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Anyone Work Comms for Boston Marathon?

Discussion in 'HAM Radio' started by cockpitbob, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    I've never worked a public service event before and this Monday I'll be in First Aid Tent #14 in Wellesley. That's more than half way through the course so it should see a bit of action.

    Being a public service green horn, jumping into one of the biggest events to get my feet wet is a little daunting.

    I've got my HT, back-up HT, programming cheat sheets, spare batteries, 18" long antenna, HTs pre-programmed with all the event frequencies, pens and notebook, ear bud adapter and ear buds, speaker mic and a a few other things, but it looks like the no backpacks rule applies to volunteers too, so I'm going to have a very long day without being able to bring a lot of gear. They say fanny packs are OK, but oh, the shame.

    Anyone work the Marathon? Got any advice?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
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  2. chaser001

    chaser001 Member

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    I will be at the south street parking area in Hopkinton so my truck and spare gear won't be far away. I think the no bag rule will be a learning experience for everyone.
     
  3. Woodstock

    Woodstock NES Member

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    Clear plastic kid's backpack or a photographer's vest come to mind. I heard that backpacks aren't verboten, just subject to searches.
     
  4. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    Being mid-course I suppose I'll be able to park pretty close.

    Chaser, is this your first time working the event? What's your assignment?
     
  5. chaser001

    chaser001 Member

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    Yes this is my first time working the marathon. I am asigned to the suth street parking area near the start line.
     
  6. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    I have a feeling we're going to have sore feet Monday night.

    BTW, there's after-parties Monday evening at a Boston bar and Fenway, and the Fenway one you can bring a guest(s?). Do you know anything about them? I'm thinking my wife and 2 teenage boys might enjoy the Fenway thing.
     
  7. chaser001

    chaser001 Member

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    yeah I don't know much about them either but my wife and were considering Fenway with our 7 year old since I took the week off and he's on school vacation.

    My plan for the day is comfy shoes and plenty of water, though since camelbak's are out I'll have a bunch in a cooler in my truck.
     
  8. OceanTrvlr

    OceanTrvlr NES Member

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    I worked comms at the marathon back in 2001 or 2002. FA station around mile 19 or 20. It was fun. Back then I was all about crossband repeating through my car using 440.
     
  9. OCB

    OCB NES Member

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    I reached out about a month ago to one of the coordinators with some questions and never heard anything back, so I didn't end up signing up. Too bad, looks like it would have been a great learning experience.
     
  10. Jsamps1345

    Jsamps1345 Member

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    I will be at First Aid 01, water and a snack is always a good idea, also a rain jacket or poncho is worth bringing in case of rain. A clear kids backpack is probably a good idea.
     
  11. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    I've read that the field of runners is up about 30% this year from last, and the same for Ham volunteers. I got a broadcast email saying that they have so many Ham volunteers this year for the marathon that they'll have to turn some away.
     
  12. rawlus

    rawlus NES Member

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    Compression socks like Vitalsox I would recommend, good if you're going to be standing all day.
     
  13. wacky_doug

    wacky_doug Member

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    I'm not working the marathon, but I signed up for comms at Run of the Charles. First event for me, too.

    I'm sure you've see this already, but here's MMRA's equipment list:

    http://www.mmra.org/pubserv/equip2012727.pdf

    Post anything you learn!
     
  14. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    OK, that talked me into it. I just spent $20 on a clear backpack from Amazon. Sadly I'm sure in the future I'll be wanting a clear backpack more often. If nothing more, it will speed going through the line at Fenway.
     
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  15. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    How will you guys be carrying your HTs? Belt clip, chest pack, in your hand the whole day[thinking] or something else?
     
  16. chaser001

    chaser001 Member

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    I might break down and get a clear bag now. As for the radio I have a cheap chest rig I got on amazon to hold my primary radio, and I had planned on having the backup on my belt, but if I get a bag then that and the spare batteries will go into the bag.
     
  17. FreeWillie

    FreeWillie NES Member

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    Let me check my GPS

    I'll be passing by the tent about 3:00 PM. Just about the time you guys start to tear down your operation. No I'm not running. I'll be going the other way (away from Boston). I'll wave as I go by (dark blue Jeep SUV)

    Looks like the weather is going to be great. I wish the runners an "easy run". And Thanks for helping the run be a safe and fun run!!
     
  18. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    Chanser and Jsamps, I've been reading through the operation's guide and other stuff. It looks like we can't bring backpacks. I bet I could get away with a clear backpack, but there's always a range-nazi type to make an issue.

    I also noticed we have a dress code: "All ham volunteers are requested to wear dark blue pants (no jeans or shorts) and white shirts." I can't comply without a trip to the store. I have some brown cargo pants I was going to wear.
     
  19. wacky_doug

    wacky_doug Member

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    Assuming you guys will be on the 2m MMRA repeaters today? I'll be listening if I can get reception in the office.
     
  20. chaser001

    chaser001 Member

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    I had a great time at the south street parking area. Only 2 of the 10 people at my location had ever worked the marathon before and even less had ever worked larger scale logistics so I got to lead on of the parking areas. I had a ton of fun, got a little stressed at point but would definitely do it again. I also moved freely in and out of the secure area with no one ever checking me. Actually at my location I had local pd, state police, and dhs jackboot thugs wearing police in the back of their vests. Those guys were totally useless.


    I also also discovered the I don't care for the remora ankle holster for the sig p238 but it does work even when you spend a whole day on your feet.


    As for carrying my radio gear I borrowed a fanny pack (fuel bled style) from my dad that had a water bottle holder, two fairly good sized pockets and a wide support for the lower back. Spare radio, extra batteries, extra antenna, and extra headphones went into one pocket, and 4 granola bars, and apple and waster bottle were in the other. Who I started shedding layers (it was 35 degrees when I started at 5 am) the pack also had straps to buckle down jackets. Did I look like fashion gone wrong, yes, was I comfortable all day long carrying all of my gear, absolutely.

    I hope ops you had fun down field.
     

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