Emergency Comms

This topic contains 47 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  Rookieprepper 7 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 48 total)
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  • #55010

    Hansel1
    Member

    @ks-shoe wrote:

    Thnaks! Do you have any name brands in mind for distance coms. I’m looking to buy a house on 30-40 acres and its kansas so hills not really an issue.

    KS,
    I normally do not endorse andy brands and individual radio’s. But I was several times in different areas in Kansas and those long low hills could be an issue unless you buy / build on top of a hill.

    Although from a tactical point of view living on top of a hill has its advantage, from a strategic point of view it is better to be just below the crest this way you are not only protected from winds but also from long range viewing.

    Remember, those radios work in the UHF band at around 465-470Mhz and are strickly line of sight. Even one of those small Kansas hills can be devestating to the reach. All I can tell you is to stay away from the 19.95 Wally World specials. Although they do work, you will get what you pay for. I would suggest you buy a pair, make sure you can bring them back, keep the receipt, and try them out, if they work for you keep them if not take them back and try something different. Once you have settled on a set, get rechargable batteries and a solar charger for them. I recomment at a minimum 2 sets of batteries for each radio and 2 chargers. Then, if you have any money left to spend look around if you either can find a case for the radio or something that could be missused to protect the radio. I have mine in a case made for cameras nice and small and it holds the rechargable batteries plus I have a headset for each of them that is VOX (voice operated switching) or PTT operated (a physical push to talk switch).

    John

    #55011

    Muzhik
    Member

    @hansel1 wrote:

    If you buy radios, even as a licensed Ham and you want them to be secure from .gov agents buy them with cash, at the local swap meet or from a fellow ham, do NOT sent in the warranty card…you do not want any paper trail connecting you to that piece of equipment. People always underestimate the resolve and the resources that the government has….and for one thing do NOT underestimate the people that will be willingly or unwillingly colaborate with the government or thugs and gangs.

    You seem to be forgetting/ignoring one very simple solution, one that was the basis of the hobby since it started:

    Homebrew.

    Granted, a radio that you build yourself won’t have the flexibility or pretties that the commercial units have. But if you use some ingenuity, you can build your radio into something that looks innocuous and won’t be taken away if it comes to that.

    So start digging out those 20-year old issues of QST and see what’s there.

    #55012

    Hansel1
    Member

    @muzhik wrote:

    @hansel1 wrote:

    If you buy radios, even as a licensed Ham and you want them to be secure from .gov agents buy them with cash, at the local swap meet or from a fellow ham, do NOT sent in the warranty card…you do not want any paper trail connecting you to that piece of equipment. People always underestimate the resolve and the resources that the government has….and for one thing do NOT underestimate the people that will be willingly or unwillingly colaborate with the government or thugs and gangs.

    You seem to be forgetting/ignoring one very simple solution, one that was the basis of the hobby since it started:

    Homebrew.

    Granted, a radio that you build yourself won’t have the flexibility or pretties that the commercial units have. But if you use some ingenuity, you can build your radio into something that looks innocuous and won’t be taken away if it comes to that.

    So start digging out those 20-year old issues of QST and see what’s there.

    If you can do it and have the equipment and parts to do it great, (problem with 20 +year old QSTs is that most of the parts are not available anymore and you need to have the knowledge to adapt newer parts)I know I can do it, I have the parts and equipment to do it, I still go and buy my tranceivers thank you. I do not want to reinvent the weel or waste precious time doing so when there are already easier and a lot of times cheaper solutions. Nothing wrong with homebrew, but everything has its place. If I HAVE to I will build an emergency transmitter and receiver myself..if everything else fails…but and that is the big but how many people out there will be able to do this? How many will have the training and understanding to do it and how many people can dedicate the time and effort to do this if they start from scratch? There are more important issues for the average prepper then to learn basic electronics and learn how to build an emergency tranceiver from scratch.Anything you build from scratch will be inferrior to what you can buy unless you invest a vast amount of time and money into it..by then, one meight as well just buy of shelf. Homebrewing is something one does for fun or when everything else fails, it is a great way to spend time with but would I want to homebrew a radio that will be able to work with others that are store bought? Try Homebrewing a emergency radio that can communicate with any of the commercial available radios and do it in the same size,function and as robust…you will spend more time on it than it is worth. If you want to hide a radio in plain sight then there is nothing wrong with buying a tranceiver and changing the case,installing it inside something else….size is not a limitation anymore with store bought units..they are small to do a lot of things with them..

    John

    #55013

    Rod
    Member

    I have been a ham for 12 years and I’ve been prepping and learning the whole time. As a ham I feel that I must bug out at the first warning, and I have become a news junkie for this reason. I must bug out and that is the way I prepare for everything but a nuke, chem or bio emergency that requires shelter in place to survive. I have a couple of destinations, but I can always use more, to go to. If I stay here they will find me and all of my stuff when they come looking for the radio gear plus there are others that I can not support that may come knocking.

    #55014

    Hansel1
    Member

    @rod wrote:

    I have been a ham for 12 years and I’ve been prepping and learning the whole time. As a ham I feel that I must bug out at the first warning, and I have become a news junkie for this reason. I must bug out and that is the way I prepare for everything but a nuke, chem or bio emergency that requires shelter in place to survive. I have a couple of destinations, but I can always use more, to go to. If I stay here they will find me and all of my stuff when they come looking for the radio gear plus there are others that I can not support that may come knocking.

