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Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 2378936
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11/29/2012 09:12 PM
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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
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28648467


Thanks, and please note that I wrote this to meet all the requirements of being man portable, secure and for an international audience..

There are other options to consider:

VSAT (very small aperture terminal) is also a great way to have full featured, secure communications on the cheap. VSAT service can be used for telephone communications, broadband Internet and to reach high frequency repeater stations around the world using Echolink. Just sign up for an echo link account with using your technician's license and your on the air world wide with no radio gear at all. It's not likely that ALL echo link stations would be down worldwide all at the same time (save WWIII/EMP)

VSAT does have some limitations and benefits that sound be considered for preppers..

The good:

1) Its broadband, news during a disaster is just as critical as food IMO.. With this system you will not be listening for morse on some static channel.. You will be watching live video and have a pipe large enough to share with your neighbors who also need an uplink.

2) Geostationary orbits. Unlike iridium or global star handsets, you will have an always-on high bandwidth IP pipe and can be set as a automatic failover for your domestic Internet service using a cheap cradle point router.. That way when your cable goes out the satellite will take over instantly, without any grid services and without interruption.

3) It's cheap (relatively) costs for this service in the US are around $45-100 dollars per month, deep discounts on installation if you haggle during signup. For that you get 5 gigabytes per month of transfer, much more flexible then the $1.50 per min for an 8 kHz voice only channel on a satphone handset.

The drawbacks:

1) The antenna is fixed, no in motion use, not easy to commission the dish once moved.. Although not out of the realm of your average prepper with some basic equipment such as a simple toolkit, camera tripod and a satellite bird dog signal finder. RV campers do this often to dry camp and have Internet in some far off places... It's just not man portable for use in a bug out bag.

2) Higher power requirements, the dish uses microwave energy so don't expect to run this off a small battery and folding solar panel like a satphone handset. That said, it will not take much more than a laptop so off grid with any decent small generator will be fine.

3) High latency, the signal has to travel 22,000 miles into space, compete with CPU time on the satellite who will be giving priority to higher paying customers and then back to earth, then over the Internet. Expect 800ms ping times on a good clear night and 1400ms as the norm. So no twitch reflex gaming or milliseconds automated stock market trading here.. Voice over the VSAT will have a heavy delay, much like the international calls in the 1970s.. But it is totally usable for emergency communications. Some providers will give your higher priority and thus lower ping times if you pay for it. In the united states, use EXEDE by Viasat (no I don't have any associations, just know what really works). It has updated mission antennas on their birds, the service is not oversold and the data usage caps are lifted at night so it's all you can eat, we have used it to do Skype 2 way video conference without any significant issue on the basic rate plan. VSAT is available world wide so check your options in your area.

4) Antenna is drag sensitive, during a hurricane you will loose alignment and perhaps the antenna if your not careful, but again, if you have the simple tools and practice how to aim the dish before you need to, just stow it and wait until the danger has passed.

Hope that helps, also I am a ham, but when the SHTF for my area during Huricane Sandy, it was all satcom based for me, helping my neighbors place calls to family over the uplink and reading GLP reports kept me too busy to get on the air :)

To be sure, IF SHTF I would not be getting on the CB or HF and broadcasting my intentions to the world.. Satcoms can be intercepted with some over the counter gear but the skill level required is out of the range of your average road warrior, cb and HF is not. Yes, the man can listen to your satcoms, but who cares.. If you've done something to warrant government level signals intelligence to be after you... I would not even kick on an electric motor much less be sending radio transmissions in the blind. It's not the man I fear, he will have his hands full of the judge dred in the cities.. It's the anti-preppers that say the will come and take your shit if they need it.. Posing as a fellow radio operator in need during an emergency, they would get most hams to reveal their position and perhaps their preps list in a few hours of friendly conversation. Satcoms are point to point.. It's only you, your loved ones and the man during the conversation, using CB or HF it's all that.. And anyone else with a $100 dollar receiver.

