Written by KB5ZDG and N5TIM

A SAG Communicator is a vehicle capable Amateur Radio Operator who accompanies an official during an event or is the communicator for a SAG Vehicle. A SAG operator typically rides in a vehicle designated to provide transportation or logistics during an event.

The purpose of the SAG operator is to allow constant contact between the SAG vehicle and the event officials via amateur radio. Thus the amateur operator MUST remain in the immediate vicinity of the SAG vehicle driver AT ALL TIMES. The SAG communicator will typically ride “shotgun” in the vehicle being used as the SAG vehicle. The driver may have a set agenda or route that may change due to the nature of the event or at the directions of net control.


  • The SAG communicator must remain with the SAG vehicle and/or driver at all times. In addition, the amateur must monitor the radio AT ALL TIMES.
  • The SAG communicator is expected to take direction from the event communications coordinator during his shift.
  • The SAG communicator may operate other radios as well, such as an event-furnished radio and cellular telephone.

Other Duties:

• The SAG communicator may be called upon to assist the driver with map reading, observing road conditions and assisting the loading of the vehicle (generally tired or participants with minor injuries), including their equipment if needed. The SAG communicator must remain with the SAG vehicle and/or driver at all times.
• Shifts at most public service events have durations of 12 hours or less. This time may vary depending on the actual needs of the operation.
• The operator shall be in good physical condition. The amateur operator must be able to sit/ride for long times in the SAG vehicle.

The SAG operator shall be equipped with the following equipment when reporting for duty:

  • Mobile 2 meter/70 cm, 10 watt output minimum, synthesized transceiver with programmable CTSS encoder, for easy installation in a vehicle. Alternative: Hand-held, 2 meter/70 cm with mobile booster amplifier.
    (Note: Cross band, dual band, 2 meter-70cm radio is the basic expectation)
  • Dual Band or 5/8-wave, mag-mount antenna with 15 feet coaxial cable with necessary connectors and adapters.
  • Large capacity battery power should be considered since some vehicles will not have access to vehicle battery. Spare batteries for 12 hours operation if using HT.
  • Power adapter connectors — both cigarette lighter and clip-lead for direct battery connection with cables at least 10 feet long. Recommended: Anderson Power Pole compatible connectors.
  • Ear piece, headphones or speaker-mike.

Similar positions at an event would be Supply van, chase vehicle, bus, ambulance, etc.

By the way, did you know that the definition of SAG is Support and Gear. It is generally a vehicle used to deliver equipment and supplies to checkpoints and to return tired walkers to the finish line.

That concludes tonight’s training. Are there any questions, comments or suggested additions to this material?

Thanks, this is (callsign) clear to net control.