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Old 09-15-2019, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FvnnyL3tt3r1ng View Post
Has anyone mentioned cross band repeaters and the potential one could have with them?
Kenwood TM-V71...

do the mod and life is golden...
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Idaho Survivalist View Post

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?
So local communications has allways been a problem in mountainous area. VHF-Lo ( ham 6m) works OK, and lots of mountain top repeaters will address the issue, at least for mobile radios. NVIS works if you have the expertise, antennas, and equipment.

For those of us NOT in the mountains, or on the edge of them, 2M works great- 50W, and gain antennas up 50í go a long way ( you can pull up LOS calculators- with 50 watts/ gain antennas, figure another 30%- also use radio LOD, not visual)

Long distance communications with grid down is going to require HF- most hams I know have HF, and most disconnect their antennas (this may be biased since I live in the SE). I disconnect, and have a polyphaser EMP rated protector on both the radio and on an automatic antenna tuner.

I donít see much chance of there being no 12V power with all the generators, cars, tractors, solar panels, etc. for that manner, I could see people ď acquiringĒ solar panels from railroad and highway sensors/ signs.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:49 AM
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Iím pretty pathetic at using amateur radio, but with a career in tactical communications and several of my NCOís with their setups and members of ARES, I have no excuse. I had the tactical radio training division at the Army school house and there has been a resurgence over the past decade-plus with both HF and microwave systems; loss of satellite access will greatly affect long-range comms, and optic fiber/cables can be cut.

My team guys all had HF comms as their primary for most missions that werenít DA-type missions and Iíve got plenty of stories of the commo guys troubleshooting their PRC150 HF systems with their own HAM rigs; one was in Venezuela shooting back to Bragg. Another was able to use HF while they were driving down a highway with a wire antenna run out the back of the vehicle and making comms 100 miles away. Once you get a basic understanding of the physics, there is an aspect of the ďartĒ for HF. While many focus on transmit power, equal attention should be on your antenna system.

Itís hard to get into it as a hobby without others involved. I finally have my son very interested and a guy from Church is wanting to seriously get into it, so I have an opportunity to get back into the hobby. We have the repeaters in the area, so Iím going to get my son licensed and see if we can do a radio check weekly while heís in college (about 100 miles away).

For those struggling to get into it, just getting a good shortwave receiver will demonstrate the value of information. The importance is identifying all stations broadcastings and getting those channels and frequencies setup for your area.

Iím going to get back into it mostly with HTs. It only takes a couple to understand how amateur radio works, post-SHTF, others will have motivated interest and you can have several systems pre-programmed for push-to-talk for short range use. Next step would be understanding where all local repeaters are and how to set one up; its no different than how we employed RETRANS sites.

For those intimidated about getting their technician license, itís honestly about memorizing questions for a test as opposed to having the technical knowledge. Most can do a three hour crunch studying and pass the test. I do recommend (and encourage) those interested to find HAM operators in your area and go visit them. Iíve known several who love teaching those interested and most of them can dumb it down enough for beginners.

What you donít want to do is spend all the money of equipment and setups and stash them away in your faraday cage for use post-SHFT. Now is the time to dip your toe into it, get at least your technicianís license and play with it, even if just short-range comms. I know it looks pretty daunting for many, but communications are a critical aspect during emergencies and weíve seen time and time again that with the loss of land-lines in many households, cellular networks (as robust as they are) can get flooded, cell stations can get damaged and still require maintenance and power generation for extended use during emergencies. From a tactical perspective, communications is such a critical aspect, thereís no need to explain why.

For those really want to get into it and use it for family or group communications, you really need to consider a communications plan. Outside of having a full base-station, most donít monitor 24/7. Having periodic comm-checks helps alleviate the fall-off that many see or experience. This is the reason I want to get my son setup and have him get his license. A weekly or even bi-weekly comms check will keep him involved and makes sure his system is operational and batteries charged. Good post and discussion, time to get off my butt and back into itÖ

ROCK6
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:43 AM
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Don't forget the GMRS repeaters anyone can access with a 70.00, no test, license, good for your "immediate" family...

https://mygmrs.com/browse

https://www.buytwowayradios.com/gmrs-fcc-licensing
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:47 AM
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Speaking of antenna as important as power, I rarely use > 300 watts and most think I'm not being honest and believe I'm really running > 1000 watts or more. Setting up a great antenna properly means much more than some believe.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aceoky View Post
Speaking of antenna as important as power, I rarely use > 300 watts and most think I'm not being honest and believe I'm really running > 1000 watts or more. Setting up a great antenna properly means much more than some believe.
Yup. I don't have an amplifier so on HF I'm just running 100w. I've talked all over the world with a simple long wire dipole and 100w. Love it!


