Dakar Rally Taps Clear-com for Race Comms

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA—The Dakar Rally, held over several weeks in January, relied on matrix communications systems from Clear-Com to handle communications among racing staff and the media. The rally–which garnered a billion viewers in 190 countries–began at Buenos Aires and ended in Rosario, Santa Fe.

Dakar Rally has used Clear-Com systems for the past 25 years and this year, organizers decided to upgrade their existing systems to Clear-Com’s Eclipse HX 8.0, which enables standard IP-connected V-Series user control panels to operate both as fully functional intercom keypanels and as multichannel audio gateways with no requirement for additional hardware or software licenses. This allowed rally crews to send and receive three audio channels from each V –Series panel at remote positions, including two of the V-Panels that were based in Paris, where the company’s integration partners Audiopole and Astrium are based. This feature extends the Eclipse HX’s existing capability to provide remote matrix intercom connectivity over diverse IP infrastructure at no additional cost.

The rally entourage travelled with two Eclipse systems, and for each stage they were set up either in a building or in a vehicle. The systems were used by numerous staff, including race management, medical and safety regulators and the media, including approximately 40 TV stations.

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.