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Old 09-23-2017, 04:37 PM
Quadradomus Quadradomus is offline
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Yes, I am only a few months into prepping, but I am curious to learn about communications, particularily HT radios, and especially solar charging options.

Not meaning to hijack this thread, but threads like this seem to go quickly into abbreviations, etc. WAY over a rookie's head.
Can someone point me into where to start with reading/learning about communication gear. I don't wish to purchase bottom rung, cheapest, but I am not looking to become a HAM operator either.

Curious if Yaseu HT's are worthy?
Solar charging options? Etc.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:14 PM
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Blackrock Blackrock is offline
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Originally Posted by Quadradomus View Post
Yes, I am only a few months into prepping, but I am curious to learn about communications, particularily HT radios, and especially solar charging options.

Not meaning to hijack this thread, but threads like this seem to go quickly into abbreviations, etc. WAY over a rookie's head.
Can someone point me into where to start with reading/learning about communication gear. I don't wish to purchase bottom rung, cheapest, but I am not looking to become a HAM operator either.

Curious if Yaseu HT's are worthy?
Solar charging options? Etc.
There was a good thread on this subject awhile back. I'm not sure whay you would not get at least your Technician HAM license as easy as that is to do and have nationwide coverage, but OK. Barring HAM radio you have limited options and none that will give you reliable coverage out of your home area.
You are for the most part limited to C.B., FRS, GMRS and MURS. So read up on these services and decide which way would work for you.
If you want to test the HAM waters there is a great interactive study app called hamstudy.org. Try it out, you might find that it is easier than you thought.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:46 PM
Quadradomus Quadradomus is offline
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Thank you for the reply, and the various forms of radio to read up on. I am somewhat familiar with the pathway to a basic HAM license. I have no reason to truly not want to pursue it. My real point is that I would like to have some form of communication available to my family in the immediate future. The HAM license feels like a proccess that won't happen real quickly. I'll look back into it though.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:52 PM
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Curious if Yaseu HT's are worthy?
Yaesu HTs are very worthy.

Whether they are worth the cost is a question only you can answer because that depends on your budget and priorities.

If you are going to get amateur radio equipment, I would highly recommend you at least get your Technician license to operate it. It isn't that hard to do.

Not knowing how to operate it until you need it is like buying a gun and not knowing how to shoot it until you need to defend yourself. Operating Ham gear without a license will most likely get you into trouble. Just saying.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:47 PM
Hunter Don Hunter Don is offline
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Below is a simplified circuit that would allow a plug and play alarm sensor on GMRS/FRS or ham radios. There is no auto-identification circuitry, so for the purposes of pre-SHTF, this would be for FRS or MUR radios. You would need to change the pinouts and plug types depending on the radio you are connecting to, but the Kenwood type connector is used by Baofeng, Wouxon and several others. The one-shot is a pulse stretcher to ensure the alert signal lasts long enough to get through regardless of duration of actual switch closure, the astable circuitry creates the audible tone transmitted to the control point.

The idea is you connect a normally open switch across the "INPUT" contacts. The switch itself can be a conventional door contact switch in a honeypot house, pressure switch in a trail or anything else.

In use, you can deploy these units all around up to the range of the radio in your environment (results vary). Each radio could have the same transmit frequency, but a different CTCSS tone. Your base unit would scan the tones in use and you can label each with an alphanumeric for easy identification.
you've made this circuit, can you take a picture or something of what you have, seems interesting, and i'm looking for something to do with the 888's i have. wish i was better at arduino programming and such, a circuit like that hooked up to arduino, which opens the circuit and transmits cw or something would be pretty cool
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:06 PM
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Thank you for the reply, and the various forms of radio to read up on. I am somewhat familiar with the pathway to a basic HAM license. I have no reason to truly not want to pursue it. My real point is that I would like to have some form of communication available to my family in the immediate future. The HAM license feels like a proccess that won't happen real quickly. I'll look back into it though.
We have had people with zero radio experience go from nothing to passing the Technician test in three weeks. No harder than studying for a Drivers License exam. And now with the interactive software (available for free mind you) it is even easier. As far as I am concerned it is a very small investment for what you get in return.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:10 PM
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I cheated - I already had the theory and practice ingrained somewhere deep fro 35 years ago, I just had to awaken it. I took the online test over and over again until I got 100% more times than not and I studied the ones I repeatedly got wrong.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:30 PM
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Communications are a good idea if you plan to have contact with other people. Life has taught me that you can't trust anyone, so I will just go it alone.
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Old 09-24-2017, 02:28 PM
GoodPrepper GoodPrepper is offline
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So you're planning on attempting to raid people who you don't think have their radio preps in order, banking on them also having inadequate means of self defense?

