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July 24, 2011

The Rookie Ham Radio Operator and Public Service Events

After a hiatus of nearly six years, I immersed myself back into the amateur radio hobby. I was originally licensed in 2003 and was only active for about two years. When I recently keyed up the mike after that break, I felt like I was absolutely starting over.

I plunged back into the hobby on the slopes of Mt. Washington at the epic Climb to the Clouds auto race. Two weeks later I was back on the peak nearly at the top working a bicycle race. Six days later I was deep in the trees at the New England Forest Rally.

Amateur (ham) radio operators volunteer across the USA, and I'm sure other nations, to assist in communications at countless events. Marathons, car races, dog-sled races, bicycle events, etc. These are all non-emergency events, but emergencies can and do happen at any time during these contests.

Ham radio operators pride themselves with being able to mobilize and communicate during emergencies, so it's a natural to have hams at public service events. They have the equipment and the training. It's a core strength of the hobby.

I made mistakes at each event that could have been prevented. Some were due to my rookie status, others might be a mixture of my inexperience and oversights on the part of event organizers.

Here's my short list of Do's and Don'ts for a rookie ham operator working a public service event.


  • Be prepared for any weather.
  • Be prepared to be on your own for hours with no help.
  • Have secondary and other frequencies available in case you can't propagate at a location where you're assigned.
  • Turn off the 1750 Hz burst tone on your radio
  • If you have multiple radios, both mobile and hand-held, bring them.
  • Ask if there are any handouts that show exact locations and where you're supposed to stand and park your car
  • Make sure you know exactly where you are on a course. Are you at the beginning, middle or end of the course?
  • Obtain the operating frequencies before the event. Program them into your radio.
  • Wear a safety vest that clearly identifies you. It's for your safety and it helps others know you're an authority figure. This can help in times of confusion.
  • Make sure there's a secret word or phrase that's used to stop a race or warn participants to STOP racing.


  • Don't panic - Ask experienced hams at the event what it's like when the you-know-what hits the fan.
  • Don't assume you'll have no action. An emergency can happen at any place and any time during the event.
  • Don't forget your primary purpose. You're a communicator, not a rescuer. You need to be on the radio giving data about what's going on. If you can't broadcast and receive, you're useless.
  • Don't start the event without a backup plan. What happens if you get to your position and you can't propagate? How will you fix that? How will you communicate to Net Control - headquarters - that you have a radio issue?

This is just a partial list of suggestions. I'm sure experienced ham operators have a boatload of other tips that can make public service work go off without a hitch.

At my last event, the New England Forest Rally, I made a terrible mistake. It caused the most popular stage of the rally to be cancelled. I felt horrible after this happened, and I'm sure the drivers wanted to choke me to death.

Dave Higgins at NEFR 2011.jpg
I was on the course, but had no idea where I was. About a third of the way into the race, a race car shot off the course into the woods. In the confusion that erupted on the radios trying to discover if the driver and co-driver were okay, the stage manager blurted on the frequency, "STOP all cars. STOP all cars!"

Because I was a rookie, I thought that meant to stop all cars on the course, as I didn't know if the cars passing me were about to come upon the wreck.

Not having anyone with me, I immediately got out my red cross card and waved it at drivers who were zooming past me. The INSTANT I displayed the red cross, the race stage was over. My action caused drivers to slow down and stop, ruining their run.

What the "Stop all cars" call on the radio meant, was to stop any further cars from starting. My suggestion, to all race organizers, is to come up with a word or phrase similar to MayDay, that is ONLY used on the frequency to communicate what should happen in an emergency situation.

I so wish I could replay what happened and have the organizers agree to broadcast this over the radios: "Red Cross Red Cross - All stations display the Red Cross." But what do I know, I'm just a rookie.

Posted by Tim Carter at 4:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 8, 2011

Casey Anthony's Verdict - Connecting Dots and Reasonable Doubt

Several days ago tens of millions of people were glued to their television sets or computer monitors watching Casey Anthony's reaction as her verdict being was read aloud by the clerk in the courtroom. I was one of them. After hearing the verdict for the first three counts, I knew the twelve jurors that decided Casey's fate had taken their eye off the ball.

Hundreds, no actually, thousands of hours of debate have happened about this salacious trial. All too often I feel that people forget about the real victim. That was poor Caylee. Just about everyone I've talked to about this trial is outraged at the verdict.

How could the jury not connect the dots? How could the jury not get beyond a reasonable doubt?

Let's look at the evidence.

