that hole it would have been very ugly.
2. Upon arriving at Section 6 to score Sunday afternoon, my fellow scorer commented that the Champ line was crazy large and asked if I thought they should set things not quite so large when we were that far away from easily getting EMS on scene if something went bad. Like a crystal ball, one of our Champs didn't make it and ended up bailing down. Nothing hurt but egos, but very easily could have become a very bad day.
3. After we were finished up Sunday all scorers headed back to the pits for awards. Awards began and then we realized there were still scorers (and the club president) out in the desert. They hadn't all got back in yet. Once again, luckily there wasn't a major issue and it was just oversight that we started before they got in.

So in the 4x4 world these little radios are gaining quite a bit of popularity. They are stupid cheap (<$50ea) and with an upgraded antenna work surprisingly well. With the exception of some of the far out sections in Roswell i think they would transmit/receive the distance no problem. It seems like 10 radios would be a good investment to the club. 1 for the TM, 1 for someone at the registration table, and 1 for each section. I am unsure the process/cost of setting up a NMTA frequency with the FCC but I know many of my offroad race teams do it so it cant be too bad.
Thoughts? Do other clubs have coms with the pits/sections somehow? I have 5 radios, should I bring them out next event to try out? Am i just being a big ol scardycat?
 

Yinzer Moto

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Couple things happened over the weekend that had me thinking about communications from sections to pits. A few details here might not make sense if you wern't at our meet, or know the area. Overlook them.
1. Saturday in Afternoon Section 9 we had a sportsman rider come very near tumbling down into a very deep chasm. Luckily he and bike highsided and stayed on top but it spooked us scorers a little bit. Had he and bike went down in that hole it would have been very ugly.
2. Upon arriving at Section 6 to score Sunday afternoon, my fellow scorer commented that the Champ line was crazy large and asked if I thought they should set things not quite so large when we were that far away from easily getting EMS on scene if something went bad. Like a crystal ball, one of our Champs didn't make it and ended up bailing down. Nothing hurt but egos, but very easily could have become a very bad day.
3. After we were finished up Sunday all scorers headed back to the pits for awards. Awards began and then we realized there were still scorers (and the club president) out in the desert. They hadn't all got back in yet. Once again, luckily there wasn't a major issue and it was just oversight that we started before they got in.

So in the 4x4 world these little radios are gaining quite a bit of popularity. They are stupid cheap (<$50ea) and with an upgraded antenna work surprisingly well. With the exception of some of the far out sections in Roswell i think they would transmit/receive the distance no problem. It seems like 10 radios would be a good investment to the club. 1 for the TM, 1 for someone at the registration table, and 1 for each section. I am unsure the process/cost of setting up a NMTA frequency with the FCC but I know many of my offroad race teams do it so it cant be too bad.
Thoughts? Do other clubs have coms with the pits/sections somehow? I have 5 radios, should I bring them out next event to try out? Am i just being a big ol scardycat?

That was at SanYo, is there no cell service at Nerd Rocks? The pits have good service. Roswell has good service too. Lake Fork on the other hand does not.
 

Sceep

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Cell service is excellent as mentioned there at SanYo. None of us had our phones on us.
With 10 people monitoring a radio, if SHTF I can get help from a neighboring section a hell of a lot faster than someone coming from the pits. Or if someone needs a tire pump, etc. I can call the TM with questions. TM can call scorers to tell them to pull sections. It just makes sense to me as thats what we've done at very large races where I was volunteer. Hell @ king of the hammers i think they hand out 150 radios to the course workers.
 
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fprintf

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Trials is big on precedent but also on ignoring potential danger, after all it has survived all these years without huge incident so why change? Most of us ride in open face helmets despite the clear danger from a faceplant. Some of us would probably ride in flat caps if available. /s

As you no doubt saw, trials is a very small event with low entry overhead and fees. No doubt buying the radios is a small fee, about $800 for a 16 section trial, but it is yet one more piece of equipment to maintain, distribute and collect. Have you seen how difficult it is to even get everyone to return the damn punches? And yet everyone has a cell phone nowadays and no doubt at least one person in a section will have one. I think that mostly covers emergencies.

I still have no idea how we run our events without incident most of the time. Most of us have loops that go a 1/2 mile or wayyyy more into the woods/desert and there is no easy way in or out except a long hike or short motorcycle or maybe ATV ride. If something serious happens out there I think it is going to be a bad day for all involved.
 

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