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Car with large antenna

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Out of curiosity, what would you think if you saw a relatively new Infiniti G35 Sedan with a 52" antenna mounted to the trunk?

This antenna to be specific:



I'm installing an amateur radio mobile rig in my car and am a little worried about what people (namely my classmates at law school) will think when they see my car with this 52" antenna on the back, and if I for whatever reason give them a ride, they'd see this in the car:



Specifically, they'd see that front part (the control head) with the dials and lit LCD screen on top of the dash-board mounted via a bracket. The rest of the radio will be in the trunk with cables running through the chasis so they're hidden. There would also probably be a GPS unit with XM traffic nearby.

I know I'm being a little too self-crticial here, but I'm worried people are going to think I'm weird or something.
post #2 of 18
Get a Ham vanity plate, problem solved
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh... and more specifically, for the women on this forum, please tell me what a young lady might think if she saw this?

Ham radio is a hobby of mine. It was my grandfather's hobby, it was my father's hobby, and it's one of my hobbies.

You know how you hear on the news sometimes how ham radio operators assist in disaster situations by providing a means of communication when all else has failed. Well, my father used to be heavily involved in using ham radio for emergency use and helped so much that he got a scholarship based on it. For most of my life, I went to ham radio conventions (ham fests) with my dad annually. I went almost every year since I was 5 with him. It wasn't until the early 2000s though that I got my first license, and then quickly upgraded it.

Anyways, I finally got a mobile unit because I can't have a real radio in my apt due to antenna restrictions. They don't restrict my car though. 50 watts of power should be plenty for fun and emergency use. My father and I were in Dayton Ohio from Wednesday until today, and yesterday we just decided to get two mobile rigs. One for him, and one for me. It's been years since he's had a mobile rig in his car, and I've never had one. I've only tinkered with his old ones and my hand-held ham-radios.

What's kind of cool about the unit we both got though (we both got Yaesu FT-8900Rs) and will both get Diamond CR8900A antennas -- the similarity in model number is because Diamond designed the antenna for the Yaesu unit) is that under the right conditions during the summer, I theoretically can talk to my father from my car in Minneapolis, MN to his car in Hollywood, FL. For those who don't know what sky-wave propagation is read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skywave

The units we got let us use 6 meters and 10 meters. Those can skip off the ionosphere under the right circumstances allowing you to talk to basically anybody in the world with a radio operating on the same band. It's pretty neat. Obviously, cell-phones accomplish the same goal, but amateur radio provides communications in places cell phones can't by being much more powerful, and using neat scientific phenomenons. I plan to sign myself up in Minnesota to be a volunteer with the local RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) because I'm always more than happy to help out when I can.

Anyways, I really do want to know what I should expect my peers, particularly those of the female persuasion will probably think.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be labeled a dork for lack of a better way to say it.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Get a Ham vanity plate, problem solved
My father has one. The reason I never got one is because I worry about road rage. The FCC provides the names and addresses of licensees online. If my call sign is on my license plate, and for some reason, somebody gets really angry at me on the road (there are some crazy people out there), I'd rather they not have an easy way to look up who I am and where to find me.

Hope that doesn't sound as paranoid to you as it sounds reading it back to myself.
post #5 of 18
I think most girls, well at least like me and I'm sure all of my girlfriends would not know what this is...When I first saw this I thought it was a regular stereo and I had to look closely to see that it has no CD opening.. Lol, when I read your post I was like "huh???" .. Just for reference, my friends and I are all in the humanities fields- history and sociology so I wouldn't think we're too different from law school ppl. Maybe you should explain how someone might think having this is weird and then I might give a different answer, but if I saw this in a car i wouldn't think anything of it.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
It's not so much what's in the car as what's on the outside. There will be a 52" antenna, actually closer to 60" when you include the mount which wires it up. That's a really big antenna. It looks kind of like what you see on a cop car.

I guess what I'm worried about is 3 possibilities:

1) That people will think that I'm trying to play cop or something stupid.
2) That people will associate the whole thing with CB radio which you usually see with truck drivers.
3) That people will think I'm just a nerd/geek plain and simple... which is true, but I try to hide it and that's not a joke about trying to hide it.

