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Communications Idle Technology

$25,000 of Communications Gear In a $500 Car 215

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the idle-hands dept.
In perhaps one of the finest displays of technological excess in automotive communications gear, one "enthusiast" has managed to cram over $25,000 worth of gear into a $500 car. The car is rigged for just about every conceivable communications band including FM, UHF, VHF, HF, and WTF. What other amazing displays of technological excess have others seen? "The equipment seems to cover an amazing array of technologies, many of which seem to be redundant. For instance, just how many handheld 144 MHz radios do you need? It seems like the owner of the Ham Car is capable of listening to every police/fire/ems/military channel in the world. Simultaneously. There's a laptop and we assume there's some form of cellular or satellite communication setup for that, too."
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$25,000 of Communications Gear In a $500 Car

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  • by ls671 (1122017) * on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:01PM (#30493080) Homepage

    Every time he drives in front of my house, my TV goes wild, I sometimes can hear alien like sounding voices coming from the TV, my wireless connection drops and my clothes dryer even starts to spin backward !

    I sometimes worry about the effects on the driver's health in the long run... ;-)

  • by grub (11606) * <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:02PM (#30493090) Homepage Journal

    The car is rigged for just about every conceivable communications band including FM, UHF, VHF, HF, and WTF.

    Unfortunately the car can only travel in a 50 meter radius around the second tin can the string tethers it to.

    .
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hirundo (221676)

      The car is rigged for just about every conceivable communications band including FM, UHF, VHF, HF, and WTF.

      Phone home?

  • Just think... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:04PM (#30493126) Homepage Journal

    Just think. With a quarter of that money he could have gotten a car that wasn't an oil burning beater.

  • Wtf? (Score:4, Funny)

    by SlashDPC (931574) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:05PM (#30493136)
    WTF is WTF?
  • Derby (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Farlan (1145095)
    But can it crush cars?
  • by stokessd (89903) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:08PM (#30493172) Homepage

    I hope his mother let's him park it in the garage at least.

    Sheldon

  • wtf band (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:08PM (#30493180)

    Good propagation on the WTF band tonight.

  • Can it be driven? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:08PM (#30493184)

    There is no leg room in the drivers side.

    There is windshield obstruction illegal in most states.

    The power requirements would probably exceed engine capacity.

    So, question: Can it actually be driven, or is it a joke, sort of a flea-market grave yard for broken gear?

    • Re:Can it be driven? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Falc0n (618777) <japerry@NoSpAm.jademicrosystems.com> on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:50PM (#30493736) Homepage
      Oh its no joke. You really haven't been to an Amateur Radio meetup before... ;-)
      Hams make the Slashdot community look normal!
      73
      -KF7FJM
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And the Icom IC-T81A stuck to the hub of the steering wheel has no antenna connected to it,
      rendering it useless...

      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        And the Icom IC-T81A stuck to the hub of the steering wheel has no antenna connected to it,
        rendering it useless...

        It doesn't need an antenna, he just uses it to send Morse Code on the highway.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Well, this is the kind of thing I always wonder about at car stereo shows. They always have driver side visible screens hooked up to DVDs or other video technology, which is illegal in every state that I am aware of. If you can't legally drive it, then I don't think it should qualify as a mobile A/Vsystem.
  • I had a friend who installed a $500 blaupunkt stereo in an old lime green Plymouth Valiant. Yes, thieves left the car, but stole the stereo.
  • hamsexy! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by foog (6321)

    Lots of that kind of amusement at http://www.hamsexy.com/ [hamsexy.com]

    • by ls671 (1122017) *

      Looks like you have managed to Slashdot it rather quickly ... ;-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tetsujin (103070)

        Looks like you have managed to Slashdot it rather quickly ... ;-)

        It's not hard, it's hosted over an AX.25 connection.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kent_eh (543303)
      I thought it looked familiar.
      They refer to this type of car as a porcupine.

      and yes, other hams laugh at the guys who do this too.
  • Cruisin' Up and down the road.

