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Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 140124
Canada
11/29/2012 05:54 AM
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Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
How are some of you preppers planning on communicating or getting together with loved ones when SHTF? Say there is an EMP or cell networks are down or whatever. Think worst case scenario. I hear the learning curve on HAM radios are pretty steep and I'd like any ideas.

Mainly concerned about getting in touch (and staying in constant communication until we meet) with my parents who live about 150 km away and my sister's family, who is only about 10 km away.

Will short wave do the trick? HAM necessary? Willing to learn...thanks.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28703184
United States
11/29/2012 06:24 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
EMP your radio is down IMO.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 25672410
United States
11/29/2012 07:37 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Ham radios are good
Walkie talkies helpful
Cell phones with manual crank charging

None will work if emp strikes, so all need to store all electronics in faraday cage.

Back up plan, plan alternate routes, where to meet up, etc all written down, practice run with family, so when communication is down everyone knows what to do.

Remember, cars won't work either.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 140124
Canada
11/29/2012 07:40 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Ham radios are good
Walkie talkies helpful
Cell phones with manual crank charging

None will work if emp strikes, so all need to store all electronics in faraday cage.

Back up plan, plan alternate routes, where to meet up, etc all written down, practice run with family, so when communication is down everyone knows what to do.

Remember, cars won't work either.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25672410


Interesting. I never thought about that. I guess EMP fucks everything up. Guess I'll have to work on that backup plan.

Alright...no EMP. Anyone have any experience with radios? What models are good and whatnot?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 07:54 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
You always get worst case scenario trolls.

YEAH OP WHY FUCKING BOTHER DUDE, EMP WILL JUST FUCK YOUR SHIT UP.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28700307
Thailand
11/29/2012 08:01 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Maintain eye contact
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 08:03 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Anyone have any experience with radios? What models are good and whatnot?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


There are a lot of GOOD VALUE Chinese radios on ebay. 2M/70cm UHF/VHF radios, one of those would be a good start OP..Look for ...Boafeng, Wouxun etc.

Boafeng

UV-3R, AND UV-5R...

Both cheap really compact radios (pack of cigerettes size) that are rechargable via USB.

Frequency range 130-200mhz, 400-480mhz. Which are good enough to work on 70cm bands with repeaters for maybe 30 or 40 miles and maybe 5 or 10 miles simplex (single frequency)

The 400-480mhz capability will only offer you about 5 miles max on simplex, however within this braket 99% of walkie talkies are used.

50-60 Dollars US.


Wouxun


KG-UV1, and KG-UV6D etc

About double the price of the Boafengs, but much much better build quality, you can get AA battery packs and the like, they have all the same performance, even slightly better, with a much better screen are IP55 water resistant and last about 3 days on the battery.

100 Dollars US.


These are all 2m/70cm radios which are the best place to start, you will need a licence to operate them outside of 440mhz 2 way radio channels though. However they are great to just set up on local repeaters and listen to the 2m hams talking.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 08:08 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
If you want something really good, go with ICOM/YAESU/KENWOOD etc.

However you'll pay 300 dollars plus for a good handheld radio by these manufacturers.

You could buy 10 Boafengs or 4 very high spec wouxuns for the price of a nice ICOM/YAESU though.

If you plan on having solid communication between friends and family over short distances, this may be a better option.

All of these radios have features that can block out other radios on your channels as such etc. But i'm not aware of any encryption features to privatise your coms though, so all these radios will be listen in-able if somebody else has compatible equipment (totally non private)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 27643028
United States
11/29/2012 08:13 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Ham radios are good
Walkie talkies helpful
Cell phones with manual crank charging

None will work if emp strikes, so all need to store all electronics in faraday cage.

Back up plan, plan alternate routes, where to meet up, etc all written down, practice run with family, so when communication is down everyone knows what to do.

Remember, cars won't work either.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25672410


Interesting. I never thought about that. I guess EMP fucks everything up. Guess I'll have to work on that backup plan.