I mean, when you try bouncing radio signals off of the moon so you can talk to anybody in the world who is within view of the moon, or use satellites in space that ham radio operators have access to - AKA OSCAR (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) - you're a geek. Whether you want people to know that, is a different story though.
post #7 of 18
Most of the geeks that I've met are really nice people, once you've taken the time to get to know them!

I would be more worried that the huge antenna would advertise that you have some expensive audio type equipment inside your vehicle. I'm afraid it would set you up for vandalism, more than harassment or mistaken identity.
post #8 of 18
Aww it's a hobby of yours and for all you know you might find people with similar interests and someone who sees it might go like "WOW thats so cool" etc etc..
I still think someone who has no idea what this is isn't going to think anything of it despite the huge antenna..I don't see this as geeky, and I think many people will be impressed. I'm sure many of my guy friends who used to be boy scouts and such would find this stuff extremely impressive even if they aren't anywhere near geeks.
post #9 of 18
Don't forget - nerds are in these days! Hey, we've got a trekker in the White House, who's also a policy wonk - with a smart wife and two cute little girls - so, yes, anyone can find success!

Seriously, anyone who'd decide not to get to know you better just because of the antenna is probably a lot more superficial than anyone you'd want in your life permanently.

I wouldn't be phased by the antenna or the set up, especially once someone explained what it could do and how it can be useful in emergencies. I think I'd be annoyed were I in the car and my date kept ignoring me to listen to the CB, but that's another story!

Besides, the young ladies will need to pass the Ally and Ollie test - if the kitties don't like her, don't bother anymore with that girl! Actually, that's fairly serious advice - I"m not talking about a shy kitty, but if there's active dislike, you might really want to check the person out a lot more before thinking they're great.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post

Besides, the young ladies will need to pass the Ally and Ollie test - if the kitties don't like her, don't bother anymore with that girl! Actually, that's fairly serious advice - I"m not talking about a shy kitty, but if there's active dislike, you might really want to check the person out a lot more before thinking they're great.
OMG haha...
I failed that test- my boyfriend's cat HATES me...
Well she used to but lately she's a bit nicer to me (after 3 years of dating this guy)....But seriously?? I mean cats generally dislike people who try to be extra friendly towards them on the first visit. That's just cat communication basics- like too much eye contact makes cats nervous. So if a girl does that, easily she could fail but could be well intentioned and just using the wrong cat body language...lol I'm biased but I don't believe in that test..
post #11 of 18
Well, I did say to check out the girl further if kitties aren't impressed - obviously, you passed the 'further checking' test!
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
Besides, the young ladies will need to pass the Ally and Ollie test - if the kitties don't like her, don't bother anymore with that girl! Actually, that's fairly serious advice - I"m not talking about a shy kitty, but if there's active dislike, you might really want to check the person out a lot more before thinking they're great.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
OMG haha...
I failed that test- my boyfriend's cat HATES me...
Well she used to but lately she's a bit nicer to me (after 3 years of dating this guy)....But seriously?? I mean cats generally dislike people who try to be extra friendly towards them on the first visit. That's just cat communication basics- like too much eye contact makes cats nervous. So if a girl does that, easily she could fail but could be well intentioned and just using the wrong cat body language...lol I'm biased but I don't believe in that test..
My DH passed the cat test right off. But my 2 cats were super friendly too. It was after we started dating that Raven put him to the true test. Sitting between us even if there was only a millimeter. The little evil genius had me thinking Mike was stepping on him for months, until I caught the little faker. He was getting Mike in trouble with me on purpose.

I don't think the antenna will matter to the right girl.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I would be more worried that the huge antenna would advertise that you have some expensive audio type equipment inside your vehicle.
Expensive radio equipment to be more specific. The audio system in my car is a Bose, but it was the factory installed default audio system.

The antenna mount is a non-permanent mount. I'm buying that for 2 reasons:

1) Because I don't want to drill more holes than absolutely necessary to install this unit as it would decrease the resale value of it. The car is still relatively new, it's a 2007 model bought a couple months after the 2008 model came out. That's the only way I was able to afford it brand new. The dealers wanted to get rid of it so they basically sold it to me at dealer cost + associated percentage of overhead expenditures get rid of it.