First we've got a bag of bones. How does a body get in a plastic bag and have duct tape around it to close it off? If you're in the bag, you can't tape it closed.

Casey Anthony has a history of lying. She was the last person to see little Caylee alive.

The skull had pieces of duct tape across the mouth and nose. We, the public, will probably never be able to see the crime scene photos, but know that it's true. The lead prosecutor said that in an interview last night on Fox News. The photos we saw were digitally altered out of respect for poor Caylee. That's how gruesome the death was.

The disappearance of Caylee was not reported for 31 days. Do you know a parent that would do that? Can you explain that fact to me? Can you give me other examples of parents who have waited days and days to report a missing child?

The coroners could not rule an exact cause of death. I got that. The decomposition of poor Caylee's body was so complete, there was no flesh left to prove the duct tape was on her actual mouth and nose. I'm with you on that.

But why would strips of tape be put on the face of a dead child that allegedly drowned? Can you explain that to me? I sure can explain to you why duct tape would be put over the mouth and nose of a child.

Stay focused. Review the facts again.

We've got a dead child - one that's been murdered. It's a horrifying homicide, not an accidental death. Kids that die in swimming pool drownings don't have tape on their faces and end up inside plastic bags in a murky swamp blocks from where they live.

Kids that drown end up on those stainless-steel tables in the morgue hours after the body's been discovered in the pool. The coroner's van takes the body there after the 911 call. You're with me on that, right? I want to make sure you and I agree on what happens when a child drowns in a pool. The coroner puts the body in a bag, but then on that table for the autopsy. Right?

Put yourself in that jury room and stare at those facts. Forget about anything else about Casey's care-free lifestyle during those 31 days. Who cares about that. Who cares about the tattoo. Who cares about the lies of her parents on the witness stand.

Keep your eye on the target. Think. You're a juror. You've got a defenseless child that's a victim of a grim murder. Your goal is to connect the dots in a case and punish the person that peeled the duct tape from that roll. Your job is to get beyond reasonable doubt.

Remember, we've got a dead child.

Now, let me help you get there. Oh how I wish I was in that jury room.

Let's go over some other facts.

Less than ten years ago another person was reported missing from her home. This person was eight months pregnant.

This person's husband, and the father of the child, was the last person to see her alive.

Five months after being reported missing, the body of a small child washed ashore followed by a torso that was later identified as it's mother. The torso was missing the hands, feet and head.

DNA testing conclusively identified the body, but the cause of death was not determined. That's very important to know.

There was all sorts of other evidence, but you can go over that on your own time.

Oh, you need to know something else. The husband of the torso, his name is Scott Peterson. He's on Death Row in San Quentin prison in California awaiting execution.

Where are all the blog posts and articles claiming that an innocent person has been convicted of this horrendous crime of murdering a pregnant mom and then cutting off her head, feet and hands and then dumping her in a bay? If you've got links to them, by all means put them down below in the comments.

Okay, let's get back to work.

So what was your question about beyond a reasonable doubt? Tell me again where you've got difficulty with that concept?

The jurors in the Scott Peterson trial had no issues with it.

Casey Anthony, as well as OJ Simpson and a handful of others are why we have a phrase in the English language. You know it. I'm sure it's passed across your lips.

He/she got away with murder.

Yes indeed, Casey Anthony got away with murder because her jury didn't have the strength, the courage, the guts, to do what the jurors did in the Scott Peterson trial as well as many others where there was a clear path beyond a reasonable doubt.

Posted by Tim Carter at 7:24 AM | Comments (13)

July 4, 2011 Deadwood Debacle

On July 3, 2011 I was trying to get caught up on some business chores. One of the things on my list was to send the final email to a small segment of my newsletter list. This small segment were subscribers that were no longer opening and reading my newsletter. It was a stern email that basically said that if they didn't respond to a call of action, they would be deleted from the list. Guess what?

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 7.15.42 AM.pngI made a mistake and sent the terse email to my entire list of well over 100,000 subscribers. In the screen shot here, you can see just a few of the choices on the list. The trouble is, the software defaults to the All Subscribers choice. I blew right past this and clicked the Send Now button far at the bottom of the page.

As you might imagine, some where taken aback by the email, some were confused, most shrugged their shoulders thinking it was a mistake, but a handful went ballistic.

Once I became aware I made the mistake, I sent out a long email explaining what happened. Both emails are at the bottom of this blog post. The terse email is the first one. It would make total sense to you if you had read the two other emails that I successfully sent to the small segment.

