The PCI Weatherman relay channel is a very busy information stream on race day. We are communicating with dozens of people at any given time and air time is valuable, especially in an emergency. Understanding how to properly and efficiently use the radio will help all of us have better communications. Please share with your team.
The primary goal, focus and responsibility of the Weatherman Relay Team on race day is the safety of the racers and chase teams - NOT status reports. When the channel is clear, we are happy to help with status reports, but before you call asking where your race car is - make sure you understand the below info.
How to Use the Weatherman Channel
- Know your frequency. Channel 7 is not your frequency. Be ready to tell Weatherman you need a relay on 151.625 to your chase crew.
- LISTEN before you speak. When you tune to a channel, listen for at least one minute to make sure you are not interrupting any conversations. If you know it is clear, know what you are going to say, press the PTT, wait two seconds, say the name of who you are calling, say who you are, then say what you need.
- This is an example of an efficient conversation on race day. “Weatherman, copy 55 Chase?” “55 Chase, Weatherman, go ahead” “Weatherman, 55 Chase, can you relay to our race truck on 151.490 that we are en route with a transmission?” “55 Chase, Weatherman, copy relay on 151.490 that you are en route with transmission.”
- Identify yourself. When making a radio transmission, begin with who you are looking for, then who you are. Weatherman communicates with thousands of people on race day. We hear "Weatherman, do you copy" all the time on race day and it makes communications difficult and inefficient.
- If you don’t hear back after two tries, you have two options. You can call out what you need in the dark or you can wait a few minutes and try again. Don’t be the idiot that is out there calling for someone relentlessly.
Weatherman Channel Rules
- If the channel is CODE RED - there is a medical emergency. Do not request status, updates or relay on this channel, it will be for medical emergencies only until Weatherman clears the Code Red. If you are a PCI customer you can call for non emergency assistance on the PCI Customer Relay channel.
- If you’re just listening, unplug your mic and make sure you don’t sit on your hand held or put it in your pocket and key up the mic. PCI has magnetic microphone hang up clips that work great for chase trucks. If you've never listened to the Weatherman Relay stream online on race day, do it. There are dozens of "stuck mic" issues where a microphone is inadvertently keyed, ruining emergency communications for those in need. Make sure you stress how important this is to your teams - you could save a life.
- If you are out of the race, the emergency has ended. Let people that need air time have it. Wait for lulls or breaks to coordinate your retrieval efforts. DNF’s should never be talking over those still in the race. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Status requests are limited to overdue vehicles. Prepare your chase teams so they have an estimated time you should arrive to their location. Please do not call for status unless your vehicle is more than an hour overdue. If you do call in for a status, stick around. It may take some time to get back to you depending on workload, but it's a waste of time for us to keep you in queue if you are going to just switch back to your channel. Invest in a hand held or second radio to monitor Weatherman if you only have one radio to wait and listen for your team.
- Digital Radios have no business in racing and they should be prohibited. Transmitting on team or operation frequencies in digital will render both your digital and their analog communications worthless. Analog travels much farther than digital and it is best for anyone sharing the same channel to hear other people on frequency so they can wait their turn and know who they are talking to. Digital radios will not communicate with analog and all you will do is cause interference and noise to others.
- If you don’t need to be on the radio, don’t be.
- Keep it short and simple and think before you speak. If you get nervous on the radio, say what you are going to say out loud before you press the PTT.
- Slow down. Yelling or speaking fast on the radio won’t do anyone favors.
- Just like your normal conversations, you cannot talk and listen at the same time. Don’t interrupt, they won’t hear you.
- Stuck Mic. It does no good to get on the radio and tell someone about it. When a radio is transmitting, they cannot hear you.