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CSM 2020 Radio Operator's Home Page

SIGN UP IS CLOSED - save the dates for next year! February 6&7 2021

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Ham radio operators at CSM 2020

The Canadian Ski Marathon for 2020 ran on February 8th and 9th. Starting in 2018, the CSM used commercial digital radios for health, safety, and logistics traffic. However, in both 2018 and 2019 the CSM used the skills and knowledge of ham operators to run a controlled net on the commercial rigs. When equipment or environmental factors made the commercial rigs difficult or impossible to use, many of the hams powered up their own 2m rigs to get the messages through.

The CSM has signed a contract with ExelRadio for commercial digital radios to be used during the event. However, ham radio was used as backup in case of problems with the commercial system.

To comment, please send an email to Harrie Jones, VE3HYS harriej59_at_gmail.com or to Neil Herber, VE3PUE ve3pue@hambone.ca.

Here is the thank-you message from Harrie:

CSM 2020 was another fun year. We started off Sunday morning at -32C. I have no idea how those 150 skiers slept out over night. I'm a bit late with the thank you letter this year so if you didn't make it to the banquet last night then I may not see you until next year.
We had some hams that are new to the CSM and there are a few that have been around for a long time. Our organizer, Neil, got his 30 year pin at the banquet, rumor has it that Clarence just finished his 38th. Wayne with 35, Arthur 15, Austin 5, and David 3 were all recognized at the banquet. (And Harrie forgot to mention his own 40th year award!! Neil/VE3PUE)
This year instead of working a checkpoint I was out traveling around installing and maintaining the data collection system known as the CHIP or Zone4 system with Roger. Just to give you an idea of how it works there is a loop that we install under the snow that is connected to an actuator that has a built in GPS receiver. This time stamps the "wrist watch" that each skier is given. There is a cellphone close by that runs an app to pull the time stamp and actuator number from the CHIP and pushes it up to the web. Maybe Neil will post a picture of Roger hard at work.
Thank you Neil for all the behind the scenes work you do each year to get the schedule adjusted a couple of times and posted.
I hope you had fun and look forward to seeing you next year if not before.
73
Harrie

Pictures from the event

Ops radio team service awards at the banquet

Service pin awards: Austin Sweezey VA3SWY (5 yrs), Arthur Smith VA3BIT (15 yrs), Wayne Getchell VE3CZO (35 yrs), Harrie Jones VE3HYS (40 yrs!!), Neil Herber VE3PUE (30 yrs), Frédéric Ménard (Admin-1), absent was David Scobie VE3BOW (3 yrs)


Trail routing was the same as 2018 and 2019

The so-called "Northern Trail" was used in both 2018 and 2019, and the routing for 2020 was identical. Routing details are posted on the Maps page. Note that the route may change at any time due to landholder changes, weather, and safety concerns.

Tasks for radio ops!

We need radio operators for:

  • net control - located near Montebello
  • checkpoints - spread along the route - see Maps for details
  • road crossing crew <--- not needed as of 2020-01-31 because cadets are returning and taking over this task
  • chip team - mobile throughout the event installing and removing the loops and skier counting equipment at checkpoints

Volunteer thank-you banquet

The volunteer thank-you banquet was held on Feb 19, 2020 at Buffet des Continents, 4 Impasse de la Gare Talon, Gatineau, QC https://goo.gl/maps/Fj7sSuKbkC12 . In addition to free food, the banquet features lots of door prizes (some quite substantial) and presentation of service pins and awards.

But this may not be ham radio! (you say to yourself...)

Ham radios were used for backup and for some volunteers who will not have commercial rigs available.

The important point is that the CSM needs people who are skilled at operating on a controlled net. Those are ham skills.

But I am busy that weekend!

Well, maybe next year? (February 6&7 2021) Please pass this info on to other operators you know. Perhaps your local club ... ? Thanks!

Page last modified on February 21, 2020, at 01:12 PM