I wasn't bothered in the least by the rude responses I received from a handful of subscribers. I've come to know, after publishing a free newsletter for nearly 14 years, that a certain percentage of the population is self-absorbed and horribly selfish.

Perhaps you've run into some who belong to this group where you work. Maybe they're your neighbors. Surely they're not your friends. They stand out like a lighthouse on a foggy night. And just like a lighthouse, you steer clear of them to avoid problems.

For your enjoyment, I've decided to publish some of the best responses, both good and bad. In a period of just 24 hours after sending the rogue email, I received well over 1,000 pleasant emails from subscribers who were blown away by the rude responses that were polluting my Inbox.

It's impossible to print all the wonderful emails I received. Some brought tears to my eyes. Especially the follow-up email from Tina in Canada.

Here you go. I've decided to not publish the names of the guilty. They know who they are. Also, on purpose I've not done any editing of the comments. Not for punctuation, grammar, spelling or proper formatting and English. We better start paying attention to what's going on in our public schools!

".....Maybe you need to polish the crystal ball with some Stain Solver!!"

"This happens too much and too frequently.  Take me off your list."

"Your news letter is filled with junk about your life not much help to those looking for real solutions to problems."

"Why are you insulting me?  If this is the way you treat people I have some Very Strong Words for you. I do not like being treated like garbage at work, at play or by someone who is trying to put out a so-called helpful website!!!!!!!!!!! "

"I think you're very rude, take your f***ing newsletter and shove it! I don't give a s*** if you stop sending it or not.  Better yet I'll block you, hows that for rude , you piece of deadwood!"

"tim,,,,I enjoy your tips,and I like your videos. what I don't like,,,,is the scare tactics that I guess you thought is appropriate;"

"I guess next time you'll do it right and not over before hitting the send button! LOL!" (This is a well-deserved shot because of my motto at Do it Right, Not Over)

"It is amusing that the "do it right - not over" guru has had to do it over this time, but, hey we can't be right ALL the time."

"What does it matter whether I open all the emails or not? Your sophisticated powerful software cans send to a thousand or a million with the same effort. Perhaps your motive is that you need an actuate list for advertising .
That's your problem. Don't bother me with manipulative work ploys to solve your problem. I don't care.  If you don't want me on your list take me off. I bet many more folks unsubscribed than you expected. I suspect all email lists are trash lists. That's the nature of email.
You don't need to know which emails I open and which I choose not to.  If you were not making money from advertising you would not send "free" emails."

"Tim - the cyber Luddite:
Why not learn how to use your email functions?  This is NOT the first time that you have done this!  We had a fossilized sales guy at my old company that used to do this ALL OF THE TIME.  He would send the most personal of email info to the "reply all" function and could not understand how that happened or even that this was possible!  It did not matter how much tutoring he got!
Why does it matter that someone does not open your newsletter anyway?  Do you pay some sort of per piece email tribute to someone?
Get someone to ride herd over you next time to supervise your actions and head you off at the pass!"
"No it didn't make sense to me. I think that you found too little interest in your web site and e-mails. I don't open your e-mails but I thought that since I like t get into home projects, and I am a too nut, one day I would like to have a forum for information for a particular project that I might have questions about. But it seems that you are a very cleaver and deceitful person with your e-mails so close together and announcing that the answer is forth coming with so much contrived yada yada yada well you got some of your list members to click now didn't you? you remind me of a republican politician. Full of shit."

"blah, blah, blah......i agree with the folks that said it happens too often, the ones that say it comes off as rude and '\ or as scare tactics.....etc.  I should have asked you to drop me when you accidentally sent out your right-wing blather a few weeks back, but didn't. 

I'm on many, many email lists and this stuff never happens with them.  And I rarely find myself clicking on your links in your emails, so it's really as good as spam, I suppose.  Safe yourself some money and me some time..........

"Remove me" - and good luck; no hard feelings."

I'm sure you're getting thousands of replys to your various emails if you have a database of 100k, but here's one more:
So far, yours is a free Web site. I don't care what it costs you, that's up to you. Asking your readers, almost begging your readers, to do anything because it will help you is so antithetical to the way the Internet is used. In my opinion, it's not a smart decision on your part. I'm a partner in an advertising agency who found your Web site because someone who blogs about Web sites said you do a good job of growing your site. So I was interested in that. But I'm also a DIY guy who has worked with power tool and lawn & garden tool manufacturerers for 30 years in my business. Honestly, I was shocked by your original email request. I would have been, whether I was a frequent reader of your site or not. Please communicate with your subscribers by keeping their viewpoint in mind, rather than yours. (Probably a bit too many offers of cleaning solutions on your site.)  I  frequently read your emails in a preview window. So your software doesn't see me. That's life on the Internet. Please don't ask me to change my behavior because it would benefit you. I frequently watch your videos and I trust your advice because you write in a genuine way. It's up to you, of course, how you communicate with "deadbeat" readers. But I think you may have stumbled here."