Anyhow, hope that helps somebody to consider satcom as part of their preps, at first you will wonder why you are paying too much but as soon as your first tire blowout in a cell dead zone or natural disaster, you will understand.. I know this first hand, both cases.

Thanks for listening.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 26826431
United States
11/29/2012 09:31 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
Oh, the Carrington effect scenario would be an absolute disaster. Just some things I can think of here.

Picture someone driving on a long stretch of desolate highway, could be Montana, Arizona or during a snow in the Sierra Nevadas. Then, bam, car goes dead. Despite the person's efforts to turn the ignition it wont start. Then she notices other cars stranded in the road and some truckers are also stopped in the middle of the highway. WTF?

A flight pilot is in the cockpit. Suddenly all instrumentation goes dead. Nuff said.

Homer Simpson is at work in the reactor control room. Suddenly electrical systems monitoring nuclear energy production goes off line. You know what happens next.

The more normal activities, like patrons in a grocery store, go dark. Registers or down, can't pay for anything. But worse yet if power is not restored in 12 hours, food will start to spoil in the freezer and refrigerated sections.

In the hospitals, no doubt, young babies and old are on life support. But without back up power they don't stand a chance.

The hustle and bustle of WallStreet comes to a grinding halt.

A bank customer punches the ATM machine, mumbling obscenities as he can't get his money and his card is stuck inside it.

High Voltage power lines and transformers suddenly explode, starting brush and building fires through out affected area, while fire fighters and first responders can't get their trucks to start.

You can't make a phone call to let you loved ones know you're alright.

The commuter train stops running

Batteries short, electric motors burn out. Everything electrical is dead.

Welcome to the worse case scenario.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
11/29/2012 09:46 PM
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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
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28708162

After an EMP, unless you have also EMP shielded a generator, you won't have power long. Even so it will only last as long as your fuel supply lasts or until it becomes unusable.

All unshielded equipment let in garages, etc will be fried. So don't expect to reach very many people.

A nuclear EMP pulse will create a communications blackout lasting for several hours afterward. A Solar EMP event could last much longer.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1044117
United States
11/29/2012 09:54 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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124

I believe the CB will again find a broader use, if only for a while. Unless of course, as said earlier, an EMP is used.
I have a 40 channel handheld transciever that for some reason, I have kept in good condition. Also two way handhelds with good range. They might be useful in the short term, at least.
Anonymous Coward
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11/29/2012 09:54 PM
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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
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28708162

After an EMP, unless you have also EMP shielded a generator, you won't have power long. Even so it will only last as long as your fuel supply lasts or until it becomes unusable.

All unshielded equipment let in garages, etc will be fried. So don't expect to reach very many people.

A nuclear EMP pulse will create a communications blackout lasting for several hours afterward. A Solar EMP event could last much longer.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28216119


Totally agreed, during such an event my priorities would be on chopping wood.... Or looking to eat something that smells like almondshiding
Anonymous Coward
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11/29/2012 10:01 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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124

I believe the CB will again find a broader use, if only for a while. Unless of course, as said earlier, an EMP is used.
I have a 40 channel handheld transciever that for some reason, I have kept in good condition. Also two way handhelds with good range. They might be useful in the short term, at least.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


I have a cobra in the car, priceless for finding out where the bears are hiding out on the interstate.. CB is also great for local information and to ask about national trends such as fuel prices, supply disruptions and security check points from interstate truck drivers. CB is dirt cheap, easy to install and use. A vital prep and essential tool to the modern commuter.

Since the CB craze in the 70s and 80s has past it's gone back to being a useful network.. Even though you still get the occasional jackass with a linear amp who loves to say "world wide world wide world wide" on all frequencies at the same timerockon
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1044117
United States
11/29/2012 10:14 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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124

I believe the CB will again find a broader use, if only for a while. Unless of course, as said earlier, an EMP is used.
I have a 40 channel handheld transciever that for some reason, I have kept in good condition. Also two way handhelds with good range. They might be useful in the short term, at least.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


I have a cobra in the car, priceless for finding out where the bears are hiding out on the interstate.. CB is also great for local information and to ask about national trends such as fuel prices, supply disruptions and security check points from interstate truck drivers. CB is dirt cheap, easy to install and use. A vital prep and essential tool to the modern commuter.