  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:12PM (#30493230)

    What the fuck is WTF?

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:12PM (#30493232)
    See him cruising low and slow through the barrio, with Weird Al Yankovich's White and Nerdy blaring through the open windows...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:16PM (#30493288)

    ...he's single.

    • by cruff (171569)

      Let's hope it stays that way, 'cause we don't need his genes propagating.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rdavidson3 (844790)
        And with all that electrical equipment surrounding him I would guess he would be sterile too.
  • by SendBot (29932) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:16PM (#30493290) Homepage Journal

    It seems worth noting that this uber car also has hydraulics.

    "Just waking up in the morning gotta thank marconi
    I don't know but today seems kinda lonely
    Got chatter from the police radio only
    And momma got static on the HF
    I got my eavesdrop on, but my signal left
    Finally got a call on the cell phone in my vest
    Hooked up a bigger antenna as I shut the do'
    Thinking will i live, for another set of radios
    I gotta go cause I got me a chevy colt
    And if I hit the switch, I can make the ass drop"

  • Redneck crap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:17PM (#30493308) Homepage

    Seriously, how does this kind of redneck garbage get into slashdot? Some buffoon got hisself a 1985 Dodge Colt (trailer trash car if I've ever seen one) and proceeds to put a shit-ton of radios in it. Big deal! There's no technology or inventiveness here, it's the same as some ignoramus who built a vehicle out of his La-Z-Boy. Let's get a closer look [cardomain.com] - license plates trimmed with neon (barf); misuse of the "radiation" symbol (car is not radioactive); Florida plates (redneck central); a laser light drawing spirograph designs on the rear window (what is this, a nightclub circa 1992?); ground-effect lighting (waaaaay overdone); a scrolling LED sign, and much more totally stupid crap. Most of the gear is just ordinary handheld radios. I mean, come on, a "Sear's Platinum" battery powers the whole thing? What kind of self-respecting geek shops at "Sear's" (sic)? And a "Hydrallic" system? *cough* redneck *cough*

    I'm all for rewarding creative use of technology, but this isn't creative, it's merely excessive. Not news for nerds, stuff that doesn't matter.

  • So he could fit a Mac into his car. What's the big deal?

  • It's a joke. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by couchslug (175151) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:22PM (#30493398)

    One of the "finest displays of technological excess" my arse.

    It's just a bunch of gear stuffed into a shitbox car in a manner not conducive to usability.

  • Man receives $25,000 hospital bill following a car crash in a $500 car! Details at '11!
  • 25k? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:27PM (#30493474)

    25K?
    You can get an ICOM R9500 which will give you everything between 5khz and 3.5GHZ with filtering and processing and a 40 channel per second scann rate for 12.5k http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/receivers/tabletop/r9500/default.aspx
    Add in another 2-4k for a really nice multiband Ham rig, and your done..

    plenty of room and money left

    • Re:25k? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jerrry (43027) on Friday December 18, 2009 @06:57PM (#30494506)

      "25K?
      You can get an ICOM R9500 which will give you everything between 5khz and 3.5GHZ with filtering and processing and a 40 channel per second scann rate for 12.5k"

      I'll bet this guy's never had $12.5K at once. You see this in the ricer scene as well. When you see a riced out Honda Civic with $35K worth of junk bolted to it, you wonder why the guy didn't just buy something like a BMW M3 to start with. The thing is, all that crap was bolted on over a period of years--the guy never had all that money at any given time.

    • With the money left he needs a bigger car or truck to start with. Don't know how to breathe in a crammed space like that.

  • How would you like to be the guy who has to keep all that clean and dust-free? Oh, and what about trying to manage drinks and food from drive-thrus without frying a few things beside the fries?

  • The guy's call sign is AF4KK:

    http://www.arrl.org/fcc/fcclook.php3?call=af4kk [arrl.org]

    I've seen this car in person at Dayton.

