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Old 10-21-2007, 10:26 PM
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Default Emergency/Survival communications



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OK I figured this new forum needed a How to for the survivalist or survival minded person to help them along. I am a General class HAM (KI4RHH) and a radio nut, with that said I am often wrong so please research for yourself and decide what is best for you.

Part 1 is personal communications.
often called Handy talkies or hand helds these are the radios that we pack with us as a general means of communication either to other people in our party, to a radio repeater or station, or as a general means to monitor radio communications in a given band. These radios run on batteries but can be adapted to 12volt or 110volt power, they use a short compact inefficient antenna often called a rubber ducky, but again can be adapted to use any antenna tuned for its given operating band. They generally run under 8watts but 5 is most common, more power that close to the head can be dangerous.
The range on these radios can vary greatly so I cant give a operating distance, you will find this common in all radio operations. Depending on environmental conditions and the antenna used I have talked as far as 70miles through Repeater stations (A fixed position radio that listens to your communication on a certain frequency and rebroadcast it on another frequency with more power and a better antenna) and 10miles from hand held to hand held.

We have several options when it comes to personal communications I will cover some here.

FRS radios, http://www.provide.net/~prsg/frs-faq.htm
these are often sold at most wall mart and seem to be the most popular radios with the general population. These radios operate at .5 watts and have non removable antennas, by far the least efficient radio available, but also the most common. channels that are as fallows
Channel Type Frequency
1 FRS / GMRS 462.5625
2 FRS / GMRS 462.5875
3 FRS / GMRS 462.6125
4 FRS / GMRS 462.6375
5 FRS / GMRS 462.6625
6 FRS / GMRS 462.6875
7 FRS / GMRS 462.7125
8 FRS 467.5625
9 FRS 467.5875
10 FRS 467.6125
11 FRS 467.6375
12 FRS 467.6625
13 FRS 467.6875
14 FRS 467.7125
15 GMRS 462.5500
16 GMRS 462.5750
17 GMRS 462.6000
18 GMRS 462.6250
19 GMRS 462.6500
20 GMRS 462.6750
21 GMRS 462.7000
22 GMRS 462.7250

These radios require no license to operate but lack enough power to have any sort of range, in absolute ideal conditions I would estimate 2 miles , in regular conditions I would estimate 3/4mile range. These are the minimum one should have but by far are the least desirable choice. There is often no one monitoring these channels so a call for help is non likely, as well very little information is passed using these radios so the likelihood of Intel gathering is small as well.

The next step from these radio is GMRS
http://www.provide.net/~prsg/wi-gmrs.htm
These radios require a License to use these radios. Often these radios are part or included in a FRS radio, if this is the case the radio can not have a detachable antenna and must operate at no more then 5 watts. Some radios are GMRS only and these radios can have a detachable antenna and can operate up to 50watts, but again its not safe to operate a radio with that much power that close to ones head. The channels are listed above so please refer to them. These radio do and can have repeater stations and this is a great feature to have it can increase the range of ones personal radio greatly, but dose rely on a stationary radio that must have power of some sort and be maintained in some way.

Both the FRS and GMRS radios operate close to the 440/70cm ham band and as a general rule will have the same characteristics.


Next is the MURS radios http://www.provide.net/~prsg/murs_faq.htm
These are often used by factories for in house communications, they require no license to use and operate near the 2meter Ham band so the characteristics are similar.
* 151.820 MHz
* 151.880 MHz
* 151.940 MHz
* 154.570 MHz
* 154.600 MHz
These radios can have no more then 2 watts but seem to operate better then the 5 watts a GMRS can have, I have used these radios up to about 6 miles Hand held to hand held. They generally are industrial type radios so they are built to take some abuse and are a great option if you refuse to get a license but lack the channels needed to handle high volumes of traffic. They don't monitor local police , or emergency channels either so don't plan on getting allot of Intel. The number of these in the hands of people is rather small so while traffic is no that bad you will be hard pressed to call for help.

Now we get to ham radios, there are several options here and by far IMO the best choice. A quality Ham radio will talk to or at minimum monitor all the above radios as well as talk to or monitor all the local emergency frequency's provided they are not scrambled, coded, or trunked systems. There are several bands that the Hams can used but the most common are 440,220,2 meter.Some ham radios such as the VX7 talk on all these and monitor 5 times as many, others are delegated to one band. They all require a license to use and generally operate at 5 watts though I have seen 7 watts. They have detachable antennas and can be made to talk great distances through the aid of antennas , and repeater stations.

