SARC at the Loppet


After three years of cancelled Reino Keski-Salmi Loppets, due to COVID-19, SARC was back on the mountain assisting the loppet organizers with communications on the course this year.  Nearly 400 people participated in 39th Annual event, ranging in age from 2 to 85.  Ski conditions were not the greatest due to plus two degree temperatures but for those monitoring the check points the warmer temperatures meant fingers and noses weren’t being frozen.  The biggest problem was staying dry.   Once again our crew provided needed assistance when there were some problems with the course radios and Mike provided radio communications for a medical issue at his check point.

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Reino Keski- Loppet: January 14, 2017

Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet: January 14, 2017

Once again several volunteers from SARC gathered at the Larch Hills ski chalet in preparation to assist with radio communications for the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet.  The temperature at 0800 hours was a crisp -20 and not a cloud in the sky, promising a great day for a Loppet.  After a short briefing, transport out to the various stations around the course began.  Celia/NIA and Wayne/VT were going to South Hub as First Responders where they would provide medical help if required, Tim/TMK took up Ron’s/RLE old station at Baby Moonwalk, Al/AN was stationed at the bottom of Stig’s Loop and Rob/ALY was at the bottom of Hot Shot.  Each station had a supply of firewood and the makings to start a fire to help keep warm.  While the outdoor crews were getting their fires going Daryl/DBC and Dave/HDY got the base station set up in the loft of the chalet.  Peter/RZZ provided a radio in a “lunch box” for this year’s operation that was much more compact than the regular Club radio used previously.  Communications were good this year, even out of the South Hub.  Our portable radios performed well when the base radio stopped transmitting late in the morning.  We suspect a power supply issue was the problem here but we worked around it.  At 1100 net control got a request from Rob for food as he was burning so much energy he was now “starving”.  Ten minutes later a beef on a bun was delivered by skidoo.  This could be the start of a new trend on the course.  Could it be drones delivering food??

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SARC Trailer Tarped

Chilly, wet weather deterred the first intentions of the adhoc trailer maintenance crew, namely Ron/RLE, Simon/SLG and Dave/HDY,  in getting the SARC trailer tarped for the winter.  Today, with bright sunny skies, we gathered at Peter/RZZ and Ann’s, where the trailer is stored, and got a tarp over the top of our trailer to offer some protection from the winter snow.  We just hope that there isn’t so much snow that we have to get up on top to shovel snow off of the roof.  Thanks to Ann for doing that last winter after we had forgotten all about the trailer.  We will be more diligent this winter.  A summary of the job was completed over a hot drink and snack at Timmy’s.

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RNH Repeater Maintenance

RNH Service August 23, 2015
The West parking lot at Piccadilly Mall was the meeting point for a small army of SARC members at 1000 hours on Sunday, August 23rd. Nine of us – Robin/HMN, Phil/BPU, Mike/LOG, Ron/RLE, Simon/SLG, Dave/HDY, Darrell/IU, Patrick/FAT, Bill/WTT – two Ford 350 crew cabs and a small Jeep assembled in preparation to mounting an expeditionary force to the RNH site on Granite Peak to re-install the radio equipment that had been damaged in the break in last fall and repair the recent round of vandalism. The drive to the site took about an hour, over some rough gravel sections of road going up the face of the Fly Hills. Once we were at the site we set up two Honda generators to provide power for lights and electric hand tools. A plywood panel had to be removed from the porch wall so that we could move the radio equipment in as the stairs were unsafe. Robin took charge of getting the radio equipment back in place while Phil and Patrick got on with putting up the new UHF antenna and running of the co-axial cable. While the technical aspects were being taken care of the remaining crew got on with putting up a steel plate over the new hole in the wall and tearing out the wreckage of the old stairs. Using scrap lumber, that Ron was only too anxious to get rid of, we rebuilt the outside stairs and repaired the interior stairs. Repairs to the framing around the door and the door frame itself were also necessary in order for the door to be closed. As an added touch we crafted a new locking mechanism to keep the door closed. (See attached pictures) It is important to note that none of this carpentry work would be featured in a Homes and Garden magazine, nor would it meet the building code.
Normally aligning the UHF antenna with the AHR site would be a simple visual effort but due to the heavy smoke haze I understand that Phil had to do some guessing and used marks from the previous antenna on the mast to make the alignment. Other technical work involved re-installing the Daniels radios, duplexer, a new SRMT 2430 charge controller, a new UHF antenna and new co-axial cable from the antennas to the radio equipment. The equipment was then calibrated, battery voltages checked and batteries topped up with water. RNH is once again operational and went through an inaugural test for the Sunday night net. Unfortunately there is some variable background “noise” that seems to be linked to the UHF antenna. This is causing some head scratching and discussion as to the reason for the noise which, hopefully, will lead to a quick solution.

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