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

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the idle-hands dept.

Communications 215

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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215 comments

Everytime he drives in front of my house... (4, Funny)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493080)

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... ;-)

Re:Everytime he drives in front of my house... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493324)

He is just turning the electromagnetic radiation into decipherable electrical impulses. The scary part is your meatbag is already receiving the electromagnetic radiation whether you like it or not.

Re:Everytime he drives in front of my house... (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493854)

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 !

It's a Dodge Colt, not a TARDIS. You can only blame the wireless drops on the car. The voices chanting "Exterminate! Exterminate!" are a different problem...

Re:Everytime he drives in front of my house... (3, Funny)

xenoglossy (877946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494082)

At least we do not have to worry about the girlfriend's health.................

Not very useful.. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493090)


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:Not very useful.. (0, Redundant)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494156)

And he still can't achieve his original goal, which was of course communication with the 'girl' life form.

Who needs this much comms in a car? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493114)

Terrorists, that's who.

Just think... (4, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493126)

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

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493156)

Ah... But does it run Linux?

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Bipoha (540839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493320)

Ah... But does it run Linux?

Good question, but all I want to know is, "Will it blend?"

Re:Obligatory... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493322)

After looking at the thing would you really want it to? The car is a joke and I don't mean that in the good sense.

Re:Obligatory... (3, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493874)

    Really....

    What does he expect he's going to do with that? Not drive it. I'm pretty sure he's exceeded the carrying capacity of it. He doesn't have room to get his legs in to work the pedals. There's too much equipment too close to the steering wheel to be able to drive safely.

    and.....

    There's no way he's running that much gear simultaneously on the available power in that vehicle. I counted at least 50 distinct pieces of equipment. I'm pretty sure that's a 1988 Dodge Colt, so it should have something like a 75A 12V alternator on it. That'd give 1.5A per unit average, not including incidentals like running the engine and lights.

    I'm fairly confident that a lot of that stuff could be reduced down to one handheld transceiver. I'm pretty sure there are two or three regular CB radios in there too.

    It looks like he went to every junk sale he could, and strapped anything resembling a radio into his car. For example, the VOM and LCD TV on the drivers door, and the gold-like plated PA microphone on the passenger door.

    If he did run it all, *and* he didn't kill off his battery and alternator, he still wouldn't be able to figure out what any of the noise coming in was. It would be so much chatter, that it would be white noise. ... and I thought I had a lot of gear, with a roll cage, fire extinguisher, stereo equalizer, CB, and radar detector. :) At least I could sit in my car without damaging myself.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493578)

Honestly, I think it really should. Looking at ALL those electronics makes you wonder why each has to be connected the way they are. I mean, isn't it possible to build all those parts into a bunch of PCIe cards and build just a few computers for them? It be much more effective to have 10 receivers on a single board, so you can monitor 10 channels at once, than have 10 individual radios.

Though, when I think about it, you can get those 144mhz radios REALLY cheap if you buy them used. Be a control nightmare though, how the hell do you manage all those radios other then how he has it up:P

Did anyone look at the pictures? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493164)

It's the epitome of "dork-mobile".

I can just see some Hollywood producer buying it for use in one of those teen movies.

Parked inside? (2, Funny)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493172)

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

Sheldon

Can it be driven? (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Sort of a flea-market grave yard for broken gear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493362)

The car in the article isn't a Ford.

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

Falc0n (618777) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493736)

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:Can it be driven? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493960)

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

Re:Can it be driven? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494084)

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.

Reminds me of a college friend (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493188)

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.

Re:Reminds me of a college friend (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493342)

So? I had a friend with a Bose system in his Pacer.
Thieves stole the car and left the stereo on the curb.

Re:Reminds me of a college friend (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493406)

That's common behavior when the radio looks removable, the make and model of the car don't matter.

Re:Reminds me of a college friend (0, Redundant)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493426)

Yes, thieves left the car, but stole the stereo.

