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Has anyone ever used these gauges from New Vintage? Allegedly VDO bits in custom cans with custom faces, so they would utilize standard VDO sending units. I'm kind of digging the 4-banger combo gauge with scales instead of lines. Got an email into the company with no response, as of yet. 

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@DannyP, I have used an under-dash cord.  I installed the alien mount so I can use my phone for navigation.  I was slightly concerned by the modern look of a semi-permanent mount rather than a more temporary suction cup mount.

Before this, I had a mount that folded out from the bottom edge of the dash so it was semi-concealed when not in use. It was a bit in the way of other things and the new mount is more line of sight.

@Bob: IM S6 posted:

We use a new invention when driving.  It's called a map.  They come by themselves or in a book of many.  So easy to use that anyone can figure them out, and we are never out of range.  They come in different sizes.  We might even start a trend, if I could figure out a way to get word out to everyone.

Is map turn-by-turn audio an option?

I used to do grocery deliveries for a small supermarket as a kid 40 years ago....long before Grocery Gateway or others today.

We actually had to draw routes and *gasp* know where you were going, 30-40 deliveries all in a row so you ended up at the furthest distance and shoot back for the next load. Today everything is pre-loaded into your GPS and a zombie can do the run.

Hey!  Look it up in your Rand-McNally!

I think the phone holder is cute, Mike.  Good position, too.  Mine sits a bit low.

I have a Pioneer stereo under the dash and it has a flip-down front face which exposes a CD layer slot.  I got a phone holder at Best Buy that clamps fits into the CD slot (I normally stream music/podcasts from my phone so don"t need the CD much).

For the few times I've used it, it has been OK.

When I first started in law enforcement we had to use a Thomas Guide. You spent your early days in the training program putting dozens and dozens of tabs on the different pages based on the different beats. You also went through the back pages highlighted all of the streets in the county islands versus the rest of the city. You had to be quick when a call came in if you had to look up the particular street you were headed to. You had to make a quick list of directions to get there and of course you had to get there. All the while your Training Officer was yelling at you to get going. Ah yes, the good ole' days.

Now when a deputy gets a call the whole thing comes via the in-car terminal and it even routes them to the call from their current location.

Last edited by Robert M
@Robert M posted:

When I first started in law enforcement we had to use a Thomas Guide. You spent your early days in the training program putting dozens and dozens of tabs on the different pages based on the different beats. You also went through the back pages highlighted all of the streets in the county islands versus the rest of the city. You had to be quick when a call came in if you had to look up the particular street you were headed to. You had to make a quick list of directions to get there and of course you had to get there. All the while your Training Officer was yelling at you to get going. Ah yes, the good ole' days.

Now when a deputy gets a call the whole thing comes via the in-car terminal and it even routes them to the call from their current location.

Thanks, Bob, for reminding me to dust of the old "Memory Bank." For me, those good ole' days were from '75 to '94, and during those years I think I musta worn out several Thomas Guides while "on the job" in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, I'm gonna go look around "in all the right places"...'cause I'm sure long ago I squirrelled away a couple books. Unfortunately, Thomas Guides started down their own road-map to hell in 2003, when all its data edits were outsourced to Bangalore, India. That road ended when the company "died" in 2009. Occasionally, I'll get befuddled with Google Maps when I can't read the little print and I find I don't have my reading glasses handy... that's when I might reminisce about those good ole' days....and the Thomas Guides. 

@Jethro posted:

I have always had a thing for maps.  I could state at one for hours.   To this day, I can study a map, and then drive to my destination from visual memory.

Now, I get infatuated with Google Maps and satellite imagery.  Lots of rabbit holes out there, lol!

I did when I was young. I have a box somewhere with free service station maps from all over America and Europe that I collected during my family's travels in our '60 Westie camper.  It's funny to look at the pre-freeway maps of the US. 

We have transitioned to whatever map our GPS uses (there are a lot of different ones out there, for sure), but the funniest GPS map moment for us was when we went to Atlanta, GA for a wedding and decided to go to the world-renowned Atlanta Aquarium as a diversion (and I would highly recommend it for anyone on here - It's awesome).  I think this was around 2007 or 8, when GPS guidance still had a few bugs in it.

I punched the address into my Tom Tom GPS and we head out.  Everything was fine until we got to about 400 yards from the actual aquarium, when "Bubba", our "Mullet Man"/Redneck GPS guide, (think Billy Ray Cyrus after a couple of six-packs of "Billy Beer") decided that it was wicked cool to have us go in a circle a few times around the same city block.  After the first lap, my instantly perceptive wife said, "Hey!  WTF!  Are we going in a circle?"  

