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Thread: Skills

  1. #1
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    Skills

    Here I will be posting basic navigational skills necessary to learn the craft and succesfully guide a driver to complete the prescribed course.
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  2. #2
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    Map references

    Maps used in navigational rallies in the UK are based on the Ordnance Survey OS LandRanger 1:50,000 scale maps.
    On a map there is a series of intersecting grid lines; one set runs vertically up and down the map, the other horizontally across the map. The grid lines are 2cms apart, representing 1 km in real terms. All are consecutively numbered so that each square can be identified by a four figure number, two identifying the horizontal grid line and two the vertical grid line.

    Therefore, viewing the attached map, the town of Elphinston is in square 3970 on Map 66. Note the horizontal number comes first ( easiest remembered by "you go in the door and up the stairs" ). The numbers are printed in light blue on the OS maps beside the gridlines. ( Some navs will highlight or repeat these numbers to speed up plotting in the car )

    Specific points on a map can be identified by the use of six, eight or ten figure references.

    6-figures == HHhVVv
    In a six figure reference, the first two numbers (HH) denote the horizontal grid line, the fourth and fifth numbers (VV) the vertical grid line. To plot a reference simply find the horizontal grid line and follow it up until it intersects with the vertical grid line. The position you now have is the bottom left hand corner of the square containing the reference.

    To locate the exact spot use the third and sixth numbers of the reference, this is where a romer comes in. The third figure (h) is the number of tenths across the square and the sixth (v) the tenths up the square. The greater the number the further across or up the plot will be; for example xx0xx0 will be the bottom left hand corner of a square, while xx9xx9 will be almost the top right hand corner.

    At times complete numbers are not accurate enough to identify the road, junction or landmark, so then fractions are added to the third and sixth figures.

    8-figure reference == HHhhVVvv
    Now an extra digit is added to each gridline to give a more accurate refrence.
    Now each gridline is broekn into 100ths.
    This will commonly only be used for 1/2 of grid tenths.
    These are usually accurate as it needs to be on the Landranger series.

    10-figure reference == HHhhhVVvvv
    This leads to the more common item, the ten figure reference; in this the fraction is replaced by a two figure decimal fraction. This means you end up with a reference such as 1235045625, which is equivalent to the six figure reference 123½456¼. These would typically only be used on higher detailed maps and unlikely in normal use.

    So if there are only 4 digits, it is a box. 6 digits is 'standard' and the scale for romers for 1:50000. 8 digits will be used occasionally where it is necessary to go more detailed and 10 digit for further details. Commercially available romers won't go below 6 digits. So nav skill usually becomes necessary to interpolate.

    Most events that you'll contest, certainly most road rallies, will use a fairly straight forward system. There will be a list of controls, defined by references, with, maybe, the direction of approach and/or depart being stipulated for some controls. The navigator plots these and then selects the quickest route between them.

    On the vast majority of events pre-plot navigation has become the norm these days. With pre-plot events the route information is given out with time being allowed for a navigator to plot the route prior to starting the competitive sections. In these you will be given the route information, then go to a holding control for an hour or so, before the first competitive section.

    On some events plot'n'bash navigation is used. As the name suggests, the navigator isn't given the route card until the due depart time. This gives the crew a choice of either plotting on the move or stopping and plotting the route before continuing. Obviously the first option means less time lost, however it's a very difficult task to simultaneously plot the route, keep the driver on the correct road, deal with controls and also ensure that the contents of your stomach don't come loose!

    For beginners the best choice will be to stop and ensure the correct route is on the map before embarking on the section

    Within this little challenge you'll get to experience all the 'fun' of navigational challenges with out the gut-wrenching yuumps and sideways cornering any driver would no doubt throw your way. So when you are feeling confident in doing these tests, just get the rest of the family to move the desk and your chair while you try it and you'll start to experience the real world of club navigating

    BTW, a little piece of 'net logistics here. If you print the maps and romer there is a certainty they won't be the same scale. Not much I can do to help other than suggesting you use a graphics package to ensure they are all printed at equal 1:1 scale. I can't help you with that, you'll need to sort it out on your own computer/printer. Oh and ask the ink-buyer for permission first.

    The map is (C) Copyright Ordnance Survey.
    The romer is (C) Copyrigh Don Barrow. see www.donbarrow.co.uk
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Matra et Alpine; 05-24-2004 at 05:39 PM.
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  3. #3
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    Thanks alot Peter i have got one of those 'Roamers' somewhere i guess i will just have to find it again, or print another out, there is nothing wrong with having spares now is there
    Cedric - I sound like a chipmunk on there. Some friends of mine were like, "were you going through puberty?" I was like, no I was already 20, I just sound like a girl.

