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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 11:16 AM
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Thanks again for your replies.

I don't know how to go about finding someone with experience with a situation this extreme, with hundreds of thousands of people packed together about as densely as can be, separated by massive buildings packed together about as densely as can be...

I'd welcome any thoughts on how to get closer to someone with this kind of experience.

We know for sure that last year's solution was a failure, and we know that cellphone coverage (voice and data) was disrupted in the area at the time. Without something concrete to justify it, I think it would be unwise to depend on any system that relies on the cellphone network.

Anyone disagree?

It's an interesting idea to contact a local club, but would this imply we'd need a licensed ham operator standing next to each of our several dozen team members?

I think the only remaining option would be VHF/UHF portables + repeater(s)...agree?
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 11:19 AM
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Thank you so much for your insightful post, mmckenna.

Soon another post of my will appear asking many of the questions you just answered. Thanks again!
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 11:21 AM
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Radio shop with an SMR system that covers the area. Get a few radios before hand and test in the area the event will take place.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 3:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extan View Post
Thanks again for your replies.

I don't know how to go about finding someone with experience with a situation this extreme, with hundreds of thousands of people packed together about as densely as can be, separated by massive buildings packed together about as densely as can be...
That sort of environment won't be an issue for a decent 2 way radio system.

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I'd welcome any thoughts on how to get closer to someone with this kind of experience.
Phone book or internet search for 2 way radio shop in your area. Talk to several of them, make sure they've had experience with situations like this. You'll need multiple channels/talk groups for what you are doing. Trying to cram 60+ people on one channel in a dynamic environment like that will be disastrous.

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Originally Posted by extan View Post
We know for sure that last year's solution was a failure, and we know that cellphone coverage (voice and data) was disrupted in the area at the time. Without something concrete to justify it, I think it would be unwise to depend on any system that relies on the cellphone network.

Anyone disagree?
Never rely on a cellular telephone for anything other than convenience. It's not a suitable solution for what you are doing, for any large event communications, and not for life safety type voice communications. It's a consumer solution.

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It's an interesting idea to contact a local club, but would this imply we'd need a licensed ham operator standing next to each of our several dozen team members?
While amateur radio operators do show up with a lot of good communications tools in their "toolbox", the limitations on the license requirements would mean there would need to be a radio operator shadowing each team that needed communications. Also, a multi-channel event may not be realistic unless you involved several amateur radio clubs. Even then, you'd be relying on "volunteer communicators", which may or may not mean you'd have someone there when you needed them. Rented 2 way radios is the correct solution.

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I think the only remaining option would be VHF/UHF portables + repeater(s)...agree?
Agree.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2017, 4:02 PM
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Why "several clubs"? There are a lot of simplex channels. If the route is in a straight line or has one or two turns, simplex can cover each leg if necessary. Sounds like the event should have a central command post. Does every single one of the "several dozen" team members actually need to be on the air? Or just key decision makers? If the event is organized properly, you probably won't need as many radio operators as you are imagining.

And don't let the shop guys in the forum talk you into stuff you don't need or cannot afford. Somebody mentioned an SMR system. That would be trunking. LMR should be sufficient if you choose to go the commercial route. It might be a good idea to research the communications used in other similar events in NYC and see what the organizers and users had to say about it.

The NYC and Boston Marathons cover a much larger area than you have described and hams have provided excellent support for several seasons.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2017, 4:40 PM
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Try Citywide Disaster Services. I think they are in Brooklyn or Rockaways. I do not know them personally, but they are licensed and they resell Part90 (commercial) radio services and equipment to many customers including some city and government agencies. They'd probably have some referrals for you if they don't deal in that.

Whoever you work with, insist on actually walking (etc) the whole route and checking coverage every block. The canyons of Manhattan can make good coverage almost impossible unless there's a very expensive system backing it up. You may need to consider posting someone at every turn, or every 1/4 mile, etc., to relay messages from people on either side of them.
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