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    [RC] WS100 Webcast - Ridecamp Guest

    Lucy Chaplin Trumbull elsie@xxxxxxxxxxxx
    MB wrote:
    > Whoever did the webcast deserves a medal.  It is the best 
    > one I have ever seen.  Thanks to the Where is your runner? 
    > link I was able to keep track of my friends.  The information
    > was accurate and timely.  I hope the Tevis Ride does as 
    > well......maryben 
    Thanks MB!
    It was a collaborative effort:
    * Richard Goodwin (also Tevis webmaster) put the WS100 
    website up and set up the most excellently clever database 
    for tracking runners.
    * A *slew* of radio operators and data entry people at aid
    stations throughout the course got us the runner information,
    some of them working several checkpoints, and throughout the
    night. We were surrounded by a multitude of radio equipment
    set up by a multitude of radio guys.
    * Richard and I manned the database at the Overlook in 
    Auburn, feeding it the data and sorting through problems 
    for the 30 hours that the race was on for.
    To sum up on the day:
    "Excitements" included the power supply for the main computer 
    exploding - a BANG, smoke, everything - upon plugging it in 
    on Friday night when Richard was trying to set up. Yikes. He 
    managed to get it up and running by 1:30 a.m. - in time for
    the 5 a.m. start.
    One of the remote radio "somethings" (radio ignoramus here - 
    one of the radio guys told me what it was, but I don't 
    remember) apparently suffered a melt-down at some stage 
    during the race and ceased working and it wasn't until 
    after the event they discovered why.
    During the day, the main radio comms computer (which was
    pulling the packet radio reports from the checkpoints) also
    suffered some intermittent hiccups and needed some imaginative
    tweaking to keep it going.
    I think it's safe to say that computers don't like being
    moved around much.
    We had a figurative Black Hole in data from Foresthill 
    to the HW-49 crossing (~35 miles). We were supposed to get 
    packet radio reports from the river crossing (~15 miles 
    after FH), but there were some technical difficulties, 
    and in the end we got nothing. This meant for a frustrating 
    night - answering emails from anxious people at 3 a.m. who 
    thought their runners had vanished into thin air. The only 
    consolation I could give them was that we were getting radio 
    reports of *drops* only, so if their runner wasn't showing as 
    a drop, then they were still out there.
    Finally, after the river crossing checkpoint at Rucky-Chucky
    closed at 5:15 am, the radio guy drove the data disc to us in 
    Auburn and we were able to get it up on the web.
    The hw-49 crossing also suffered computer trouble when initially
    the computer wouldn't work properly and then, when they finally
    got it going, it got dropped and broke totally. Our thanks to 
    the guys there for persevering with voice reports. Trailside 
    reporting is *hard* on equipment (picture nearly *all* of the 
    checkpoints/aid stations being in remote areas with no power, 
    no cell phone coverage, and with the air filled with infamous
    "Tevis red dust").
    Apart from all the interesting developments above <g>, the 
    reporting itself went brilliantly and we were pleased 
    with what went out. 
    Every year we learn from the mistakes of the previous years 
    and fine tune it to work a little better.
    As for Tevis - right now, the best I can offer is similar
    to what I managed to put up last year - me grubbing about
    in the dirt with a laptop, trying to type out any radio reports
    I can get my hands on. We don't have same the radio support 
    for Tevis that we get for WS100, so it's much, much harder to
    get comprehensive coverage. We'll have to see what I can pull
    off on the day (thank goodness it's just a 24 hour ride, and
    not 30 like WS100... I'm still totally spacey today from lack
    of sleep).
    I'm trying to get ahold of Tevis RM to sort something with 
    them, but they are proving elusive. We'll have to see how it
    Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
    Repotted english person in the Sierra Foothills, CA
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