  4. #4
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    Using the map already posted with the romer, see if you can find the locations ...

    449737
    468768

    Attached is the picture of the map with the romer position on each for you to check your answer ....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  5. #5
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    Route instruction abbreviations

    Some stages will be given as a set of route instructions.
    The comon abbreviations used in these are :-

    B Brown
    CAR Consider All Routes
    CRO Coloured Roads Only
    DSO Driving Standards Observer
    E East
    ELT Electricity Transmission Line
    FL Fork Left
    FR Fork Right
    G Green
    GI Graticule Intersection
    GL Grid Line
    GR Grid Reference
    GS Grid Square
    IGR Ignore Gated Roads
    J Junction
    MP Mileage Post
    MR Map Reference
    MS Mile Stone
    N North
    NAM Not As Map junction
    PC Passage Control
    R Red
    RA RoundAbout
    S South
    SH Spot Height
    SO Straight On
    SR Side Road
    TC Time Control
    TJ T-Junction
    TL Turn Left
    TR Turn Right
    W White or West
    XR Cross Roads
    Y Yellow
    YJ Y Junction

    So coming to a T junction and being instructed to turn right would be ...

    TJTR

    Passing a side road would be
    SRSO

    and so on
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  6. #6
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    Road Heights

    Another common challenge in navigations is to describe a route by the road height markings.

    For these a Spot Height (SH) will be give as a single number and the nav has to find it on the map and determine the shortest route to get to it.

    Example below has a red circle around SH93, the dot on the road is where the actual road height is. Note that this is at a junction. This gives 3 directions you could approach this SH from and 3 you could leave on. This would be a typical 'challenge' an event may set How you approach and leave wil be determined by other information for the stage.

    If you undertake 'plot'n'bash' it is advisable to highlight ALL spot heights in the map area the event is being run on AS SOON AS you know the map and area for the event - these are normally given at least a week before the event. Then when you are trying to find these heights in a moving car you stand a chance !!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  7. #7
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    Right that's enough 'skills' to get you off onto the first stage of the rally

    So get on over to the Stage 1.

    As the map posted is a scan, you may find difficulty reading fine details. Not much I can do about that and keep within the UCP file size limit.

    HOWEVER, there is help at hand www.multimap.co.uk and www.streetmap.co.uk has the OS maps on-line. Unfortunately, it's only small sections so it's hard to read grid numbers without the overview map I provide. You may find you have to switch between the 2 formats to be successful in the on-going challenge. A limitation of the 'net we can live with I hope.

    For example
    MR 449737 is at http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.sr...rch.srf&dn=707
    MR 468768 is at http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.sr...rch.srf&dn=707

    Multimap doesn't highlight MRs but the same maps can be seen at http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.c....x=10&out.y=11 and

    You can use the on-line maps with a bit of perseverance as you can use the arrows around their on-line maps to see the details. Keep it all at the 1:50000 scale toughor it WILL eb confusing.

    Good luck and lets go.......
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  8. #8
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    Passage and Time Controls

    These are placed along the route of a rally to record the times of the cars competing.
    PCs are usually mid-stage TCs are end of stage.
    At each your time will be recorded.

    PCs and TCs will often be given with a DIRECTION.
    This indicated from which direction you should approach the TC or PC.
    eg. 468768 NNW
    means you should be coming from North North West.Coming from the wrong direction will receive penalties !!

    It is important you check the time recorded on your time card that it matches the one you have recorded on your own stop watch. The marshal may have made a simple error and if so, it's easier to clear it up at the time. Don't get into a debate if it isn't. Raise the concern with te marshal and then see the clerk of the course at the end of the even when the provisional results are posted.
    Timing can't come into it other than for YOU as a nav. If you time yourself then you can estimate if you think you could have then expected the driver to have travelled the distance in the time left. eg if it's 10 miles stage and there are 15 minutes given. If you take 10 minutes to plot it correctly, do you REALLY think your driver can go over the road at an AVERAGE of 90mph ? Clearly not But you're your own judge. Keeping your OWN time is useful for yourself as you will want to see improvement as you go.
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  9. #9
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    Final Instructions

    Final details of the rally, route changes, areas of safety or danger will typically be clarified in the Final Instructions.

    When signing on the NAVIGATOR MUST ensure he/she has teh Final Instructions AND checks the notice area for any further ammednments.

    Final Instructions will include drawing you attention to the permits, RASC and Police Route Authorisations. If these aren't available and posted you risk prosecution for competing outwith a license event AND you insurance is null and void. So even thoutgh it's run-of-mill, worth checking.

    Total competitive mileage will be notified and and scheduled stopovers and for how long.
    Use this information to plan you petrol if necessary. Again if it's likely needed, the organisaers should explain the best placess to get fuel and when.

