St Albans One Day Ride

October 2018 saw participating CCARC and WICEN members attend the St Albans One Day Ride
event. This event runs horses through 10, 20 and 40-kilometre tracks to test their capabilities and
endurance. Amateur radio operators were deployed at 6 locations – Base and checkpoints A through
to E. Bob VK2ZAR and Col VK2ZCZ operated the base station, running a simplex net to all other
checkpoints to make sure horses went through the appropriate checkpoints and to provide
emergency communication if required as mobile phone reception is practically non-existent.
As this ride is only run for one day, a repeater was not set up, hence the entire event was
communicating through simplex. St Albans has some very interesting propagation properties. In
short, each checkpoint can be in vastly different locations, some are in valleys, others on hills, and
some amongst the trees.
Due to the nature of the environment, a signal from a transmitter, which is generally sent in all
directions by an omnidirectional antenna, will reflect, refract and diffract off of the environment. At
the receiving antenna, it appears that multiple signals are coming from different directions. As they
are on the same frequency, the different signals can arrive in such a way that makes the received
signal stronger, or becomes out of phase and appear as a fading signal. This is known as
constructive and destructive multipath interference.
The One Day Ride went well, with one young girl who fell of her horse and luckily, was not
seriously injured.

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