DLRA Accredited Officials Training
Radio Techniques Unit
Due to the large distances involved in Land Speed Racing, UHF radios are the primary form of communication between Officials during the event. DLRA officials are allocated with a DLRA Private channel UHF radio.
The reason why we have these private channels is so that or communications cannot be compromised by other UHF radio users (general public).
There are 5w hand held radios and 25w radios fitted to vehicles. There are repeaters for Channels 1 and 2 to cover the entire competition area.
The radios we use are all Icom brand, we have standardized on the IC-400 PRO for fixed radios and the IC-41W for handhelds.
Each of these radios are programmed with the 3 privately licensed DLRA channels.
Channel 1 - Track 1
Channel 2 - Track 2
Channel 3 - Oh Shit channel
In the event of an Emergency
All Club UHF radios immediately switch to Channel 3. This will ensure privacy of communication.
Incidents and accidents must take precedence over other matters.
Protocol for Radio Calls
- In the case of individuals as well as occupants of vehicles, radio users should use their official title or location as their call-sign e.g. "Race Director”. Likewise, "Starter, Timer, Rescue 1, Clerk of Course," are all suitable and should be used. Medical team should use their role and position. Individual officials’ names are not to be used.
Identify the intended recipient (for example Starter) first and then identify yourself. For example, “Starter, this is Race Director". Wait for an acknowledgment before continuing. After Starter has acknowledged your call and indicated that you should continue, you should proceed with your message. If you are asked to “hold” please be patient as other things may be going on that you are not aware of. Allow a reasonable time for a response. If there is no response after this reasonable period of time, then you may transmit again
- When sending a transmission, hesitate for a second and collect your thoughts before calling. Listen, and when the channel is clear, press the button, hesitate again for a second, then make the call.
Use a clear, normal voice, with the microphone 15 cm from your lips. If reception is bad, try moving away from buildings and fences. When reporting reception levels, judge the standard of reception and respond accordingly. Don’t just say “loud and clear” - use the system of reporting signal strength and clarity on a scale of one to five, with one being poor, three considered normal and acceptable and five being loud and clear.
- Once you press the transmit button on a radio, no one can interrupt you or use the system. You must be brief and to the point. Include only such information as is necessary to get your message across and to allow the receiver of the message to take the appropriate action.
- If you are allocated a radio, you must turn it on at 7.00pm each day and not turn it off until 6.00pm or the last run of the day
It is crucial that when you identify yourself to others you do not use abbreviations. Please be as clear and unambiguous as possible. It is “Race Director”, not “Director”.
If you do not understand something, request a repeat of the message. A misunderstood message can be dangerous. Be calm, brief and to the point. Do not waste words or make conversation. Some guidelines are as follows:
- Use numbers for car identification. Only use a driver’s name when the message relates directly to them.
In the event of an incident;
- Give a clear, precise description of the circumstances of the incident, remembering that the Incident Controller may have to make the appropriate responses based on your information alone. Describe positions accurately e.g. "at the 3 mile"
- Advise what services may be needed, such as fire or medical services.
- Ambulances are sent by the Incident Controller for the transport of casualties, and not as a response for medical assistance. Do not call for an ambulance. Call for medical assistance only.
- When possible, keep the Incident Controller informed about the progress of all emergency responses and activity in concise, clear messages.
- Advise whether the driver appears to be OK, or if you think they are in need of further attention.
- Confirm when the track has returned to normal.
Talk on Channels 1 and 2 will be limited to the safe running of the Tracks.
Typical calls will be;
Timing: "Timing, system is ready and armed", "Timing, Track Closed"
Fire and Rescue: "Rescue1, Track clear", "Rescue 1, Track closed", "Rescue 1, Vehicles in position"
Starter: "Starter, the next vehicle is ....", "Starter, Vehicle ..... has left the line", "Starter, Confirm track status", "Starter, This is a licensing pass", "Starter, This is a 175mph licensing pass", "Starter, This is a qualifying run", "Starter, This is a record attempt"
The only people who should be talking on Channels 1 and 2 are the Starter, the Timer, the Race Director, and the Fire and Rescue crews. All other chatter should be on Channel 3. If you wish to talk to some one who is normally on Channels 1 or 2, you would ask them to go to Channel 3.
Registration: "Starter, can you go to Channel 3 please"
Starter: "Starter going to Channel 3"
Registration and Starter would have their conversation, then
Starter: "Starter returning to Channel 1"
Registration: "Registration returning to Channel 1"
DLRA UHF Private Channel 1 is also repeated to UHF Channel 15 so that members of the general public who have UHF radios can listen in only.
The Race Director will also have a UHF radio set on Channel 10, which is the designated channel for all tender vehicles. All tender vehicles must be fitted with a UHF radio and when being used as a tender vehicle, must be set to Channel 10.
- When you press the talk button, allow 3 seconds before you start to talk. This is especially relevant on Channels 1 and 2 which use repeaters to extend their coverage.
- Don't not talk directly at microphone, best results will be achieved by talking from the side across the microphone.
- Be careful not to leave an open mic, by leaving a radio in your pocket or on seat.
- If a repeater stops working for what ever reason, the 25w fixed radios will continue to give adequate coverage, but the 5w handhelds will be adversely affected.
- Do not leave a radio in direct sunlight as the radios will overheat and not work properly.
- If a fixed radio is not working properly, check the power supply first, if you are using a cigarette lighter plug, you may have to rig a supply direct from the battery.
If you are allocated a club radio, you pick the box containing the radio from the Clerk of Course at Registration in the pits.
All the radios are numbered, once you have signed for that radio, it is your responsibility for the duration of the event.
Each fixed radio will come with a magnetic aerial stand and an aerial.
Typically a hand held battery will last 18 hours, but you must charge your radio using the charger in the box, every night.
All radios are to be returned all packed up in their box as you received it to the Clerk of Course as soon as practicable on the Friday and your name signed off.
Once you have completed this unit, submit details below for Accreditation