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Old 9th Jun 2021, 3:00 pm   #21
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Personally, I'm not a fan of magmounts, preferring a gutter/hatchback-mount; there's one design of these with a short 'pigtail' of very thin coax - only a few inches - before the cable transitions back to normal-sized coax.
This is handy because on quite a few modern cars the panel-gaps are so small that normal coax can get 'nipped' - the thinner coax also allows a better seal to the door/window-rubbers and leaves a much smaller gap for water to get in [it's amazing how much water can flow through a tiny gap when you drive a few miles at Motorway speeds through a downpour].

See the "Comet CP-5M" for example. https://cometantenna.com/amateur-rad...nts-with-coax/
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 3:59 pm   #22
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

I did fit out my motorcycle with 100W of HF/VHF and UHF, had a few chats but quickly (an hour or so) realised my riding skill was plummeting, not the best of things on a two wheeler. I gave it up. The south of France on 20 (14 MHz) was my best distance with a four foot whip.

We (amateurs) may have the right to do it, in modern traffic forget it, park on the top of a hill with a Thermos of soup and enjoy. With hindsight I should have had a fist mike and 'speaker to do it once parked. Even if I did flatten the bikes battery (they are quite weeny) I had a hill to roll down to start it!
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 7:07 pm   #23
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Back in 2005 when the law changed to make the use of hand-held phones an 'absolute offence', radio amateurs and magazines such as PW seemed to be rejoicing, saying 'great - it doesn't apply to us', inferring immunity from prosecution At that time, I'd been a magistrate for twenty years, had sat on more than 20,000 cases, about half of which were motoring offences, many of which had a tragic outcomes out of all proportion to the extent to which the standard of driving had fallen below that expected of a competent driver.

An 'absolute offence' is one where if you've done it, you've done it. There's no defence, though at the sentencing stage there may be mitigating (or aggravating) factors about the offence and/or the offender. Examples of 'absolute offences' include speeding, having no car insurance, no VEL, no TV licence, and using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

Offences such as careless or dangerous driving, like most criminal matters - are not 'absolute offences' and have to be proved to the criminal standard of proof - 'beyond reasonable doubt' (not as often seen in films 'beyond ALL reasonable doubt'). There are three elements that make up an offence: The act itself (known in law as 'Actus Reus'), the intent behind it ('Means Rea') and the absence of a valid defence.

Lots of amateur at the time said things like: 'well the police use hand-held mikes, as do taxi drivers and other PMR users, so why not us?'. They probably don't do so now, but in any event, the mode of operation is quite different. PMR users only have brief exchanges of information, whereas radio amateurs aim to maintain contact for as long as they can - maybe a whole journey, which - through repeaters - can be quite a distance, often in busy urban traffic conditions. In the ensuing years since mobile phones came into use there has been ample research and evidence to show that even hands-free causes a lapse of concentration to a similar extent as hand-held.

If you are in a vehicle - even if stationary at red traffic lights - in law, you are 'driving' and must be in full control of the vehicle at all times. There are more than enough examples of motorists who have picked up three points and a fine for 'not being in control of their vehicle' for eating an apple or sandwich, or drinking from a soft-drink can while stationary in traffic. Similarly, there are untold thousands who have done such things and much worse with impunity and never been caught. Fine - as Clint Eastwood would say 'Do you feel lucky?'

I don't want to sound preachy but if any of us are doing anything which - had we done it during our driving test would have caused us to fail - then maybe we'd best not do it? I wrote an article on the topic which was published in June 2005 Radcom, written from my perspective as a then magistrate ( and husband/father/grandfather/driver/pedestrian), which I've attached, and might be of interest. My views haven't changed.

Alternative views were sought by RSGB and were later published to 'balance the argument' some of which expressed indignation bordering on rage about 'infringements of rights in a free country'. Well fine, but what is often overlooked is that along with 'rights' (about which we hear so much), go 'responsibilities' (of which we hear little).