Not to downplay the hilarity of your buddy's choice, but that's pretty common regardless of how crappy the car is. I had a friend who had a stereo (wasn't even that great - just a basic Pioneer CD player) stolen from a nearly brand new Trans Am in high school, and they left the car too. Reality is unless you're setup with some chop-shop, it's hard to really fence a whole car, and you're much more likely to get caught. On the flip side, bust the window and rip out the radio and if you make it away you're very unlikely to ever by caught.

Bigger Com/Car ratio (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493204)

I think this might have a bigger Com/Car value ratio.

2009 Hamvention:
http://scottrharris.blogspot.com/2009/12/bad-reception.html

Less antennas:
http://wa0kgu.110mb.com/

hamsexy! (2, Interesting)

foog (6321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493208)

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

Re:hamsexy! (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493302)

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

Re:hamsexy! (2, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494124)

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

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

Re:hamsexy! (2, Interesting)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493508)

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.

I can picture it now... (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493232)

See him cruising low and slow through the barrio, with Weird Al Yankovich's White and Nerdy blaring through the open windows...

Re:I can picture it now... (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494116)

Or The Offspring's Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) (or Rabbi for the Weird Al fans :) ).

[John]

Anonymous Coward (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493278)

and this is necessary, why?

And ladies... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493288)

...he's single.

Re:And ladies... (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493338)

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

Re:And ladies... (2, Insightful)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493472)

And with all that electrical equipment surrounding him I would guess he would be sterile too.

the ./ post fails to mention (5, Funny)

SendBot (29932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493290)

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 (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493308)

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.

Re:Redneck crap (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493364)

Ever had a hobby? Ever done something that was a waste of money but gave you an intangible sense of reward and accomplishment? No? Then shut the fuck up.

Re:Redneck crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493682)

Doesn't change the fact that the guy is still a redneck. What kind of society do we live in where such idiots are celebrated instead of mocked?

Re:Redneck crap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493428)

I like to make fun of minorities who say 'Aks' instead of 'Ask'. They make me laugh of how retarded they are.

Re:Redneck crap (4, Funny)

kevingolding2001 (590321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493486)

misuse of the "radiation" symbol (car is not radioactive);

I dunno about that. With all those radios, you'd think there would be a fair amount of radio activity going on.

Re:Redneck crap (1, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493770)

The international radiation trefoil exists for one reason: to warn people of real danger. Abusing the symbol to make a lame pun (Ha ha ha "radio" active, get it? hee hee hee oh wait it's not funny) is a sure sign of a double-digit IQ.

Re:Redneck crap (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493964)

misuse of the "radiation" symbol (car is not radioactive)

I've personally put a radiation hazard sign (as required by law) on the enclosure of an antenna that puts out enough EM radiation to have the sign required. It's possible that his car can meet that standard, but even if not, it does put out radiation from the radios. Sure, it's low power non ionizing, but radiation none the less.

Re:Redneck crap (2, Informative)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494052)

I assume that you used the proper type of sign, though.

Something along the lines of:

http://www.interfacebus.com/rf-radiation-hazard.jpg [interfacebus.com]

or

http://www.celltowersafety.com/assets/images/RF.JPG [celltowersafety.com]

The symbol used on the "hamsexy" car is NOT appropriate, being intended for use with ionizing radiation sources.

http://frenchquarterradiationfree.com/img/dangerrads.jpg [frenchquar...onfree.com]

Re:Redneck crap (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494154)

Ha! First thing that started playing in my head when I saw the pictures was the tune from those "Real Men of Genius" commercials. Beer commercials are about as redneck as you get, so, yeah... funny though...

That's a lot of rigs dude! (1)

snot.dotted (627646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493326)

What has been seen cannot be unseen.That car reminds me of the Homer Simpson bit where he plugs in every accessory into the car. I'd get pretty nervous leaving that much expensive kit in the car, it might get stolen. However a thief could only use it to talk to radio amateurs. I see no Morse key. For more "whackers" check out http://www.hamsexy.com/ [hamsexy.com] it does poke fun at a hobby that can take its self too seriously some times

Re:That's a lot of rigs dude! (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493694)

It's bad enough when whackers are purely hams. Take it to the next level, and you get the whackers who join Fire / EMS just so they can run (sometimes legally, sometimes not-so) private vehicles with lightbars, have all their radios... then they extend it to their gear. Some of these guys have more in their 'personal first aid' bag in their vehicle than we do in our (well funded) ambulances.

