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A note from Weatherman about the SCORE Baja 1000

PCI Race Radios

Well-Known Member
A note from the Weatherman,

The Baja 1000 is an incredible adventure. To properly prepare for it you need to have the mindset of “Expect the Unexpected.” Proper preparation means plenty of time to get to pits for chase crews. Thinking one truck can get your car from Ensenada to La Paz is unrealistic and unsafe.

Providing relay efforts to medical resources for the tragic and avoidable accidents on Hwy 1 are a very sobering part of being the Weatherman. Pit clubs like BFGoodrich, Mag 7, Checkers, Baja Pits and others can help with your logistics and make racing in Baja manageable for the smaller team. Make good choices and understand winning is not worth putting yourself, your team or fellow racers in harm’s way.

The Baja 1000 Peninsula run is in my opinion the greatest race of all time. However, it’s not a great race for two-way radio VHF coverage. There will be times you will be outside of Race Radio range! Mount Diablo does a great job of covering Northern Baja, but as you head South the mountains are much smaller and won’t offer that type of coverage.

An aircraft is needed to cover the lower 2/3 of Baja. Airplanes need to stop for fuel, Baja airports need good weather, Pilots and relay crew need to break for sleep, food and the facilities. The SCORE airplane will be in the air to cover the Weatherman Relay Channel, but it is not continuous. I strongly recommend you have a secondary form of communications at this race.

In the race vehicle you will have the Stella/Anube system is a Satellite based system. It will be able to send a message for help or medical if you have an issue. Race day is not the day to figure out how this system works. Drivers and Co-Driver’s should know how to use this before they put their helmets on.

I strongly recommend all race vehicles and chase trucks have a Satellite phone. Don’t just hand your guys a sat phone, make sure they know how to use it and give them a list of emergency phone numbers. The SCORE Racer brief will have a list of phone numbers for SCORE ops. You can reach me directly on the mountain by text or voice at 562-279-0700 (my regular number during the week at PCI.) You can also email me on race day at [email protected].

Want me to let you in on a secret of the big teams? Have a communications hub at home. A buddy, wife, girlfriend who can be your team relay and can help you with status updates from a strong internet signal. When sat phones are being used in Baja, they do reach a level of saturation and it’s harder to get a call in or out. Teach your crew how to use the email and text feature.

For those without iMessage, WhatsApp is a helpful app that allows you to send and receive text messages with a WiFi signal. Again, don’t try to learn this on race day – download it and test it out at home.

PCI Race Radios has a team to help me on race day and we are available via Live Steam, Chat, email, text and voice. The stream can move quickly with chat, text or email will be a better queue for me to reply to status requests. This is also an ideal way to let me know if your team is out of the race. Check out our full Baja 1000 Information page for important information about Weatherman and PCI for the race.

Remember to Expect the Unexpected and make your communications plan with your team now. Have a safe and fun Baja, talk to you all down there!

Scott Steinberger, Weatherman
 

PCI Race Radios

Well-Known Member
Some Important Info on that link above I want to make sure you all read...

How to Contact Weatherman on Race Day:

  • Channel 1 on your PCI Race Radio is Weatherman - 151.625 Please brush up on your Weatherman Relay Etiquette before heading South.
  • Call or text Weatherman direct at 562-279-0700 (US Phone #)
  • Chat with us on the live stream feed from SCORE's website, available Wednesday - Saturday-ish
  • Email [email protected]

Register your frequency:
PCI Race radios has a database of PCI customers. Not a PCI customer? We can still help you, but it helps if we have your frequency for race day retrieval efforts and also helps us not assign your frequency to one of our customers that may be in the same class. Click here to send PCI and Weatherman your info.

Tech and Contingency:
PCI will be open on Monday for sales and service on all vehicles. We are open Tuesday and Wednesday at tech, but the area is restricted to race vehicles and foot traffic only. Bring any chase truck programming and/or testing and tuning on Monday!

It's a Long Road to Baja:
PCI pays hefty taxes on items we bring to Baja to sell at tech. Some of these taxes can reach 50%! Rather than leave the higher tax items at home, we bring them and give you the option to buy them at the higher price. Thank you for understanding all items on the trailer are higher than online or on the trailer at a US race. Order now, beat the crowd, skip the taxes and import fees and have all of your stuff ready! Online orders over $50 now through Nov 11 can get up to $25 in free shipping using Code 50BAJA1000. Only applies to orders shipped to the US, maximum free freight amount is $25.
 

