My mobile antenna is cursed

Well, the mobile antenna is currently not attached to my car. It’s not really my fault. It never is.

When I first installed the thing we had a hail storm that same evening and I had to take it back down while my car was at the body shop for the next week getting a hundred dings ironed out.

I managed to keep the antenna on a few more months, and then my electric-blue Focus was rear-ended in rush hour traffic.  The mobile antenna survived the crash, but it had to come down while the body shop replaced the rear hatch and bumper.

That brings me to the present. I took my car to a new local Ford dealer for routine maintenance Saturday (which happens to be just across the road from my local Scottish Rite Center, of which I am a member). The employees were nice, the waiting room was modern and spacious, and the service was fast.

I was about to climb into the car to drive off when I noticed my Diamond 2m/440 5/8ths-wave mast was gone. What remained of the mount was dangling off the skinny coax, although the bit that clamps onto the lip was still holding fast. They’d run the car through the automated wash and the brushes evidently just ripped the antenna off.

I located the gentleman who checked my car in. I explained what had happened, so he and a mechanic walked back to the car wash and returned a few moments later with the antenna, slightly bent and no doubt the threads on the mount are likely warped. The dealership told me to simply bring a print-out of a price list for the damaged items, or a receipt, and they would compensate me for the mishap. At least there’s that.

In other news, I am on DMR now, and loving it!

I’ve been using a Tytera handheld with the “stubby” antenna and it’s been getting out very well. It also helps that we have a large tower in my part of town. I can keep my handheld on the “Columbia East” zone and access everything I need, from the PRN, the local TG, the two “chat” groups, and the national TAC groups. A lot of the magic is in the programming file, or “code plug” that one of the local guys here developed.

While the DMR scene here isn’t bursting with activity yet, I can generally raise some folks I know if I toss my call out. We practically had a “net” going Friday afternoon when I was driving home and tossed my call out and a half dozen people responded. It will be interesting to see where this goes!


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