Since the CB craze in the 70s and 80s has past it's gone back to being a useful network.. Even though you still get the occasional jackass with a linear amp who loves to say "world wide world wide world wide" on all frequencies at the same timerockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


That linear amp won't be worth shit when the power's out. My handheld runs on batteries as well. :)
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 140124
Canada
11/29/2012 10:20 PM
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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
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28648467


Thanks, and please note that I wrote this to meet all the requirements of being man portable, secure and for an international audience..

There are other options to consider:

VSAT (very small aperture terminal) is also a great way to have full featured, secure communications on the cheap. VSAT service can be used for telephone communications, broadband Internet and to reach high frequency repeater stations around the world using Echolink. Just sign up for an echo link account with using your technician's license and your on the air world wide with no radio gear at all. It's not likely that ALL echo link stations would be down worldwide all at the same time (save WWIII/EMP)

VSAT does have some limitations and benefits that sound be considered for preppers..

The good:

1) Its broadband, news during a disaster is just as critical as food IMO.. With this system you will not be listening for morse on some static channel.. You will be watching live video and have a pipe large enough to share with your neighbors who also need an uplink.

2) Geostationary orbits. Unlike iridium or global star handsets, you will have an always-on high bandwidth IP pipe and can be set as a automatic failover for your domestic Internet service using a cheap cradle point router.. That way when your cable goes out the satellite will take over instantly, without any grid services and without interruption.

3) It's cheap (relatively) costs for this service in the US are around $45-100 dollars per month, deep discounts on installation if you haggle during signup. For that you get 5 gigabytes per month of transfer, much more flexible then the $1.50 per min for an 8 kHz voice only channel on a satphone handset.

The drawbacks:

1) The antenna is fixed, no in motion use, not easy to commission the dish once moved.. Although not out of the realm of your average prepper with some basic equipment such as a simple toolkit, camera tripod and a satellite bird dog signal finder. RV campers do this often to dry camp and have Internet in some far off places... It's just not man portable for use in a bug out bag.

2) Higher power requirements, the dish uses microwave energy so don't expect to run this off a small battery and folding solar panel like a satphone handset. That said, it will not take much more than a laptop so off grid with any decent small generator will be fine.

3) High latency, the signal has to travel 22,000 miles into space, compete with CPU time on the satellite who will be giving priority to higher paying customers and then back to earth, then over the Internet. Expect 800ms ping times on a good clear night and 1400ms as the norm. So no twitch reflex gaming or milliseconds automated stock market trading here.. Voice over the VSAT will have a heavy delay, much like the international calls in the 1970s.. But it is totally usable for emergency communications. Some providers will give your higher priority and thus lower ping times if you pay for it. In the united states, use EXEDE by Viasat (no I don't have any associations, just know what really works). It has updated mission antennas on their birds, the service is not oversold and the data usage caps are lifted at night so it's all you can eat, we have used it to do Skype 2 way video conference without any significant issue on the basic rate plan. VSAT is available world wide so check your options in your area.

4) Antenna is drag sensitive, during a hurricane you will loose alignment and perhaps the antenna if your not careful, but again, if you have the simple tools and practice how to aim the dish before you need to, just stow it and wait until the danger has passed.

Hope that helps, also I am a ham, but when the SHTF for my area during Huricane Sandy, it was all satcom based for me, helping my neighbors place calls to family over the uplink and reading GLP reports kept me too busy to get on the air :)

To be sure, IF SHTF I would not be getting on the CB or HF and broadcasting my intentions to the world.. Satcoms can be intercepted with some over the counter gear but the skill level required is out of the range of your average road warrior, cb and HF is not. Yes, the man can listen to your satcoms, but who cares.. If you've done something to warrant government level signals intelligence to be after you... I would not even kick on an electric motor much less be sending radio transmissions in the blind. It's not the man I fear, he will have his hands full of the judge dred in the cities.. It's the anti-preppers that say the will come and take your shit if they need it.. Posing as a fellow radio operator in need during an emergency, they would get most hams to reveal their position and perhaps their preps list in a few hours of friendly conversation. Satcoms are point to point.. It's only you, your loved ones and the man during the conversation, using CB or HF it's all that.. And anyone else with a $100 dollar receiver.