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Old 09-18-2019, 06:07 PM
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Default why I don't need HF

2 meter simplex requires a good directional antenna with a rotator.

At my old location I was able to work 2m simplex over TWO mountain ranges on 50 watts and my Cushcraft 13B2 yagi antenna. From a valley west of Salt Lake to Cache valley over the Oquirrh mountains and the Wasatch mountains.

I was able to talk simplex to my buddy in SLC off the side of the antenna along with another friend 90 miles away in cache valley. The 13B2 has a 15.8 dBd gain with a front to back ratio of 26dB.

What this means is a 15.8 dB gain is equivalent to multiplying your power output by 38 times compared to a 0 dB gain antenna such as a rubber duck.

http://www.satsig.net/lnb/db-calculator.htm

At my current location I aim my 3 element yagi antenna at one mountain across the valley, the signal reflects off of it and is able to bring up the repeaters at Snowbird and Farnsworth peak in the opposite direction. My south and west is completely blocked by nearby mountains. This using a 5 watt HT. Farnsworth peak is about 50 miles away as the crow flies.

And I can still talk simplex over the mountains to cache valley from my new location.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:23 PM
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Since in my immediate area I know of 3 radio owners within 5 miles but having no license, they plan on holding on to their radios and will use them in a SHTF scenario. I know of one fellow 6 miles from me who might have a HF, since he is a not-so-radio educated but is an extra. I know of one other 10 miles away, but amateur radio stations are few and far between. 25 miles from me in a town of 3000 is a radio club with a repeater 5 miles away. It rarely has more than 3 members attending a meeting. Another club 40 miles in the opposite direction in a town with 3000 people, folded several years ago. A few years ago I attended a Christmas party in a club in a town of 40,000, 80 miles from me, and there were maybe 25 members. I've forgotten a lot of what I knew about local 2-meter stuff because I never got too excited about covering fun runs.

So I just check in every day I can get to net control on HF on a big net and occasionally say a few words. I know a few peoplein my region have FMRS, some have marine bands, some CB's. I have all of those but there are no nets for practice. I have been in two nets, having started one, but nets are pretty hard to keep going, here, on 2-meter. If there is ever a SHTF, I'll survive like my neighbors on food and general preparation and won't do much with radios.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:22 AM
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`


Looks like these guys are able to communicate with just the handhelds. Line of sight in the mtns. can be have its pluses too.


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Old 09-19-2019, 05:54 PM
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That's why they put repeaters on the tops of mountains. ^^^
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:20 PM
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I have 4 Yeasu handhelds and 2 Beofangs handhelds. No base station. I don't have a liscense so Just have them in storage to break them out when shtf. But I'd be able to communicate with others in my group.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
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 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
Well said. That's from an amateur extra.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:25 AM
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I have 4 Yeasu handhelds and 2 Beofangs handhelds. No base station. I don't have a liscense so Just have them in storage to break them out when shtf. But I'd be able to communicate with others in my group.
Do you know how they operate?

Do you know how to program them?

Do you know what frequencies/tones to program them to?

To you keep the batteries charged?
(I could keep going but to keep it short will stop there.)

Or are you planning to wait until TEOTWAWKI to break them out of storage and try to figure it all out?

How will you charge them in a grid down/nuclear winter (no sun for solar) situation?

Will the battery packs even still be viable after years/decades in the faraday can?


The technician test is 35 simple questions. Five year olds have passed it. Get your license (it will not put you on some secrete government list of people to be sent to the re-education camps), get on the air to get familiar with things like how far you can expect to communicate direct without a repeater, how vegetation effects that range, where the dead zones are, etc, so one and so forth.

You may even have some fun and meet new friends.

(Steps off of soap box)
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:39 PM
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Will Ham radio be effective in a grid down SHTF?

Frankly, it the ONLY thing with even a chance of working.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:26 AM
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Will Ham radio be effective in a grid down SHTF?

