Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have four levels of Communication for after TSHTF.

Cell phone
Cell phones will only work as long as the Cell Towers are powered and operational. Although some features such as GPS will probably work for weeks or months, voice and text will soon be gone. Also, in an emergency, Cell service is quickly overloaded. Calling any Emergency Services will be pointless. Since virtually everyone has a Cell Phone, if you can get through, talk to friends and relatives on how to stay in contact after Cell service is gone.

Citizen Band Radio
CB Radio is old school, but still works. One advantage is that few people will be on CB, and therefore almost no one will be listening in except for channels 9 &19. Select a primary channel you will use, and alternates in case others end up on your primary. I have five handheld, one base station, and two mobile CB radios. If TSHTF, designated friends and relatives get one.

Ham Radio
2 meter 144MHz, and 70cm 440MHz, are the two main bands, and Dual Channel Handheld Radios will have both. A license is required to operate on these frequencies, but they can be used in emergencies. TEOTWAWKI, no one care about a license. These are longer range, and there are a lot more people using this than CB. However, communications outside of your area will depend upon repeaters, which probably won’t operate for very long.

GMRS &FRS
There are many people who have these. They are used by hunters, campers, travelers, and vacationers. There will be a lot of traffic on these. It may be difficult to converse with a family member or friend. Also, there will be many listeners.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,841 Posts
There are also land line telephones. Regular land line phones usually stay on even when we lose power, always have since I was a kid. Depending on your situation you can also run your own land line for your immediate area. Then of course there is the fastest form of communication of all, tell-a-woman. :D:
 

·
Swirl Herder
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
After the SHTF, no communication method that relies upon towers, repeaters or any other infrastructure would be reliable or secure.

So that leaves UHF (for short range), VHF (for medium range) and HF (for long range) communications.

There are plenty of triband Ham radios that can handle all three. There are plenty of Handheld Ham radios that handle UHF and VHF.

I am always surprised when I read posts from people talking about their Ham activity being a prep and then finding out they are using repeaters. That doesn't seem like a prep to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Any communications plan has to include, at the top, the people and places you need to talk to. Please notice that I didn't write "want" - the first thing to include is who you need to talk to.

  1. Start with the places and people that are able to help YOU get the things needed for your family!
  2. Next, the places and people that can help your family during the time you're apart.
  3. Last, the people and places you'll be trading with. You'll want to make deals quickly, for food, fuel, ammunition, etc., and you'll have to work out payment terms quickly too.

The ways you communicate are much less important than knowing who to reach!

William Warren
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
What about setting up your own repeater with it's own power source? Solar, or tied into however you power your home if you're off grid?
Not sure how that would help you. A repeater at your location will not increase your ability to contact someone else, or their ability to contact you. You would be helping others and footing the power bill for their benefit. Repeaters are generally located on the highest hill overlooking the widest area, or the tallest buildings. At your location, a more powerful transmitter, and especially a better antenna, will help you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,610 Posts
Good point. What about GMRS repeaters? GMRS/FRS radios are cheap and simple to operate, and come in vehicle mounted options (with more range and power). A GMRS repeater could eliminate some of the range issues without the issues of HAM licenses, teaching people how to use them during/after an event, or broadcasting higher powered transmissions.

In theory, at least. I have one more semester left, then I'm studying for my HAM license. After I get some hands on experience I'll have a better idea how this stuff works.
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The ways you communicate are much less important than knowing who to reach!
Not in this thread. Here we are discussing the different methods of communication, especially radio. It could also include land lines, and for line-of-sight, even laser.

Satellite phones could also be an option. They are rather expensive, and require a paid service to use them. When disaster hits, it would be too late to apply for a plan. That means $35 and up each month, which means you could pay those fees for years before needing them in a disaster or SHTF. There does not seem to be any information on how long the Satellite service would be reliable or available after the SHTF for real.
If anyone has more information on Satellite Phones, please share it here.
 

·
Wile E Coyote, Genius.
Joined
·
33,593 Posts
I'm thinking in the very near future, you will be able to use Elon Musk's Starlink satellites to support simple video calls using Skype or Whatsapp or any of the other live conferencing apps. Just subscribe to his internet service and you should be able to communicate regardless of any SHTF (short of a war that kills satellites).

And you would retain the benefits of stil being on the internet.

Musk is changing the world.

https://spacenews.com/spacex-plans-to-start-offering-starlink-broadband-services-in-2020/
 

·
Retired *****
Joined
·
18,264 Posts
I have a radio with cross-band repeat functionality. I'm located up on the side of a mountain so I could act as a repeater for HT users that don't have enough power or antenna to get out of the valley.

Here's the scenario. The main contact is outside the valley some tens of miles away operating on 2 meters which I can easily reach. I set up the cross-band input frequency to one on the 440 band. I set up the output frequency to one in the 2 meter band.