Anyhow, hope that helps somebody to consider satcom as part of their preps, at first you will wonder why you are paying too much but as soon as your first tire blowout in a cell dead zone or natural disaster, you will understand.. I know this first hand, both cases.

Thanks for listening.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


Thanks, you really know this stuff.

I'm a little skeptical that satellites will be available to us though. Or will they do everything in their power to keep satellites up and running?? Maybe that makes more sense, actually.
Kirk

User ID: 25384388
United States
11/29/2012 10:24 PM

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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
People work the world on 20 meters.
100 watts single side band.
Icom 706 is a nice radio
Worry is a misuse of the imagination.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 2378936
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11/29/2012 10:25 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
...


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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124

I believe the CB will again find a broader use, if only for a while. Unless of course, as said earlier, an EMP is used.
I have a 40 channel handheld transciever that for some reason, I have kept in good condition. Also two way handhelds with good range. They might be useful in the short term, at least.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


I have a cobra in the car, priceless for finding out where the bears are hiding out on the interstate.. CB is also great for local information and to ask about national trends such as fuel prices, supply disruptions and security check points from interstate truck drivers. CB is dirt cheap, easy to install and use. A vital prep and essential tool to the modern commuter.

Since the CB craze in the 70s and 80s has past it's gone back to being a useful network.. Even though you still get the occasional jackass with a linear amp who loves to say "world wide world wide world wide" on all frequencies at the same timerockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


That linear amp won't be worth shit when the power's out. My handheld runs on batteries as well. :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


When I carpool people ask.. Woah is that a CB? Like the bandit? What is that going to do for you, just listen to trucker bitch about women?? Then I get a bear report and the questions change focus to how to get into the CB gear.. I found that CB is an equity based network, if you want to get, you have to give.. Therefore I report all bears, all open pickle parks and road congestion on site and the useful information come flooding back in my way, can't begin to say how much ticket revenue that little $100 box has saved merockon
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 140124
Canada
11/29/2012 10:29 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
...

I believe the CB will again find a broader use, if only for a while. Unless of course, as said earlier, an EMP is used.
I have a 40 channel handheld transciever that for some reason, I have kept in good condition. Also two way handhelds with good range. They might be useful in the short term, at least.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


I have a cobra in the car, priceless for finding out where the bears are hiding out on the interstate.. CB is also great for local information and to ask about national trends such as fuel prices, supply disruptions and security check points from interstate truck drivers. CB is dirt cheap, easy to install and use. A vital prep and essential tool to the modern commuter.

Since the CB craze in the 70s and 80s has past it's gone back to being a useful network.. Even though you still get the occasional jackass with a linear amp who loves to say "world wide world wide world wide" on all frequencies at the same timerockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


That linear amp won't be worth shit when the power's out. My handheld runs on batteries as well. :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


When I carpool people ask.. Woah is that a CB? Like the bandit? What is that going to do for you, just listen to trucker bitch about women?? Then I get a bear report and the questions change focus to how to get into the CB gear.. I found that CB is an equity based network, if you want to get, you have to give.. Therefore I report all bears, all open pickle parks and road congestion on site and the useful information come flooding back in my way, can't begin to say how much ticket revenue that little $100 box has saved merockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


What is the range on a good CB?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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Canada
11/29/2012 10:32 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
People work the world on 20 meters.
100 watts single side band.
Icom 706 is a nice radio
 Quoting: Kirk


Can you dumb this down for me? Are you saying you are speaking across the world with 100 watts Icom 706?
Anonymous Coward
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11/29/2012 10:33 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
A string and 2 cups.
Anonymous Coward
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11/29/2012 10:34 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
...

