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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2016, 7:41 PM
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Just like in society..there are all kinds..same with HAM radio. More power to those who feel safeguarding their address gives them an added level of comfort and security. I have no issues with that. As stated, to each their own.

My only confusion is when folks actually state and believe someone is going to look up their FCC issued call sign with the sole purpose of victimizing them in some way. As if there is a certain segment criminals that drive around all day running HAM call sign plates on the internet.

I'll never say it has not happened or it will never happen, but I am more than happy with the odds of it ever happening to anyone because of what their plate was. In the almost 20 years I have been "around the block", I have never heard of it or seen it.....

Heck, I had no clue what a HAM or amateur radio even was till just a year ago and I have worked with and around radios for a long time. I doubt Joe Criminal has extensive knowledge. For those that have had their cars broken into, I suspect being a HAM had nothing to do with it and more so a criminal seeing the gear in view and wanting to get a quick score at the pawn shop for his next fix.

But hey, whatever works for you.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2016, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK6WTT View Post
The only requirement to obtain the plates in California (where I live) was to send in a copy of your FCC license and an extra one-time fee of $20. One advantage in California is that you get to keep your plates if you were to sell your vehicle (plates stay with the car in CA when sold).
And there's nothing to distinguish them from regular car plates or standard vanity plates (which require a yearly renewal fee above and beyond normal registration fees.) No lighting bolt, no tower or antenna, nothing...
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:49 PM
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On the point of identifying HAMs while driving, is there a particular frequency that HAMs will monitor while driving? Something similar to CB's channel 19 (the trucker's channel)?

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A lot of hams monitor 146.520 FM simplex when mobile. If I see a car go by with ham plates when I'm on the highway, I often give them a try on 146.52, just to see if they're listening. It's nice to have a rag chew on the road, now and then.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2016, 12:00 AM
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The issue I have with amateur plates is that most DMV information is confidential. Joe the Ragpicker cannot get your home address from a regular plate, but he can run your call sign and get it. Most of us have expensive stuff in the home and care not to share it with the local burglar. Just my 2 cents from being a cop for so long
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2016, 12:39 AM
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With that logic, whats to say Joe Ragpicker is not trolling this site and getting our addresses?

You are using your call here...are you not?

Not trying to pick fight with on your first post, but with that logic we might as well stay off the repeaters and simplex becuase criminals can scan them and listen to our QSOs bragging about all our expensive radios with our fellow HAMs and when we ID running our call signs on the internet....where does it stop?

PO Box guys you are the safe I guess....hope all your antennas are in your attic though. I am sure there is an element that drives around looking for that too.....
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2016, 1:06 AM
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I am using my call here and in my emails, but the FCC and QRZ sites show it as assigned to a mail drop, not a physical address.

I didn't mean to start a pissing contest - I've just seen so many incidents where folks put stuff on their cars that make they easy to track without having to run the plates. Things like Facebook pages, phone numbers, the little stickers that show dad (Bob), mom (Jane) and two kids (Mary and Sam) and Pooch, the dog.
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Old 11-18-2016, 2:30 AM
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Originally Posted by KE0GXN View Post
Not trying to pick fight with on your first post, but with that logic we might as well stay off the repeaters and simplex becuase criminals can scan them and listen to our QSOs bragging about all our expensive radios with our fellow HAMs and when we ID running our call signs on the internet....where does it stop?
Well, lets flip the tables here:
Would you drive around with your full name, street address and phone number posted on the back of your car?

Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. Doesn't matter to any of us. We are all individuals and get to chose to do whatever we want.

Not having personal information available, no matter how small the risk, is my choice. Sure, it's out there, but why make it easy? You may chose otherwise. Perfectly OK with me.

I don't particularly want to talk to strangers. That was never my reason for getting into amateur radio.


Most of all, my call sign isn't my identity. Amateur radio is a hobby for me. It isn't what defines me. It isn't all that I am. I've done things bigger and more important than amateur radio.
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Old 11-18-2016, 5:05 AM
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Here in texas all you need is a copy of your radio license to get the tags. If you have more then one car or truck you can have the same tag on all of them . The catch you must have a radio in the car or truck. Not that anyone ever checks The states reason for this is so a public safety knows you have a radio if there radio does not work. Never had that happen in all the years i had them. I removed all of them after i got a letter from someone who said i was going slower then the posted speed limit to easy to find out who you are and where you live.It's a shame but that's the world we live in today.
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Old 11-18-2016, 6:15 AM
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Originally Posted by N6DJI View Post
I am using my call here and in my emails, but the FCC and QRZ sites show it as assigned to a mail drop, not a physical address.

I didn't mean to start a pissing contest - I've just seen so many incidents where folks put stuff on their cars that make they easy to track without having to run the plates. Things like Facebook pages, phone numbers, the little stickers that show dad (Bob), mom (Jane) and two kids (Mary and Sam) and Pooch, the dog.
I hear ya man. i have been around a long time too. At the end of the day its different strokes for different folks...you should know that. No pissing contest here.