"Dearest Tim:
Please stop calling yourself an idiot and any other bad name. Just think of all the good you do.

I've watched you on TV and often wished I could get you to come to my old 52 year old diplated 2-flat and help me here in Chicago. Instead, I signed up for your newsletter. You have helped me tremendously in annual upkeep with the furnace; losing the fear of redoing my kitchen cabinets and countertops.

Everyone wonders how I was able to do all the remodeling I have done and I tell them about you. They laugh but I believe they secretly go to your website and check you out. You are a great handyman; you give excellent tips and advice on just about any home project.

If I can't get to a Home Depot class, I go to your website and look up the project and you always have an answer (most times with a video). I was wondering last week why my flower boxes on my 2x4 porch rails would not stay up straight and I go to you email today and learn about french cleats.

Please don't knock yourself anymore and don't apologize to people. Don't pay any attention to the naysayers. Thank GOD for them because they just make you a better person and they make you realize what a heavyweight you really are.

Personally, I am very grateful for you because if I had to hire someone to do all the work you have helped me to do, I would have spent a small fortune by now. I own an electric saw that I am not afraid to use; I know the difference between a phillips and a flathead screwdriver; I own 2 drills, 18V electric and 18V impact, because your website showed me how.

Several years ago, I wanted to give up this house and get out of the mortgage but your encouragement to another couple changed my mind. If it looks like I don't read your emails, don't despair. I'm working on my projects with your instructions from your website ( I will however open all your emails from now on.
GOD Bless and keep you..."

"I just signed up for your newsletter and to date have not received any information that is useful to me. If you wish to delete me, go ahead. If you do not wish me to delete myself then send out some USEFUL INFO pertaining to BUILDING. Not ads, not generators, not wallpaper ... BUILDING!

It's always about the money, isn't it, Tim."

"We'll I must say that I am totally flabbergasted at some of the responses to the little mess-up, AS IF? BUT, I hope you're not taking it personally, this anger obviously has nothing to do with you, you just received the brunt of it. All of your hard work & financial investments to this endeavour are truly appreciated, you have helped us tremendously & for that I am extremely grateful.

Keep up the GREAT WORK Tim! LOVE the "Do it Right, Not Over" slogan by the way."

Okay, are you still with me? Here's the first email that got that select groups panties in a twist:


Okay, this is it. This is the FINAL nudge email you'll get from me.

I reached out to you last week and you may have been on vacation, sick or abducted. No matter, but I didn't hear back. It's time to prune the deadwood from my email list.
You signed up for my newsletter back before December 1, 2010, but my mystic powers and sweet computer skills indicate that you've not been active at all. You seemingly are rejecting my emails, not opening them, nor clicking a link inside one.

If you want to continue to receive my FREE weekly newsletter you need to do just one thing. It will tell me that you are active and want my free tips. Do this:

CLICK this link which will take you to the home page.
That's it! That's all you have to do.

Don't forget - Do it Right, not Over,
Tim Carter

Here's the email I sent out after I discovered the error:


About two hours ago I sent out a message to my entire email list.
You're on it obviously.

But the message was only supposed to go to a SMALL SEGMENT of my list. Guess what? I FORGOT to select that small segment from the enormously powerful and complex software that powers my newsletter. I sent the message to the ENTIRE list. 

Oh my, did that cause problems, confusion, laughter and anger.
Who'd think that would happen to a guy who tries to help others by producing a free newsletter.

Go figure. :->>>>

Grab a cup of coffee, tea or water, and sit back and read this. I
promise it will make sense, and the best part is that you'll get a
peek behind the magic curtain of That's worth
it, right?

First I want to say how interesting it is to read replies to my
emails - especially the mistake ones.

Everyone gets the exact same email, but the reaction to them are as different as night and day. You might enjoy a few of the responses that are pouring in, yes POURING in.

Here's one that gets the Great Sense of Humor Award:

".....Maybe you need to polish the crystal ball with some Stain

Here's a response from the "I, Tim Carter, am an IDIOT" email. He gets the Zero-Tolerance Award:

"This happens too much and too frequently.  Take me off your list."