I believe the CB will again find a broader use, if only for a while. Unless of course, as said earlier, an EMP is used.
I have a 40 channel handheld transciever that for some reason, I have kept in good condition. Also two way handhelds with good range. They might be useful in the short term, at least.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


I have a cobra in the car, priceless for finding out where the bears are hiding out on the interstate.. CB is also great for local information and to ask about national trends such as fuel prices, supply disruptions and security check points from interstate truck drivers. CB is dirt cheap, easy to install and use. A vital prep and essential tool to the modern commuter.

Since the CB craze in the 70s and 80s has past it's gone back to being a useful network.. Even though you still get the occasional jackass with a linear amp who loves to say "world wide world wide world wide" on all frequencies at the same timerockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


That linear amp won't be worth shit when the power's out. My handheld runs on batteries as well. :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


When I carpool people ask.. Woah is that a CB? Like the bandit? What is that going to do for you, just listen to trucker bitch about women?? Then I get a bear report and the questions change focus to how to get into the CB gear.. I found that CB is an equity based network, if you want to get, you have to give.. Therefore I report all bears, all open pickle parks and road congestion on site and the useful information come flooding back in my way, can't begin to say how much ticket revenue that little $100 box has saved merockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


I am a communications junky, sat phone, vsat, bgan, air cards, HF radios...in the woods, on the water, on the road and in the air.. The works.

But the equipment I use the most besides my work computer, is the CB.. It's just so fun and useful, can't resist BSing about politics, finding good places to eat and avoiding the state troopers from bleeding me dry.

CB rules for long commutes, mine is 2 hours each way and I can't live without it.
Anonymous Coward
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11/29/2012 10:51 PM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
...


I have a cobra in the car, priceless for finding out where the bears are hiding out on the interstate.. CB is also great for local information and to ask about national trends such as fuel prices, supply disruptions and security check points from interstate truck drivers. CB is dirt cheap, easy to install and use. A vital prep and essential tool to the modern commuter.

Since the CB craze in the 70s and 80s has past it's gone back to being a useful network.. Even though you still get the occasional jackass with a linear amp who loves to say "world wide world wide world wide" on all frequencies at the same timerockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


That linear amp won't be worth shit when the power's out. My handheld runs on batteries as well. :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1044117


When I carpool people ask.. Woah is that a CB? Like the bandit? What is that going to do for you, just listen to trucker bitch about women?? Then I get a bear report and the questions change focus to how to get into the CB gear.. I found that CB is an equity based network, if you want to get, you have to give.. Therefore I report all bears, all open pickle parks and road congestion on site and the useful information come flooding back in my way, can't begin to say how much ticket revenue that little $100 box has saved merockon
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


What is the range on a good CB?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


3-5 miles depending on antenna position on car, height, your above ground level, mechanical obstructions like big trucks, buildings and trees. Also your equipment is important to know if your talking about a basic CB or if your planning to use single side band modes. CB is a very local tool, think of it as a grown up walky talky.. Some mods you can do to get layer skip for insane range but the other party will be unable to match or range so you get no response. The basic CB is limited to 4 watts to the antenna, and for it's intended use.. That's all your going to need. If you need more than that, try HF (slow, unsecured and poor quality.. But worldwide).. If you have a clear line of sight to the target, use microwave or laser.. It's cheaper and easier to use a satellite in most cases for point to point. And if it's only a few miles across country, say one town to another and you want to stay on the ground, a collection of wifi repeaters in mesh configuration placed each I'm range of each other using battery and solar works too, it's done exactly like that all over south America for earthquake telemetric data and to bring Internet to remote places cheaply.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
11/30/2012 12:05 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
]Thanks, you really know this stuff.

I'm a little skeptical that satellites will be available to us though. Or will they do everything in their power to keep satellites up and running?? Maybe that makes more sense, actually.