PCI Race Radios

Well-Known Member
And last but not least....

Weatherman Relay Etiquette
The PCI Weatherman relay channel is very busy information stream on race day. We are communicating with dozens of people at any given time and air time is valuable, especially in an emergency. Understanding how to properly and efficiently use the radio will help all of us have better communications. Please share with your team.

  • The primary goal, focus and responsibility of the Weatherman Relay Team on race day is the safety of the racers and chase teams - NOT status reports.
  • If the channel is CODE RED - there is a medical emergency. Do not request status, updates or relay on this channel, it will be for medical emergencies only until Weatherman clears the Code Red. If you are a PCI customer you can call for non emergency assistance on the PCI Customer Relay channel.
  • Status requests are limited to overdue vehicles. Prepare your chase teams so they have an estimated time you should arrive to their location. Please do not call for status unless your vehicle is more than an hour overdue. If you do call in for a status, stick around. It may take some time to get back to you depending on workload, but it's a waste of time for us to keep you in queue if you are going to just switch back to your channel. Invest in a hand held or second radio to monitor Weatherman if you only have one radio to wait and listen for your team.
  • LISTEN before you speak. When you tune to a channel, listen for at least one minute to make sure you are not interrupting any conversations. If you know it is clear, know what you are going to say, press the PTT, wait two seconds, say the name of who you are calling, say who you are, then say what you need.
  • This is an example of an efficient conversation on race day. “Weatherman, copy 55 Chase?” “55 Chase, Weatherman, go ahead” “Weatherman, 55 Chase, can you relay to our race truck on 151.490 that we are en route with a transmission?” “55 Chase, Weatherman, copy relay on 151.490 that you are en route with transmission.”
  • Keep it short and simple and think before you speak. If you get nervous on the radio, say what you are going to say out loud before you press the PTT.
  • Slow down. Yelling or speaking fast on the radio won’t do anyone favors.
  • Identify yourself. When making a radio transmission, begin with who you are looking for, then who you are. Weatherman communicates with thousands of people on race day. We hear "Weatherman, do you copy" all the time on race day and it makes communications difficult and inefficient.
  • If you don’t hear back after two tries, you have two options. You can call out what you need in the dark or you can wait a few minutes and try again. Don’t be the idiot that is out there calling for someone relentlessly.
  • If you are out of the race, the emergency has ended. Let people that need air time have it. Wait for lulls or breaks to coordinate your retrieval efforts. DNF’s should never be talking over those still in the race. Put yourself in their shoes.
  • Just like your normal conversations, you cannot talk and listen at the same time. Don’t interrupt, they won’t hear you.
  • Stuck Mic. It does no good to get on the radio and tell someone about it. When a radio is transmitting, they cannot hear you.
  • If you don’t need to be on the radio, don’t be.
  • If you’re just listening, unplug your mic and make sure you don’t sit on your hand held or put it in your pocket and key up the mic. PCI has magnetic microphone hang up clips that work great for chase trucks. If you've never listened to the Weatherman Relay stream online on race day, do it. There are dozens of "stuck mic" issues where a microphone is inadvertently keyed, ruining emergency communications for those in need. Make sure you stress how important this is to your teams - you could save a life.
  • Know your frequency. Channel 7 is not your frequency. Be ready to tell Weatherman you need a relay on 151.625 to your chase crew.
 

BarrelRoll

Well-Known Member
Want me to let you in on a secret of the big teams? Have a communications hub at home. A buddy, wife, girlfriend who can be your team relay and can help you with status updates from a strong internet signal. When sat phones are being used in Baja, they do reach a level of saturation and it’s harder to get a call in or out. Teach your crew how to use the email and text feature.
This works awesome. I was the state side logistics guy for the 500 for a golf cart team. Score tracking wasn't working as usual but the race car and all the chase trucks had spot trackers. I had the spot map up and then the race course up on google earth. I texted updates every 15 minutes to let the team know what was going on. It didn't help the radio went out on the race car. Without a state side relay their race would have been even more of a cluster than it was. I might be convinced to do it for someone for the 1000...

Thanks for the contact info, that might help make or break a team's race and is nice for someone in the states to have if they need to relay something race related.
 
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