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Old 08-16-2014, 08:39 PM   #41
Mr. Ham
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 95

I live in Pennsylvania, in Pennsylvania there is a fee for the vanity plate + the regular plate fee - charged when you get the vanity plate. You can keep the plate on the vehicle until it wears out and then you have to pay for another plate.

It does you no good to have a vanity plate here.
There are no real hams within 50 road miles of my house.
The people that are hams - are usually found on some rag chew net on the Hf, such as the Rooster Net in the morning, You have to check in X amount of times and then you have to crow like a rooster while standing on a chair to be accepted into the group. Sometimes they make you crow several times until they get a crow they like..
At night they check into the SubBelt Net or some other dumb net.

Conversations are mostly personal and done on simplex - so no repeater owner throws them off the repeater. The clubs are clique's and the people only uses their walkie talkie sparingly once a week at the club net to give their no traffic and then turn their handheld back off so they don't kill their batteries..

You can call CQ on 146.520 until your face turns blue - even out on I 80 and no one will come back to you.. Everyone is too busy screwing other people, making money, screwing other hams - feuds, and talking on their cell phones or checking into nets on the HF to be bothered with the FM....

I actually stopped in at a hams house and asked him what his big antenna's were for and what the letters and numbers were for on his license plate. When he told me he was a ham, I screwed with him and asked him if that was some type of CB radio.
He didn't have a real good answer, he just said that he and his wife were both hams and that they operated simplex - mostly 6 meters or 40 meters when he worked construction. Then when he retired, he didn't have any reason to talk anymore - because he never really talked to anyone other then the local group and his wife.

When I shook his hand and said - oh, by the way, my name is XXX and my call sign is CCXCC - he just about crapped his pants..
I didn't get an invite to come back and I didn't get an invite to come into his house and see his shack.. He grew up in the same small town I live in and grew up and went to school with my parents in the 40's and 50's and went to the same catholic school..

I think that the days of people being proud that they are hams is over.
Most of them are only out for themselves and the other ones got their license after the code requirement and or by illicit means and so the license doesn't mean that much to them. They use it when it is convenient - like a telephone and the rest of the time they don't even turn their radio on.. Some - their wives don't let them have radios in the house or antenna's in the yard, or on their vehicles - so all they have is the handheld...
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:04 PM   #42
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Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
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Originally Posted by Mr. Ham View Post
- oh, by the way, my name is XXX and my call sign is CCXCC...
Mr. Ham welcome aboard Open Roads

We're a pretty friendly laid back bunch. BTW, a name and call would be nice.


KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

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Old 08-16-2014, 09:18 PM   #43
Mr. Ham
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 95

There is no mutual aid asked for or given by hams in the state of Pennsylvania.
In rural Pennsylvania most everything emergency related is done by the volunteer firemen and the REACT people.
The REACT people would make good hams, but they sometimes get paid to do civic functions such as bicycle races, marathons, activities in the park, parking cars at the high school for football games.
Because they have a pecuniary interest they cannot use amateur radio, not even simplex when they are being paid, and several of the locals all had their license when there was a incentive license and code requirement - they couldn't pass the code to get the upgrade and were stuck at the Novice level.
Since there was no VE test sessions in my area, there was no way for them to upgrade other then travel 20 - 50 miles one way to take the test.

When there is a disaster, the local ARES group has been turned away and the big boys from Pittsburgh were brought up to handle the communications locally.

The county will NOT let the local hams use their communications trailer - since the county emergency coordinator is a volunteer fireman and the trailer is parked at his fire station.
Other counties are given the use of the trailer for special events and have access to the county Emergency Operations Center.

The local group - Quad County am radi club was thrown out of the Clearfield EOC. So there is no local mutual aid or desire to work with the clubs.

The local club signed a letter with the American Red Cross and then when there was a flood - twice now in the last two years, they were not called to assist. The government people says that as long as the county radio system and the cell towers still works, they don't need ARES or RACES.

Because no one practices - when there is a real emergency, no one knows what to do or even if they can use their handheld to talk simplex back to the EOC - which they cannot without the aid of the repeaters.

The repeaters were taken over by the WAN people - wide area network, so the chatter on the repeater can be anyone from anywhere in the world - voip. The last disaster we had, there was some bung hole from the Pocono's asking how things were going and jamming up emergency communications.

It was just some lonely bung hole with a handheld that could hit his one linked repeater that was looking for someone to talk to and didn't understand that we had a bad storm and didn't have time to talk to him.
Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to most of the area for 10 days and blew down many trees and knocked out landline telephone communications.
I did not have a working landline for 14 days!

Ham radio was the easiest way for us to communicate and call for help when needed. The gas station could not pump gas - because they had no electric, the telephone company could not get reports of outages - because the telephones did not work and they did not maintain the lines. The state police could not use their Open Sky because their internet wouldn't work.

Their Intranet did work, it was RF linked, but there was many outages due to poles being knocked over and trees knocking the antenna's off the poles.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:44 PM   #44
Carl, nn5i
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
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Originally Posted by Mr. Ham View Post
I actually stopped in at a hams house and asked him what his big antenna's were for and what the letters and numbers were for on his license plate. When he told me he was a ham, I screwed with him and asked him if that was some type of CB radio ...