The antenna can be swiveled to lay down, or I can take it off easy and stash it in the trunk. I wanted to get a motorized mount that automatically flips the antenna down at the touch of a button, but I was told that it wouldn't work in Minnesota cold b/c the lubricant would harden from the cold. I still might get one of those, but I'll modify it by opening it and replacing the lubricant with one that can withstand a very wide range of temperatures.

Anyways, yes - you are correct that I need to be careful. What you've just told me is why I tell people not to put up pro-gun or NRA stickers on their car. It's basically an invitation to crooks to break into the car looking for a weapon to steal.

I'll be careful about how I set this all up. I'm also going to install an XM antenna for XM radio and XM Traffic. So, all in all, there will be a lot of money worth of stuff in my car.... not to mention the car not being cheap itself. It has an alarm fortunately, but that's not gauranteed.
post #14 of 18
My first thought would be auxiliary cop. Then ham. If she is bright and curious about the world, then I don't think hamming is a problem. I'm a girl geek and I dated a "ham" for a while. He was also an "egghead". ( medical researcher.)
post #15 of 18
Personally, I wouldn't think anything of it. I'd be too busy thinking "hmm Bose, I wonder how 'such and such' cd would sound in here" and try to find a way to seek some death metal cd in.

Or you may get some inappropriate jokes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
3) That people will think I'm just a nerd/geek plain and simple... which is true, but I try to hide it and that's not a joke about trying to hide it.
Accept your nerdiness, no need to hide it.
post #16 of 18
I am a girl, I am young, and I would have no idea what a super long antenna meant!
post #17 of 18
It wouldn't bother me, but try being a GIRL driving around with antennas all over the car. My dad did have a HAM radio at the house, but in the car he had three (yes, three!) scanners, all with their own antenna. Plus a CB. When he passed away, I inherited the car. Driving was a trip! People would see me in their rear view mirror, assume I was a cop and slow down and get out of my way! I had people ask me (once they realized I obviously wasn't a cop) what they were for. I told one person they were so the aliens could cause my car to self destruct at any time. It was kind of fun! hehe

I remember my dad using his HAM radio when I was a kid and it was so fun! One time, when I was about 4 or 5 I guess, he was talking to someone from England. I remember the guy talked funny. Dad got out the globe to show me where England was, and were we were....I thought it was magic!
post #18 of 18
My first though would be HAM radio. Of course, I hung out with a bunch of amateur CBers several years ago and I also spent a year with an OTR trucker. My next thought would probably be why on an Infinity. For some reason, that car and a 60" whip just don't seem to fit together. Honestly, it would make me want to get to know you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
Anyways, I really do want to know what I should expect my peers, particularly those of the female persuasion will probably think.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be labeled a dork for lack of a better way to say it.
I'm married to a computer geek (geek is sheik) and he's the sexiest, smartest and most caring guy I know. It's not always a bad label. The girls looking for the macho, jock type guys don't really know what they want probably aren't worth the time anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
My father has one. The reason I never got one is because I worry about road rage. The FCC provides the names and addresses of licensees online. If my call sign is on my license plate, and for some reason, somebody gets really angry at me on the road (there are some crazy people out there), I'd rather they not have an easy way to look up who I am and where to find me.

Hope that doesn't sound as paranoid to you as it sounds reading it back to myself.
It's not paranoid... it's smart! That's exactly why I never liked vanity plates with names on them. I don't need or want complete strangers knowing my name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
Most of the geeks that I've met are really nice people, once you've taken the time to get to know them!

I would be more worried that the huge antenna would advertise that you have some expensive audio type equipment inside your vehicle. I'm afraid it would set you up for vandalism, more than harassment or mistaken identity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
Don't forget - nerds are in these days! Hey, we've got a trekker in the White House, who's also a policy wonk - with a smart wife and two cute little girls - so, yes, anyone can find success!

Seriously, anyone who'd decide not to get to know you better just because of the antenna is probably a lot more superficial than anyone you'd want in your life permanently.

I wouldn't be phased by the antenna or the set up, especially once someone explained what it could do and how it can be useful in emergencies. I think I'd be annoyed were I in the car and my date kept ignoring me to listen to the CB, but that's another story!
That too!
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