Welcome to the forums and stay safe.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2016, 6:22 AM
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Well, lets flip the tables here:
Would you drive around with your full name, street address and phone number posted on the back of your car?

Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. Doesn't matter to any of us. We are all individuals and get to chose to do whatever we want.

Not having personal information available, no matter how small the risk, is my choice. Sure, it's out there, but why make it easy? You may chose otherwise. Perfectly OK with me.

I don't particularly want to talk to strangers. That was never my reason for getting into amateur radio.


Most of all, my call sign isn't my identity. Amateur radio is a hobby for me. It isn't what defines me. It isn't all that I am. I've done things bigger and more important than amateur radio.
You are 100% correct, we all choose to do whatever we want sir. One thing I am glad you have chosen to do is, interact with strangers on here, because you have helped me on more than one occasion. And yes I would hope we all do or have done things that are more important than HAM radio, I have and do still to this day. HAM radio is just a hobby that I do not mind identifying with....

73
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2016, 6:54 AM
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Originally Posted by N6DJI View Post
The issue I have with amateur plates is that most DMV information is confidential. Joe the Ragpicker cannot get your home address from a regular plate, but he can run your call sign and get it. Most of us have expensive stuff in the home and care not to share it with the local burglar. Just my 2 cents from being a cop for so long
That's why my address-of-record for my ham license is a P.O. Box.

There's a lot of good reasons to use a P.O. Box, and that's one of them.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:01 AM
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I don't particularly want to talk to strangers. That was never my reason for getting into amateur radio.
I always find the stranger comment odd, when it comes from a regular forum participant.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KE0GXN View Post
You are 100% correct, we all choose to do whatever we want sir. One thing I am glad you have chosen to do is, interact with strangers on here, because you have helped me on more than one occasion. And yes I would hope we all do or have done things that are more important than HAM radio, I have and do still to this day. HAM radio is just a hobby that I do not mind identifying with....

73
Thanks.

I'll backtrack a little bit on the ham plates.
I was originally licensed as KC6YSX. I always hated that call sign, was like trying to talk with a mouth full of marbles when giving my call sign. Always was asked to repeat it, use phonetics, etc.
When I was in the service I had the opportunity to get my current call sign, WL7MN. That was much easier to use and actually meant something to me since the WL7 part indicates the state of Alaska.
My grandfather had been a ham in the early years, like back in the 30's and 40's. This was a guy who actually built his own radios from scratch. He witnessed one of the first TV demonstrations in Canada, the old spinning disk method, all done via amateur radio. He was pretty proud of his grandson following his path. He was actually the one who got the ham plates for me. I don't know how he did it, but he did. They just showed up one day.
I was pretty happy with them. It meant a lot to me, but as time went on I decided to get rid of them. It wasn't something I did lightly.

However, I do prefer a fair amount of anonymity in my life. I tend to be an introvert and really prefer to slide under the radar. I enjoy my plain white Ford pickup with no license plate frames, bumper stickers, or any other identifying or unique stand out items. It annoys my wife, she wants something other than plain white vehicles. Gives us something to argue about.

I don't have a problem with anyone else having a ham callsign license plate. It's kind of cool to see them out on the road. Maybe some day I'll change my mind. It's been known to happen. Right now, at this point in my life, being under the radar and blending in with the background is my preferred method.
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Old 11-18-2016, 3:33 PM
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Thanks.

I'll backtrack a little bit on the ham plates.
I was originally licensed as KC6YSX. I always hated that call sign, was like trying to talk with a mouth full of marbles when giving my call sign. Always was asked to repeat it, use phonetics, etc.
When I was in the service I had the opportunity to get my current call sign, WL7MN. That was much easier to use and actually meant something to me since the WL7 part indicates the state of Alaska.
My grandfather had been a ham in the early years, like back in the 30's and 40's. This was a guy who actually built his own radios from scratch. He witnessed one of the first TV demonstrations in Canada, the old spinning disk method, all done via amateur radio. He was pretty proud of his grandson following his path. He was actually the one who got the ham plates for me. I don't know how he did it, but he did. They just showed up one day.
I was pretty happy with them. It meant a lot to me, but as time went on I decided to get rid of them. It wasn't something I did lightly.

However, I do prefer a fair amount of anonymity in my life. I tend to be an introvert and really prefer to slide under the radar. I enjoy my plain white Ford pickup with no license plate frames, bumper stickers, or any other identifying or unique stand out items. It annoys my wife, she wants something other than plain white vehicles. Gives us something to argue about.

I don't have a problem with anyone else having a ham callsign license plate. It's kind of cool to see them out on the road. Maybe some day I'll change my mind. It's been known to happen. Right now, at this point in my life, being under the radar and blending in with the background is my preferred method.
Very cool story about your grandfather and you! Now imagine if you could have told it and I could have heard it on HF......would have a made for a great QSO indeed! To me that right there is what HAM radio is all about....