"No my love", I replied, this doesn't look familiar at all"

"BS........    I'm tellin yah, we've been by here before.  See?  Look over there in the next block.  It says "A-T-L-A-N-T-A   A-Q-U-A-R-I-U-M   E-N-T-R-A-N-C-E"!   

OK, so she had a point, it did say that, so we went around the block one more time so we could enter the parking garage in that block.  As soon as we made the left turn into the parking garage, "Bubba", our intrepid guide, says:  

"Y'All sure yah wanna do that?  You're goin' the wrong way!"

I miss old "Bubba".  We enjoyed him guiding (or mis-guiding) us for a long time.  He never failed to get us to Carlisle from South Carolina, even if he did get us equally lost in Mechanicsburg, PA one evening while delivering the Jack Russell Terrors to a dog spa there.   He was much better on a later morning, getting us back there to pick them up and then on our way back to New England, although his pronunciation of New England town names was a hoot at times.  

It was also easy to program in specific routes from here to there, but there were consequences, at times.  A different time, we were heading to South Carolina from New England and were on I-684 southwest of Danbury, CT, and heading for the Tappan-Zee bridge across the Hudson River.  We were about half way down 684 when, for no apparent reason (but, I found, it was my fault in programming him with too much (or not enough) resolution), Bubba decided to have us exit the Interstate, do a big loop around a neighborhood bordering on 684, then get back onto 684 at the exact same place we had exited and continued merrily on our way south like nothing had happened.  (I'm sure the neighbors were intrigued at seeing a pickup truck pulling a car trailer with a Speedster on it, going through their sleepy neighborhood at 10 in the morning.)

"What the hell was THAT?" my queen asked when we were on the on-ramp for 684.

"It was nothing - I think Bubba had a brain-fart", was my reply.

"Stupid Friggin Red Neck" came from the Jack Russells in the back..........

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

A few years ago I drove from Las Vegas down to LA to see the Roger Water's The Wall show. I figured it was a good opportunity to check out the new Garmin I'd just bought. Turned it on as soon as I got to the greater LA area. It soon directed me to get off the freeway. WTF? Still 25 miles to go?

After about 10 miles I turned on the google maps on my iPhone to see what was going on. After the show, before I left for home, I checked the Garmin. I guess "Avoid Freeways" is the factory default. 

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St. Louis is 2-1/2 hrs down the interstate highway, and Barnes- Jewish Hospital is a landmark nobody can miss. Barnes is a level 1 trauma center, so it's got really easy access to the highway, and we lived a mile from the interstate that ran directly to it. It's ridiculously easy to get to.

9-1/2 years ago, my eldest daughter was having a very, very complicated pregnancy (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome), and they transferred her to Barnes when the local hospital was ready to be done with her.

Jeanie was with her in the hospital every day (and Alissa was in the hospital for almost the entire pregnancy), so she drove her down to STL, using the nav system as her guide. It took 6 hrs to get there. They were on the interstate for less than 30 minutes, then detoured onto progressively smaller and smaller roads until they were on county blacktops somewhere in rural Missouri. They eventually made it, but not before I was ready to send out the National Guard.

We haven't used it much in any vehicle since, even though we've got it. I use GoogleMaps all the time, and just link it to the infotainment system via CarPlay. I'd never willingly give money for a Nav system again, but it comes as part of the "grandkids watch Wreck It Ralph for the 1200th time" package.

I like paper maps as well.

@edsnova posted:

Anyone else remember AAA "trip tix?"

I drove across the country several times with those.

Me, too. I had one made for the trip my brother and I made in 2001, down through Baja to La Paz, ferry to Acapulco, back up to Las Vegas. 

But, even better was when you could make your own trip tix on AAA.com. I'd size them just right, print them out, cut them up with a pair of scissors, and tape them into a long roll and put them in the rally route book roller I had on my bike. I'd take the written turn by turn directions I cut off put them in the map pocket on top of my tank bag. 

That was deluxe. 

Last edited by dlearl476

When I think back about how I navigated when I was in (and just out) of high school, I marvel at my younger self. At age 17 I and two friends (17 and 18) rented* a new Cavalier and drove from Fairfield, CT to Montreal for the Drum Corps International finals. This trip was planned in the gas station where I worked on a Thursday afternoon while I negotiated with my boss to get the weekend off. 

We knew it was in Olympic Stadium and one of our number (Jimmy, 18) had been there before. I had $100 and two changes of clothes. No credit cards, of course. We brought a tent for radical camping. We ended up spending one night on a gym floor about four blocks from the venue. 

Today, Google makes it a 6 hour drive through Albany, I'm pretty sure we took 89 through Vermont. I remember we taught Roy how to drive a stickshift, and he at one point drove the wrong way down a one-way street. We also had beer.

