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Old 09-11-2019, 08:52 AM
Idaho Survivalist Idaho Survivalist is offline
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Many of the folks on SB seem to be super technology experts. Most of the folks, in the local radio club here, are mostly radio geeks, having been in a related commercial career for years. When I attended a few years ago, a big problem was that the FCC site showed many licensed operators in the county but the club never increased in size, with several new tech class dropping out. I talked via landphone, once, to Gordon West about this problem and of course he said that people should find an elmer. In my area it is hard for an expert to explain things to me as a novice who doesn't understand the language. I have talked to several operators who don't attend due to that language barrier. It would be like me spending time with my mechanic friend while he is talking to several of his mechanic friends. I can understand a few things but soon have no idea what he is talking about. But if I am down at the local gun store talking and a person comes in to buy their first gun and hears the conversation, they will likely have no idea what we are talking about. If we are preparing for any emergency, amateur radio operators need to talk to beginners in a language they can understand.

Outpost 75, for example expresses his ideas in a language I can't understand. I'm lost with most radio manuals. When I got my HF rig, my friend, an extra with his own repeater who manages othermrepeaters, recommended that I get an older one that didn't have so much high tech stuff on it. It seems like HRO keeps pushing out new stuff with so many new items on a radio's menu that non techs can't program their radio.

I recently bought an AARL manual which said it for amateur and expert alike. It was for the beginner if the beginner had been into some form of electronic study all his life. I am prepared for most any emergency or breakdown, but I doubt if I will be using amateur radio communication due to my apparent ability to be taught at a beginning level. Reading the tech test prep books didn't help my understanding of electronics and, having gone to college and known how to take a test, I aced the tech and got a 94 on the general, but electronics was still a blur to me.

A few years ago, while on a trip to the Oregon Coast, I was in Newport and decided to walk among the boats in the harbor. Although few in many, I did find a some who fished for mostly tuna. Telling them I was from I daho, they assumed I was just a tourist, but after a few questions the could see that I understood their profession well, having worked on seiners and trollers. I greatly enjoyed spending an hour with them, because I knew the language, but whenever I talk to people in Idaho, I am careful to explain terms if I am telling of my adventures. We need to explain our language to beginners in any area of preparation, not just talk to our expert friends, because if TSHTF, we will need all the friends we can find who are prepared.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:58 AM
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Even long distance hf can be used to get info from local stations. A station on the other side of the world can often hear and relay info between stations that are to close for direct contact. Once when lost in Wisconsin I used a station in Israel to relay directions from a ham about 5 miles away so I could find the place. It is common practice on hf nets for info to be relayed for stations to close to communicate directly. An hf station might only have only a few miles range for local contacts but can easily work stations 300 miles or even thousands of miles away. It doesn't even take a lot of power or even a great antenna to contact someone half way around the world. Even when I lived in an apartment with just a 20' random wire indoor antenna I was able to work all states and half way around the world with just 5watts. I now have a small farm and better antennas and can make those contacts easier.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
Oh, indeed. I would listen. I have a SW radio with a 100ft long line antenna that I can listen to radio New zealand with. I'm just saying just because the repeaters etc aren't working that doesn't by any means make radios useless.

In general, when it comes to communication, its the local traffic that is the most valuable anyway.

I just can't imagine using the word 'worthless' to apply to any radio in the SHTF environment.
In a survival situation I would say that LISTENING rather than talking is more important. A multiband portable receiver (short wave, MW, FM, SSB) stashed in your Faraday cookie tin will get you national and international news.

If you want to talk around the world, then HF will do it.

Many 2m/70cm radios have cross-band repeat capability. Park one on the nearest mountain top and power it off a car battery and a solar panel.

We did this all the time when hiking the mountains around here. The Jeep had the cross-band radio and battery, we had the 70cm HTs.

When shtf most of my concerns will be local, so I am prepared for local.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:10 PM
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^^^what he says about local..

