I just passed my tech and general exam about 2 weeks ago.
I am fucking convinced that the VEC's were living examples of "The People of Walmart" and after having listened to some of the conversations that go on, it is like listening to "The People of Walmart".
Got a Kenwood TH-D74A along with the Kenwood KMC-45D mic. Tossed the rubber duck off of it and put a Diamond tri-band antenna on it and also ran coax inside my Jeep Wrangler and have a 37" Diamond on the high mount third brake light. I can put the radio in a Ram mount I have attached to my Vector Offroad bar in the Jeep. Works good so far.
I still haven't spoken to anyone on the damn thing yet. Been more interested in the APRS and GPS tracking with it so far.
If I don't die pretty soon, I'm going to get my ticket. Talked all over the world on 11m. I only run about 600 watts now, but I've ran 1500+ through my 3 element yagi. Talked to Brazil a awhile back from my car.
Ironically assman has an EPIRB, for some crazy reason his wife bought it for him after he got his first “offshore” boat, I was afraid to go out in the bay on that scow, but fearless ass man and his brother “markbarta” thought nothing of going 80 miles out to the canyon, in a 24’ 1979 single engine chaparral... that leaked and had a sketchy electrical system.
I’ve contemplated buying a sat phone, they are relatively cheep now days and you can get “pay as you go” plans, but, I don’t really travel that much.
I got the bug again about a year and a half ago. Made General last summer and have been working primarily FT8 on 20/40/80 with my Yaesu FT-950 using a homebrew 20m inverted-v laying on my roof for 20/40 and a 37 foot end fed for 80. I don't have much horizontal space at my house, so full sized horizontals are out of the question.