Alright...no EMP. Anyone have any experience with radios? What models are good and whatnot?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


Ok OPP.. If you want easy to use, almost fail proof and most mobile.. Get an Isatphone PRO from Inmarsat. It's not cheap, but it will work in any situation except EMP, is as easy to use as a cell phone, fits in your pants pocket, does email and is hardened for water and shock. I have a post paid plan at $100/month for 60 min (full roll over for a year) because I live in BFE. You can find the service cheaper for let airtime per month. You could use an prepaid Iridium based phone but Inmarsat is a UK based satellite and service and as such is not subject to US control, even when used in the CONUS. Also the Inmarsat birds never drop calls, iridium satellites are in LEO and as such are zipping across the sky... Dropping you long winded call after 15 or so min.

If you want nearly the same versatility for much less money and are ok with using text messaging instead of voice, check out SPOT Connect, just as good but it's text only, no voice. Range for both systems is almost global, only the polar regions are dark.

I have used both on my homestead and boat, and both are totally dependable.

Remember, all parties you need to be in critical contact with should be kitted with their own satellite based comm gear because if the teleco goes down in your area, it may in theirs as well being so close.

So it's really a choice of how much you have to blow, if you need to outfit 3 people and do it all under 1k airtime included, get spot connect, if your loaded, call a satphone vendor and pick up Inmarsat post paid and you and will be the only one in the disaster area with a working phone (besides HAMs, DOD and FEMA)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 08:13 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 08:16 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Hope that helped OP.

As the other guys suggested though, totally worthless after a EMP unless you protected them.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 08:17 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Ok OPP.. If you want easy to use, almost fail proof and most mobile.. Get an Isatphone PRO from Inmarsat. It's not cheap, but it will work in any situation except EMP, is as easy to use as a cell phone, fits in your pants pocket, does email and is hardened for water and shock. I have a post paid plan at $100/month for 60 min (full roll over for a year) because I live in BFE. You can find the service cheaper for let airtime per month. You could use an prepaid Iridium based phone but Inmarsat is a UK based satellite and service and as such is not subject to US control, even when used in the CONUS. Also the Inmarsat birds never drop calls, iridium satellites are in LEO and as such are zipping across the sky... Dropping you long winded call after 15 or so min.

If you want nearly the same versatility for much less money and are ok with using text messaging instead of voice, check out SPOT Connect, just as good but it's text only, no voice. Range for both systems is almost global, only the polar regions are dark.

I have used both on my homestead and boat, and both are totally dependable.

Remember, all parties you need to be in critical contact with should be kitted with their own satellite based comm gear because if the teleco goes down in your area, it may in theirs as well being so close.

So it's really a choice of how much you have to blow, if you need to outfit 3 people and do it all under 1k airtime included, get spot connect, if your loaded, call a satphone vendor and pick up Inmarsat post paid and you and will be the only one in the disaster area with a working phone (besides HAMs, DOD and FEMA)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27643028


Nice info dude!

hf
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28708162
United States
11/29/2012 08:34 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
most everything will be damaged by emp but after the threat
of emp has finished a mixture of CB and ham will be used

CB for local radio nets and perhaps the ocasional long distance contact it will be also used to contact the local ham operator who can get more reliable long distance comms

the reaon cb will be used is simply because there will be more surviving units unhooked from antennas sitting in peoples garages etc.


in some places telegraph or telephone could be reset up
from scavenged materials.


mail,pony express and carrier pidgeon all still work as well
indiandave

User ID: 27213312
United States
11/29/2012 08:36 AM

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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Flag semaphore.
MRoot

User ID: 13394785
United States
11/29/2012 08:41 AM

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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Homing Pigeons.
Eating a dead radio is no fun.
"Betimes must rise who few reapers has, and see to the work himself; much will miss in the morn who sleeps: for the brisk the race is half run."
Har

"Time is but the stream I go fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It's thin current slides away, but eternity remains."
Thoreau, Henry David
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 17090286
United States
11/29/2012 08:44 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Smoke signals.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28334961
United States
11/29/2012 08:52 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
String and a cup.........just sayin if ya can hear me:>)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 09:44 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
String and a cup.........just sayin if ya can hear me:>)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28334961


What about the string and that piece of wood Crocodile Dundee uses?


cruise
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 20391266
Canada
11/29/2012 09:55 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Anyone have any experience with radios? What models are good and whatnot?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


There are a lot of GOOD VALUE Chinese radios on ebay. 2M/70cm UHF/VHF radios, one of those would be a good start OP..Look for ...Boafeng, Wouxun etc.