Piece of advice, NOW is the time to get kit, learn it, use it, tinker..this is why a basic tech/general license is critical, it allows you to get on air legally and actually use your kit now, before a shtf event, cause it won't automagically come to you otherwise.....

do not listen to the useful idiots who say a license is not required, correct in a total wrol setting, but we are not there, and you need to train now.....find a local ham club, join it and go do field days, or do your own field days w buddies..

i'd suggest getting a family gmrs licens now too, 70.00 no test, that way you can use the radios and gmrs repeaters....

i have 32 open repeaters in NC i can use for free.... https://mygmrs.com/browse?name=&loca...=State&step=50
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by PSYOP Soldier View Post
^^^what he says about local..

Piece of advice, NOW is the time to get kit, learn it, use it, tinker..this is why a basic tech/general license is critical, it allows to get on air legally and actually use your kit now, before a shtf event, cause it won't automagically come to you otherwise.....

do not listen to the useful idiots who say a license is not required, correct in a total wrol setting, but we are there, and you need to train now.....find a local ham club, join it and go do field days, or do your own field days w buddies..

i'd suggest getting a family gmrs licens now too, 70.00 no test, that way you can use the radios and gmrs repeaters....

i have 32 open repeaters in NC i can use for free.... https://mygmrs.com/browse?name=&loca...=State&step=50
What he said ^^^

How are you going to learn to use your comms if you don't practice with it? How are you going to practice with it if you aren't licensed?

Here in Utah we have the VHF Society. I haven't counted the number of repeaters on their website (hundreds?), but it's a lot.

http://utahvhfs.org/rptr.html
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:10 PM
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Ham radio has been used for emergency communications for a hundred years. Lots has been said here that is true. Hams practice their emergency communication skills all the time. Field day in June is a nationwide practice day. Many hams have go kits to have portable comnunications ready to move.

Get a license get a rig. Learn your gear. A ham can make a repeater from two HT’s. Check out you tube lots to learn about communications and how to use gear. A cross b

and repeat rig can serve as a hub.

Lots of hams spend lots of money on gear check out the go kit builds on you tube. They outfit their vehicles keep spare radios and everything they need to set up a field station anywhere.

The motto “When all else fails”. Is taken seriously by most of us we will get signal through by hook or by crook. The guys that went to Puerto Rico showed that.

There are even email servers tied to the internet in many countries around the world that can be accessed via computer/modem and HF radio.

Lots more info on this topic available have a look.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:12 PM
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I've been a ham for decades. One of my (now adult) kids had the bug long enough to get her Novice license. My wife and the other kid weren't ever interested.

I have gear that might be EMP resistant (tube type HF transceiver) and much more modern gear (uBITX 80-10-meters-on-a-couple-of-chips transceiver) which probably would die in an EMP. Also handheld VHF (2 meters) and UHF (440MHz) mobile and handheld gear (acquired over multiple years but all functional).

If the grid is down, I would do what I do now when the local electric co-op goes toes-up (someone within 20 miles of me almost every day): first the solar generator I designed and built (8 to 20 hours of fridge, lights and central heat) then the inverter generator with 15+ gallons of treated gasoline. For an outage longer than a day or so, I'd add to the one 250 watt panel in back of the house (have another 1350 watts of solar panels stored).

There is water (250 gallons of rainwater for watering flowers) and food (beans and rice might get boring but boring is better than being hungry).

If you just want to listen, there are some decent battery-powered shortwave radios for around $100 (Ebay, amazon), such as the Sangean ATS 505P (and its successors) which has a BFO so you can listen to CW (Morse Code) and SSB transmissions. It covers AM & FM broadcast, shortwave and longwave frequencies and it comes with a longwire antenna on a reel. Current equivalent is probably about $150-$170 new.