Frankly, it the ONLY thing with even a chance of working.
As long as the equipment is protected initially if it's a CME/EMP, AND you have a reliable means of power generation, it's likely the best communication means. If it's grid down, I think we would have to go back to phone lines until production was back up with circuitry necessary for satellite and fiber optic use.

HF relies heavily on propagation calculations with the ionosphere. Sun spots are a real thing and can affect those propagation models, but they're mostly an anomaly factor that affects communications for very short periods. As long as the ionosphere isn't impacted, the propagation models would be pretty sound for long distance HF comms. I think locally, as long as you have battery power and operational radios, there's not much other than distance and objects that would affect radio transmissions (wavelength dependent).

I think the key is identify all the components that could be damaged from an EMP/CMI and keep them packaged and stored properly. I like the idea of something this is easier to access so you can pull them out and use them periodically, even if they're just backups. With many of the HAM HTs, it's best to have them preprogrammed and I would even recommend having a small, solid-state laptop with programs already loaded (and other files) packaged with the radios.

My biggest concern is power generation. Would solar panels get damaged from EMP, especially those with built in controllers? Larger panels (I would think) would be okay, but you would need a spare controller packaged in a Faraday with the other electronics.

So, outside of something like a massive meteor hit or multiple volcanos that would pollute the atmosphere with particulates and possibly affect radio waves, I can't think of much that would affect radio wave propagation...your biggest concern is just protecting your electronics from anything damaging like an EMP or CMI.

ROCK6
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:44 AM
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As long as the equipment is protected initially if it's a CME/EMP, AND you have a reliable means of power generation, it's likely the best communication means. If it's grid down, I think we would have to go back to phone lines until production was back up with circuitry necessary for satellite and fiber optic use.

HF relies heavily on propagation calculations with the ionosphere. Sun spots are a real thing and can affect those propagation models, but they're mostly an anomaly factor that affects communications for very short periods. As long as the ionosphere isn't impacted, the propagation models would be pretty sound for long distance HF comms. I think locally, as long as you have battery power and operational radios, there's not much other than distance and objects that would affect radio transmissions (wavelength dependent).

I think the key is identify all the components that could be damaged from an EMP/CMI and keep them packaged and stored properly. I like the idea of something this is easier to access so you can pull them out and use them periodically, even if they're just backups. With many of the HAM HTs, it's best to have them preprogrammed and I would even recommend having a small, solid-state laptop with programs already loaded (and other files) packaged with the radios.

My biggest concern is power generation. Would solar panels get damaged from EMP, especially those with built in controllers? Larger panels (I would think) would be okay, but you would need a spare controller packaged in a Faraday with the other electronics.

So, outside of something like a massive meteor hit or multiple volcanos that would pollute the atmosphere with particulates and possibly affect radio waves, I can't think of much that would affect radio wave propagation...your biggest concern is just protecting your electronics from anything damaging like an EMP or CMI.

ROCK6
In the old days of rotary dial and relay step switch central offices the phone system could have survived a major CME or EMP attack. Now with the controls being all microprocessor controlled, the electronics needed to convert from copper to fiber and back, and much more the land line phone system is as susceptible to damage as everything else. Granted the systems are hardened and protected as well as current technology allows. Is it good enough? We'll have to wait and see.

HF propagation:
In an EMP attack the ionosphere will be disrupted enough to effect HF propagation. Depending on the size and number of devices employed it could be a localized on up to global disruption. If there is a good side to an EMP attack, the ionospheric disruption will resolved relatively quickly. HF propagation should back in a few days to a couple weeks. BTW, hang on to your early tube type radios. They are more resistive to the effects of and EMP.

A very large CME on the other hand can cause prolonged ionospheric disruption effecting HF propagation for months, perhaps years if enough material arrives to strip off the upper levels of the atmosphere. HF radios will still be useful as their ground wave range is greater than simplex V/UHF radios.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:24 AM
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I used to have a really old Stromberg-Carlson tube radio from about the 1920's or so as a kid. The thing was about as tall as a short chest of drawers but not as wide. With an antennae I could pick up radio stations from all over the world at night. On a clear night - with skip to the signals - European stations came through crystal clear.

Any radio that has an external antennae connection will let you gather information from sources that will surprise you and from miles away too. Keep in mind that these sources will vary from night to night because of the changing radio skip conditions. Keep in mind that there are times that you might be able to hear a station but they can't hear you even if you directly call them. It's like a one-way kind of skip where you can only hear the other guys.

