INDY 500 2017

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cognetic

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Happy Wednesday Day, All...
Been listening to Indy 500 related, IMS +IndyCar + Media freqs this week in order to tweak the radioLAB situation from office & garage in Broad Ripple plus prepping BCD 436HP scanner, ID-51 HT, ID-5100s and RE 3000s for a week of fun including at track raceday. Even managed a couple of near-field drivebys as part of business travel to compare with fixed receive using yagis and verticals.

Using the RR and IndyCar references plus past known IMS Ops, ABC OPS/Broadcast, WRTV, etc. as the sample lot along with band scanning.

Some highlights....
1) Many active commercial (IMS and Media) and race team related stations during the weekend quals; intermittent with early am and late afternoon network updates Mon-Wed so far.
2) What seemed like mock flyover / simulation on Monday mid-day noted on UNICOM and Speedway Tower (Air) with reference to "mock fly-by" approach to IMS (cut to IND freqs with related notices to regular traffic +/- simulating protocol with military coordination??).
3) All the driver freqs published via IndyCar update have only been active with non-analog digital squawks until today around noon when a couple of driver freqs went analog. Do they usually do this? I dont' seem to recall so little analog on these driver freqs.
4) IMS Tower testing this afternoon.

Anybody else monitoring?
What are you hearing?
Where are the updates from other listeners?

Surprised there was little to none in terms of posts on any of the popular web forums referencing RF activity for this 2017 Indy 500 Spectacle.

Happy to share freqs and files (RT system format & CSV) with anyone else to compare & refresh database for this year's Indy 500... BTW, I'll be finished with programming by mid-day Friday as the festivities begin then onto race focused listening and maybe a few simplex QSOs at the track.

Best Regards,

-cognetic
 
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It's been 10 years since I worked at the track so my info might be outdated. I think the IRL rules require clear comms from driver to pit. The digital bursts might be local users who happen to be co-channel users on team freqs. No one has an exclusive freq.

This caused a problem one year in the late 80s when a team member came rushing in my office about 8am so I could hear people talking on 'their' channel. The co-channel user had the same PL which made the problem even worse.

After a few minutes I figured out it was the Indy Star paper boys selling papers at the gates. I called the guy who seemed to be coordinating distribution and explained the situation, they moved to their channel 2. Back then we were using xtal radios so most teams only had 2 freqs, car to pit and pit to sign board, so stuff like this was more critical than today.

Same thing happened to Penske at Phoenix the first year they went to 800 MHz, there was a cab company on the freq and they were chatty. The team moved to ch 2 which was simplex, but repeaters are overkill at most tracks, so it didn't matter.

When Tim Lombardi, the team manager, first came to me for suggestions I told him RP had enough money to hire all the cabs for Sunday afternoon so they would not need to use radios. He didn't find the idea amusing.

The teams have intercoms they use when the driver is in the pit so you don't hear the driver to engineer conversations like you did back in the good old days. Teams would monitor other teams to gather chassis setup info.

Derrick Walker told me they noticed a team making the same wing / shock / spring adjustments at Mid Ohio one year, so they decided to sucker the copycats into making a false move. They got on the radio and called for a set of springs that was out of line with what they were using, so a mechanic went to the pit cart to get them.

He did not get the verbal message that it was a ruse so he took off running to the paddock when he could not find the set he needed.

Last time I worked the Long Beach GP (2014) the IRL was using 451.6875 for fire A (on track safety) and 455.575 for the competition repeater used for team broadcast.

The TV crew uses 450-451 and 455-456, they usually split repeater pairs to run simplex. I listened to what's called clean program, just the announcers without effects. Some other freqs have talkback from pit announcers to the producer, those have program audio but also have the truck intercom mixed in.

FEMA has a MERS unit at the track so there might be activity on federal freqs but I imagine they will be encrypted.
 

cognetic

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Indianapolis
Indy 500 RF History Lesson!

Thank you for the light-hearted history of Indy 500 by RF!
I really enjoyed those stories.

They sparked some of my own recall...
I do remember carrying freq counters with active tuning-to-monitor interfaces a few times in my early adult days. A family friend & fellow Amateur Radio Operator that was active in the racing business always found access & a place for us to plant for set-up during the week. As unique as some of that equipment looked, not once did security ever ask. Though a Navy radio officer once stopped to chat & co-listen and we were impressed with his stories. Maybe it was the passes we had and the fact that there was so much other "Great Spectacle" going on. A bit different from late teens SnakePit days when the only radios we thought about were blasting tunes...

-cognetic
 

aliby19

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McCordsville, IN
Would love to get a copy of your programming files, CSVs, etc. I usually do this myself before the race but this would save me some work!
 
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Trackscan sold freq lists, I don't know if they are still coming to IRL races, the guy who started and owned the business sold out a few years ago. Racing electronics is the IRL sponsor now, their site shows some locations at the track. Teams usually don't change from year to year so an old list will probably work except for 500 only drivers.
 
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