I can see some CB radios being resurrected for communications in a phone-and-internet-down event because there will still be a few sources of 12 volts for power. I have a couple that still work and a friend gave me a barrel of NOS mobile antennas so I could do creative antennas such as using the rain gutters as a ground plane for a mobile antenna.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Idaho Survivalist View Post
A 2-meter rig would be pretty worthless in many mountain areas. Need a repeater for much distance. Some repeaters have battery backup but for how long will they have battery power. [I'll tell you now, that I am definitely not a HAM geek, and am no expert.] Since these radios use line-of-sight reception, if you were in mountain areas you would be limited to that pretty much. I was able to reach a town 25 miles from my base, in a mountain area, but it would be pretty hard to go much further. There are many license holders in my area but the local radio club can't find them. It seems easy to pass that first level test (technician) so a lot of people take the test and pass but most never buy a radio. And Elmers (helpers) are not always helpful, which is a complaint in some areas.

And if the grid, land phone line and cell towers were not usable, you couldn't find out who had a radio and what his call sign was. And unless you could reach a HAM who had a good HF rig, you couldn't find out what was happening in other parts of the country, and that HF rig has to have a battery back-up. Most HAMS cannot afford two systems so that one could be in use while the other was in a Faraday cage in case of EMP.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see that most HAMS could have good communication whether locally or national during SHTF scenario. Does anyone see how I am wrong in most cases?
I've been an extra class Ham Radio operator for a long time in my life. I'm also an ARRL VEC (Volunteer Examine Coordinator) for license testing.

The best suggestion for VHF-UHF radio traffic in mountains would be Satellite packet . Height is not an issue, There are many OSCAR (Orbital Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio) and AMSAT cube sats to connect to. in the event of SHTF situations. The advantage of Packet radio is its low power, Small antennas A VHF cross and a Small UHF glove antenna on a piece of PVC is all you need or a dual band beam works very well. Both the National and well as most states have different ARES groups (Amateur Radio Emergency Services). Bounce that off an OSCARs and mountains are not a problem at all.
The other option is a portable HF radio and an NVIS antenna made of 4 wires and a pole and tent stakes. you can set one up in a matter of minutes. There are many options open to Ham radio in a SHTF scenario.
73's
For more information go to ARRL or AMSAT websites.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:34 PM
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Also HF is not line of sight it works of of different layers of the atmosphere on different bands. 160-80-40-30-25-20-17-15-10 meters give you many different modes and frequencies.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:59 AM
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Don't forget all the digi modes using ht's an old droid phone or tablet and yagi....security thru obscurity and they'd have to know the exact mode being used....
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:27 AM
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`

even if all the repeaters were down, they are still going to generally be better than shouting, smoke signals, or 2 tin cans with string. With a good antenna & a powerful radio that can run off a battery whether in a vehicle, home base unit, or ht you will still be able to communicate for a couple miles at least, depending on terrain & height of antennas & that should allow you to stay in contact with any neighbors or people in your group you want to communicate with. Maybe you can't talk to someone on another continent, but if the power is out all over for a long period, what are you going to talk about with someone on the other side of the world? The weather, stock prices, sports, maybe how it sucks the grid is down? I'm guessing if there was a planet wide blackout for an extended time, recreational jaw jacking time would be limited as you'd be spending a lot more time on doing activities to stay alive on a day to day basis.

.
yes indeed, 25 miles.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by alco141 View Post
Ham radio has been used for emergency communications for a hundred years. Lots has been said here that is true. Hams practice their emergency communication skills all the time. Field day in June is a nationwide practice day. Many hams have go kits to have portable comnunications ready to move.

Get a license get a rig. Learn your gear. A ham can make a repeater from two HT’s. Check out you tube lots to learn about communications and how to use gear. A cross b

and repeat rig can serve as a hub.

Lots of hams spend lots of money on gear check out the go kit builds on you tube. They outfit their vehicles keep spare radios and everything they need to set up a field station anywhere.

