QCARC Events

Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon — Good Test Of Preparedness

 

Area amateurs recently had an opportunity to actually test preparedness at the Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon where amateurs provided communications along a 50 mile trail where cellular communication was mostly unavailable. This was the real deal in testing the functionality of equipment and abilities of the operators to set up effective station to provide needed communications from areas that were really out in the sticks. Setting up in the driveway is easy, it is pretty much a known quantity with few if any surprises that will need to be contended with. When amateurs are out in real conditions all bets are off that it will be easy, there are typically issues that will have to be addressed that are difficult to anticipate and simulate in the driveway.

BakerTrail AS4_20170826BThe only real way to prepare for providing public service communications is to get out and do it. Yes, it is good talk about how to do things and what can be done but those plans can so easily fall apart under actual conditions. Taking advantage of a public service event is a real event where a need is real and adverse conditions, that often need to be overcome, are real.

This year we were a few stations short, even though the event was promoted soon enough to plan to help and learn. The learning process does not stop once a person obtains a call sign, it actually ramps up. With the license folks can actually press the microphone button and learn to communicate. That learning can also be obtained by participating in contest which are to some folks find scary and something they shy away from. Contests also provide a great environment for on the air training due to the variety of signal strengths you encounter and sometimes the varying accents from across the country as well as around the world.

The bottom line is that practice makes perfect, in most activities, in our lives. Actually you can believe that practice makes perfect in our hobbly. Think about practicing at an event or a contest so when the real deal occurs you will more likely be prepared.

 

       

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