At recent USA national orienteering events, there has been a focus on improving the “arena” experience. Right now that means having radio communications from a few control locations to make the Finish arena experience, well, an experience.
In the middle of 2010 I purchased some radio control equipment from the UK. It turned out to be a bit painful to set up and use, and I was quickly disenchanted. Nice guys and all, but clunky equipment was one of the issues. I could go into details, but that isn’t going to happen at this late date.
So, fast forward to September 2011. I was contacted by a NJROTC program out of Florida about assisting them with using SportIdent and radio controls from at their national championships in February 2012.
They were planning to throw some serious money out there, and I was convinced that this was a case of more money than brains, but I was intrigued by their willingness to listen to my opinions (huge concession for a group of retired military officers), and I was liking what I saw on the O-Lynx website.
AND, then I “met” the O-Lynx developer, Phillip H, and I really liked what I saw. However, I needed to have some equipment of my own to test things out since I am very hands on. By December, James from sportident.us had set me up O-Lynx, and the testing began in earnest.
I did a backyard test and then tested at four QOC events (details to follow). There was also a successful use of the equipment at the aforementioned NJROTC champs, and then the final exam was at the four events at the Flying Pig in late March/early April (again, more details to follow).
At present, I have five O-Lynx controls/repeaters, and I plan to expand that to eight so that there will be enough for two each at the Start, Finish, Go, and possibly a Spectator control.