This one gets the Chill-Out Award:

"Why are you insulting me?  If this is the way you treat people I
have some Very Strong Words for you. I do not like being treated
like garbage at work, at play or by someone who is trying to put
out a so-called helpful website!!!!!!!!!!! "

This one gets the Potty-Mouth Award. It was from a woman, oh my!:

"I think you're very rude, take your f****** newsletter and shove it! I don't give a s*** if you stop sending it or not.  Better yet I'll block you, hows that for rude , you piece of deadwood!"

And more responses to the "I, Tim Carter, am an IDIOT" email:

"Well, what can I say.........."

"yes you are an IDIOT"

"I know"

"Everyone has a bad day. I Am open minded."

"tim,,,,I enjoy your tips,and I like your videos. what I don't
like,,,,is the scare tactics that I guess you thought is

"No worries, Tim  I like your style!"

I think you get the picture. Some have far more tolerance than
others. Some are highly sensitive, and others just recognize a
mistake and move on.

The Long Story

I've been doing my newsletter for about 14 years I believe. It's not perfect, but I try to do my best. 

It's not as regular as it should be. Sometimes life gets in the way.

But I really started to grow the list about three years ago.
Suffice it to say you're part of a great group that's way north of
100,000. That's a big list.

I use very sophisticated software to manage and send the
newsletter. It's wonderful.

It has built-in tools that allow me to see if I'm doing a GOOD job.
A good job means that you open the newsletters, find them
interesting and occasionally click a link. The software can tell me
what interests you.

I'm sure you can see how that's helpful to me as I want to keep you engaged. I want to produce a newsletter that you enjoy getting. I want to know that you're happy.

 Here's an example.

Week in and week out when I do a tool or product review in the
newsletter, the software can tell me those are the MOST interesting topics. That communicates to me I should do more of them and spend LESS about things that might be of little interest to you. See how that's helpful to you and me?

But the software is not perfect. Just like me.

It's all very complex, and I don't pretend to understand all the
science behind how it works. 

Yes, things happen at your end that prevent you from opening a
newsletter. Illness, stress, you're busy like me, the list goes on
and on.

You may save the emails and open them months later reading them all at once. I get that.

Evidently, other things can confuse the software. For example, it
appears that some email software has a preview window. You can read the email there. If you do that, you really don't OPEN it. The
software can't tell the difference, and thinks you're ignoring me.
I need you to really open the newsletter email. Really.

It appears that if you read my newsletter on a Blackberry device,
the software can't see you open it. If you want to tell my software
you like the newsletter, you need to open an issue on your regular email from time to time.

There's a good chance that if you have images turned off in your
email reader, like Gmail, that the software can't tell you opened
it. Consider turning images on. Or in the case of Gmail, it has an
option to Always Show Images from this Sender. Trust me. Make that selection.

Make sure I don't end up in your Spam Folder. Add me to your white list or to your Contacts. That's very important.

I believe you get the picture. 

Here's why it's important for me to know that you've opened and
read the newsletter.

Let's talk about SPAM. Let's say you don't want to get the
newsletter any longer, so you ignore it and don't open it. I get

But some folks get angry and instead of going to the Unsubscribe
link at the bottom of the newsletter, they click the THIS IS SPAM
button in their email program. 

Guess what? It's not spam. Remember, yoou signed up for the newsletter and asked me to send it. Spam is something you never asked for.

When you mark my newsletter email as SPAM, I get penalized and
everyone on my list suffers. You don't think that's possible? Keep

The big email houses like AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, will stop
delivering my emails to you if enough people ignore them or click
on the THIS IS SPAM button. I start to get a reputation that I'm
producing a loser email newsletter. That would be very bad

If you don't want the newsletter, just unsubscribe or reply to me
that you want to unsubscribe and I'll take you off the list. It's
SAFE to click all links in my newsletters. Nothing bad is going to
happen to you.

Please understand that it costs me money to send the newsletter to you. As the list grows, it costs me more and more. I'm sure you
understand that I only want to send the newsletter to people that
want it, open it and click links within it.

I'm also starting to sell advertising in the newsletter so it can
continue for FREE. The advertisers want to know how many people Open and read the newsletter. That makes total sense. That's another reason why I need you to Open it and click a link if you're interested in a topic in the newsletter.

Now that you know all of this, I hope it makes sense that I delete
those that are inactive. Ergo the term Deadwood. 

