I just discovered 4×4ham.com and it is a bit like Facebook for radio amateurs with gas guzzling, anti-social off-roaders like me. I could rant on for hours about what a load of bull the papers and government are spouting about 4X4s and how most of us that own them need them, but at 4×4ham.com I do not need to because everyone there loves their 4×4. At the moment the site is dominated by Americans but it has great potential to become a useful international resource for those fitting radios in to their off-roaders and heading off in to the wild. One of the problems I always seem to have is working out where to mount radios and antennas in new vehicles, here maybe I can find solutions that have worked for others.
Why have I got a 4×4? With my XYL and up to five children, one grandchild and/or Mother in Law plus shopping nothing else will still pull a caravan or trailer with out the suspension giving out and never get stuck on a muddy field. I use it to provide a cross band repeater from high ground that would be inaccessible in any other vehicle with RAYNET including search and rescue involving mountain, air/sea and lifeboat rescue services. I have provided communication cover for off road events such as horse trials, mountain biking and fell runs. I can sometimes dramatically cut walking distances when out doing Summits on the Air activations. It can handle extremes of weather and I have rescued other lesser vehicles from snow drifts, muddy fields and floods. I hate driving but 4×4s are fun. The stealth tax that is the £400 a year I pay for my road fund licence is not parted with willingly but they will not force me in to a Smart car any time soon.