If you try that, I hope you get what you'll deserve. You probably will.
I'm set, I don't need to "raid" anyone, however I was making the comment that if I did lazy people who readily broadcast their exact location would be a good start.

The preppers that can't find even 60 minutes a week to exercise their morbidly obese bodies but can spend all day posting about how to pack the perfect bug out bag would be a great next group.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:19 PM
willthrill81 willthrill81 is offline
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I have some 8 watt Baofeng HTs that also get FM broadcast, and IIRC can operate on FRS/GMRS. Those go to myself and my kids.
I doubt that many are even aware that the Baofeng radios also receive FM broadcasts.

When you think about it, it's amazing that you can get a radio for under $40 that will let you transmit and receive on HAM, police, fire, EMT, EMS, marine, FRS/GMRS, MURS, and other frequencies in addition to receive FM broadcasts. I'd rather have five of them than one of the 'higher quality' units.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:58 PM
Hunter Don Hunter Don is offline
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I doubt that many are even aware that the Baofeng radios also receive FM broadcasts..
I turn it to an fm station and turn on the flashlight periodically overnight to completely kill the battery for a fresh full charge



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Old 09-29-2017, 07:00 PM
willthrill81 willthrill81 is offline
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I turn it to an fm station and turn on the flashlight periodically overnight to completely kill the battery for a fresh full charge



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Why? The battery is lithium ion and doesn't experience memory effects like the old NiCad batteries.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:32 PM
bdcochran bdcochran is offline
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1. I have no one with whom to communicate at this time;
2. I do not anticipate receiving any supplies from friends/relatives or the government in a shtf emergency.
3. I dumped the old cb equipment and the large desk top radios/teletype machines/large masts.

Ok, having said that, I:
1. have a 2 meter unit in the car;
2. have multiple 2 meter/440 radios and many FRS radios at home, tested/packaged/with spare batteries and parts.

After shtf, I will have to organize area and perimeter security in a group situation for long term survival. Such is why I have a bunch of extras and multiple copies of each manual secured in waterproof containers.

The last time we had an emergency in LA, the Disaster Communications Service essentially kicked the members off the air. You will also not have access to private repeaters/destroyed repeaters/repeaters needing electrical power for operation. Cell phone service is also very doubtful - like I live in a Spectrum area and the local merchants are screaming (without shtf) about the overloaded towers and sporadic interruptions of service (my girlfriend had Spectrum Service on speed dial and was getting credits every month!). Not only that! Frontier is even worse!

I am fully aware of the limitations of radio gear based upon interference by buildings/terrain.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:40 AM
willthrill81 willthrill81 is offline
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1. I have no one with whom to communicate at this time;
2. I do not anticipate receiving any supplies from friends/relatives or the government in a shtf emergency.
3. I dumped the old cb equipment and the large desk top radios/teletype machines/large masts.

Ok, having said that, I:
1. have a 2 meter unit in the car;
2. have multiple 2 meter/440 radios and many FRS radios at home, tested/packaged/with spare batteries and parts.

After shtf, I will have to organize area and perimeter security in a group situation for long term survival. Such is why I have a bunch of extras and multiple copies of each manual secured in waterproof containers.

The last time we had an emergency in LA, the Disaster Communications Service essentially kicked the members off the air. You will also not have access to private repeaters/destroyed repeaters/repeaters needing electrical power for operation. Cell phone service is also very doubtful - like I live in a Spectrum area and the local merchants are screaming (without shtf) about the overloaded towers and sporadic interruptions of service (my girlfriend had Spectrum Service on speed dial and was getting credits every month!). Not only that! Frontier is even worse!

I am fully aware of the limitations of radio gear based upon interference by buildings/terrain.
There is a lot of value in simply being aware of what's going on around you, even if there is no one for you to directly communicate with.
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