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PRIMM from Internet?

I've spoken to some people, apparently there will be some web updates by various groups for the PRIMM race. I heard of one Class 1 racer, who's planning to update real-time GPS positions with corresponding still images ("in car"). You can track the path of the car on a map of the PRIMM. Pretty cool, if it can be pulled off (very challenging task!). Many people I talked to last week seem to think that Internet webcasting of offroad races is the future direction of "media delivery" of offroad racing. It's a niche sport, whie requires something unique. (Unique sport, requires unique solutions). The standard TV presentation can't cut it: too delayed broadcasts, too expensive..too many complaints (see RDC posts).

How many people are stuck at home (not going to PRIMM (since it's a spectator-unfriendly race, very restrictted viewing areas), & would "watch" the race from home/Internet?

Would anyone *pay* for a login webcast? (I heard from a reliable source, that spectators WOULD pay to see the Laughlin road crossing action, if people were bus'd in & bleachers were setup). This brings up the question, why don't current promoters do more of this? (I think BITD does something like this). This is what makes NASCAR fly...big *paying* crowds

I think that guy who reported (near real-time) about Ashley's TT finish at the Baja 2K last year on RDC, was a sample of what technology can bring to offroad racing media-wise. The technology is all there, all that is required is logistics/planning & a little $$ support. IT's like in building a race car, how *fast* you want to go, is proportional to how much $$ you can throw at the problem. "Immerise media" webcasting would require more money, but it's a lot less than the standard TV production/broadcast costs. Why not Pay Per View, webcasting on the Internet? They used to do that in Formula 1, where you can get exclusive in-car camera angles. (or do they still do that?).

"Go for the Gusto, Go for the Overall"
-- Robby Gordon, SCORE off-road champion


On the 2k. That was us.

I think webcasting opportunities will evolve to dez racing but not quite yet.

Here are the hurdles:

1) Good Pre production is expensive to do. Ya can't simply stream a camera output to the web. It needs to be handled to a small degree like any live telecast.

2) Bandwidth to remote places is not avaialable yet. Right now, we have 9600bps via GlobalstarSatelite. This is agonizingly slow to work with. It really sucks Let me rephrase.. "I Hate Doing This".. This could change fairly soon via services like Starband or DirectPC-2. Both offer upload speeds of about 200kbs at best and about 120kbs average. This is more than enough for a single stream. The problem is that the above mentioned service providers won't touch high bandwidth users hogging their upstream (to satelite) connection. Also, legally you cant use these services in Baja or Sonora.

3) You need a minimum of 128k (ISDN) or chained modems (2x 56k) to run a single stream.

4) At a close course event (LDC) Ya need microwave to get the signals from the camera to the editing van. At a long distance event (Baja 500) you need an airborne relay.

Don't get me wrong.. I agree that the sport needs a new Media venue. And, I'm all ears and will be cooperative to anyone that has ideas to bring this about sooner.



John Bitting

As far as the 2000 Pat, we were getting calls from Bruce Landfield and Chad Ragland about every 20-30 minutes they were getting reports from the Sat phones and I would post an update as we got it.. I think that is what Bob Yen was referring too..
As far as the 2000 Pat, we were getting calls from Bruce Landfield and Chad Ragland about every 20-30 minutes they were getting reports from the Sat phones and I would post an update as we got it.. I think that is what Bob Yen was referring too..

Are you saying race transmissions were getting to Bruce & Chad, & they relayed it via satellite-phone? (or were there race-cars sat-phone capable. I know Brian Collins pre-runner is sat-phone ready, that white dome like antenna). So, you got land-calls from Chad & Bruce? (were you the guy who's an aviator, & going to fly in to the Laughlin race this last January), who posted the finishing result by Dave Ashlet on RDC?