==

A few years later, 1989, I took my high-mileage 1980 Accord west to visit some friends. This time I had $3,000 in traveler's checks in the glove box (no credit card). Tent, a bag of briquets and a hibachi. A pink flamingo to stick in the ground at the KOA somewhere in Indiana. First real stop was Boulder CO and I knew to come in on 70 almost to Denver, follow the signs to Boulder and run almost to the end of Baseline Drive, which I had written on a yellow notepad. Phone numbers for my friends Ray and Amy, some coins for the payphone...

The plan there, as everywhere, was to get to a gas station at the edge of town and purchase a city atlas, which I did. Went from there to Yellowstone and then the Tetons for a week, then out to SF and up to Mendocino County, CA and then down to LA before running back through Vegas to Boulder to pick Ray up and drive him to Rhode Island for a mutual friend's wedding.

No recollection at all of having any trouble, except for miscalculating how far my old room mate's place in Latonville was, in practical terms, from the Golden Gate Bridge. He gave me good, turn-by-turn directions which I did write down. I ended up pulling into his hilltop compound about 1:00 a.m. after spending the last three hours on progressively narrower, darker gravel and dirt roads. He opened the trailer door, grabbed me and exclaimed "what the hell are you doing here?! You knock on the wrong door out here you could easily get killed!" He had assumed I was coming the next morning.

Such was that part of the country circa 1989, with surly ex-hippies and bikers running industrial-scale marijuana grow operations, guarded by fierce, 140-lb cross-bred hyena/dogs while they went on extended Grateful Dead tours. I ended up helping them assemble and install a jungle gym at the one-room school house.

Good times.

==

*Jimmy, Roy and I discovered at the rental car desk that one had to be 21 years old to rent a car, so I called my mother and she actually signed for the car and fraudulently told Avis that she was the only driver, then promptly went home and told us to call her nightly and if there was any trouble. Mom's a goddamn outlaw, is what she is. 

 

We're related, Eddie, or at least should be.

No credit cards. No cell-phones. No GPS. Not even good maps. Vague directions, hand-scribbled notes on a legal pad left over from HS. Maybe a map from random states tucked in the glove box, but maybe not. Bags of salted-in-the-shell peanuts. A gallon jug of water for the radiator and 4 qts. of oil. 50 bucks in each pocket.

Headed for America.

I'm not sure when the people of this country turned into a bunch of thumb-sucking pansies, but it was some time since 1980.

I hear you two characters. I used to pick a destination, call a buddy for turn landmarks, and set sail. And always successfully arrived, without any fuss. 

Fredonia(past Buffalo on Lake Erie) to pick up a girlfriend from college? No problem, 7 hours, piece-of-cake. Upstate NY to Speculator for camping? Yup.

Stan, don't forget the jerky. GPS and maps are for pussies.

Jerky was a luxury I couldn't afford until I was making long money (more than $4/hr), so it was peanuts and drinking fountain water for me. Not drinking anything while driving meant not needing to pee. We used to think of that as a good thing, and so rolled across America in a desiccated state of semi-permanent dehydration-- 6 ft tall, a buck-sixty, and a good back-- all hair, and sweat, and brown skin.

Driving the speedster somehow takes me back to all that in a way no other car has ever been able to. I'm pretty sure that's why I'm a lifer.

My first real map adventure was with a non-profit medical organization called Los Amigos de las Americas, which is headquartered in Houston and sent high school kids all over central and south America during the summer to do medical, health and hygiene projects.  They're still around today, adjusting their sphere of support as global conditions change.

Anyway, to kick off the 1967 summer season we had 9 brand-new Ford 3/4 ton pickup trucks to convoy from Houston to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, stopping in Guatemala to drop off two trucks and some route leaders for projects there and then continued on.

I was in the first truck which had a slide-in camper on the back and a mobile Ham Radio transceiver in the cab and a friend, Steve, was in the last truck in the convoy - all of the other pickup trucks had just a pickup cap on the back.  Steve's truck had a similar Ham set so we could talk between trucks (we were also talking to hams all over the World as we drove along, but that's for another story).  

I was accompanied in the lead truck by a 53-year-old member of the organization's Board of Directors.  His name was Perry and he took care of everything because the rest of us 17 drivers were all under 21.  Perry excelled at just about everything - except reading maps.  He was terrible, absolutely terrible at it.  We even had a set created by AAA which had the preferred route highlighted in yellow but he was forever second-guessing the map because he never, ever, knew where the hell he was.  He had an absolute heart of gold, but could never look at a map and tell where he was or how to get to where he wanted to go.  Every morning, Steve and I would grab the maps from my cab and hide out in the camper to come up with a list of what roads to take, where any turns were by local landmarks/towns/cities and so forth and then I would tape the list to the side of the Ham set under the dash, so I could see it and know where to go.  As a precaution, Steve and his buddy Bill, in the last truck, would have the same list and would call me on the radio before any change and wake me up to an upcoming course change - Perry would then know, too and everyone was cool.  Sometimes those two would have to convince Perry we were going the right way - I just kept driving.