When I shook his hand and said - oh, by the way, my name is XXX and my call sign is CCXCC ... I didn't get an invite to come back and I didn't get an invite to come into his house ...
You behaved that way to a stranger -- at his house! -- and then you were surprised that he didn't invite you in?
-- Carl
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:27 AM   #45
Mr. Ham
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Some people - are hams in license only.
They got a license for a specific reason - they wanted to be able to talk to a certain person and there was no cell phones 40 years ago, so they got a license, bought some radios and used it like a telephone.

40 years ago - many of the people that I call real hams - were still on the air.
Not that they were actual real hams, but that they had to know a little more back then to become licensed and they had to do a little more to keep their license.

The guy went to school with my parents, he knew my family, he grew up in the same little coal mining town as I did. He could have been a real asset to the local hams that came along after he did, if he would have gotten involved in amateur radio - beyond just doing it for his own benefit.

I grew up thinking that someone involved in electronics was a person that wore a white collar shirt with a pencil protector and a slide rule in their pocket. I came to find out that radio involves carpentry, masonry, electrical construction, engineering, having to have the ability to climb towers, install antenna's, and understanding the engineering side of radio.

A person with a backhoe and a cement mixer and some carpentry skills can be your best friend when it comes to putting up towers and installing beam antenna's.

Making yourself and your equipment available to new hams should be one part of amateur radio that should be expected of a person that is a licensed ham. 50 years ago - there were not a lot of hams, maybe 300,000 license hams, and the people that were involved in amateur radio were educated people and the pillars of the community.

It is my belief that these people purposely gave 11 meters to the General Public to keep them from becoming hams.
If you look at history from this perspective and the amount of 11 meter equipment in this world, had they opened the flood gate 50 years ago and left everyone into amateur radio they way they did CB radio we would have millions of licensed amateurs in the USA today and we wouldn't have a quiet place to talk - because all of the bands would be active with people trying to talk. The 3 watt AM / 12 watt SSB was a limitation placed on them to keep them on a more local scale.

Had the government allowed them up to 1500 watts transmit power, there would be no market for illegal transmitters and amplifiers in the 11 meters world today and most of the people that operates illegally on 11 meters today would have just went ahead and gotten the amateur radio license and been done with it.

To have a whole yard full of large beam antenna's and then not talk on them to me would be like buying a fine bottle of wine and then not drinking it, or buying a sports car and not driving it.

Anyone would be envious to have even just one of this guys antenna's and towers that he has in his yard.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:32 PM   #46
Mr. Ham
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 95

There has been a upsurge of out of town people coming into my town, both to attend college and to sell drugs.
For some reason, most electronics depreciates with time / computers, televisions, radios, cell phones. But Hams tends to try to get as much as or more then what they paid for their radio - out of their radio when they try to sell it 10 - 20 years later.
I would be afraid that if the drug addicts found out that amateur radios are very expensive and commands a high resale price that they would target a person with antenna's on the roof and a amateur radio license plate.

All the more reason not to get a amateur radio license plate!
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:47 PM   #47
Carl, nn5i
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
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Yes; many hams are a bit unrealistic that way. Of course, some really old equipment sells nowadays for much more than it cost new. Bought any like-new Hammarlund stuff lately?

It's not just ham gear, of course. I collect Post Versalog slide rules, which exist in several variations, some rarer than others. Last month I happily paid $40 for a Versalog that originally sold for much less in 1951. It has a date code in the second month of production (July 1951) and is in absolutely new and perfect condition including the case, original box, and instruction book, which is still wrapped in the original protective paper -- the whole package is store-bought new.

Anybody wanna buy a brand-new-looking IC-R7000 receiver at a high price, with original box, manual, and service manual? It's an IC-R7000, not an IC-7000.

Rats, I was afraid not.
-- Carl
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:00 AM   #48
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Location: Rochester WA
Posts: 23
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I don't run amateur plate's to much BS here in Washington state
and the money for the plates goes everyplace but what it is
meant for Ugh....I will say that in out local area the Fire departments
all have Dual band amateur radio's on their buildings with nice antenna's,
Ninety percent of the local fireman are amateurs (over 30), a few of
the police as well are amateurs as well. The Local police dept. support
ARES amateur operators and have a real nice station within the EOC, the
ARES operators can and have operated/drive the emergency communication
vans, high water vehicle's on a regular base's. The ARES group drill twice
a month, these are not coffee and cookie meetings, members are deployed
thought-out the city with differant drills, such as earth quakes, floods,
trail derailments in all types of weather.

Maybe people don't know in Goverment agencies such as the counties, city or
state get paid for man ours in a disaster for volinteers. Our EC is required to
send in ARES hours into the city each month, these hours are put in a report
with all the other man hours put in by city works and sent forward for funding.
73 Chuck & Hildi
2006 Coachmen Chaparral 277ds

73 Chuck W5KAV
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Old 11-30-2014, 03:29 AM   #49
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Re Reading thius thread.... I mentioned that I only pay a couple of dollars extra when we get new steel.. But my 2001 Dodge Neon was like 54 dollars plus a 2.00 processing fee (At SOS, which is our DMV if you ask "What time is it" there is a 2.00 processing fee, or so I joke) so I payd 56 dollars, A buck more than Id pay in GA (Humm, I am considering an official move if I can work it out). The motor home is 380*2.00 or $382.00 total. (OUCH).
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