    Well, he serves a purpose. At least when I'm traveling in my Grand Marquis with 2 dual-band VHF/UHF antennas, a cell antenna, and a HF Screwdriver, I don't feel so bad.

    Now if everybody would stop SLOWING DOWN when I pull up.

  • rims (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sadegs (1583563)
    pretty sweet dubs on that ride. btw, this is a stupid point, but isn't it impractical to have more than 1 or 2 on at a time to listen too?
  • UAV (Score:3, Funny)

    by Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) on Friday December 18, 2009 @05:55PM (#30493788) Homepage

    Yes, but can it receive video from military drones?

  • Taxis in New York usually have this much radio gear in the front. All operated hands free, of course.
  • In my neck of the woods, and every other neck of the woods I've ever lived in, this car would go straight to impound the moment he got pulled over by a cop, for whatever reason. More then likely he would also be going to jail.

    It has long been, and still remains, illegal to have a scanner capable of listening into police frequencies in a moving vehicle, at least everywhere that I have lived. It seems the cops do not like the people they are pursuing to have the capability to listen in on the cops whilst the

    • from mobile scanner bans. Not sure about FL, though.

    • by Maxmin (921568)

      It has long been, and still remains, illegal to have a scanner capable of listening into police frequencies in a moving vehicle

      All points agreed, except for this one. It is *not* illegal to own and monitor a scanner in a moving vehicle [afn.org], except in a handful of states. In another handful, it's only illegal when used "in furtherance of a crime" (e.g. used to elude the police after your bank caper ends.)

      I have no doubt that, upon being pulled over by a cop, a $500 car jammed wall-to-wall with comms gear *woul

      • by ross.w (87751)

        Wouldn't it get defected on safety grounds alone just for having a hard object mounted over the pad in the steering wheel?
        Not to mention that there isn't a single square inch of dash padding not covered in sharp cornered hard objects.

    • by number11 (129686)

      It has long been, and still remains, illegal to have a scanner capable of listening into police frequencies in a moving vehicle, at least everywhere that I have lived.

      A lot of places, licensed amateur radio operators are exempt from that law.

  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I know I slip behind in my tech sometimes but since when is "FM" a "band" and not a modulation method?

    • by j1m+5n0w (749199)
      Well, I suppose the summary might mean plain old FM radio (i.e. as opposed to AM radio).

      Also, the 2-meter and 70cm ham bands tend to be exclusively FM, though calling them "the FM band" isn't sufficiently specific and would probably get you some funny looks from ham operators.

  • simpsons did it

  • sheesh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thelonious (233200)
    I know that everybody needs a hobby, the key is in knowing that not every hobby needs a body.
  • Where on Earth, or any other planet, could you get $500.00 for an '85 Dodge Dolt ^H^H^H^HColt? Maybe 500 Rupees... maybe, but your karma would suffer badly.
  • I was intrigued for a minute, but then I realized they were just talking about radios...

    Get back to me when you find a bacon motorcycle.

  • Well, I got a free E350 conversion van (with the raised roof) a while back in pretty good condition (good interior, no frame rust, minimal body rust). So I put a diesel engine in it (Cumins 4BT) with a second electrical (alternator + batteries) in the 'free' engine compartment space. (Then, I got some new tires. Oy those are getting pricey.) A full-size diesel van for about $3500 investment which gets around 32mpg average (highway/town)? Not bad!

    And I then geeked the hell out of it. Shortwave radio with rem

  • Sup dawg, I heard you like radios...

  • Now, there is a man who will never get laid - at least not with a woman. He'll never even get to kiss a girl. I'll bet he even has B.O. and sounds like Comic Book Guy or maybe Professor Frink (both from The Simpsons) when he talks. I'm shooting for "funny" here but I think this post might somehow be more "informative" in real life. :(

  • ...would have cost about the same, would have been upgradeable to new bands and waveforms, and would have left some room for actual passengers in the cabin.

  • As soon as I saw the $25,000 price tag I knew it was a ham. I'm one but at least I have a brain.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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