No problem, your concern is quite valid. In the US and in satelite navigation aids like GPS there is a wartime policy known as selective denial that will cause commercial, non DOD receivers to have a larger area or error, thus if your receiver does not have the proper codes when the policy is in effect, your precision is affected, but not so much as to make it totally useless, just useless for weapons guidance as gps is used as a nav aid for aircraft and marine traffic. Also there is strength in using multiple networks.. For example gps or NAVSTAR in the US system would loose precision in wartime but if your receiver also supported GLONASS (Russian gps system), and a few garmin of the shelf handsets do, you would be in good shape. Also diversity in satcom networks is also possible, since Inmarsat is a UK/EU government spinoff used not only for telephones at sea and in flight but also for SAR activity by many friendly governments and corporate interests.. Out if the reach of the us congress and too big to fail.. Iridium is heavily subsidized by the US military and both networks have plenty of spares in orbit.. Satellites in general are quite stable, and geostationary based systems like VSAT and Inmarsat rarely need to adjust orbits.. Their power systems are photovoltaic and thus have a endurance of years. Now they have threats like solar activity, space debris and even ASAT systems like ground based lasers, brilliant pebbles and even special missiles fired from fighters to take them out.. Problem being, real estate. It's unbelievably crowded up there.. Even in wartime, if you start taking out even a few birds.. Your going to loose yours too when they crash into the debris field.. So it's not likely to be a major threat unless it's on like donkey kong and "use 'em or loose-'em" is the final order given.. In that event.. "I would like a a pistol please.... For personal reasons"

Satellites are robust, they tend to stay in place and do their duty even in the worst of times.. that's why every gas station and supermarket in America has a VSAT dish to run inventory and credit card transactions (make a mental note of that too)

If they block access to vital satellites you can bet your ass that the HF and everything else will be jammed first.

Anyhow, do some modest research before committing to a network and remember that a well rehearsed plan to meet up with several alternate routes (some with basic provisions pre placed) and meeting locations is jam proof, EMP proof and free.

How copy? ohyeah
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/30/2012 12:08 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
]Thanks, you really know this stuff.

I'm a little skeptical that satellites will be available to us though. Or will they do everything in their power to keep satellites up and running?? Maybe that makes more sense, actually.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


No problem, your concern is quite valid. In the US and in satelite navigation aids like GPS there is a wartime policy known as selective denial that will cause commercial, non DOD receivers to have a larger area or error, thus if your receiver does not have the proper codes when the policy is in effect, your precision is affected, but not so much as to make it totally useless, just useless for weapons guidance as gps is used as a nav aid for aircraft and marine traffic. Also there is strength in using multiple networks.. For example gps or NAVSTAR in the US system would loose precision in wartime but if your receiver also supported GLONASS (Russian gps system), and a few garmin of the shelf handsets do, you would be in good shape. Also diversity in satcom networks is also possible, since Inmarsat is a UK/EU government spinoff used not only for telephones at sea and in flight but also for SAR activity by many friendly governments and corporate interests.. Out if the reach of the us congress and too big to fail.. Iridium is heavily subsidized by the US military and both networks have plenty of spares in orbit.. Satellites in general are quite stable, and geostationary based systems like VSAT and Inmarsat rarely need to adjust orbits.. Their power systems are photovoltaic and thus have a endurance of years. Now they have threats like solar activity, space debris and even ASAT systems like ground based lasers, brilliant pebbles and even special missiles fired from fighters to take them out.. Problem being, real estate. It's unbelievably crowded up there.. Even in wartime, if you start taking out even a few birds.. Your going to loose yours too when they crash into the debris field.. So it's not likely to be a major threat unless it's on like donkey kong and "use 'em or loose-'em" is the final order given.. In that event.. "I would like a a pistol please.... For personal reasons"

Satellites are robust, they tend to stay in place and do their duty even in the worst of times.. that's why every gas station and supermarket in America has a VSAT dish to run inventory and credit card transactions (make a mental note of that too)

If they block access to vital satellites you can bet your ass that the HF and everything else will be jammed first.