440 radios, these are pretty popular in my AO and are the shortest ranged of the ham radios I have listed. Often some police and state or emergency agencies use these radios. There are plenty of repeater stations and are plenty of people who monitor these frequencies so help can be had and Intel can be gathered.

220 radios, currently there are vary few 220 radios being used and the band has very little traffic. They do not have near as many repeaters and the number of people who monitor these radios is small. It is almost a dead band as far as HAMs go.

2 meter radios, These are the best choice if a single band radio is to be used.
Most all hams have and use a 2 meter radio, there are so many options as far as repeaters go its sick. Most emergency communications are passed near the 2meter band so most radios will monitor these frequency's. They have a great range I have talked hand held to hand held over 10 miles and through a repeater greater then 100 miles.

The ham radios are by far the best choice and IMO what we should shoot for. There is already a emergency civil system to handle emergencies and pass information and ham radio is it, why reinvent the wheel? Hams are great people and often like minded , they will aid you when you need it and help you along if you need that. Radios in the ham bands are far more advanced then most others and are often built with our purpose in mind.

My personal radio is a yaesu VX7, it covers 440,220,2meter, and 6meter, and will listen to much more. I carry a wire antenna tuned for the 2meter band that I can put very high in a tree to gain distance. I also use a boom mic and ear plug, I used a throat mic but had to talk to loud to get it to pic up, I can wisper in the boom mic.

OK now a story that actually happened to me when I was a kid.

I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains CA in 1989 when the big earth quake hit, My area was hit rather hard and we were trapped in the valley we lived in. The roads were blocked but we were ... alright. the Second day after the quake we heard a car, a strange sound as the only other thing we heard were National Guard choppers. Anyhow, this man in a jeep pulls up and stops in front of the house he gets out and we go to greet him. He explains that he is a ham that lives about 40miles away, My grandfather had contacted him and asked to check our welfare he was also a Ham. He gave us some clean water and asked if we needed to get to town or needed anything at all, we gave him a message to send back to our family in the south end of the state. we thanked him and he left, Later we learned that he had spent 16 hours getting to us, had cleared 2 roads, cut several trees, winched several large boulders out of the way, and cleared the road for all the people in the valley. I still to this day cant remember his name or call sign , but he was what Ham radio is about.

Tomorrow I will cover mobile radios.

Last edited by Beaterar; 10-21-2007 at 11:04 PM..
Old 10-21-2007, 11:45 PM
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Great Post. Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing more.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:31 PM
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Beaterar:

I also enjoyed your post. Thanks for all the good information. Looking forward to your future posts.

thanks,
gbelk
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:49 PM
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any chance of getting some pics?
Old 10-22-2007, 07:59 PM
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Thanks for a great post!

When I was in the military, I used MARS grams to send short messages home. MARS stands for military affiliate radio system, and is a network of ham ops, who volunteer to relay messages around the world for deployed military. For me, it was picking up a card int he chow hall, and dropping it in a cardboard box. For my mom it was a phone call every few days from a guy who lived around the corner who would relay my messages. That winter, a heavy storm shut down power for a few days, and the second day of the outage, the guy called to explain that he was offline, so no messages, but wanted to make sure my mom was okay. I have always been impressed with ham ops, and their communities.
Old 10-22-2007, 08:04 PM
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Part 2. Mobile communications.

Before I start this part I feel it necessary to give you a ruff idea about the difference in UHF(Ultra High Frequencies), VHF (Very High Frequencies), and HF (High Frequencies). Each one of these has a different use and different characteristics that we can capitalize on and use depending on our needs.
UHF generally have the shortest range but also require the smallest antenna, FRS/GMRS and 440/70CM Ham radios are UHF. Often police fire and other state or emergency agencies will use these as a part of a short range radio network, be it dispatch or what have you. These are often used in city settings where the personnel will not be great distances from the other radio they are talking to. VHF radios are are easy to pack and have relatively short antennas, MURS and 2Meter ham radios are VHF radios. These are the most widely used radios for emergency agencies as well as the most often used short range radio in the Ham community. they IMO are the best choice for local communications. HF radios are a very different beast and require tuning by hand to pull the signal in, they require large wire antennas or fancy antenna arrays though they can be made more compact. These radios are used to talk world wide and require a bit of experience and practice, By far the my favorite to have fun with.

Now that you have a very ruff Idea I will begin with mobile radios. For the purpose of this post I will only cover HAM radios as they are the best option but be aware one can use CB or GMRS mobiles though I find both to be inferior to ham in a big way.

Mobile radios are the radios one would have in his car or truck or bug out vehicle, they can be man packed radios that one would have to "Setup" to use as well. They can be UHF, VHF, or HF one would have to decide what he needed the radio to do and then shop accordingly.