Well, I totally get the "wanting to be under the radar" method. For a long time that was what my life was like till I found HAM radio. With that said, if you were to ask my co-workers or my wife, they will more than likely say I am the definition of "anti-social"...but for some reason I just find it amazing to talk to someone, who I don't know from Adam on the other side of the world with just a wire in my tree and a radio in my house.

So, yeah, I would hope along with you changing your mind on the plates, you would also think about getting on the air! Great people to meet and stories to be heard out there.
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Old 11-18-2016, 4:05 PM
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So, yeah, I would hope along with you changing your mind on the plates, you would also think about getting on the air! Great people to meet and stories to be heard out there.
Yeah, maybe when I retire. Right now, at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is touch a radio.
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Old 11-18-2016, 7:03 PM
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Here's another take on the "crooks looking for ham radio plates" argument. When my truck was broken into it wasn't because it has ham plates on it, but because it was easy for the crooks to get into. Video surveillance shows the thieves trying the doors of every single vehicle in the hotel parking lot. They got into my truck because they were able to pull open the tailgate past the locked window of the shell and access the cab through the sliding windows in the shell and cab. There was a cable for a mag mount antenna passing through the window.

They ripped my radio out from under the seat, but left the separate control head sitting in its mount on the dash. They also stole a bunch of other stuff, but there was no damage to the vehicle. The truck now has a lock on the tailgate and all the expensive stuff is either securely bolted down or very easily removable. The antenna is on an NMO through the cab roof and also easily removed.

This shows, when it comes right down to it, thieves are opportunists that will take the easy path and generally stupid...
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Old 11-18-2016, 7:19 PM
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Back in Medieval Times, my father got a set of Maryland Ham tags on the family's transfer back to the States. In those Golden Days, Ham license plates were unique. No other special interests had them,-- no fire department volunteers, no Son's of the Tundra, no Amalgamated Hair Stylists Unionists-- only DAV's and members of the state legislator.... Ham tags, except for the DAV's, were probably the only form of Vanity tags available to the average slubberdegullion... and thus, back then, they certainly stood out. I vividly remember as a sweet young thing coming home from school and driving the family car---- and getting asked all the time just what, or how special, I was supposed to be. The ego boast was,very, Very! short lived, --believe me.
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As I recall, the ARRL was instrumental in a national campaign to state governments to recognize Ham Radio for its emergency capabilities; that was back in the days when Hams actually were of value to their states. The plates carried no special privilege, as I recall- they were just a special recognition of the public service aspect of amateur radio.
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My father's infatuation with the 'uniqueness' of vanity plates was also very short lived... he dropped them in short order for the plain vanilla issue; and this was long ago. Following faithfully in his example (and for a myriad of reason I won't go into,) I have never desired to put myself "out there" as well... I think my 6 inch UHF NMO mounted antenna says plenty, if it is even noticed..... ditto. absolutely!... for any bumper stickers.
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On the other hand, I certainly don't have anything against hams with their special license plates- it just isn't my cup of tea. With so many states having so many Vanity plates (in my home state of Colorado they number in the dozens upon dozens)- its more of a Vanity to *Not* sport them....
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Old 11-18-2016, 7:34 PM
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Out of curiosity, how long does CA take to issue theirs? I am on my second inquiry here in MO, submitted my app back in late September....still no plates.
The plates sooner than expected. The DMV said it would take about 46 weeks. However, they arrived in about 3 weeks.
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Old 11-18-2016, 7:40 PM
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And there's nothing to distinguish them from regular car plates or standard vanity plates (which require a yearly renewal fee above and beyond normal registration fees.) No lighting bolt, no tower or antenna, nothing...
Given all this talk about security, the normalcy of the California plates is an advantage.

Additionally the number pattern that CA uses is fairly similar to the call sign pattern. A generic license plate number looks like 9ABC999. If you didn't know the call sign pattern, you might not even notice the difference. And if you do know the pattern, you probably know about the FCC database already.

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Old 11-18-2016, 7:57 PM
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In many states a license plate belongs to the driver, is transferrable from car to car, and must be surrencered to cancel your insurance, registration, and liability when the car is sold or scrapped.

But as I've been repeatedly told, Cali is one of those states where the plate attaches to the car. You sell the car, the plate goes with it. Have I been mislead? Or do they treat vanity plates differently?

Then in some states, you get two plates for $25, one for each end of the car. In others like FloriDuh, even the state police complain that there's no way to identify a car until after it has run over you, because you can't buy a front plate for love or money. And you pay about $225 for the ONE rear plate. (Which you can take from car to car, forever, or keep in a closet if you have no car. No affect on insurance or anything else.)

61 jurisdictions in the US, each makes its own rules about plates. (Sounds dumb to me.)
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