Then they load up their utility belt with every gadget under the sun, short of handheld ultrasound. Leathermans, holsters for whatever, you name it.

Protip: Don't join emergency medical services because you like the shiny gadgets, or the ability to run lights and sirens, either in an emergency vehicle or a private one. I don't want you responding when I call 911.

Re:That's a lot of rigs dude! (2, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493998)

Protip: Don't join emergency medical services because you like the shiny gadgets, or the ability to run lights and sirens, either in an emergency vehicle or a private one. I don't want you responding when I call 911.

I know a lot of guys that joined volunteer fire departments for that reason. Sure, they weren't the best at putting the fires out, but if you needed someone to share a beer with watching your life burn, they'd get there quick.

It's a joke. (5, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

On the plus side.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493470)

...he's probably sterile from all that RF and can't reproduce

25k? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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? (1)

Raptor851 (1557585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493978)

no kidding, same thing i was thinking, his radio's are shit, he just has enough of them to get the EQUIVILANT of a decent radio unit for a hell of a lot more money. (kinda a stupid way of doing it) besides, if i had 25k to put (more) radios in my car (i already have 2m+cb in my 03 mr2), i'd get a nice yaesu unit for normal use, and one of these hooked up to my carputer. http://gnuradio.org/ [gnuradio.org]

Housekeeping nightmare (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493536)

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?

Yeah, but does it come equipped (2, Funny)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493568)

with a Mr. Microphone? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqZQmS8KeLM [youtube.com]

AF4KK (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493760)

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 (2, Insightful)

sadegs (1583563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493780)

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?

No biggie (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493878)

Taxis in New York usually have this much radio gear in the front. All operated hands free, of course.

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493882)

I want a Beowulf Cluster of them!!!!! Really!!!!!

More pictures here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493898)

More pictures here http://www.jtrg.org/Photoalbum/Members/AF4KK/AF4KK-Project%20Car/index.html

88 mph (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30493918)

when d00d drives past 88 mph the intense electromagnetic radiation produces > 1.2 jiggawatts necessary to power his flux capacitor, which streams tachyon particles around his car, through a graviton assisted phasers which reverses the tachyon particles' polarity and allows him to travel into the past.

141.6 km/h (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494194)

when d00d drives past 88 mph the intense electromagnetic radiation produces > 1.2 jiggawatts necessary to power his flux capacitor, which streams tachyon particles around his car, through a graviton assisted phasers which reverses the tachyon particles' polarity and allows him to travel into the past.

Oh, it doesn't just let him travel into the past - it allows him, having traveled into the past, to then return back to... back to...

...back to the point in the timeline from which he originated...

I am going to sue... (1)

Jollyeugene (230857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30493936)

I think I am going to sue them. I am sure I got brain cancer just from looking at the pictures. Even if I did not get cancer, I now have emotional trauma.

One thing he forgot to think about? (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30494040)

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 pursued flee.

In short, he would have been better off putting all this shit on a DESK.

And in a $500 car, the cops are probably going to catch him regardless of the technological advantages he may have. Hell, if nothing else, all they have to do is put out an APB for the vehicle with 50 fucking antennae sticking out of it.

Re:One thing he forgot to think about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30494210)

walk to your bathroom
open medicine cabinet
find translucent box marked S M T W T F S
open compartment labeled "F"
place tablets in mouth
swallow with drink of water
sit quietly in chair for 15 minutes

Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30494112)

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

The gear may be cool, but in this economy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30494122)

I want to know where to get the car for $500.

30 Year Old Virgin Tricks Out Old Car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30494126)

I think that should be the new title.

Cannonball run? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30494200)

Reminds me of that car in Cannonball Run, chock full of tech.

Can I get a jump? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30494302)

Where does he keep the jumper cables?

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