Ham radio and Mini Coopers

I spent the last few days at one of the country’s largest Mini Cooper enthusiast events, Minis on the Dragon in Fontana, NC. There were over 800 cars at the event, and I counted at least six hams. If you watch the video of the run in the this post, you will hear the chatter between the different people on the run using FMRS.

I ran into a group from California who were all new hams, and were proud to be using ham radio, rather than FMRS, to communicate within their group during runs. I heard them preaching the benefits, and ease of getting a license, to other people at the event. They said for their club runs in Northern California, FMRS doesn’t work very well if they get strung out, and they’ve found ham radio to be much better. They said they are working to get everyone in their club licensed. One of the three I talked to was really taken with ham radio, and planned to start studying for her General, but wanted to do it the right way by learning the answers, not memorizing them.

I gave them encouragement, and talked about how they could take it to the next level with APRS. How many car enthusiast/rally clubs are there out there who are using FMRS and would be excited about stepping up to ham radio?

Lining up for the group shot. I made it to the front row with my ham plates.