The trip was supposed to take five days to Tegucigalpa, but we lost several days in Brownsville, TX after the first day of traveling, when we had wheel/tire troubles on all the trucks and had to wait for Ford and Firestone to figure it all out.  

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When we finally left Brownsville, we all decided to do double days to make up time, so we drove well into the night each night, often arriving at pre-arranged hotels (all notified of our delay) around Midnight and leaving before 8am - all of the trucks had two drivers so one could nap while the other drove.  All of the roads through Mexico and Guatemala were beautiful asphalt stretches where we could really let the trucks go, except that the camper on mine drove the gas mileage to under 6mph if I got it much over 70, so we just did longer days and drove a lot in the dark.  Besides, PEMEX gas in Mexico was terrible and I often had trouble even getting to 60, let alone anything over that.  Here's the caravan, hurtling through the El Salvador mountains:

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Occasionally, either day or night, some of the trucks would get caught behind a slower vehicle that I had already passed up front, so Steve and I developed a system where I would tell Steve (in the last truck) via radio if it was safe to pass ("no oncoming traffic after the blue Dodge") and he would flash his headlights.  The trucks between us would start passing until he held his lights on steady to tell them to stay put.  The guys got good at signaling forward, especially in the mountains when roads became curvy.  Steve and I also found that we could usually convince Perry that we were going the right way and Perry actually got pretty good at talking on the Ham radio, like an intercom between trucks.  Once, when he woke up from a nap I was talking with another Ham operator so I handed the mike to Perry to say hi!  

After doing his intro he asked the Ham where he was, expecting him to be nearby in Mexico.  "Oh, I'm Germany, but Chet is in Denmark and Ron is in the UK".  

"What?  There are three of you in there?  In this tiny box?"

That one had me laughing for a while.

A few ancient photos of the trip:  My camper-truck with Perry getting in.  Look just above Perry's head to see my Ham Radio antenna on the side of the truck:

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We ended up an a traffic jam in Guatemala when a molasses tanker overturned when the driver fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the road.  Here is the traffic jam while we waited for a road grader to push the molasses off of the road - it was about a foot deep near the tank.  Those white pickups are all ours and my white camper is up a bit on the left side of the road.  That's my roomie, Bill, standing on the cap.

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Of course, we all waked down to see the dead tanker, too.

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And here's the highway crew getting the road clear.  They don't usually have this much excitement around there, for sure.

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Yup, and sometimes all that stuff actually brings you back.  Home, that is!

My first trip in the Spyder, from SE in Bremen to NYC, my shift linkage broke about 3 miles from home. I fixed it with a small screwdriver I had with me. About halfway home from getting a tuneup two years ago, parts of my carb linkage came apart and it started running in two cylinders. Pulled over, popped the clamshell, and fixed it with a small crescent wrench I had with me, made it home. 

My Spyder is the only vehicle I own that could have made it home under its own power. 

So what does a slightly off-center, saxophone playing, spanish-speaking farm kid and ham operator son of the most trusting parents in Massachusetts look like at 17 years old, down in the outback of Central America?

For you other Hams, that's a Drake TR-4 transceiver on the desk (it was 1967, after all) with a 12AU7 single-tube CW keyer sitting on top, a small transmatch antenna matcher out of the photo and a solid state 12 volt CW keyer beside the rig (for use in the truck - keep reading).  All that worked with a 40 meter dipole antenna outside between buildings (aimed kinda northeast and used to talk with the headquarters in Houston) and a 20 meter 4-element beam antenna on the roof for fun (actually, sitting on four milk bottle crates held together with rope), constructed in place with irrigation tubing and cut to 14.305 and turned with some difficulty by pulling on a rope.  We only had electricity between 4pm and about 9pm so those were my hours for working CW DX (there was no code requirement in Honduras, so CW Honduran hams were much sought after DX stations).  I also popped the TR-4 into the truck and would talk to Houston or my folks in New England via phone patches or work SSB DX from the truck (and occasional CW DX from the truck with my keyer key strapped to my right leg - Honest to God).  

The truck antenna was a Texas "Bug Catcher": a half-wave 20 meter loading coil with adjustable taps for different bands into a CB whip antenna - It got out like gangbusters all over the world, and where I worked was always above 6,000 feet altitude - THAT was one helluva antenna.  Back then, I was K1FRV (Massachusetts) or HR3GSN (Northwest Honduras).  Steve was TD4SC over in Guatemala.  Very cool, but absolutely crazy times.

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