HT user transmits on 440, the cross-band receives then transmits out on 2 m. The remote contact receives then transmits back on 2m into the 2m side of the repeater, then out on 440 to HT users.

Clear as mud?
 

·
Swirl Herder
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
I have a radio with cross-band repeat functionality. I'm located up on the side of a mountain so I could act as a repeater for HT users that don't have enough power or antenna to get out of the valley.

Here's the scenario. The main contact is outside the valley some tens of miles away operating on 2 meters which I can easily reach. I set up the cross-band input frequency to one on the 440 band. I set up the output frequency to one in the 2 meter band.

HT user transmits on 440, the cross-band receives then transmits out on 2 m. The remote contact receives then transmits back on 2m into the 2m side of the repeater, then out on 440 to HT users.

Clear as mud?
Wouldn't the fact that your repeater would be retransmitting signals for others, make radio direction finding of your location easy? Someone wanting to locate you, could activate your repeater while they differ antenna orientation to assess signal strength. If they do this from a couple of locations, they would get your location.

While that may not worry you in normal times, this thread is about:

Communication for after TSHTF
and this is a survivalist site......not being easy to locate would be a priority.
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Wouldn't the fact that your repeater would be retransmitting signals for others, make radio direction finding of your location easy? Someone wanting to locate you, could activate your repeater while they differ antenna orientation to assess signal strength. If they do this from a couple of locations, they would get your location.
It would not necessarily be at his house, but on a nearby prominence. That would be a lot of trouble to find someone located “up on the side of a mountain,”. They probably wouldn’t be after the repeater since their using it would put them in the same situation.
and this is a survivalist site......not being easy to locate would be a priority.
I cannot speak for Lagnar, but since he is posting here and understands that, and like me, probably decided not to worry about that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,136 Posts
Not in this thread. Here we are discussing the different methods of communication, especially radio. It could also include land lines, and for line-of-sight, even laser.

Satellite phones could also be an option. They are rather expensive, and require a paid service to use them. When disaster hits, it would be too late to apply for a plan. That means $35 and up each month, which means you could pay those fees for years before needing them in a disaster or SHTF. There does not seem to be any information on how long the Satellite service would be reliable or available after the SHTF for real.
If anyone has more information on Satellite Phones, please share it here.
.

They are all dependent on some sort of ground based infrastructure. Iridium can complete calls without passing through a earth station, but the Earth station is required for billing- likely nothing else is better, and most systems just splash to the public network.

The teleports are considered critical infrastructure, and the govt would strongly support keeping them on the air. The government is particularly dependent on iridium, but uses a completely separate, DOD controlled teleport in HI vs the commercial one in Tempe. The civil teleport is ciriical to international air traffic control, carrying both communications and space based ADS-B

Besides running the phone system, the satellites need human control for station keeping- with out manual control, the satellites will shift their orbits. And most are dependent on GPS, which has its own station keeping and timing issues.

It’s impossible to stay what the SHTF would do, it depends if you mean a EMP or CME ( little effect on ground infrastructure until people don’t show up for work), a pandemic, economic or political disaster ( ditto), or some asteroid strike.

Musks system and its competitors ( one web) are high bandwidth, less resilient versions version of iridium, operating at Ka/Ku band. I have no idea if they can complete a call between two user terminals, it’s not in their business model. But they will be at least as vulnerable to some disaster on the earth.
 

·
Live Secret, Live Happy
Joined
·
15,784 Posts
I see two additional modes of ham radio communication to consider. I use my Yaesu 897 for these.

NVIS, regional (400mi) communucations using HF bands, typically produced by mounting your HF antenna close to the ground, or other conductor. A number of Hams set up weekly talk groups using this method.

HF, worldwide (>3,000mi) communications using HF bands when propagation is open, typicallly produced by mounting a 40m or 80m antenna up high. Some folks use a steerable antenna on a tower. I mounted my 40/80 trap dipole as an invertered vee.
 

·
Retired *****
Joined
·
18,264 Posts
good points

Wouldn't the fact that your repeater would be retransmitting signals for others, make radio direction finding of your location easy? Someone wanting to locate you, could activate your repeater while they differ antenna orientation to assess signal strength. If they do this from a couple of locations, they would get your location.

While that may not worry you in normal times, this thread is about:

and this is a survivalist site......not being easy to locate would be a priority.
Any fixed location transmission is subject to direction finding. Keep the transmissions as short as possible.

I guess a determined person could figure out the input and output simplex frequencies. DCS codes could be used to help prevent unauthorized transmissions from activating the x-band repeater. Some radios can do code scan to find out what it is, but that would require a long enough transmission to do it.

The parties operating the x-band and the HTs could also change frequencies at random but scanning within the band could ferret them out.

Lots to think about.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top