The antenna pole off the back of my car (Black Celica, Background Centre). Strung on top of the antenna is a Dipole which is resonant as a 1/4 wave on the Amateur 80m Band (3.5-3.9 Mhz). It is therefore 20m long, 10m each side of the car, running down to guy ropes and tent pegs. In the foreground is the vehicle of Terry ZL1UFY, he has a mobile HF Whip on his towbar. The performance on a whip is substantially less reliable.
I was a 5-k operator and was dispatched into the rally stages to provide safety comms, and in some cases, relay split-times for the lead cars back to Rally HQ, in cooperation with the St John Ambulance crews on station (who held the clocks). Perks: Free entry into the rally, 'Official' Jacket gets me all sorts of places, first hand and close up looks at the rally in action, inside information. The downers - You tend to get bloody dirty:
This was my friend Gavin's idea of funny (Silly Car). The Toyota logo was my addition... if you cant beat em, join em. :) This is the bonnet of my car immediately following Special Stage's 23 and 24 (Fyfe), Maramarua Forest, south of Auckland.
Parked up at SS23, Maramarua, Sunday. I had to be able to see approaching cars and take down their numbers whilst sitting in my vehicle (next to the radio). Note the St John 'FIV' stationed with us, ready to roll at a moments notice. (Orange Fency Stuff isnt tied down)
Anyways the rest of the pics that me and
Gavin (XPD^) took at the rally are listed below. I was contemplating
going through and labelling them but right this second, im tired and cant
be bothered. Maybe later. (pffft) .
Please be aware these images are quite big. Some of the bad shots - ones where the car didnt quite make it into the shot - have been retained for the sake of it. The digital camera used was a Kodak DC3200 on loan from my good buddie Katie (Thanks babe :) ) - but a part of the process in the Kodak requires prepping time for the shot which made timing interesting. :) Enough rambling... .
My Thanks go to:
Gavin (XPD^) for giving me a hand over
the weekend, and not saying too much about my driving! :P.
DAD! Dave ZL1VDF for making the mount that my antenna mounts on at the back of my car, making my antenna poles, helping set up the antenna and test every thing, putting up with my screwy timetable over the last few weeks as we try to get things running....
Richard ZL1BNQ/ZL1ES for keeping us involved and informed, and loaning my dad (Dave ZL1VDF) an HF Radio Set. Having the Rally Comms Coordinator as a local is useful sometimes :)
Dave ZL1DK for loaning me an HF Set for the event.
Darrel ZL1TCI for the loan of a high power VHF/UHF dual band set.
Stuart ZL1WFA for cutting me a good deal on an Alarm/Immobiliser and then sympathising when the Alarm screwed itself over the night before the rally, and sending someone to fix it so my car would actually work come the next morning.
Terry ZL1UFY for bailing me out on Friday after I nearly set my car on fire that morning, and wasnt sure if my HF equipment was going to operate okay ...
... And to all the Amateurs, and other volunteers, that help the Rally of New Zealand go off successfully year after year.
An observation made by one of the St John
guys this year really impressed me, and that was how great the Amateur
Radio aspect of the event is. We always get it right in the end,
and get the message across, on time. We as communications specialists regularly
demonstrate our ability to get it done, and get it done right - all credit
to those who help it happen.