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  #1  
Old 01-01-2017, 07:21 PM
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lnx64 lnx64 is offline
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Pulled over for antennas

Well, I'm not really sure how to go about this one. The cop must have been a complete idiot is all I can think. The ticket is already thrown away after I called the courthouse, but let's begin.

Today I was pulled over by a cop, who spotted the 3 antennas on the back of my car. He started off by saying "what is your business with all these antennas?". I informed him I am an amateur radio operator (as my license plate clearly says, but I didn't say that), and these are my radio antennas, one VHF and two different UHF's. I pointed to the radio in my center console. He saw that it was on scan mode and saw the screen flashing all sorts of different things. (I scan the repeaters). He said "No I think that's a scanner, and that's illegal in the state of florida for a motorist to be using". I explained it is not a scanner, and I am licensed to have and use this equipment. He wouldn't accept my radio license card, and instead wrote me a ticket.

I called the courthouse, (ironically, where I got my damn license!!), and explained I am a ham radio operator, here's my call sign. They looked it up on the FCC site, and almost imediately once they verified it was me, they through out the ticket, and apologized. End of story there.

But my god, I have never been pulled over for my antennas on my car before. Maybe it was because I drive an old police Caprice? Did he think maybe I was trying to impersonate a cop or something? Surely the ham radio tag would have been a clear sign that it's not the case, but I am just so dumbfounded right now.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:41 PM
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Seems like the cop, when seeing your license and license plate should have apologized for pulling you over and wished you a nice day and gone about his business.

jr
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:27 PM
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lnx64 lnx64 is offline
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That's how I feel, and I would have been completely understanding and wished him a happy new year. But the bigger issue is, he refused to look at my FCC license, and I guess he just didn't look at my plate hard enough. It's not a standard plate by any means. Normally our plates are XXX XXX, but mine is XXXXXX (no space). In fact, that lack of space is the same amount of digits with no space, as government vehichles (though their plates are yellow, mine is standard white with the orange on top of florida).

Maybe he had a bad day? I don't know. I'm glad the court house easily took care of it, otherwise it would have been an interesting day in court.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:17 PM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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Inx64 wrote: "Maybe he had a bad day?"
Actually, tomorrow he'll have a bad day.

You might call back and get them to send you a letter about dismissing the ticket. It would suck to get stopped several years from now and find you have a bench warrant for failure to appear or some such nonsense.

Good luck!
Chip
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:31 PM
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Police departments require their traffic cops to write X number of tickets per month. I wonder if this guy didn't meet his December quota or something? Or maybe he's just an idiot like you said.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:31 PM
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It's the area of Florida - I was visiting Orlando/WDW in 2002 and wanted to stop by the Woodcraft store in Casselberry. I was in a rental Malibu equipped with Onstar, and I had both my XM radio and "travel" CB antennas magnetically stuck to the roof of the car. I was in line at the register in Woodcraft, and looked out at my car - and saw a cop writing down the tag number. I dropped what I had, left the store and approached the cop. He wanted to know what I had for radios in the car. I went down the list - XM personal portable, a GE CB, and the in-dash radio. He had me open the trunk and hood looking for other radios - and gave me the rationale - it seems the drug trade down there like the I-4 corridor, and I fit the profile - late model 4-door with antennas. I had to power up all of the radios for him, and he gave me a polite "thanks" before leaving me - with hood, trunk and 2 doors open. He never asked for ID, where I was from, or even looked me square in the eye,

So much happens that we are not aware of, so I guess caution got the best of him.. Your cop sounded like a jerk...
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:59 PM
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You know, I also didn't think of it, regarding all the incidents that have happened recently, I guess maybe they are on high alert?

I will see about getting a written copy showing this is an accident so no sudden warrent shows up.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:12 AM
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It's sad how few people even know what Ham radio is....Back in college I knew someone in the ham club that signed 2 of his cars up to park in the school lots (needed plate number), hams (at least here in Wi) can have the same plate on multiple cars as he had, and when campus police/security saw the same plate for both cars on the application they told him that was illegal...He had to prove to them that it WAS legal!
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
It's sad how few people even know what Ham radio is....Back in college I knew someone in the ham club that signed 2 of his cars up to park in the school lots (needed plate number), hams (at least here in Wi) can have the same plate on multiple cars as he had, and when campus police/security saw the same plate for both cars on the application they told him that was illegal...He had to prove to them that it WAS legal!
I remember reading about something similar! I think it is possible in Florida, as long as it's obviously on one car at a time (I mean how else would it be on two cars at the same time if you only have one plate?).

I don't know if it's true though, I never bothered to look it up much.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:57 AM
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Many states allow multiple cars owned by a ham to display the ham's call letters.

jr
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:13 AM
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That's very interesting to know, thanks! I only own one car, but if I own a second it'd be nice to use multiple plates.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:42 AM
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Texas also allows same call sign plates on two vehicles. Can be confusing for unknowledgeable cops. The plates also say "Radio Operator" across the top. Texas practically gives them away too, fee is $0.

I went back to standard issue plates. Ham radio plates are just too darned easy to get name and address info from various call sign databases. That is if someone knows what it is in the first place.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
Inx64 wrote: "Maybe he had a bad day?"
Actually, tomorrow he'll have a bad day.

You might call back and get them to send you a letter about dismissing the ticket. It would suck to get stopped several years from now and find you have a bench warrant for failure to appear or some such nonsense.

Good luck!
Chip
Probably hung-over from the night before and PO'ed that he had to work on a holiday.
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  #14  
Old 01-02-2017, 01:07 PM
madlabs madlabs is offline
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Unbelievable! I've never had a cop question my antennas or radios, even when I've been pulled over for speeding. And I don't have a call sign on my car or any other indication of being a ham.

I'd make sure it really is squashed and hope I saw the cop at the courthouse!
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:57 PM
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lnx64 lnx64 is offline
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Sorry he has to work on a holiday, I have been there and done that, but, it's his job, as it was mine when I worked on holidays for the company I worked for.

These are the antennas on my car, I just can't imagine this being a problem though and it's silly.



(PS to those curious about glass mounted antennas, don't bother. Transmitting may work halfway decent, but receiving sucks).
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