I need to only keep you on the list if you're interested. It's best
for you and it sure helps me.

Sorry for ALL the confusion earlier. I hope you understand now
what's going on.

Enjoy the Fourth of July! I'll have a REAL newsletter for you on

Tim Carter
Founder -

Do it Right, Not Over

Posted by Tim Carter at 2:29 PM

July 2, 2011

Climb to the Clouds 2011 Auto Race

Ham radio operators from all over New England gathered at the base of Mt. Washington on June 24-26, 2011 to assist in the epic Climb to the Clouds auto race, one of the oldest automobile races in North America. I happened to be one of them. My call sign being W3ATB.

This race was brought back after a ten-year hiatus to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of North America's oldest man-made attraction, the Mt. Washington Auto Road.


This event couldn't have been named better as Mother Nature provided abundant cloud cover and rainfall all three days. In fact, there were so many clouds on the two practice days, the race car drivers were only allowed to sprint up to the halfway point of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Visibility and the sloppy conditions on the gravel surface past the 4-mile marker made it unsafe to traverse to the top of the mountain.

But on race day, Sunday June 26th, the conditions improved allowing ham radio operators, corner workers, crowd marshals, drivers and spectators to scatter themselves up and down the 7.6-mile serpentine road that leads from the base area to the summit of Mt. Washington.

I've never worked an event like this before, and was full of anxiety about what to do and when to do it. This was compounded by the fact that I hadn't keyed up a mic on a radio in over five years.

Fortunately there were great handouts distributed before the event and I attended an organizational meeting at the site the night before the first practice. These combined to settle me down, but on Friday morning at 6 am when all the hams gathered outside the communications shack, I was on pins and needles. I didn't want to make a mistake that would cause confusion amongst all the other hams and embarrassment for me.

The chief of communications, Robert Lyle, must have known this because he paired me off with a seasoned ham operator, Lee Hillsgrove, Sr. KB1GNI at Station One just above the start line of the race. Lee's calm demeanor and excellent tutoring put me at ease very quickly.

I was amazed at how the Net Control communications hub worked and it quickly started to make sense why each station had to report in about the status of certain cars. Each of us hams were the eyes and ears of the race organizers. That's obvious to any ham that's participated in an event like this, but I can tell you that I've never even given a second thought about being surrounded by invisible radio waves at any sizable gathering.


Sure, I've seen event staff at concerts and fairs use hand-held radios, but I never thought about the complexity of the communications and what was being said. What's more, I never gave a thought to the numerous frequencies being used. We hams were on four different frequencies and the event staff had their own no doubt.

I had an issue the first day of practice with my 5-watt Yaesu VX-7R. Unbeknownst to me it was emitting a 1750-Hz tone burst as I keyed up. Lee was aware of this, but graciously didn't want to ruffle my feathers. Net control, however, let me know that I had a problem.

Lee and I tried to solve the problem wiping rain from the display of my handheld, but the cryptic menu choices gave us no clue as to which item to choose and which way to toggle the choices. Later in the day I got a tip from another ham as to how to easily fix the problem.

The practice days were filled with many more emergencies and incidents than the actual race day. I was very impressed with the level of professionalism of all the operators and Net Control when emergencies and incidents were reported.

On race day I was at station 23 located at mile 5.03 of the Auto Road. It's above the tree line and the base area of the race was in clear view when the clouds would part. The temperature was cool, it was very cloudy and there were patches of drizzle from time to time. I had the right clothing, and was prepared for just about anything Mother Nature could serve up.

We did have a very close call at Station 23 when car number 53 with the Wimpey brothers came barreling around the first turn at our station. They missed going off the road by no less than six inches. Their over correction to get back on the driving line put them into the shallow ditch on the uphill side of the road.

The right wheels were in the ditch for about 50 feet and when they over corrected to get back on the gravel surface they slid sideways, but continued up the road. This mistake was costly, as moments later they had a right rear flat tire from an encounter with a rock in the ditch. They were officially a DNF.

There were too many thrills during the three days of the event, but I thoroughly enjoyed the last competitive run of the day when David Higgins in car 75 made his second record-breaking run of the race. Here's a video I taped as he bolted by my station Sunday afternoon.

I loved being part of the Climb to the Clouds 2011 race and you'll see me at many other places here in New England volunteering my soon-to-be-improving ham skills to help create a safe environment for participants and spectators.

Posted by Tim Carter at 2:02 PM | Comments (9)

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