    Timing details will be calirifed also. How many controls to be visited, maximum lateness at stopover TCs and when timecards are handed over. Some events adhere strictly to a 30 miunte lateness is exclusion from the event. Local club events which is cinludign begineers will often waive the over lateness exclusion. BUT the later you are the more you're relying on the good nature of the Marshals. So sometimes it's best to retire yourself rather than wastte eveyones time.

    Some TCs don't have parking and so you will be guided to te EARLIEST you can enter a time control period relative to your due time. This is typically 1 minute without penalty. Anything else will incure penalty.

    Start time and interval will be published.
    If you are not GIVEN your start due time ion your time card then you MUST calculate it and ensure you are there at that time. Or you incur time penalty and the driver will NOT be happy about that !!

    Then a good organiser will confirm their intepretation of various route comments in the instructions. So the following may/will/should be covered
    - definition of crossing and touching a grid line, electricity transmission line, river, contour etc This usually include a drawing as attached below.
    - abbreviations used ( but if none, the list provided is usually the correct one )
    - definition of gated road. his is a common point of contention at the publication of provisional results and complaints
    - clarifiaction of 'correct route', usually it is the shortest implied by the instructions. Assume straight on unless otherwise instructed.
    - Whether there are any mileage loops in the event - these are used to increase distance covered with no real navigation needed.
    - Handling of NAMs. These are usually "go the lon way round"

    The FIs will also include all the contacts and emergency phone numbers.
    Again, it's best if the NAV programs the Clerk of the Course numebr into the mobile phones in case of emergency. BUT, if it is a serious incident, don't delay in calling 999 first !!

    Sensitive and quiet area handling may be explained in the FIs cincluding MRs or they may be covered in the final verbal announcemnets from the clerk of the course who will also typically go through the course boards.

    Posting of DOSs will be made clear that they exist but not usually where - or you'd be tempted to go like a loony everywhere else. The point about rally road events is you're sharing the road some SOME care has to be taken and enforced. Again FIs will remind and warn/. Pay head, especially to any areas stressed eg Hospitals. You WILL BE disqualified if a DSO reports you or worse the police

    Insurance is usually offered at event registration, some organiseres will put a reminder in the FIs. make sure you are and have signed the sheet accordingly.

    Finally the area of the map in use MAY be signified. This is helpful to novices who may get lost as you know you're well off the track if you go outside the area. It is worth MARKING this area on your map. Use a blue highlighter pen to mark the rectangle and then you are only looking for routes within. It's easy to stray out and make your nav job harder.

    This is just SOME of the things likely in Final Instructions.
    If you help marshal events before rallying all this is easier to take in than in the 'heat' of having to do it for real for the first time
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  10. #10
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    Thanks alot Matra/ Peter this is going to help me alot when I need it for my first Nav run hope i remember it all, even though it shouldnt be that bad because the driver will be able to help me more on a Road rally
    Cedric - I sound like a chipmunk on there. Some friends of mine were like, "were you going through puberty?" I was like, no I was already 20, I just sound like a girl.

  11. #11
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    Tulip Diagrams

    Not named after the flower but after the "Tulip Rally" in Holland which pioneered them.

    They are VERY simple.

    They are pictures of each junction as seen from overhead.

    The ball is the direction from which the rally route comes and the arrow is the direction to which the rally route goes

    As with all directions, a navigator has to come up with a means of communicating these to the driver. We'll cover that later. First I'm focussing on the skill to PLOT the route, we'll get over the hurdle of communicating it to a lesser life-form later on

    Couple of examples below.
    Can you tell which one is Turn Right into side road and which is turn left at Y ? (rhetorical Q)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  12. #12
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    they are in the order that you said them
    Cedric - I sound like a chipmunk on there. Some friends of mine were like, "were you going through puberty?" I was like, no I was already 20, I just sound like a girl.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang123
    they are in the order that you said them
    RHETORICAL QUESTION : n : a statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answered;

    Keep this up and you'll have to be relegated to being a rally driver.
    Here in nav school were better educated

    Sheez, now I'm running English class j/k
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine
    RHETORICAL QUESTION : n : a statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answered;

    Keep this up and you'll have to be relegated to being a rally driver.
    Here in nav school were better educated

    Sheez, now I'm running English class j/k

    sorry i just wanted to make sure that i was correct
    Cedric - I sound like a chipmunk on there. Some friends of mine were like, "were you going through puberty?" I was like, no I was already 20, I just sound like a girl.