Has anyone tried a sat-phone link, in a bouncing off-road vehicle (prerunner or racecar). The team trying the real-time GPS thing, is supposedly having problems. I know some racers using an in-car digital video recording system, & there's no problem... (which is kinda amazing, you would think the g-forces would kill the system: tape getting "off" the recording heads).

The whole idea of a network of cell-phones (or sat-phones), was introducted by a RDC reader back ub Nov. '99, after the tardy Baja 1000 resuls. (Everyone was complaining (incl Craig Turner), so people were offerring suggestions.). I like the "distributed architecture", where a bunch of nomadic users with sat-phones (or cell-phones), patrol the race-course, & feed live info into a network...which *automatically* routes/organizes the information..which gets streamed onto the Internet. Kinda like live-timing that CART or F1 does: racecar transmits lap info when it passes the beam at start-finish, the Heuer timing system gets it, sorts it, & produces a list of lap-times for the race leaders. It gets posted in real-time on a website or TV broadcast. Why not do that in off-road? (well yeah, we need logistics & $$. Simple thing, right? We're back to the Money thing). How abou a network of sat-phone users, who report:

- verbal description of race-action
"car 1643 just passed checkpoint 3, with 2 class 1's & TT close behind. real dusty conditions"

- timing info
"car 503 passed checkpoint 4, 5th on course physically, 3rd in class on time"

- race-traffic audio stream
just stream the race-traffic audio, from a scanner (low bandwidth)

- race video stream
like above, higher bandwidth. Needs some pre-processing (possibly, as was pointed out). I'm thinking there must be a creative way of bypassing the pre-processing, to get it organized by a "router like" system (hardware or software), & ...boom... get it on the Internet pronto. Using a distributed architecture.

One of the groups is trying to do the latter, if a high speed T1 line can be setup (for the Class 7 mini-metal bash). Should be cool. This avoids the problems of bandwidth hogging, for a sat-phone uplink.

I think sat-phones can currently do a semi-live (near live) upload of video & audio, which is fairly decent. It's appropriate, given the $$ situation with offroad racing, i.e. it's struggling.

"Return on Innovation"
"Return on Investment"

"Go for the Gusto, Go for the Overall"
-- Robby Gordon, SCORE off-road champion

John Bitting

The updates were coming from the chase crews relaying them back to our source however and then they would call me on the land line. Not sure how it all came together but I personally felt like I was there thanks to these guys.. Between them and ORC it was not too bad missing that race.. ORC is bringing us a free service, Sure it has bugs but what free service does not. RDC is Free it has problems from time to time. We just chose not to promise anything we dont think we can deliver. ORC is doing there best for what they have I believe and I will continue to check their page for results on races I cannot attend.


Well-Known Member
Very good point, I do think a GPS type of monitoring system would work well. Than the money issue comes into play. Many small teams would not be able to afford the GPS technology. Therein lies the problem. I am suprised why SCORE hasnt developed or promoted some type of communication for lap times and check point times than what they have now. LMAO, remember the stuck stub. Sal needs to jump on the tecnological bandwagon and catch up with the Jones`s. As well as the other Off road promoters. I believe that with what we have, real time coverage on the internet should not be a problem as far as lap times and ck point times. Video and other stuff like that is a different story. But scoring in off road <SHOULD> not be a problem at all with the technolgy available.
Speed Safely
I spoke with Casey Folks, & he told me he is tied up with other issues Re: setting up the BITD races. This is perfectly understandable. (I understand SCORE has the same situation, involving more pressing priorities). But, like you say, ignoring new technology can bite you in the a**, so to say. It could be the god-send, to solve the promotion issue, which is the KEY to offroad racing (or any business, for that matter).

I've spoken with a NUMBER of people: contingency vendors, racers, race promoters..it's the same story. They don't embrace it because 1) it's new, so they don't understand how it can help them 2) they're attention is towards their existing tasks (which is enormous). It will take "Proof of Concept", a demonstration, a "prototype"..for them to "Get it", & jump on the bandwagon. This is what the groups are trying to (collectively) do at the PRIMM. The Class 7 mini-metal bash has an ambitious project, Re: video. One guy is throwing a lot of his own $$, to pull it off..in the hope that it will lead to future business. I have some limited support, but overall it's a break-even proposition for me. It's a LOT of work, it's expensive (the techie toys)..the main thing is $$ backing.