Boafeng

UV-3R, AND UV-5R...

Both cheap really compact radios (pack of cigerettes size) that are rechargable via USB.

Frequency range 130-200mhz, 400-480mhz. Which are good enough to work on 70cm bands with repeaters for maybe 30 or 40 miles and maybe 5 or 10 miles simplex (single frequency)

The 400-480mhz capability will only offer you about 5 miles max on simplex, however within this braket 99% of walkie talkies are used.

50-60 Dollars US.


Wouxun


KG-UV1, and KG-UV6D etc

About double the price of the Boafengs, but much much better build quality, you can get AA battery packs and the like, they have all the same performance, even slightly better, with a much better screen are IP55 water resistant and last about 3 days on the battery.

100 Dollars US.


These are all 2m/70cm radios which are the best place to start, you will need a licence to operate them outside of 440mhz 2 way radio channels though. However they are great to just set up on local repeaters and listen to the 2m hams talking.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28648467


I heard somewhere you can modify the Boafeng radios to increase their range.

Anyone know anything about this?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 04:46 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
bump
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 04:49 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
I heard somewhere you can modify the Boafeng radios to increase their range.

Anyone know anything about this?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 20391266


Maybe, but i doubt it. The distance is probably subject to the inverse square law so at 5watts of power you may need to increase that to about 20watts to get another few miles on simplex (one frequency)
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
11/29/2012 04:51 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Nikola Tesla

User ID: 18230284
United States
11/29/2012 05:02 PM

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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
How are some of you preppers planning on communicating or getting together with loved ones when SHTF? Say there is an EMP or cell networks are down or whatever. Think worst case scenario. I hear the learning curve on HAM radios are pretty steep and I'd like any ideas.

Mainly concerned about getting in touch (and staying in constant communication until we meet) with my parents who live about 150 km away and my sister's family, who is only about 10 km away.

Will short wave do the trick? HAM necessary? Willing to learn...thanks.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


The best would be a 1.0 kilowatt spark transmitter with a synchronous rotary gap set to 400 cycles per second. The operating wavelength should be around 200 meters. For a transmitting antenna try a "flat top" with a center feed. For a receiving device I recommend a long wire antenna with a tuned coherer.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28648467
United Kingdom
11/29/2012 05:19 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
1000 watts, dear lord.

MOONBOUNCE INCOMING!

cruise
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 17090286
United States
11/29/2012 05:19 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
1000 watts, dear lord.

MOONBOUNCE INCOMING!

cruise
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28648467


1.21 gigawatts? GREAT SCOTT
Anonymous 1342725

User ID: 1342725
United States
11/29/2012 05:22 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Maintain eye contact
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28700307


lol, this.
Anonymous 1342725
Nikola Tesla

User ID: 18230284
United States
11/29/2012 06:22 PM

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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
1000 watts, dear lord.

MOONBOUNCE INCOMING!

cruise
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28648467


In case there are any questions about how the spark transmitter operates, here is a link to a video for you to watch.

[link to www.youtube.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1430199
United States
11/29/2012 06:36 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Don't worry. You'll be dead from bio weapons and radiation long before you will need a radio in a shtf situation.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 140124
Canada
11/29/2012 08:26 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
bump
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 20063594
United States
11/29/2012 08:35 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
NO COMS you never know who is listinging when shtf
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 140124
Canada
11/29/2012 08:43 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
NO COMS you never know who is listinging when shtf
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 20063594


This is COMS just to be able to gather and find my family. After that, I understand. Like I said, my parents will be 150km away and my sister's family 10km away.

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