Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Retired Rally Photographer
Joined
·
2,069 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
I went to buy that scanner last year and Radio Shack would not sell it to me without a ham license(then why are they selling it as a sports radio?)- I went next door and bought one from Best Buy, no questions asked.
I'm half tempted to sell mine to you as I have only used it maybe three times, I should have bought a simpler one, it is too complicated and I usually have to find someone who knows how to operate these things to show me how to set it. Although last year it saved me from wasting the trip to the water crossing:p
 

·
600 /CR !!! R2>
Joined
·
450 Posts
You want one of these:
http://www.icomamerica.com/receivers/handheld/icr2main.asp
http://www.icomamerica.com/receivers/handheld/icr5main.asp

They have the same "guts" as the 2M handheld that I have (http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/dualhand/ict90main.asp) but they are receivers only and so they are cheaper and also legal for non-hams to buy and operate.

I usually buy my radio equipment from AES Ham http://www.aesham.com - their web page is a pain to use but they are cheap, fast, and reliable.

However, I think you should get a ham license, it's not hard to get a license to operate on the 2M band most used in rallying.

--
JP Rowland jeremyrowland -at- mac.com
Co-driver, #896 Audi 4000 Quattro turbo, Open
Visit my boring web page: http://homepage.mac.com/jeremyrowland
 

·
Retired Rally Photographer
Joined
·
2,069 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
Even the most inexpensive scanner will allow you to monitor most of the event communications at a rally in the US. Radio Shack has had simple scanners for as low as $59.95 in the past.

Remember that many states allow you to use a scanner BUT do not allow you to carry one in your car unless you're a licensed Radio Amateur.

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
How many competitors have ham licenses and carry radios in their cars?

I'm curious, its been on my list of things to do for a while but I think I had enough to worry about at Headwaters without a radio adding to it.

Now...if I came up to a really bad crash I'd be glad I had it I'm sure.

Jay
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>How many competitors have ham licenses and carry radios in
>their cars?
>

Well, both sides of our car (i.e. my SCCA ride) have ham licenses. Mark Utecht is also licensed - and has used the radio to avert a potential tragedy.

I didn't realize that it was illegal to have a scanner in a car in some states.

In answer to the original question, that scanner will do the job, but, as pointed out, there are cheaper options. For rallies, you typically will need the ability to store 5-6 frequencies. If you frequent a particular race series, the radio you were looking at is more useful, as the cars all have assigned pit-car comm frequencies which do not change from week to week. Ease of programming is probably a more useful feature for rallies...

Adrian
 

·
your other left, you idiot
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
HAMs

I do. And I have called in my own accident (which in my reading is a legal thing to do even if you are not licensed).

Bruce, I believe that you can have a scanner in your car, you just can't be using it. Sort of a subtle distinction, kind of like radar detectors in Canada (I put mine in my luggage whilst traveling through).

press on,

>How many competitors have ham licenses and carry radios in
>their cars?
>
>I'm curious, its been on my list of things to do for a while
>but I think I had enough to worry about at Headwaters
>without a radio adding to it.
>
>Now...if I came up to a really bad crash I'd be glad I had
>it I'm sure.
>
>Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
oh, using one as I do as an alternate to a radar detector is illegal? Good thing I have a few weather staions programed as well. And advice for Pete, external speaker (kind that clips to you, like cops use) might be a good idea as at times (with mine at least) it can be hard to hear the scanner well unless holding it near yer head, which when in juggling cameras in the woods adds another aggrevation.
Josh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
RE: HAMs

>Bruce, I believe that you can have a scanner in your car,
>you just can't be using it. Sort of a subtle distinction,
>kind of like radar detectors in Canada (I put mine in my
>luggage whilst traveling through).
>
In Minnesota, you can't have it in the passenger area of your car unless you're a ham, and then it must have your call sign affixed to it. It varies state by state. Note that it matters not whether it's ON or whether it's TUNED to cop frequencies...the statute says a receiver CAPABLE OF RECEIVING cop frequencies...which includes a couple of my ham tranceivers.

Bruce
 

·
your other left, you idiot
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
RE: HAMs

Hmmmmmmmm, seems like this should be in the supps for every MN event. I have never heard of anything like this. And my call sign is NOT on my scanner, or my 2m for that matter.

press on,

>In Minnesota, you can't have it in the passenger area of
>your car unless you're a ham, and then it must have your
>call sign affixed to it. It varies state by state. Note
>that it matters not whether it's ON or whether it's TUNED to
>cop frequencies...the statute says a receiver CAPABLE OF
>RECEIVING cop frequencies...which includes a couple of my
>ham tranceivers.
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
RE: HAMs

>Bruce, I believe that you can have a scanner in your car,
>you just can't be using it. Sort of a subtle distinction,
>kind of like radar detectors in Canada (I put mine in my
>luggage whilst traveling through).

Actually, I believe that the possession of a radar detector is illegal in Ontario. No that it stops people.

Adrian
 

·
Retired Rally Photographer
Joined
·
2,069 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>Even the most inexpensive scanner will allow you to monitor
>most of the event communications at a rally in the US.
>Radio Shack has had simple scanners for as low as $59.95 in
>the past.

So if I walk into Radio Shack, exactly what do I ask for? "A handheld scanner"? Is there a specific feature I'm looking for? Certain frequencies? I'm not looking to spend anymore than $100 on this, so I don't need a super fancy one that can do this and that. I will only be using it for rallies. I just want to make sure that 1. I can get the frequency, 2. Big enough antenna to not have to worry about reception, 3. Under $100.