UHF/VHF radios are by far the most commonly used for mobile operations, They require small antennas often no larger the a cars antenna but can come in all shapes and sizes. They generally have 25-50 watts of power but I have seen more, Amplifiers can also be used these can give large amounts of power depending on the size. Amplifiers can also be used to give Hand Held radios the power to compete with mobile radios, with a Hand held , amplifier, and external antenna you can use a Hand held as reliably as a mobile. Mobile radios operate on 12volts but there are 12volt power supplies that can allow in home use of the radios. These radios offer a much greater range over the hand held due to the power and dependent on the antenna, Antennas are KEY remember that always. Mobiles come in many forms with many different features, the options are almost limitless. They can be used to broadcast real time images, to broadcast computer messages, to listen to police and other emergency agencies. When you add the Repeater systems in you can literally do anything, make a phone call over the radio, Get on a Internet repeater link system and talk to any repeater anywhere in the world provided it is on the system. They come in single band radios, dual band radios and dual band + HF radios. You can use your mobile as a cross band repeater to repeat what you are saying through your handheld on a radio that is capable of much greater distance.

With the radios now it is also possible to have a HF capable radio in your car, this would enable one to have a mobile radios station capable of world wide communications. You would be limited by your antenna and an antenna that you can use while mobile is limiting but you could also have an antenna packed in the car that would allow you to set up a very suitable antennas provided you were stationary. The options are almost limitless with modern radios just decide what is best and what fits in your budget.

For me I use a Yeasu FT857D, it dose everything. I keep a G5RV in the trunk to use just in case and a few whip antennas to use while mobile. I also use a Kenwood dual band radio to use as a cross band repeater, I talk to my car on 440 and it rebroadcast my transmission on 2meter to my local repeater giving me a range of about 60 miles in every direction from the repeater sight. this setup allows me to act as a mobile communication relay/Station, I also keep a laptop in the car to communicate in digital mode or packet radio in this way I can send Text messages to another station capable of the same.

This is a in dept subject I have covered very quickly so if you believe this is the way you would like to go I suggest you take the test and learn as much as you can. If you have questions post them up and I will do my best to cover them.

Next is the base station communications, that post will not be as long as It will basically be the same as mobile radios except I will cover antennas to a greater detail.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerrilla View Post
Thanks for a great post!

When I was in the military, I used MARS grams to send short messages home. MARS stands for military affiliate radio system, and is a network of ham ops, who volunteer to relay messages around the world for deployed military. For me, it was picking up a card int he chow hall, and dropping it in a cardboard box. For my mom it was a phone call every few days from a guy who lived around the corner who would relay my messages. That winter, a heavy storm shut down power for a few days, and the second day of the outage, the guy called to explain that he was offline, so no messages, but wanted to make sure my mom was okay. I have always been impressed with ham ops, and their communities.
Great to hear that you actually used the service, I am a ARMY MARS operator and find it to be a great medium for Intel and RELIABLE communications. You ever think about becoming one of the re layers now that you are not active? Maybe return the favor?
Old 10-22-2007, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
any chance of getting some pics?
You want a pic of my Hand helds o of my station?
Old 10-23-2007, 04:22 AM
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Good post Beaterar. Make a little bit light in my head about radios Keep it going.

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Old 11-05-2007, 01:28 PM
murphtheserf murphtheserf is offline
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I've been listening to the Eastern Region Patriots net on 3.860 LSB around 0100 UTC.

Maybe I'll check in and try to see if there are any other similar nets on the air.

I have the following info on other nets that may not be accurate:
7.275 Eastern Region Patriots Net (daytime monitor)
3.950 LSB ?time Saturday? Liberty Net
3.875 LSB daily? 0240-0245? Frugal Squirrel Net
7.195 LSB daily? 1900-1945? Frugal Squirrel Net
14.303 USB ?day ?time Georgia Militia Net
7.2365 LSB ?day ?time Georgia Militia Net
3.945 LSB ?day ?time Georgia Militia Net



Let me know if you have any info.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:00 PM
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WARNING!!!!

The Liberty Net Generally run by Kevin Strum has nothing to do with liberty! It is a Net run by a racist and its motivation is not insuring or even talking about liberty , liberty and racism can it no way co exist. It is a net intended for them who are part of Christian Identity and other white power groups they sully the name of Liberty with there tyrannical rantings of peace and dominance for one particular race.