Texting isn't the same as using a microphone or hands-free operating, but the article at this link is worth a read.

Texting wasn't the cause of the accident, but came to light as part of an investigation into a fatal accident:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/...gerous-driving

I've written this not so much for debate as for info as it's cropped up during this thread (albeit it's off the topic of how to mount a mobile antenna).

As the fairground disclaimers say: 'You ride at your own risk'.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Radcom Article - how legal is mobile operating.pdf (109.7 KB, 21 views)
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 7:34 pm   #24
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Well said David, I am glad to have noticed my somewhat instant fall in performance before I or heaven forbid*, any one else got hurt. We learn by our mistakes, I did and thankfully that is all that happened. That was hands free with VOX (Voice Operated transmit (X)) too. Any 'phone call or amateur contact can wait until we are safely stationary (safely parked as the law says for vehicles), that includes pedestrians merrily stopping mid pavement to answer a call or text.

*Strong words indeed from a dyed in the wool atheist.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 7:39 pm   #25
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Thanks David, very interesting. In fact if you look back through this thread so far the majority who have expressed an opinion, myself included, have said that while they may once have thought it acceptable to talk and drive they prefer not to do it now - so it looks as though quite a few people have naturally come around to your way of thinking.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 7:53 pm   #26
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

When mobile, I use a single-earpiece-and-boom-mic headset (ex-gaming-PC) with a push-button on/off switch mounted beside the gear-selector to do TX/RX changeover.

I don't see how talking to someone through a repeater, or on HF, is any more distractional than talking to a passenger. Pilots both civil and military seem quite able to fly at speeds an order of magnitude greater than you can drive, and engage in conversations with other crew-members/air-traffic-control without this being seen as a risk.

Sure, I wouldn't use a fist-mic if I was driving a manual-transmission car, but in times-past I drove many thousands of miles in automatics using a fist-mic in my left hand.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 8:14 pm   #27
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

I think the difference when talking to a passenger is that they normally instinctively know when to pause and not distract you, especially if they are drivers themselves, whereas the person on the other end of your radio conversation is not in a position to do the same. If someone hands it back to you just as you are approaching a roundabout (for example), that puts you under unnecessary pressure to make a decision - go straight back to them, as you might be naturally inclined to do, or focus on navigating through the complex junction, let the repeater drop if necessary, and then pick it up again once you're through.

I used to feel OK about talking to someone on the radio on the move - not any more. When it comes to radio amateurs - who are notorious for speaking in very long overs, unlike almost any other comms users, you essentially have a worst case scenario.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 8:18 pm   #28
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Quote:
Pilots both civil and military seem quite able to fly at speeds an order of magnitude greater than you can drive
Two reasons, one there is not a lot about to collide with and two when landing (or taking off), the difficult bits, there is no need to talk at all. And very good radio discipline.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 8:28 pm   #29
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Pragmatically, can anyone point me at a single UK magistrates/county-court/coroners judgement where a ham-radio operator's use of a fist-mic or talking-on-HF/VHF-radio has been cited as the primary cause of an accident/fatality?
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 8:53 pm   #30
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Not amateur, but there have been fatalities caused by the use of a hand held microphone
that incorporated adjustments for frequency etc on CB radio - one model was the
Binatone "Breaker Phone". The driver could be distracted by the mic display(s).
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 8:57 pm   #31
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Primary/secondary or tertiary, absence of proof doesn't mean proof of absence. We all should take care of ourselves and others. The boom in mobile (as in using in vehicles) mobile 'phone use has made the statistics of such use lift from the noise. Distracted driving is dangerous.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 9:07 pm   #32
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

I did look and in ten minutes of looking around did not find any specific cases of serious accidents or fatalities involving an amateur using a fist microphone.

Shedloads involving mobile phone use.

