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Future Survivor
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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for something to attach to the outside of my B.O.B. that could help me in the communication department after and emergency. I am not interested at all in sending information, but rather I am interested in receiving information.
I would like it to be able to have the following features:
-pick up AM radio stations (for news)
-pick up Weather stations (for weather info(I live in tornado alley))
-pick up Local law enforcement radio communications (for knowing what is happening in an SHTF situation)
-be portable (as I said earlier, this will be clipped on the outside of my BOB)
-run on AA or AAA batteries (I have a solar panel in my BOB that can charge AA and AAA batteries)

If anyone knows of any products that accomplish these criteria, please tell me.
I am under the age of 18, so HAM is not important to me (maybe when I am older)

Thanks a million!
 

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Currently surviving SHTF
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As far as law enforcement, most are "trunked" now. You aren't gonna find anything affordable to listen in.

A weather radio is a good bet. I see them at thrift shops for just a few bucks. Most are Am/FM and fun AA batteries
 

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A broadband digital scanner would fill the bill. They can be had as handheld units capable of being strapped on your bag and you can use an earpiece to reduce power consumption.
I don't understand what being under 18 would have to do with getting a ham radio license. I got mine at 11 back when you had to go to the FCC for testing, but nowadays you can find somebody to administer the test readily and there are third graders who have FCC ham radio licenses.
 

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I am looking for something to attach to the outside of my B.O.B. that could help me in the communication department after and emergency. I am not interested at all in sending information, but rather I am interested in receiving information.
I would like it to be able to have the following features:
-pick up AM radio stations (for news)
-pick up Weather stations (for weather info(I live in tornado alley))
-pick up Local law enforcement radio communications (for knowing what is happening in an SHTF situation)
-be portable (as I said earlier, this will be clipped on the outside of my BOB)
-run on AA or AAA batteries (I have a solar panel in my BOB that can charge AA and AAA batteries)

If anyone knows of any products that accomplish these criteria, please tell me.
I am under the age of 18, so HAM is not important to me (maybe when I am older)
OK, you have specified receive only, battery powered, for use on a backpack. This will all limit your performance, but does set a good guideline for equipment selection.

You probably aren't going to do it with one radio, unless the public service in your area is still using analogue (possible, but getting less likely as time goes on) it will take at least 2 radios.

For the AM side of things you will need a medium wave receiver, you might as well combine that with a shortwave receiver, that will give you the ability monitor AM stations for local / regional news and shortwave stations for international news. Radios like a Tecsun PL-660 or the CountyComm GP-5 would cover that just fine. You could find lower cost units also, but you really want at least that level of performance.

For weather stations and law enforcement you will need a scanner, a digital enabled one will not be cheap. You might be able to get away without digital, it depends on your location, but many places need digital or they do you no good. If you need a digital scanner then you are looking at something like a Uniden BCD325P2, BCD436HP, or the Whistler WS1080. If you can get away without digital you can do it much cheaper. But you need to find out what kind of communications are in your area, analogue, trunked, or digital.

Keep in mind a digital scanner can work with all of the older formats, so that covers all bases, but at the highest cost.

T!
 

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As far as law enforcement, most are "trunked" now. You aren't gonna find anything affordable to listen in.

..
Actually, much of rural US is still VHF. I'm pretty sure that it is safe to say that most of the US *mi2) is/will be (just changed over to 12.5mhz which ruined FM performance). Not going to be changing again in the next decade.

Where do you want to be, in a urban hive/cesspool where the cops have/perhaps need trunked 800mhz secure commo or in rural area where VHF is all that is needed?

The nifty BS that Motorola/Harris push is just way to expensive and don't work for squat (need a repeater every 1/2mi). In rural area the Co Sheriff may have one secure channel for law ops. Fire/EMT and EMS being VHF open band. State and National mutual aid/interop channels are all VFH open.
 

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Future Survivor
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Discussion Starter #6
Actually, much of rural US is still VHF. I'm pretty sure that it is safe to say that most of the US *mi2) is/will be (just changed over to 12.5mhz which ruined FM performance). Not going to be changing again in the next decade.

Where do you want to be, in a urban hive/cesspool where the cops have/perhaps need trunked 800mhz secure commo or in rural area where VHF is all that is needed?

The nifty BS that Motorola/Harris push is just way to expensive and don't work for squat (need a repeater every 1/2mi). In rural area the Co Sheriff may have one secure channel for law ops. Fire/EMT and EMS being VHF open band. State and National mutual aid/interop channels are all VFH open.
I live in a county that covers 1,250 square miles. There is one city in the center with a population of 250,000 (this comprises 50% of the counties population). I am outside of the city under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. I have no desire to set foot in a city during an SHTF. I really only plan on listening to the sheriff's department on the scanner, not citiy departments.

I know that the county has one channel that you can't listen to, that would be the "data" channel where the officers get their 10-27, 10-28, and 10-29 information.

I can listen to the normal channel on an app on my phone. During an SHTF situation however, I won't be able to use the app because it streams over the internet.
 

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Actually Great to hear from someone under 21 that thinks about preparing for things, Wish More would do what you are doing! Back to the ham thing, yup, the tech test is very easy there are phone apps that have the test questions and answer, study some take practice tests til you are comfortable with the scores, then find a local ham club and check their schedule for testing, most clubs welcome young folks,and you can find some helpful folks there.
on the law monitoring ,I'm in a county with maybe 6000 people in a few little towns, I'm out on a ranch. County SO,and all law enforcement is not on a trunking system BUT, they are VHF P25 Digital, so regular scanners don't do the job. All FD's and EMS are still VHF Analog though, and of course all are narrow band since it was mandated.
One more tiny thing, I saw MOBILE Communication in your title and thought you were wanting comms for a vehicle til I actually read post, your looking more for PORTABLE or MANPACK communication for your Bag. As more answer, sometimes they do not go back and actually read the original question so you get lots of info you don't really want. No big deal , just thought I would mention for future reference.
 
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As someone mentioned above, a GP-5 would give you a handy AM receiver for backpack use

http://countycomm.com/gp5ssb.html

For roughly double the price of a GP-5, you might want to look into a Yeasu VX-3R (or an older used -2R or -1 model). They are very small, can use an AA battery pack in place of the usual battery, and you would gain the ability to hear FM amateur radio, aircraft frequencies, and NOAA weather stations.

http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Di...11&encProdID=5CB596EBED9A3EE26635C7E1F02500D9
 
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