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I was thinkng if the shtf communication will be cut off how do you get in contact? example if you had family with you hiding in the woods and you guys split up to look for supplys how do you communicate? So I thought it would be cool to buy a midland camp base raido with about six midland two way raidos and have extra aa batterie. What do you guys think?
 

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Keep in mind actual range of these is much less then advertised. The better ones, those with GMRS, work decently.
We used them during hunting season for quite some time now. Trouble is, everyone is using them now days so you need to pre arraign a second and third channel to go to as needed.
And for SHTF use, you should use some kind of code. There will be a lot of others scanning the airways, some with ill intent.
 

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It is a much better deal to get a Ham license and then there are lots more opportunities. Like Radio shack was clearning out 440 handhelds that use AAs. I got two of them. You can transmit on one freq and listen on another.
Like the other guy said there are hundreds of thousands of folks with the no license units and it is a known fact if they can hear you they are close.
 

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Stack It Deep.
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CBs are superior to FRS for range. FRS are just short-range HAM radios. Maybe good for a mile line-of-sight if the wind is blowing right. No way to change antennas on those FRS radios. They're only good around the house or property. CB with a real base antenna is far superior, and portable CBs are $10-$20 each on Craigslist. That's the way to go for open areas, up to 15 miles or so. I talk with Canada on my base station, and I'm over 100 miles away.

HAM radios are overblown, strictly regulated and unnecessary, unless you don't culture some friends on the CB who are also HAM radio guys.
 

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The issue I worry about with HAM radio is if its a big disaster wouldn't the system be wiped out and the repeaters either overwhelmed or cut out?
 

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Christian Survivalist
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The issue I worry about with HAM radio is if its a big disaster wouldn't the system be wiped out and the repeaters either overwhelmed or cut out?
Ham Radios work just fine without a repeater - many transmit around the world.
 

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Christian Survivalist
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Keep in mind actual range of these is much less then advertised. The better ones, those with GMRS, work decently.
We used them during hunting season for quite some time now. Trouble is, everyone is using them now days so you need to pre arraign a second and third channel to go to as needed.
And for SHTF use, you should use some kind of code. There will be a lot of others scanning the airways, some with ill intent.
DB,

Just a point of clarification, all FRS radios now also include GMRS frequencies. You are correct, that GMRS frequencies are far superior to FRS ones, because they permit a higher power output than the FRS frequencies.

As many others have said, the FRS/GMRS radios are really good for line of sight. However, that can be hindered if another person chooses the same channel number (regardless of privicy code) and transmits between the two of you.

Ham or CB is better. Many people will get a side band CB radio.

I have a pretty big selection of radios as the link below ....

http://www.readypro.biz/radios-flashlights-amp-electronics.html
 

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Stack It Deep.
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Ham Radios work just fine without a repeater - many transmit around the world.
Only the base stations with full power and gain antennas work without repeaters. Handheld and mobiles don't work without repeaters due to low power from, and short antennas on, the transcievers. Power out? Forget the repeaters. Most of them have no backup power, and some of them are for private use only. Read it up.

For this reason, our handhelds are only for short-range comm with the base, and listening to some distant comm, nothing more.
 

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Christian Survivalist
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Thanks, I didn't know that. So does that mean you have to get a license to operate any of these now , or has that changed?
You need a license to transmit on the GMRS frequencies. You can own an FRS/GMRS radio without a license as long as you dont transmit on the GMRS frequencies. But to be honest, once you have a FRS/GMRS radio, you'll only use the GMRS frequencies because the power level is so much higher and able to transmit farther. The license is easy to get. Just pay and you are done and its good for the whole family and lasts a lifetime.
 

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are we there yet??
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You need a license to transmit on the GMRS frequencies. You can own an FRS/GMRS radio without a license as long as you dont transmit on the GMRS frequencies. But to be honest, once you have a FRS/GMRS radio, you'll only use the GMRS frequencies because the power level is so much higher and able to transmit farther. The license is easy to get. Just pay and you are done and its good for the whole family and lasts a lifetime.

I didn't realize untill I actually read the book that came with the radios that the GMRS frequencies needed a license to operate. That was about a year after a bought them. Do you happen to have a link for getting a license? Ignorance was bliss.
 

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Interesting, of all the subjects i've explored, i've never found any good info on radoi communication. Can anyone recommend some links if you could?
 