Pete
 

·
600 /CR !!! R2>
Joined
·
450 Posts
Yeah, a handheld scanner is what you want. The Radio Shack radios are nearly always older model name-brand radios that are rebadged for RS. They are usually cheaper than buying a name brand, plus if you keep your eyes open and wait they have excellent specials from time to time.

The Icoms I mentioned have a lot of nice features, and I mentioned them because I've seen them specifically marketed to racing fans. Really more for track racing, since the radios have gobs of memory channels that you can pre-program to the frequencies that each team will be using. But they also have wide band coverage from like 4khz up to 1ghz (except cell frequencies of course,) which makes them useful to play around with to listen to weather reports, police/fire/ambulance, boring ham and business communications, etc. But most scanners have that these days.

Basically memory channels are the most important feature you want, enough to hold all the frequencies that the rally will be using (usually 4-6) and local emergency frequencies as well (look them up on the internet before you go, you can find web sites like the Long Island Scanning Resources http://www.fordyce.org/scanning/ which covers most of the Northeast and DC regions). Sometimes the rally freqs are published at HQ, if not then you may be able to get a list with press credentials. Sometimes the radio workers have a private secret unpublished frequency (e.g., STPR) that only they know about and is not announced until the radio worker meeting. You want to make sure that you can put the scanner into a mode to scan only those memory channels. I know that the Icoms let you have multiple memory banks, so you could for instance program the rally freqs into one bank and the emergency freqs into another, and limit your scanning to just the rally ones unless there is an emergency, a nice feature to have (do you really care about the domestic dispute across town? :) )

Also battery life is an issue, make sure it lasts long enough if you have the radio on constantly or you can charge it in your car.

Any handheld will have an adequate antenna to receive. They usually have one of those short rubber antennas which you can usually replace it with a longer and more efficient telescoping antenna, as long as you know what kind of connecter it is using (the RS guys will know, there's always at least one or two hardcore guys at every RS that know more than you could ever possibly want to know.)

edit: PS I forgot the most important feature, you want to make sure the radio actually picks up the rally freqs. They are almost always on the 2-meter band, aka 140-144 MHz. Being able to pick up the 440 MHz band is a plus but I've never seen it used in rally. Don't know off the top of my head what bands the emergency frequencies are on, but you can check the website I listed for examples.

--
JP Rowland jeremyrowland -at- mac.com
Co-driver, Wazoo Racing Subaru Impreza WRX, Production GT Class
http://homepage.mac.com/jeremyrowland
 

·
600 /CR !!! R2>
Joined
·
450 Posts
RE: HAMs

I have a ham license, and I carry a 5 watt tri-band handheld radio with me in the car. It's probably not powerful enough, though, for reliable communications in the woods. If I felt that were necessary I'd carry my 50 W 2-meter mobile radio and a substantial antenna. If I were really serious I'd have the driver permanently mount a 1/4 wavelength whip antenna onto the roof, about the shortest practical antenna but keep in mind that it still will probably be hitting branches and is toast in a roll-over. In my case I would probably just keep a 5/8 whip antenna in the car, zip-tied to the roll cage, then it's there if necessary in an emergency.

As far as FCC rules go, "anything goes" in an emergency including using any frequencies necessary (not just ham freqs) by an unlicensed operator. Obviously if someone is injured on stage it is definately ok. In the case of most rally crashes, where there are no injuries, it's probably appropriate for an unlicensed operator to use a ham freq that is currently being used for rally communications. Even though it's not a life-and-death situation, it would let the stage captains know where you are and prevent them from treating the situation like an emergency. Also, if you were in a precarious spot, the marshals could warn cars starting the stage and help prevent another accident.

--
JP Rowland jeremyrowland -at- mac.com
Co-driver, Wazoo Racing Subaru Impreza WRX, Production GT Class
http://homepage.mac.com/jeremyrowland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
RE: HAMs

>Hmmmmmmmm, seems like this should be in the supps for every
>MN event. I have never heard of anything like this. And my
>call sign is NOT on my scanner, or my 2m for that matter.
>
Um, Jimmy...

From the Michigan Penal Code:

750.508 Equipping vehicle with radio able to receive signals on frequencies assigned for police purposes; permit required; exceptions; misdemeanor; penalty; radar detectors not applicable.
Sec. 508.

(1) Any person who shall equip a vehicle with a radio receiving set that will receive signals sent on frequencies assigned by the federal communications commission of the United States of America for police purposes, or use the same in this state unless the vehicle is used or owned by a peace officer, or a bona fide amateur radio operator holding a technician class, general, advanced, or extra class amateur license issued by the federal communications commission, without first securing a permit so to do from the director of the department of state police upon application as he or she may prescribe, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.


I believe most states have something like this. You may find that the director has never "prescribed" such a permit, and thus you can't get one.

Bruce
 

·
Retired Rally Photographer
Joined
·
2,069 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, I'm getting the hang of this now. It's making sense. I think I'll go the Radio Shack route cuz, 1. There are a million of them around and 2. Friend works at one, so maybe I can get a discount.

So I'm down to these 2. They both relatively look the same more or less. I'm leaning toward the one in the 2nd link first, and then falling back on the 1st link if I need to.

http://www.radioshack.com/product.a...y_name=CTLG_008_009_010_004&product_id=20-514

http://www.radioshack.com/product.a...y_name=CTLG_008_009_010_005&product_id=20-315

I will try to find either one of these nearby. These appear to do exactly what I need. I'll be getting one unless someone suggests otherwise.

Many thanks for all the help too! Seeing as I knew *nothing* about this 2 days ago, hopefully this will help someone else like me. Oh, and maybe I'll look into a HAM license if I get hooked on this stuff.

Pete
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top