    Good thinking, I have the same problem here and we have our bug out place and route chosen very well. We made friends with many people along the way so we will be prepared itshtf. One of the problems of being a ham is that unless you are inactive you will need to have antennas…some type of antenna and if it is just your HT that someone in your neighborhood sees or the antenna on the roof of your car. I live in the burbs…not by choice… and I have a 40ft tower in the back yard, some weather equipment (one radiation sensor that actually looks like a rain collecting feature), and several other antennas on the roof. The tower and antennas can be seen several miles away so many people will know that there is not only someone who potentially could help them to communicate but shady elements(government agencies or criminals) may want to come and get it for a multitude of reasons.
    This place is like a magnet and I do not plan to sit here and wait for some scumm to try to kill me over this equipment. When we bug our, nothing that stays behind will be usable. We have a multi prong approach from our 4wd small truck to the tear drop camper to the smal bikes to be able to move. Never put your eggs into one basket think about different vehicles, have a backup plan. Remember those small motor bikes (moped) may not go fast, but they are quiet, use hardly any gas, and can be carried over anything blocking your way.

    John

    #55015

    MTJoe
    Member

    I had no idea about gmrs, oh well. I am getting my ham ticket in april, and studying hard. I also will be posting some hand held rechargeable radio’s from Motorola for sale on the board under the for sale/trade area this evening. Right now I have to go enjoy my birthday with some pals!

    #55016

    Idrankwhat
    Member

    Hi, just wanted to say howdy and give you my background so if you have technical questions I might be able to help.
    I was in Comms in the Air Force, I now work for a two-way radio company in Virginia. I am a radio technician and an Extra Class Ham Radio operator for over 25 years. I have been communications officer for CAP, EMS and Search and Rescue. I’m not going to rehash all that has been said on this forum but am willing to help with anyone’s technical questions to the best of my abilities and experience.
    Good to see a forum here on communications.

    #55017

    MTJoe
    Member

    Idrankwhat- Wanted to know how easy it is to get ahold of software and cable to program and open up two HT 750’s from Motorola. I use to use them for work I did in the private sector. Thanks.

    #55018

    tigger2
    Member

    My brother in law is a retired LEO. He still has his radio. I don’t know the brand but you talk about reaching out and touching somebody. I don’t know the true range but it is way out there. The only drawback is you have to be a cop or have a FCC permit. I have been thinking about applying for a permit and getting on to match his. Might as well keep it legal. If I am not mistaken, in the past you had to pass a morse code test to get the FCC permit. I believe they did away with that. Now it’s just a matter of filling out forms. His radio is way over the minimum watts. They are a bit pricey, several hundred dollars.

    #55019

    tigger2
    Member

    You see the newer GMRS radios with claims of 25 mile ranges. Don’t believe it. If you got hills, hollers, trees, houses, power lines, you ain’t going to get nowhere near that. I just looked at an add tha had 34 mile range. If you were in the desert on flat ground and nothing but sand, you could do pretty good. You got to boost the watts and if you go over a certain amount you have to have a permit.
    I used to work with a male nurse that had a cb radio. he had it up to 1000 watts, maybe more. He could talk to people up in Canada. That is kinda of like illegal. His cb radio would make fluorescent lights glow. He couldn’t stay on the air long. The FCC would have pin pointed his position.

    #55020

    MTJoe
    Member

    Yeah I get my starter ticket for Ham radio next month, and these that I have will cover the 2meter freq and then some.

    #55021

    tigger2
    Member

    Joe,
    As far as the FCC, what do you need to have? Maybe you can shed some light on the watts, devices and requirements. I like to stay legal.

    #55022

    MTJoe
    Member

    Tigger, as I am just getting started, I am the wrong one to ask! If you ask in the communications forum, you will get an answer, but I can tell you from what I have learned so far, much of it simply depends on various factors. I would also look at the aarl site, ton of info and good books.
    http://www.arrl.org/” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false

    #55023

    RevLong
    Member

    i knew there was something i liked about you other than that picture*G* when i was in the US Army i also did code we had to do 16 GPM with a pencil as part of our basic class and also learn other signal types and after clearance came through we went to advanced class with the equipment..out job title was non morse intercept but we still had to deal with dots and dashes..i also have to jump on the bandwagon here..get the gear read the book learn how to work it in your sleep but just dont transmit until after..im sure any alphabet agencies will have better things to do than police the airwaves afterwards..

    @kymber wrote:

    John…thanks for putting into words what my gut has been telling me for a long time! i have been thinking about getting my ham license for a while. but i have an unsettling feeling in my gut about the whole idea…and couldn’t really figure out what it was. but what you just said now makes total sense to me!

    as an ex-Communications Researcher in the CF, our trades training consisted of being able to copy and send 25wpm Morse Code – we practiced daily until we received appropriate security clearances in order to actually learn the more complex signals. and most of us in my trade could copy/send 35+ wpm by the time we graduated. and even though i eventually specialized in linguistics…i always kept up my morse practice as, it being the basis of our trade, keeping up your copy/send speed was like a badge of honour.

    anyway – all of this to say that i have always kept it in the back of my head – that in the event of SHTF – i am pretty confident that i can be of some help in the comms area. and i do have misgivings about getting licensed only because i think that you are dead right when you say that licensed civilian ops would be first on the list for confiscation of equipment. and if someone’s family is being threatened by thugs – i wouldn’t be too surprised if they named every person that they knew from any of the licensed civilian sites.

    also – you are dead right when you say that it is NOT illegal to own radio comms equipment. and have no paper trail following you to that equipment!

    so thanks for putting my niggling thoughts into words. i have to say that i agree with you.

    #55024

    kymber
    Member

    teehee – thanks for that Revlong! and glad to see another Army Comms guy – i spent a lot of time during my 10 year career in the CF working down in the States! and met some of the nicest and best US service members! did you ever serve at Ft. Meade?

    and thanks for the tips. get your gear but no transmitting until after…..good advice my friend!

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