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Christian Survivalist
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I didn't realize untill I actually read the book that came with the radios that the GMRS frequencies needed a license to operate. That was about a year after a bought them. Do you happen to have a link for getting a license? Ignorance was bliss.

Start here at this link: http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=service_home&id=general_mobile


Like I said, its worth it, then you are legal. One license for the whole family and it does last a lifetime. No tests, just pay. Also, for anybody else reading this, A ham license does not cover these frequencies.
 

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Fattie Ninja!
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Every radio has it uses , i can tell you that during the post earthquake situation here in chile we have to use diferent radios for different things , CB was used fro convoy operations , and for point to point nets something like my borther house and our base , a simple setup of two AM CBs was set up in hours , thats about half mile away from the base , FRS was used for patrol around the neighborhood a GMRS/FRS net was set with other neighbors of trust that will watch for gangs and looters , SSB CB was used for relaying Civil defense traffic to remote parts of my state "aka region" , we used 2 meter ham radio to keep authorities informed about traffic heard on 40 meters (we heard from truckers on 40 meter comercial HF frequencies that most of the vial infrastructure of the country was down , also we asked for their positions and if they needed to have a phone patch with their families or bosses ) we were lucky my mother and i we have been for years ham radio operators and also reserve operators for the national civil protection net , so we have a full ham radio shack with 4 HF transceivers that are frequency agile so they can be tuned all across the HF bands if requested by authorities , and also VHF air Transceivers , VHF , UHF , CB SSB/AM , we were prepared to serve our nation on this quake , we were the first station on the air that morning , and everithing was chaotic , mos of station werent able to be on the air cause they depended on AC power we switched our battery bank and the our generator until the power was restored late that day , one thing that we learned was that you must have the double of radios that you think that you need , we had 5 Handytalkies 3 dualbands and a pair of VHF ham for portable work most of them were used during the emergency . have a plan , code words , freq plan etc that is also opsec , better said comsec ! stay safe nerdplanet.cl
 

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Only the base stations with full power and gain antennas work without repeaters. Handheld and mobiles don't work without repeaters
Simply not so. My mobile 2 meter ham radios are easily capable of 60+ mile communications without any repeater use. I also have HF setups in my vehicles where I can choose a frequency from 1.8 to 29MHZ to talk around the world. All without repeaters, gain, or huge antennas. Many many many folks do this on a daily basis.

And a LOT of repeaters are battery backuped with solar chargers. All of our local ones can stay on the air indefinitely should power be lost. And a little research will show that fewer than %1 of all repeaters in the U.S are private. It is a non issue for almost every state in the country.

And VHF/UHF handheld radios always have and always will outperform CB handhelds. To cram a 27mhz loaded antenna onto a handheld and expect it to work is an exercise in misunderstanding. At VHF/UHF frequencies, I can put full size or even gain antennas onto my handhelds and work many many more miles than a CB handheld. A full size 1/4 wave antenna on a CB handheld would have to be 8 feet long and would require an effective counterpoise. You cannot change the laws of physics.

I get very concerned when somebody hoists CB up on some pedestal while blasting ham radio. You must not be a ham and have never really communicated. You brag of a 100 mile talk. I do that (x50) EVERY DAY from my vehicle. True forms of communication will easily allow you to talk anywhere on Earth. And legally. If you read CB regulations, deep in the part 90s and such, you will see that long range (over 150ish miles) communications via CB is illegal.

Aside from being illegal, it is also unreliable. It is flawed to recommend such an inferior radio service. Let me explain more.

CB uses AM (just like the standard AM broadcast station). It stands for Amplitude Modulation. While I will not get into specifics, think of the signal as being very wide and divided into 2. An upper and a lower part of the signal. AM uses both the upper and lower, therefore, it is not very efficient. It creates a HUGE wide signal. Also the receivers are a problem. Since they are required to receive such a wide signal, they are VERY prone to receive a lot of extraneous garbage from everything from power lines to electric shavers.

A far FAR FAR more efficient system is SSB or Single Side Band. It (essentially) takes the very wide AM signal and cuts it in half. There is an Upper (USB) and a Lower (LSB). This mode of communications is far better in that your transmitted power is not spread out as wide and therefore, it is more effective. Also, since your receiver is narrowed, you don't get as much crap noise from it having to be as wide as a barn door.

With a CB in the AM mode, you are limited by FCC rules to 4 watts output. With a SSB CB, you are limited to 12 watts. As another poster suggested, SSB will get you considerably further on the CB bands. But read on and see what hams can use.

