TraQCentral – From The Starting Line
Our story begins with volunteering and how interests in both bicycle rides and amateur radio started us on this journey. Those diverse interests may seem like a strange combination, but it actually makes a lot of sense. There is a long tradition of the Amateur Radio Service helping out at non-profit rides, runs & road rallies. Their donation of personnel, expertise, equipment and time most certainly improves the communication & safety level event organizers know they must provide.
As members of local radio clubs, we volunteer and help with both organization and race-day logistics. Communication and location tracking are the key capabilities we provide. By setting up both mobile (i.e Support & Gear Vehicles) and stationary (i.e. Rest Stops/Water Stations) resources with ham radio, organizers communicate more effectively and can track the location of each resource. The marriage of Amateur Radio Service with Non-Profit organizations is a success story full of accomplishments.
However, after years of volunteering, it became clear there were opportunities for vast improvement. A more comprehensive system would require less infrastucture, utilize readily available technology and improve accuracy. Most importantly, the solution would need to track the participants and include communications to enhance their safety and experience.
System design began in early 2016. By the Fall of 2017, the core system was completed and we had our first successful beta test. Development continued throughout 2018 and 2019 with many features additions & system enhancements driven by event organizers. Testing at live events were very successful and well received by event organizers and race-day managers. Both volunteers and participants (especially those that requested assistance) were impressed with the pioneering co