The longer your antennae is, the more stations you will receive but after a certain amount of length the reception amount dies down so there is a point of diminishing returns as far as length of the antennae goes. I would think that any HAM radio would be like an old time Stromberg-Carlson radio and worth having around just to gather news and information about various situations.

Shown below is a photo of what my old radio kind of looked like...
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:16 PM
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When I was a kid I too had an old, large, very heavy tube radio that covered a large part of the spectrum including HF. I found it in the back room of a radio repair shop. The owner gave it to me to get it out of his way. Started experimenting with wire antenna including my mothers clothes line and a barbed wire fence. Fence worked pretty good. I experimented some with the common side of the power system but too much interference.

While poking around in the back when it was on, I discovered the effects of the plate voltage if you accidentally contact it. 720 volts even at very low amperage is an unpleasant experience and left scars that were visible decades later.

That interest led me to getting my Ham license up to Advanced. Not on the air right now, moved and don't have an antenna up yet.
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Old 09-22-2019, 04:43 PM
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I would seriously doubt an EMP would damage any of my vintage tube style equipment. If it did, the EMP would be strong enough to electrocute me in the process.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
As long as the equipment is protected initially if it's a CME/EMP, AND you have a reliable means of power generation, it's likely the best communication means. If it's grid down, I think we would have to go back to phone lines until production was back up with circuitry necessary for satellite and fiber optic use.

HF relies heavily on propagation calculations with the ionosphere. Sun spots are a real thing and can affect those propagation models, but they're mostly an anomaly factor that affects communications for very short periods. As long as the ionosphere isn't impacted, the propagation models would be pretty sound for long distance HF comms. I think locally, as long as you have battery power and operational radios, there's not much other than distance and objects that would affect radio transmissions (wavelength dependent).

I think the key is identify all the components that could be damaged from an EMP/CMI and keep them packaged and stored properly. I like the idea of something this is easier to access so you can pull them out and use them periodically, even if they're just backups. With many of the HAM HTs, it's best to have them preprogrammed and I would even recommend having a small, solid-state laptop with programs already loaded (and other files) packaged with the radios.

My biggest concern is power generation. Would solar panels get damaged from EMP, especially those with built in controllers? Larger panels (I would think) would be okay, but you would need a spare controller packaged in a Faraday with the other electronics.

So, outside of something like a massive meteor hit or multiple volcanos that would pollute the atmosphere with particulates and possibly affect radio waves, I can't think of much that would affect radio wave propagation...your biggest concern is just protecting your electronics from anything damaging like an EMP or CMI.

ROCK6
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanishing Nomad View Post
Will Ham radio be effective in a grid down SHTF?

Frankly, it the ONLY thing with even a chance of working.
As long as the equipment is protected initially if it's a CME/EMP, AND you have a reliable means of power generation, it's likely the best communication means. If it's grid down, I think we would have to go back to phone lines until production was back up with circuitry necessary for satellite and fiber optic use.

HF relies heavily on propagation calculations with the ionosphere. Sun spots are a real thing and can affect those propagation models, but they're mostly an anomaly factor that affects communications for very short periods. As long as the ionosphere isn't impacted, the propagation models would be pretty sound for long distance HF comms. I think locally, as long as you have battery power and operational radios, there's not much other than distance and objects that would affect radio transmissions (wavelength dependent).

I think the key is identify all the components that could be damaged from an EMP/CMI and keep them packaged and stored properly. I like the idea of something this is easier to access so you can pull them out and use them periodically, even if they're just backups. With many of the HAM HTs, it's best to have them preprogrammed and I would even recommend having a small, solid-state laptop with programs already loaded (and other files) packaged with the radios.

My biggest concern is power generation. Would solar panels get damaged from EMP, especially those with built in controllers? Larger panels (I would think) would be okay, but you would need a spare controller packaged in a Faraday with the other electronics.

So, outside of something like a massive meteor hit or multiple volcanos that would pollute the atmosphere with particulates and possibly affect radio waves, I can't think of much that would affect radio wave propagation...your biggest concern is just protecting your electronics from anything damaging like an EMP or CMI.

ROCK6
Honestly the EMP/ CMI threat to small electronics , cars and solar panels is exaggerated.

I would expect most cars to work , and from a CMI almost all electronics and solar. The controllers on the solar systems maybe not.

I’m not sure about EMP and solar.
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