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View Poll Results: Would you use a balloon post SHTF?
Yes 9 45.00%
No 11 55.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-12-2018, 07:45 PM
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Default Debate: Balloons, do they have value post SHTF?



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Tihs was a great debate in a thread and I can't for the life of me find it again, so I wanted to bring it here.

Balloons, used offensively, defensively, do they have value post SHTF? Why or why not?




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Old 06-13-2018, 12:00 AM
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Ten years ago I would have said yes....for recon.

Now with drones as cheap and available as they are...eh....probably not.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:16 AM
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As the other thread brought out, for a fixed position that you aren't trying to hide...yes. Otherwise pretty much no.

As to the poll....my answer is "maybe".
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:32 AM
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Second SHTF item today that I hadn't thought of. A balloon can serve as a water or liquid container, for good intent or good-but-destructive intent. Next time I drive past the party store in Tulsa I will have to remember to go in and buy some.

Last edited by Levant; 06-13-2018 at 12:32 AM.. Reason: for clarity
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:46 AM
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They can be used as barrage balloons hang and fly sewing thread between and below to snag drones on a smaller scale... WWI used them

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Old 06-14-2018, 12:49 PM
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:27 AM
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Maybe they are not as versatile as drones..but they are cheap and can be used on kamkazi missions as shown in this article. A large enough balloon could be used to fly a sw antennea or perhaps a cell repeater until something permanent could be built..balloons can be used as signaling devices..possibly deterring birds from eating your crops...
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:13 AM
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uhh what am i missing. what happens when the wind shifts?
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:34 PM
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I'm sure there would be some sort of use for them, but nothing that I can think of, at least in my case.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:03 PM
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japan did it during WW2 1k MOL launched total of 5 civilian fatalities.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francessanne View Post
uhh what am i missing. what happens when the wind shifts?
Go with the flow.

More serious side: Anchor it. They would allow you some advantage for seeing 360. 300-400 feet up, gives you a pretty good line of sight. You might want to make sure you don't have some neon color that stands out, though.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCorps View Post
Go with the flow.

More serious side: Anchor it. They would allow you some advantage for seeing 360. 300-400 feet up, gives you a pretty good line of sight. You might want to make sure you don't have some neon color that stands out, though.
Yes, tether it to keep it put. As such, it can be a long term surveillance instrument. Weather balloons (not sure of the size - webpage just said "weather balloons") can carry up to 6 pounds to thousands of feet. I have been looking - but not yet found it - a 6' blimp that is made up of 5 or 6 balloon tubes to use for surveillance purposes. Blimps can be turned into the wind so that there is less resistance. I want multiple tubes in the blimp so that if one balloon pops - or is shot, etc there are still 4 or 5 to keep it up. Blimps or balloons have larger payloads than drones and can stay up much, much longer than drones - days or even weeks.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:25 AM
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The problem with a tethered ballon is that it advertises your position to anyone you would want to monitor, I think that would be a big enough disadvantage to outweigh any advantages.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
The problem with a tethered ballon is that it advertises your position to anyone you would want to monitor, I think that would be a big enough disadvantage to outweigh any advantages.
Yeah, that's one of the disadvantages. That's why you don't want one with neon colors. But a light gray/blue may make it hard to see.

But there are offsetting advantages also.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:28 AM
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
The problem with a tethered ballon is that it advertises your position to anyone you would want to monitor, I think that would be a big enough disadvantage to outweigh any advantages.
Agreed.

But on the flip side of that, a balloon could be used to mark a location for someone to intentionally find, especially if a person finds themselves without reliable communication equipment. I wouldn't do this, too much of a chance of attracting somebody else that you don't want around.

Just a thought.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:38 PM
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IMO, would be handiest for night use with thermal. Put it up after dark, reel it in before first light.

Think I wrote similar such in the other thread.

Anyways, techie folks could probably write up a quickie program to only alert on particular thermal size, within a particular zone.

In a few years the tech will likely be available at “reasonable” cost for regular folks.

That’d make for a great system for everything from say a homestead up to a decent sized farm.

Could give occupants a much clearer picture re: a few someone’s just out trying to pick edibles, a few someone’s out trying to steel stock, a few someones out advance scouting all the way up to time to get out of dodge...

Another bonus would be to get varments & game animals. Increase chances of survival, without wasting as much time and resources.

No where near worthwhile given our current location and costs, however would likely be when we get to the point of settling in somewhere.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:38 PM
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Balloons make good targets, They are good for sending bait way out in the ocean or a river for fishing, a bunch of balloons flying overhead would make a good distraction, and they would make good signaling devices- use them to mark stuff up on the mountains around your place.
Problem I see is that all of my suggestions would need helium to fill the balloons, how many balloons can 1 bottle of that fill up.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browningv308 View Post
Balloons make good targets, They are good for sending bait way out in the ocean or a river for fishing, a bunch of balloons flying overhead would make a good distraction, and they would make good signaling devices- use them to mark stuff up on the mountains around your place.
Problem I see is that all of my suggestions would need helium to fill the balloons, how many balloons can 1 bottle of that fill up.
I'm sure those would be very useful applications...

but in any case, you could fill them with hydrogen instead which is easily made and has a much greater lifting capacity.

Quote:
IMO, would be handiest for night use with thermal. Put it up after dark, reel it in before first light.
Now THAT is an interesting idea. I live on a hilltop but in dense woods so I can't see anything....but a balloon with a 200' tether to get above the trees and a thermal would let me see half the valley.

I imagine though a thermal camera with a useful resolution would be extremely expensive. I use multiple FLIR brand TIC's at work but past about a hundred yards they are useless as they have such low resolution you can't tell what you are looking at.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:22 PM
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He and H2 will leak out of a regular balloon pretty fast.

Also, there is not much difference between He (MW4) and H2 (MW2) lifting power in air (MW 28.8). 28.8-4 is displaced by He, 28.8-2 is displaced by H2. 26.8 vs 24.8 lifting power delta is maybe 8% for a given balloon size.
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