For the 2012 Triple Peaks, O-Lynx radios were to going to be used to monitor the competitors as they went around the course. Two of the peaks were monitored as well as the park that competitors ran through, both as they left Havelock North, and when the returned. This gave a check of competitors that had started as well as an early warning for the announcers as the runners or bikers headed for the finish.
The directional panel and yagi antennas used for the Cape Challenge were again used here to ensure the radios could cover the required distance. A repeater was also used at Keith Sands park as the control site was down in a valley. The punch information from this point was routed via Te Mata peak and then back down to the village as there was no way to get line-of-site directly to the Start/Finish location. The main use of the radio information was for commentary purposes.
Distances covered by the radios include the 7km from Mt Erin to Te Mata Peak as well as the 4.4km back down to the event centre at Havelock North. A large omni-directional 15dbi outdoor antenna was trialed at the Park check point ( see the photo below ) but wasn’t needed as a repeater was necessary to get down into the valley anyway. Its performance seemed similar to the standard 12dbi antennas normally fitted to the O-Lynx radios, though its added height could be a bonus in certain locations.
New for this event were the 5m extension leads that were used to be able to mount the larger antennas away from the controls. This was to give adequate room for the mountain bikers to punch, but also to ensure the directional antennas wouldn’t get knocked out of alignment. Extension leads should be used with caution though as one of the early lessons learned when developing O-Lynx was that if there is a cable, then somebody will find a way to trip over it.
The Triple Peaks event also made use of the slightly larger radio units that can provide up to 3 days of use. This allows them to be put out well before the event takes place.