How many spectators (going to the PRIMM, or staying at home), would be interested in sponsoring my project? (live video uploads). It's something like Operation Clean Desert, which is a valid concept which has drawn a lot of sponsorship by companies, vendors, individuals, etc. A 750k Quicktime Video will theoretcially take around 15 min, which is $22.00 for satellite time (@ $1.50/min). This is my cost, per video upload during a race like the PRIMM 300. 5 of those, & we're talking ~$100. I figure if a bunch of people put up $20 a head, that would go a long way in defraying the costs, in order to demonstrate "Proof of Concept". Get offroad racing the "jump start" it needs, for wide-audience promotion, via Internet. I plan on doing some uploading during Pre-run on Friday, Contingency on Friday, Awards on Sunday, Race on Saturday.

I'm almost thinking of NOT going & doing this. (it's just money out of my pocket...speculation. Gambling). Getting some support from RDC readers, would go a long way in getting me pumped up to give it a shot.

What do you say? Can you help me out?

I've setup my website http://www.airextreme.com</A>, to prepare for this (check it out, it points to my Laughlin '99 project, which featured Kreg Donahoe's "wild ride"). If anyone else wants to goto the PRIMM 300, & shoot video, goto hotel room & upload to my site (www.airextreme.com</A>), I'll let you do it. A local call to Las Vegas from the hotels is $.75 FLAT-FEE, for as long as you want to stay connected (i.e, as many uploads as you want). Some guy a year ago, brought his laptop & was reading www.race-dezert.com</A> after Contingency from his hotel room.

If anyone is shooting mini-DV video of the race, contingency, let me know. We can do some uploading Friday & Saturday night.

Like I say, i'm kinda ambivalent on whether I should do my own project. (I'll probably go, but have to cut-back, to keep my costs under control). I could use some help. Like a bunch of RDC readers, sending me $20 per head. Then, I can try some LIVE video uploading during the race. Some semi-live webcasting from the PRIMM 300.

"Go for the Gusto, Go for the Overall"
-- Robby Gordon, SCORE off-road champion


Well-Known Member
Getting a GPS to work is not the problem. Most cars in the baja races have them. Now getting that info from the truck/buggy is the problem unless you have some big bucks. In a smaller loop race there are ways, but for the point to point and bigger loop races the communication back to a single point becomes the problem. I have played with a system that will plot multiple vehicles on a map with no problems but once out of range of the radio coverage your died.


- users no longer part of the rdc family -
GoHardorGoHomre, why don't you fill out your Bio with full name and maybe we'll take you seriously. Otherwise Go Home.


John Bitting

Bob, At this particular time Race-Dezert is a free site. We are friends and fans first. I dont think it is appropriate for you to be asking our readers for money for an experiment that you want to conduct at their expense. I am sure once Race-Dezert decides to take on a project like Live feed and with whomever we decide to work with on the project we will let the readers know all the information at that time. I can appreciate you wanting to better the sport by bringing live feeds, I just think you need to test and test it again before presenting it to people. Make it perfect show them a couple of races for free and then maybe you can get people to pay you. As they say "you have to spend money to make money" Here at RDC we are still spending and dont think our readers should have to at this point in time.


Krittro Campbell
Why would I want to donate money so you can buy toys that may not even benefit us? I think you should invest your own money and if it works it will pay off for you and if not then you dont drag people down.

I am gonna start a thread and ask for donations so I can start building my own race truck! It will benefit racing because it will be one more truck out there. Sound good, guys?

Filling out your profile might be a start for people to listen to you.



When in doubt, GAS IT!