No I am not a liberal Racist hater nor do I have sympathy for them who's parents may have been treated ****ty and enslaved. I do not and will not tolerate anyone who attempts to steal ones liberty unjustly no matter what motivation they may have. Liberty is a very sensitive thing and to deny it to someone based not on there personal actions is Tyranny.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:42 PM
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Thanks for the heads up.
Old 11-05-2007, 06:45 PM
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Just did a google on him. Kevin Strom was arrested for kiddie porn.
Old 12-22-2007, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphtheserf View Post
Just did a google on him. Kevin Strom was arrested for kiddie porn.
that means odds are he is divorced and lives in his moms basement...
Old 12-23-2007, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for the good post Beaterar i to am a general class ( WB5EAT ) and feel like you are doing a good job , keep it up .
Old 12-24-2007, 10:17 AM
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Great post. Solid information. Thanks
Old 01-01-2008, 09:39 AM
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thanks for the post. I am KG4GRW all of my radios are 2meters my family use them like cell phones
Old 01-09-2008, 12:23 PM
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WOW... I sense another expensive habit starting to form.
Old 02-03-2008, 06:04 PM
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Yeasu VX7



you guys ever do any ATV?
Old 06-07-2011, 04:57 PM
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"Part 2. Mobile communications.

Before I start this part I feel it necessary to give you a ruff idea about the difference in UHF(Ultra High Frequencies), VHF (Very High Frequencies), and HF (High Frequencies). Each one of these has a different use and different characteristics that we can capitalize on and use depending on our needs.
UHF generally have the shortest range but also require the smallest antenna, FRS/GMRS and 440/70CM Ham radios are UHF. Often police fire and other state or emergency agencies will use these as a part of a short range radio network, be it dispatch or what have you. These are often used in city settings where the personnel will not be great distances from the other radio they are talking to. VHF radios are are easy to pack and have relatively short antennas, MURS and 2Meter ham radios are VHF radios. These are the most widely used radios for emergency agencies as well as the most often used short range radio in the Ham community. they IMO are the best choice for local communications. HF radios are a very different beast and require tuning by hand to pull the signal in, they require large wire antennas or fancy antenna arrays though they can be made more compact. These radios are used to talk world wide and require a bit of experience and practice, By far the my favorite to have fun with.

Now that you have a very ruff Idea I will begin with mobile communication radios. For the purpose of this post I will only cover HAM radios as they are the best option but be aware one can use CB or GMRS mobiles though I find both to be inferior to ham in a big way.

Mobile radios are the radios one would have in his car or truck or bug out vehicle, they can be man packed radios that one would have to "Setup" to use as well. They can be UHF, VHF, or HF one would have to decide what he needed the radio to do and then shop accordingly.

UHF/VHF radios are by far the most commonly used for mobile operations, They require small antennas often no larger the a cars antenna but can come in all shapes and sizes. They generally have 25-50 watts of power but I have seen more, Amplifiers can also be used these can give large amounts of power depending on the size. Amplifiers can also be used to give Hand Held radios the power to compete with mobile radios, with a Hand held , amplifier, and external antenna you can use a Hand held as reliably as a mobile. Mobile radios operate on 12volts but there are 12volt power supplies that can allow in home use of the radios. These radios offer a much greater range over the hand held due to the power and dependent on the antenna, Antennas are KEY remember that always. Mobiles come in many forms with many different features, the options are almost limitless. They can be used to broadcast real time images, to broadcast computer messages, to listen to police and other emergency agencies. When you add the Repeater systems in you can literally do anything, make a phone call over the radio, Get on a Internet repeater link system and talk to any repeater anywhere in the world provided it is on the system. They come in single band radios, dual band radios and dual band + HF radios. You can use your mobile as a cross band repeater to repeat what you are saying through your handheld on a radio that is capable of much greater distance.

With the radios now it is also possible to have a HF capable radio in your car, this would enable one to have a mobile radios station capable of world wide communications. You would be limited by your antenna and an antenna that you can use while mobile is limiting but you could also have an antenna packed in the car that would allow you to set up a very suitable antennas provided you were stationary. The options are almost limitless with modern radios just decide what is best and what fits in your budget.

For me I use a Yeasu FT857D, it dose everything. I keep a G5RV in the trunk to use just in case and a few whip antennas to use while mobile. I also use a Kenwood dual band radio to use as a cross band repeater, I talk to my car on 440 and it rebroadcast my transmission on 2meter to my local repeater giving me a range of about 60 miles in every direction from the repeater sight. this setup allows me to act as a mobile communication relay/Station, I also keep a laptop in the car to communicate in digital mode or packet radio in this way I can send Text messages to another station capable of the same."

WOW. thanks for this extremely thorough explanation. I do the same with my laptop in my car and then pocket radio as well.
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