The motto “When all else fails”. Is taken seriously by most of us we will get signal through by hook or by crook. The guys that went to Puerto Rico showed that.

There are even email servers tied to the internet in many countries around the world that can be accessed via computer/modem and HF radio.

Lots more info on this topic available have a look.


I think it helps a lot to be mechanically/electronically gifted.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:23 PM
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^^well, there is that....All the more reason to be learning/doing now..

Get some training here: https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/training-courses/
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:19 AM
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^^well, there is that....All the more reason to be learning/doing now..

Get some training here: https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/training-courses/

I looked at it but the $200 price tag stopped me. I've had a mechanic friend continually talk to me for years on everything related to engine repair and it doesn't click. I doubt if there are many survivalists who are experts in all fields. I'm only a rough carpenter but many can't visualize building needs and many can't use their food supplies to make lots of varieties of foods. I've been married 50 years and can still cook better than my wife. I think it is pretty easy to play a stringed musical instruments, but I find few in my community who can play music by ear and without sheet music. Even piano teachers rarely can play music by ear. I have a friend who started me in amateur radio who can't understand why I don't "get it", but yet he has a few guns and thinks that by having the guns he is automatically prepared for SHTF. I began college going into geology but finall dropped that major due to my not being able to complete courses in what many would think easy, calculus and I hired a tutor. In science and math, I was a very low 'C' student but switching to education studies I remained at a low 'B' average.

It would be nice if any of the local radio clubs I visited and were members of, would realize that the reason they have so few members is that they don't explain at the beginner level rather that the level they have worked on for 30 years.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:25 PM
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Has anyone mentioned cross band repeaters and the potential one could have with them?
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:35 AM
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HAm's are critical imo
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
Maybe its just me but I would consider a radio with only a 1 mile range invaluable to say nothing of 25. Nothing on the other side of the world that I need to talk to in SHTF....but just being able to talk to my neighbor seems a huge advantage, to say nothing of reaching town.

I don't understand why anyone would discount radios in SHTF...they are the basis of emergency response right now and would only become more valuable in SHTF.
Long range communication would be great. I have family on the other side of the world for one thing. But also it’s good to know what’s happening at the damn 50 miles away or what’s happening a city or state over. Just the weather information alone can save your life.

That said short range communication is AT LEAST as important. I want to be able to talk to my group /family/ neighbors . To call for help , to coordinate defense of our area, to advise each other of local
Threats or hazards, even to drive game animals to be harvested.

Short range communication can be really helpful when traveling. Notice that truckers use CB radio. The road would be an even more hazardous place post SHTF. Comms would be even more valuable.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:19 PM
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We'll have the ability to communicate, the question is how strong the desire, depending of course what the SHTF situation actually is.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:11 PM
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Even being able to LISTEN to a receiver type radio, gives one a considerable advantage in trying times.
I have acquired all sorts of portable pocket sized radios for that very reason.
Some new, many 2nd hand thrift store buys for very little money.
2nd factor is, along with compatible rechargeable batteries & chargers they will be high demand barter items.







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Old 09-15-2019, 04:06 PM
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Amateur radio is licensed for a reason to ensure everyone knows and follows the rules. There's a difference between folks that study and learn the rules, vs those on CB. Just listen to the CB channels - lots of filthy discussions go on there. There are only a few amateur radio operators that don't follow the rules, because the FCC will fine them and revoke their licenses. It has happen and will continue to happen, because other amateur operators report those that don't follow the rules.

For SHTF amateur radio will be critical. Getting a general license opens folks to all of the bands but limits the operating frequencies for conversations vs digital. The next level up, Amateur Extra gives you full privileges, but it's not needed for SHTF. If you get a general license, and an NVIS antenna (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave), you will have reliable short distance communication with practically any radio. In fact, the military uses NVIS antennas for communication. You can sometimes find overstock or surplus NVIS antennas on EBAY or surplus auctions. Click here to read more about them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_v...idence_skywave
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