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Home Page > North Bay Amateur Radio Club > 2004 Heritage Festival
Updated: 2007-10-29

2004 Heritage Festival

In this event we provide technical support and operational communications using UHF commercial frequencies for a volunteer staff of about 500 people.  The current radio complement includes 80 portables and 3 base stations, each with 5 channels, New this year was internet connectivity, and a VoIP soft switch. We have had an occurrence reporting system for a number of years and have had various implementations of telephone pbx's installed for the weekend.  For this effort we use all of the hams that volunteer within our club and a half dozen "guest operators".  Here is the Heritage Festival "Official Site".

Where else can Amateurs get to play on 5 UHF radio channels at the same time, and have a great deal of fun telling people where to go?
Oh Sorry... I meant dispatch them.

2004 was the last year the Heritage Festival had an airshow component. Here is the static display at Jack Garland Airport.

Main dispatch and occurrence position in the Heritage Festival Command Post. There are two radio positions here and two computer terminals. One radio guards the Festival Command Channel #1 and the other radio scans the Medical, Facilities and Security Channels.
This is the Golf Cart dispatch position.  The operators here coordinate 10 golf carts that provide rides to elderly and people incapable of walking the two kilometer waterfront park. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the festival grounds except for emergency service units.

Transportation operates on a repeater channel.
(Heritage Channel #5)

Here is the Air Boss position on the top of the Chief Commanda
(A tour vessel that operates out of North Bay's Government Dock).  The Air Boss controls the air show which happens over water, and each year we set up both radio and landline telephone circuits to maintain the safety of the spectators and performers.  Flightline safety (on the water) is provided by Marine Units of the Ontario Provincial Police.
When the airshow is on, we assign the channel that Facilities normally uses (Heritage Channel #2) to the exclusive use of the airboss and safety crews. Below are some photos of the slower airshow acts. My camera (and I) couldn't keep up with the jets.
Here is a picture of the main stage area where the concerts are held each night.  This year there were performances by Randy Bachman, Glen Campbell, Shaggy, High Holy Days, Davy Jones, Barra MacNeils and the Irish Rovers... just to name a few.

Here is a picture of the NBARC communications trailer - lens distortion makes the tower lean, it really is vertical. Immedately above is our KittyKat mascot, and below is a closeup of the UHF antenna array.
Here is a closeup of the top of the tower showing the three UHF antennas, plus the 2.4 G internet link flat panel.
Here is a picture of our Network Operations.  The computer on the left is a ClarkConnect Linux powered Gateway/Intranet server.  The computer next to it is the VOIP Asterisk server that controlled the phone system.  In the cabinet above are the hubs and switches to interconnect the computers, and the radio modem to connect with the wireless ISP (NetSpectrum).
Ever wonder what 80 UHF radios look like before they are deployed?  Here is a picture of the staging area radio rack where the volunteers pick up their units before their shift.  We also stock charged batteries for a "quick change" when the users (or we) notice they are coming in poorly.
Here is a picture of MED1 attending the concert on Friday Night.  They operate on Heritage Channel #3 (Medical).
Here is the rest of the transportation that you take to get around the grounds.  Double Decker Bus!  $1 a ride. (There is a traffic lane that the bus drives through in the middle of the crowd)
I took the picture just as the sun was setting on Saturday Night.

What else can I tell you?  This is a great way to spend the Civic Holiday weekend. 
It finishes off with a fireworks display on Monday evening.