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PreparationInBubbaNation
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Gun Luvin Hippie
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This has been discussed before but It can't be said enough times. I've saved drafts on my phone so I can text loved ones instantly with out having to type the hole thing out during a emergency. Texting is not only a different frequency but it requires a fraction of the bandwidth. I was camping in Yosemite a couple weeks back and despite having no bars decided to text my brother our campsite info. He promptly responded back and we continued our texting despite my phone saying it had zero reception.
 

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For starters, texting is not a "different band". It's all on the same group of frequencies. Texting takes up less bandwidth and can be mixed in with control/telemetry data the cellular provider uses to manage their network.

Second, there are no "cracks" in the cellular system. The cell network can handle only so much traffic at a time. That's not a "crack," that's the simple reality of ten bazillion users trying to use a finite amount of communications capacity.

Maybe if people would have enough self control to not hop on Facebook to run their mouth or start texting pictures to all their friends every time something nasty happens, there would be room on the cell towers for legitimate emergency communications.
 

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Anyone relying on texting, well, I'll have fun chuckling at them. SMS isn't even remotely reliable in the BEST of times. A message can get delayed, dropped, etc. very easily and it happens more often than people realize, regardless of carrier.

The closest thing to texting that I'd even remotely consider is PIN messages on the Blackberry infrastructure simply because it is able to confirm delivery. But, I suspect that since it's running all over the data (4g/3g/1x even) portions of the bandwidth that it would be one of the first things to croak in a disaster, along with voice. As was said above, trying to compete with the hordes of FB-zombies is a losing battle.
 

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txt was not meant to be used as an emergancy notification. and yes it can be delayed but it is better then nothing. also this is why its smart to get a ham license.
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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Nextel network didn't even hiccup. Enjoy your "smart phones"......suckas! :p
I don't have a "smart phone" I have a "tough phone." That having been said, my experience with Nextel has been less than stellar. In some areas, it's just totally worthless as there is no coverage. So, be glad that you have an area that is saturated enough that you don't get dead spots.
 

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Prepared
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But people don't stop communicating. And bad weather, etc. keeps people indoors, so turning on the computer or other device is probably even more likely. In the absence of an emergency + public network, with either special devices, licenses, or protocols, we can't expect to use the normal public means of everyday communications without bandwidth issues. Especially if the providers play it close in their system allocations. For them, it's a financial proposition. Why build for 3X traffic, if X is ordinary and 2X is peak?

Amateur radio, FRS/GMRS or good old-fashioned CB.

For starters, texting is not a "different band". It's all on the same group of frequencies. Texting takes up less bandwidth and can be mixed in with control/telemetry data the cellular provider uses to manage their network.

Second, there are no "cracks" in the cellular system. The cell network can handle only so much traffic at a time. That's not a "crack," that's the simple reality of ten bazillion users trying to use a finite amount of communications capacity.

Maybe if people would have enough self control to not hop on Facebook to run their mouth or start texting pictures to all their friends every time something nasty happens, there would be room on the cell towers for legitimate emergency communications.
 

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Why build for 3X traffic, if X is ordinary and 2X is peak?

Amateur radio, FRS/GMRS or good old-fashioned CB.
The cellular providers engineer their network knowing not every subscriber in any given area will be using the service at the same time. As such, it makes no business sense at all to purposely over build beyond forecast peak traffic.

Ham radio and the other wireless variants are certainly reliable but they too are subject to the same technical restrictions. There's only so many CB channels, ham radio repeaters, etc., to go around and they can easily be overtaxed in an emergency. Even with a net controller shepherding things along, radio communications can be painfully slow.

Example: Suppose there are 12 operators on an emergency net. If each one takes, say, one minute to pass their traffic and receive incoming traffic, that means each operator can handle only five messages per hour, probably less when you factor in the net operator's management time and any interruptions. The value of ham radio in emergencies cannot be calculated, but it is not a particularly efficient or speedy way of communicating.
 

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Tevin are you a HAM? have you ever listened to an emergency net? 1 minute to pass info?? no need, more like 15 seconds including call signs
 

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Tevin are you a HAM? have you ever listened to an emergency net? 1 minute to pass info?? no need, more like 15 seconds including call signs
I've been a ham for thirty years and have participated in probably hundreds of emergency nets.

I'm wondering what you know about emergency nets. Fifteen seconds = four exchanges per minute = 240 messages per hour. On its face your statement transcends the ridiculous.

When you are passing along requests for supplies & equipment, medical aid, directions to or from a location, net control stepping out to pee, asking operators to repeat themselves, dealing with inexperienced operators or those with not-so-great equipment, and "housekeeping" operations that do not directly involve net traffic, one minute is a rather conservative allowance.

Some exchanges will be very quick. Some will not. When you average them out, it comes out to a painfully slow system nowhere even close to 240 completed messages per hour. When/where it can be deployed, packet speeds things up but few hams have packet equipment.

On Field Day, when all that's exchanged is call, class, and state, even the best operators do not average four contacts per minute for the entire event.
 
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