However, What Merlin Said. I'm not going to wait until someone has definitely died at the hands of a distracted radio amateur before moderating my own behaviour. Everyone else is, of course, free to exercise their own choice and judgement within the scope of the law.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 9:12 pm   #33
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
Quote:
Pilots both civil and military seem quite able to fly at speeds an order of magnitude greater than you can drive
Two reasons, one there is not a lot about to collide with and two when landing (or taking off), the difficult bits, there is no need to talk at all. And very good radio discipline.

Not to mention the well known pilots axiom:

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 9:23 pm   #34
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Quote:
Not to mention the well known pilots axiom:

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.
And not waffle on about grandmas cats sore paw or whatever waffle.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 9:27 pm   #35
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
When mobile, I use a single-earpiece-and-boom-mic headset (ex-gaming-PC) with a push-button on/off switch mounted beside the gear-selector to do TX/RX changeover.

I don't see how talking to someone through a repeater, or on HF, is any more distractional than talking to a passenger. Pilots both civil and military seem quite able to fly at speeds an order of magnitude greater than you can drive, and engage in conversations with other crew-members/air-traffic-control without this being seen as a risk.
Worth reading this:

https://www.rospa.com/media/document...-factsheet.pdf

Note too that ROSPA caution employers against providing hands-free kits and complying employees to use their phone while driving as that could expose the employer to the risk of prosecution for the offence of ‘causing or permitting’ (a road traffic offence to be committed by their employee).

I don’t have an axe to grind on this, but my views are coloured by the many tragic cases I sat on over many years, where the consequences of (not a lengthy phone conversation while driving), a momentary lapse of concentration such as loading a CD, twiddling with a radio, unwrapping a sweet or peeling an orange has had tragic consequences out of all proportion to that lapse. Unwise and irresponsible though such acts might be, no-one does that sort of thing with any criminal intent. There were no words that could be spoken that would console the bereaved or make them feel that justice has been served, and no sentence that could be passed which would make the offender feel any worse than they already do.

I did make me understand why police traffic officers have a low tolerance level for irresponsible drivers.

I think I’ve had more than my share of the bandwidth of this QSO, so I’ll leave it at that and QSY!
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 11:08 pm   #36
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by HamishBoxer View Post
Of course going mobile is a "grey" area , re holding the mike etc. Like a mobile phone in effect.

Possibly needs hands free as a minimum.
there is no grey area

it is legal as long as you remain in full control of the vehicle and drive with due care and attention .
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Old 10th Jun 2021, 4:37 pm   #37
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

There was a case in Cambridgeshire in the 1970's some where a police officer drove into the rear of a Reliant Robin which he was following in order "to conduct a brake test" whatever that means.

His defence was that he was distracted by having to answer a radio call. He got away with it as in those days magistrates always seemed to side with the police and would hear nothing said against them.

I have a very low opinion of magistrates, but can't tell you why at present as it's sub judice.
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Old 10th Jun 2021, 4:42 pm   #38
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola_Jayne View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamishBoxer View Post
Of course going mobile is a "grey" area , re holding the mike etc. Like a mobile phone in effect.

Possibly needs hands free as a minimum.
there is no grey area

it is legal as long as you remain in full control of the vehicle and drive with due care and attention .
https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q659.htm
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Old 10th Jun 2021, 7:10 pm   #39
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

I have a maxim, "If you want to cheat, know all the rules first". Driving (riding etc.) is a privilege granted by passing a test, it (the test) is presumed as the first step, self improvement is implied, just like amateur radio. Go for an advanced driving course, I did and found I was a shade better than averagely bad (quite a shock), now I go a few times a year to the "meets" to brush up. I bet it has saved my life when riding my motorcycle. Saves money too, my brake pads last for ages now.
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Old 10th Jun 2021, 7:48 pm   #40
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Default Re: Going Mobile with Amateur Radio

Passed my IAM course at 19 and still try and uphold high standards.

Am I missing a post ? I replied to Graham saying spot on and in todays conditions I would not want to be mobile even if it was legal.

Perhaps I didn't press post.

Mobile was fun in the 1970,s.

Apologies if my post was meant to be deleted.
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