Weatherman Relay Etiquette
The PCI Weatherman relay channel is 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.
Weatherman Emergency Channel
- The primary goal, focus, and responsibility of the Weatherman Relay Team on race day is the safety of the racers and Race Car teams – NOT status reports.
- All radios need to be integrated into helmets. NO HAND-HELD RADIOS are allowed. Your radio needs to be set up to scan 151.625 at all times during the race.
- 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.
- Status requests are limited to overdue vehicles. Prepare your Race Car teams with an estimated arrival time 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. Consider investing in a hand-held or second radio to monitor Weatherman if you only have one radio to wait and listen for your team.
- LISTEN before you speak. When tuning to a channel, listen for at least one minute to ensure you are not interrupting any conversations. If it’s clear, know what you’re going to say, press the PTT, wait two seconds, say the name of who you are calling, say who you are, then state what you need.
- Example of an efficient conversation on race day: “Weatherman, copy 55 Race Car?” “55 Race Car, Weatherman, go ahead” “Weatherman, 55 Race Car, can you relay to our race pit crew on 151.490 that we are en route with a transmission?” “55 Race Car, Weatherman, copy relay on 151.490 that you are en route with transmission.”
- 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.
- Identify yourself. When making a radio transmission, begin with who you are looking for, then who you are. Avoid saying “Weatherman, do you copy” as it makes communications difficult and inefficient on race day.
- 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. Avoid relentless calling for someone.
- If you are out of the race, the emergency has ended. Let people who need air time have it. Wait for lulls or breaks to coordinate your retrieval efforts. DNF’s should never talk over those still in the race. Put yourself in their shoes.
- 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.
- If you don’t need to be on the radio, don’t be.
- If you’re just listening, unplug your mic, and make sure you don’t sit on your handheld or put it in your pocket and key up the mic. PCI has magnetic microphone hang-up clips that work great for Race Car pit crews. Listening to the Weatherman Relay stream online on race day can help you avoid “stuck mic” issues, where a microphone is inadvertently keyed, ruining emergency communications for those in need.
- Know your frequency. Channel 7 is not your frequency. Be ready to tell Weatherman you need a relay on 151.625 to your Race Car crew.