There are three categories of communications that will take place during the event; Communications between staff, communications between staff and teams, and communication within your team.
Staff to staff communication and staff to team communication will take place via Part 90 radios (LMR). We will be operating on our licensed business frequency. This frequency is able to be monitored by anyone with a Part 90 (LMR/business class), or HAM radio. No license is required to listen. All competitors are granted authority to operate on our business frequency. There is no way for us to know, and we are not in any way going to police (for reasons of more important things to focus on and not enough time or resources to deal with this), who is transmitting on our frequency using non-certified radios, but be aware that it is technically illegal to transmit on our frequency using a non part 90 certified radio and if caught by or reported to the FCC, there are potential fines and other repercussions. Let your own moral compass guide you. Teams may find it beneficial to be able to monitor our frequency but for the most part, it will consist of staff organization and location or schedule updates. There will be very few instances where staff will need to contact teams, and in those instances, other communication attempts will be made if radio contact via our business frequency fails. Cell phones will be a first choice in most situations that radio contact fails. Make sure you have a phone charger for the phone number listed on your tech inspection sheet. In an emergency, anyone with a HAM radio can legally transmit on our business frequency to reach a staff member for assistance and rescue. This will be the most likely way to reach us when out of cell phone range. 99% of our staff vehicles also run CB radios and we will be tuned to an assigned channel throughout the event. CB range is limited and staff may not have their vehicles on at all times, so reliance on CB should be kept to a minimum.
Internal team communications will take place via whatever method your team prefers. FRS radios work very well. HAM radio is the preferred method but CB communications will be popular as well. Each group will have an assigned CB and FRS/GMRS Channel as well as a HAM frequency. These channels and frequencies will be published and shared with the other teams. This is for several reasons and will allow for inter-team communications in situations of emergency or for general contact , for instance: two teams get caught up with each other on the trail and one team would like to pass. If there is static or interference on the channel, a change can be made and staff should be notified so that we can update with the new channel. These frequencies may change throughout the event if interference is present or if there is traffic on the channel as we move through different regions of the state. Teams' frequency preference will be taken into consideration and likely granted as we know some are preferential to certain bands and may be licensed for certain frequencies.