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Reviews Categories | Ham Call Sign Accessories | ARRL Car License Plate Frame Help

Reviews Summary for ARRL Car License Plate Frame
ARRL Car License Plate Frame Reviews: 19 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $4.95
Description: Black plastic standard license plate frame.
Product is in production.
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K6SBA Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2009 16:19 Send this review to a friend
WOW!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bar None (or maybe any bar), this license plate frame has the BEST DSP of any frame on the market. I particularly like the way the frame handles noise as vehicle speed increases. Japanese and Chinese products have not even considered adding noise reduction to their frames. Who says America has lost it technological edge?

73 de K6SBA
David in Santa Barbara CA
RFDANNY Rating: 3/5 Jul 3, 2009 15:07 Send this review to a friend
Ok, but could be better...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
First, I would like to say that I've been a ham, and a driver, for almost 40 years. I have owned various license plate frames/holders from a large variety of various manufacturers over the years. They have come in various models, materials, and quality. At one time, I was actually certified by a large auto parts store to sell, install and exchange various models of license plate holders. I have even repaired a few of them in my day, and my sons and I have homebrewed a few right from the garage. I feel that it was important to tell you all this so you will realize that I know what I'm talking about and will respect my opinion.

This particular model is only good for the beginner or the casual driver who isn't 100% committed to amateur radio. While it will get the job done, there are certainly better choices on the market today. The new Flexible-5000 software defined license plate LCD panel is one example.

There are no illustrations included in the manual. In fact, I don't think I even got a manual with mine. However, due to my vast experience, I was able to fumble through the installation and had it up and running in less than an hour.

I was disappointed that the words stay static. They are not user configurable, nor are the fonts.

In today's ham radio, it is inexcusable for a well known company to push brand new gear into the field that is not software upgradable. If you grow tired of the current look, you are forced to wait for another version release from the seller and swap out holders. When I called ARRL for technical support, someone laughed at me and hung up. This is NO WAY to support a new product.

Proper hardware was not included, which forced a trip to the store. The lack of documentation made this particularly nerve racking. Now, after only 6 months of road use, the bolts are rusting. They should have included stainless steel hardware with the item.

I'll report back in another year, hopefully it will last that long.

Like I said, it's fine for newcomers, but seasoned ops should save for aircraft grade drawn aluminum, stainless hardware and some sort of field upgrade program whether it be hardware or software based.

My two cents.


K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2009 11:17 Send this review to a friend
Great To Advertise Our Hobby !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This review won't be a spoof on the others, like it is too hard to install? Give me a break!

It is terrific though to advertise our hobby. It is inexpensive yet it does the job. For $2.95, you can't go wrong! That is my 2 worth!
W8MKH Rating: 4/5 Jun 24, 2009 16:02 Send this review to a friend
ok  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Goes well with my new Tin Foil Hat
NV5E Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2009 15:40 Send this review to a friend
Pileup Buster!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Now I get the rare ones on the first call. A better investment than an amp or a big, efficient antenna.
N0FPE Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2009 14:59 Send this review to a friend
WOW  Time owned: more than 12 months
This dodad is just more than I can handle! I have built repeaters from scratch in the 144, 222,440, and 900mhz bands but this thing is beyond me! It must be GREAT!! It now resides in my parts box until I have time to figure it out. A full on 5 in my book! and who cares if it costs more, its the name that counts right? Like Motorola.....You can get better but you cant pay more!!!!
KI6WDZ Rating: 2/5 May 4, 2009 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Too Complex for me.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I admit that I'm fairly new to all of this, but I had a hard time figuring out where to install this item, front or rear. After a bit of a search on the ARRL web site, I still couldn't find good instructions. So, I bit the bullet, and put it on the back end of my truck; and that's when the trouble started. I've been beseiged by questions about things failing by people who seem to expect that I'll be able to fix it for them. You'd have thought that I put out a sign that said "No plumbing repair over $25 dollars" followed by my phone number.

After a week or so of embarrasing questions, I decided that I must have it at the wrong end of my vehicle. It actually made a big difference. People have less time to read the thing because instead of liesurely reading while they follow me, they now have to deal with the fact that my vehicle is headed right at them and the wording on my license plate frame seems to be less important to them. Those few die-hards who still try to read it are generally disuaded when I down-shift and accellerate towards them. I wish I had know all this when it first arrived.

So, while the product generally does what it claims, it could have been a much better experience had they just included some better installation instructions. I haven't bothered with trying to get a good ground cable attached; I'm hoping it isn't necessary.
KG6AF Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2008 12:46 Send this review to a friend
MFJ frame is a better deal  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The ARRL produces a perfectly good license plate frame, but the MFJ frame, priced at $2.95, is a better deal. Granted, the holes are drilled in the wrong places and "Amateur" is spelled "Amatuer," but two bucks is two bucks.
WA6L Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2008 10:03 Send this review to a friend
Great product, but not for the technically challenged  Time owned: more than 12 months

This is definitely one of the best ham-radio gadgets available today. Watch ebay as some used ones will show up from time to time, though they seem to command top dollar, even used.

Installation was a breeze, although the instructions were a bit vague. Make sure that you follow proper grounding procedures and wear safety goggles.

The functionality and appearance are top-notch. Both Hams and non-Hams alike have commented on the pithy saying, "When all else fails - Amateur Radio." Even the policeman who pulled me over for speeding in a school zone just chuckled and let me go with a warning after reading the frame.

The on-air comments have been just as favorable. I don't know how many times I have been asked if I am running an amp. When I reply, "Nope, just the ARRL license-plate frame," they are truly amazed. Then they sign off abruptly.

I would like to see a QRP model with very, very small letters.
KB7XU Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2008 09:35 Send this review to a friend
Does not cause global warming  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this magnificent accessory for about four years. It does what it's designed to do.

Plastic constructin is a bit flimsy; I'd prefer metal.
Helps the Photo Radar slugs prove that it really WAS your car!

It has nothing to do with D-Star or Wires.
NO programming software needed.
Does not require purchase of carbon credits.
Not endorsed by Oprah.
Motto, "When All Esle Fails - Amateur Radio" still arouses suspicion among the politcally-correct crowd.
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