  15. #15
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    Marking your maps

    First thing to mark on a map is the area ideintifed in the Final Instructions showing the range of grids utilised an the maps. These are geven as a rectangle and as the route will not leave that area you can mark the map to remove the distraction of roads/items outside of the area. Coloured Highlighter pens are excellent for this purpose - though permament. Alternatively use your 4B pencil and draw shade lines on the outer (unused) area.

    Within that area you can speed things up if you use highlighter to mark all the SHs. Sometimes, MPs are use, so it may help to mark all those in another colour.

    Next it helps avoid errors if you copy the grid line numbers every 5 grids as opposed to the every 10 on the stadard OS. A fine overhead pen is ideal for this.

    If given for the event, mark petrol station and halts. Including the finish - not the first time a crew is late getting to the results because they got lost

    You now have a map marked ready to assist in the fast identification of the route to be given in the stage instructions.

    When you have received the stage route instructions it will be in many differnet forms using MRs, SHs, tulips, crossings, boxes, gridlines and sometimes even puzzles.

    Whether you do it before the start of the event propoer, or at the start of each stage - OR even as you go, it is important to mark your map so that you can quicly and clearly convey instructions to the driver.

    So ... first, it has to be easy to read. I recommend a 4B pencil.
    It's dark enough to be read under a reasonable map light AND it's easily erased if you make a plotting error and need to retrace.

    Mark TCs and PCs with a solid line crossing the road at the location identified. and add an arrow to show direction arriving and/or leaving.

    Mark the route by drawing a line alongside the road the route takes. Drawing OVER the road has the risk of possible obscuring fine detail of a junction which you may then mis-call to the driver.

    Some navs mark the left side of the road, some mark the right, some mark the OUTSIDE of all corners - thus at some point the line is drawn crossing the road. You need to identify which YOU prefer and which one will mean LESS errors for you.

    When reading the route to the driver you won't always have time to check with the instructions, it will be hard enough keeping the map in the light
    So any commentary in the route instructions that are relevant or come to mind as you are plotting should be added. But be sure to be concise. AND PRINT CLEARLY AND BOLDLY. You're going to be reading this going round a corner at speed with a driver possibly screaming blu murder at you

    So, any complex junctions which may need explanation - mark them (e.g. Hard Right). Where there are side roads especially white loops add extra lines o make sure the correct route to be taken. Without these added marks it's easy to call the wrong route to the driver. (Stage 2 has a good example)

    You HAVE to transfer all the info onto the map to make the RIGHT decision, at speed, in the dark. So I've made sure I don't get confused at the complex junction by adding a NO LOOP comment, so making sure I call the straghtest way across and through that section. (again a Stage 2 example)

    Also mark NAMs CLEARLY. A NAM means basically go the long way round, but until you come across the junction it's not always clear the route required. In most cases there is a triangle at the junction so rather than just going right, it is necessary to go left round the triangle and out again. It may be a layby, or farmyard. Some NAMs you can work out from the OS map, others you can't and so marking the map, knowing they;'re coming you can get heads-up and give additional instruction to the driver.

    And those exclamation marks the organisers kindly put on a tulip or a MR. Try to read from the map what the danger might be - if a quarry the risk of long drops, farms may be uneven roads and mud or maybe it's a deep ford. Transferring that info to the map means you can call a clear warning when you approach it - and get your head UP OUT OF THE MAP at the time to try to assist the driver in evaluating the danger. Again at that point you may wish to add extra lines to ensure you read the right directions amidst all the other need to look for danger. It is VERY easy to call it wrong.

    Especially when coming down the map - something VERY important and lets spend some time thinking about it. Following a route up the map is easy, a junction is on the left on the map AND the car. Copming down the map is different. Right and Left are trasnposed. A complex staggered junction with a bend can play havoc with left and right in your mind - especially if under time pressure and tryong to push on. So practise, reading the direction, maybe use a tape recorder then play it back and see if you got everyone right. If you ARE prone to error, then maybe for a while you should add additional annotation to the junctions R and L to make sure you call it right !! The driver will be very upset if you get it wrong. I did in a big way, ended up in a ditch and the driver cursing at me to tell him whether I'd made my mind up about it being left or right !!!

    BUT and B_I_G but .... Don't put TOO much on a map or it will cause clutter and just confuse. You need to develop your own shorthand notes and indicators and stick to them. Look at other maps navigators mark up in events. Go along to nav events and where there is an area set aside to do the nav ask to go in and look around. See the different things, different navs do. Colours, marks, lines, notes. THINK if they will work for you. On the surface some seem good ideas - one nav experimented with post-it notes until the first time one peeled of in hadning over a timecard So THINK if it has value when you see it. Maybe after you can ask a nav to show you his maps and ask about things you saw at the start - PLEASE don't interrupt them while they're plotting
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

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