Written By Riaan Greeff (ZS4PR)
HAMNET Gauteng South and HAMNET Vaal collaboration report
ZS6GLN, ZS6LMG, ZS6DMX, ZS6LML, ZS6PAJ, ZS6JDY, ZS6COI, ZS6PHS, ZS6SPR, ZS6JKL, ZS6SSR, ZS6VJH, ZS6ISH, ZS6DM, ZS6THM, ZS6JFW, ZS6HPL, ZS6DM
ZS6HWG, ZS4PR, ZS6KJ, ZS4CG, ZS4GJA, ZS4VW, ZR6R, ZS4VW, ZS6IDB, ZS4HX
Basic report timeline:
Early January 2017 the Gauteng South team invited the Vaal team to join in the operation for this event. After initial arrangements, ZS6GLN, ZS6LMG, ZS6PAJ and ZS4PR met with the organisers of the event, as well as the Midvaal traffic and fire departments. The function and capabilities of HAMNET was highlighted and the logistic arrangements were set.
The afternoon of 28 January was where the two HAMNET teams first came together. The first initial planning arrangements were to set up the JOC, the two UHF repeaters, testing the VHF repeater ZS6VTB, and assist the organisers with WIFI and internet access. In this regard it was clear from the go that the Vaal and the Gauteng South teams clicked extremely well and immediately worked together in a most efficient way.
The lead vehicles of the race organisers arrived on time and the APRS tracking units were also installed. Having these many capable radio amateurs on hand to get the communications set up is proof of professionalism and respect towards the greater amateur radio directives of HAMNET.
By nightfall every task set out was completed and the APRS trackers were reporting positively.
The Vaal team decided to ensure that the fellowship and tummies will receive good support. Saturday evening the braai allowed the teams to get to know each other even better, and Glynn made use of the opportunity to brief all on the task that lay ahead for the next day.
At 3 am Sunday morning the Vaal team was up and started preparing fresh hotdogs for everyone as breakfast. 4:30 everyone was up and busy with preparation of handhelds and radio equipment. The ambulances of St. John Ambulance and ER24 were also equipped with radios and APRS trackers. By 5 am the organisers had their briefing and by 5:20 the HAMNET team had theirs.
Everyone was ready to do their part. Vaal saw the opportunity to learn from the Gauteng guys, and again the interaction between all the members was notably positive.
The race started on time and during the day the communications was well handled. When an accident or incident occurred the message was clear and to the point effectively relayed to the JOC. In the JOC there was represented an organiser, HAMNET, both ambulance services, traffic and fire department personnel.
Some areas had lack of coverage, but this was corrected fast by the re arrangement of operators at various points. Managing over 3600 cyclists, the roving and lead and sweep vehicles were done in a positive and effective way.
By 1 pm the last of the cyclists arrived back at the raceway. These allowed HAMNET to takedown and collect the hardware and equipment.
For lunch the Vaal team prepared scrumptious boerewors rolls with special sauce. The HAMNET team were fed and then the project was closed.
A lot of positive feedback was received from the organisers and HAMNET in this region left a positive footprint on the community of Midvaal and Meyerton.
Riaan Greeff (ZS4PR)