Project:UK Hack Camp/Planning

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  • CFP





BMX track



Operations Centre

  • Should be a portacabin or some other physical structure, not a tent. Will want to be on-site during the build.
  • Needs reliable power and at least one radio base station (probably several for various channels, but there has to be an always-on hotline to event management team for emergencies on a dedicated channel)

First Aid

  • Tajasel & D00n (St John) are a good place to start. CCC Camp 2011 had a dedicated CERT team and ambulance. Approx commercial costs for st Johns. ~10£ / first aider / hour. 4 would be a reasonable number for a 500 person event, ambulance ~50£ / hour. A first aid tent / building also required. Commercial providers will probably cost more, but same order of magnitude.

Help Desk


  • External company is usually the way to go- need people who are SIA licensed.




  • Uplink bandwidth management will be a priority, and managed switches and routers will make this considerably easier (both to monitor and enforce)
  • Monitoring of environmentals (power, temperature) would be nice
  • Enclosures for equipment should ideally be tamperproof and hackerproof, and should also be waterproof- it will rain.


  • CCC had a grid of Datenklo, which held APs and switches. Wifi was still shit - most people used wired, and the angels had to go round removing unauthorised APs.
  • Wired is clearly the way to go where possible, but we're still going to need a fairly large number of wireless APs. Renting isn't likely to be feasible- might be best to look at buying a number of low-cost devices like Mikrotik RB711A-5Hn-M/RB411AR. Alternatively go for a central tower or two (depending on camp size) and splash out on some nice sector antennas, but this is likely to make aggregate bandwidth an issue. A combination may be the way to go.
  • Two-radio-one-board devices with an uplink antenna and a sector antenna could be quite effective at filling the gaps, depends on wired connectivity- at which point does a reel of decent cat5 cost more than the AP+antennas?
  • Testing is good. If we're buying gear outright, do it weeks in advance and try it out on site, see where the gaps are, figure out the limitations and structure the policy for usage and network management around the available resources.


  • Current standard in event management crowds is to hire in two-way radios; Motorola's TRBOnet digital system is quite popular and simple to operate (DP 3400s and DP 3600s are relatively cheap to hire, too)
  • Repeaters typically needed, especially if traffic management needs doing- repeaters will put range up to a couple of miles.
  • Account for limited number of channels- medical staff and event control will need their own. Medical people will usually expect radios to be provided for them by the events team.
  • Reliability is king. Rented off-the-shelf well-tested solution beats hacked together thing. Security also a consideration- TRBOnet and friends offer basic encryption which should be sufficient. In the case of things like event emergencies (fires and the like), you don't want that going out to the 5% of the attendees with radio scanners. Codewords for fires and the like are also used at most events to prevent the public panicking ("Mr. Charles is in tent X", for instance, goes down a whole lot better with the crowd who just overheard the radio than "Tent X is on fire"). Triggering large movements of people is bad.
  • I've got a friend who runs these systems at large events (golf cups, wimbledon & the like). These systems can also offer logging of call connections and content, and identification of handsets in case of abuse. We could get a quote from his employer, They offer the Motorola system and a competitor's (Hytera) that can increase the number of channels per repeater. Artag


Licence needed in the UK. CCC had a test licence.


Most suitable, and visitors to other camps will already have handsets. See eventphone ( Might be worth inviting them ;-)


  • Could apply for an Ofcom RSL and hire the kit in- but it is something that needs to be kicked off well in advance and with the location of the event known.
    • Hire costs for a minimal rig (transmitter, processor, RDS encoder, antenna, cable- requires us to provide an audio source and logging (recording of playout) system) are around £750 a week
    • In addition to said audio logger (regulatory requirement) you need ~2-3 microphones, a mixer, and a playout computer. This will all need an indoor home, and ideally the TX should be elevated on site.
  • Worth talking to community radio stations nearby, too, for coverage and free publicity. Might also be able to assist with RSLs, equipment-wise and talent-wise. Radio presenting is hard!
  • AM is easier to license, but who has AM radios these days? FM is still pretty darned easy to get under RSL, and the equipment is cheaper.
  • Have spun this RSL off into a seperate wiki page Project:EMFM as this is probably more involved that will fit on just one small section on this wiki page.



Waste Disposal



High priority - hackers aren't as dirty as you'd think, and the CCC were quite contended during the morning. Hot showers do put a significant water and power load on the site, though, so this has to be considered.



  • Coffee


Some groups will collaborate on food, but nearby shops and stalls will be vital.

  • Making sure that we have the appropriate services for any stalls (eg power, water, gas etc) in order to make sure any stalls etc will come back for the next one (and actually be able to supply us with food)
  • Some kind of coordination for supermarket deliveries?