Another CB problem is that you are confined to 40 channels, all within a very small window at 27 megahertz (mhz). A very poor band for local communications IMO as, for it to be reliable and efficient, you need much larger antennas than is practical. It is too high for reliable skywave propagation or decent ground wave.

But lets look deeper. I am an Amateur radio operator (ham). I am an Extra class (the highest there is) and my wife is a General class (the closest to highest). With a ham license I can operate a very broad spectrum from 1.8mhz (very low) to many gigahertz (ghz) or very high into the microwave spectrum.

Because of this, a ham can choose what part of the spectrum we want to operate. There are some other guidelines but I am keeping this simple. Since we can pick and choose, we can pick a frequency that will give us excellent local coverage and the antenna constraints are lessened.

For this, most hams pick the 2 meter ham band (144-148mhz). This is considerably higher than the CB band of 27mhz, therefore, the antennas a MUCH smaller and it is easier to get actual gain from an antenna. It is extremely possible to get 3-7 decibels (db) of gain out of an antenna that is on a vehicle and 20 or more db out of a home station. All with antennas that are quite small.

To get the equivalent gain on CB would require MASSIVE antennas. The problem with more gain on CB is that you are in the AM mode and all you usually do is increase the amount of noise you receive.

You are going to be fighting noise, inefficient antennas, and other bums who are confined to the same 40 channels. The reason that CB is so limited by the FCC is because of the 40 channels. If it were made to be a longer range communications form, people would be interfering with each other and it would be a mess. The FCC intentionally cripples CB operators by limiting output power and by choosing the 27mhz frequency as it is a poor performer.

As I have said about ham radio, you get a HUGE pool of frequencies to choose from. You can operate in AM, FM, SSB, CW (morse code), and a ton of other digital modes. All with benefits far and above the standard AM CB. You can also run up to 1500 watts legally. There are some minor exceptions, but you can run many hundreds of times more power.

As somebody who has played both the ham bands and CB, I can safely tell you that REAL communications are possible via ham radio. The selection of frequencies make it possible. We (as hams) can mimic the same frequencies that public safety folks use (police, fire, ambulance). They do not us CB or anything near CB. It is not effective. If you want effective in the private world, step up and get your ham radio license. You will be utterly shocked at what you can do when compared to CB.

Don't believe me, read up via google. Research MUF, all of the layers of the ionosphere, Absorption VS. frequency, Radiation efficiency of antennas, Take of angles, NVIS, ETC ETC. Then decide for yourself. Evidence will CLEANLY point to ham radio (or more correctly the selection of frequencies that hams are afforded) as being the overwhelming winner.

WM
 

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Obviously you need to be aware of opsec when you use radios. Don't say anything you don't want the whole world to know about. The "privacy codes" do nothing to keep people from hearing your transmissions, only to keep you from hearing other traffic on the same frequency that might interfere with your conversation. Unless you have some sophisticated digital encryption, any one with a scanner or another radio can hear everything you say. One option is to talk and receive on different frequencies, ie radio 1 transmits on freq A and listens on freq B, radio 2 trans on freq B and listens on freq A. This is fine for two radios, but falls apart rapidly when additional radios are involved.
Just some thoughts.
 

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Prepared
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Doesn't sound like you've had much experience or training with radio. You can rig a mobile up to any size antenna you want, and run it out of your house if you desire. Probably hook an amplifier up to it also. Check mobile reviews on http://www.eham.net/reviews/. Some people are reporting 100 mile ranges without repeaters or any sort of amplification. Some mobile units, like the Yaesu FT-8900, can actually be set up as repeaters themselves. You can communicate with a handheld to one, and it'll re-broadcast on another frequency (x-band repeat).

Only the base stations with full power and gain antennas work without repeaters. Handheld and mobiles don't work without repeaters due to low power from, and short antennas on, the transcievers. Power out? Forget the repeaters. Most of them have no backup power, and some of them are for private use only. Read it up.

For this reason, our handhelds are only for short-range comm with the base, and listening to some distant comm, nothing more.
 

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Christian
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I’ve seen farmers that were far enough inland to use marine band radios to communicate with the farm house during harvest season. The range is much further and less traffic because not allot of people consider this option.

Add a tower with an external ant. And you will be set.

In a SHTF no one will care about licenses.
 
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