Anyhow, do some modest research before committing to a network and remember that a well rehearsed plan to meet up with several alternate routes (some with basic provisions pre placed) and meeting locations is jam proof, EMP proof and free.

How copy? ohyeah


I've got a copy 2378936, thanks. I think you convinced me on getting a few for the fam.
Anonymous Coward
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11/30/2012 12:22 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
will my cb get fried in EMP? it's not hooked up, currently.
Anonymous Coward
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11/30/2012 12:32 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?


I've got a copy 2378936, thanks. I think you convinced me on getting a few for the fam.


Sweet, just doing my part, also note iPhone 4S and up supports GLONASS AND NAVSTAR for location services.. Without any cell network.. Using only the satellites. Just get a non download based map application like ARCgis or Tom Tom Etc, pre load your 200 mile maps and you got one hell of a navigation aid for a $50 download. And if that fails some apps (like theodolite) can access the electronic compass and cross check them against the GPS, GLONASS and accelerometers to give a VERY precise fix even in less then optimal conditions. I would also buy the sectional aeronautical chart for your surrounding areas.. Don't download them as you need the printed scale for use with the plotter. With that and a compass you can get by even without any electronic nav aids.

Good luck!
Anonymous Coward
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11/30/2012 12:46 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
will my cb get fried in EMP? it's not hooked up, currently.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 26581136


The metal cabinet it's housed in and the exposed antenna interface on the back in concert with the power wires would conduct much mojo.. I would say it's toast. Military gear that is EMP hardened use both mechanical insulation, conductor isolation and sacrificial circuitry to stay alive.. So if I wanted to shield my gear and have the best chance of survival I would...

1) build a box of thick material like redi Crete.
2) line it internally with as much RF absorbent material as I can get my hands on such as Shieldfast

[link to www.devicetech.com]

3) incorporate a dissipation layer of grounded chicken wire into the outer layer of the box.. Ground it directly to the earth via a large gauge wire and stake. (the chicken wire works, it's used in the harrier's carbon fiber skin to dissipate energy and prevent catastrophic damage during lighting strikes)

4) burry that shit as far as you can in earth, water surrounding it from above would help too.

5) be prepared to reach no one with your working radio because almost nobody took the same countermeasures you didlflash

That should do it.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/30/2012 01:00 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


I've got a copy 2378936, thanks. I think you convinced me on getting a few for the fam.


Sweet, just doing my part, also note iPhone 4S and up supports GLONASS AND NAVSTAR for location services.. Without any cell network.. Using only the satellites. Just get a non download based map application like ARCgis or Tom Tom Etc, pre load your 200 mile maps and you got one hell of a navigation aid for a $50 download. And if that fails some apps (like theodolite) can access the electronic compass and cross check them against the GPS, GLONASS and accelerometers to give a VERY precise fix even in less then optimal conditions. I would also buy the sectional aeronautical chart for your surrounding areas.. Don't download them as you need the printed scale for use with the plotter. With that and a compass you can get by even without any electronic nav aids.

Good luck!




I really like the SPOT connect looking at it. One, we'll have our smart phones with us and it's one less thing to charge. If I'm understanding correctly, it doesn't matter if cell networks are down or not. Still tapping into the same satellite technology as the IsatPhone, no? Just without voice capability?

Would you agree that this would be sufficient to get everyone coordinated in my family via text or emails?
Anonymous Coward
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11/30/2012 01:21 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


I've got a copy 2378936, thanks. I think you convinced me on getting a few for the fam.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


Sweet, just doing my part, also note iPhone 4S and up supports GLONASS AND NAVSTAR for location services.. Without any cell network.. Using only the satellites. Just get a non download based map application like ARCgis or Tom Tom Etc, pre load your 200 mile maps and you got one hell of a navigation aid for a $50 download. And if that fails some apps (like theodolite) can access the electronic compass and cross check them against the GPS, GLONASS and accelerometers to give a VERY precise fix even in less then optimal conditions. I would also buy the sectional aeronautical chart for your surrounding areas.. Don't download them as you need the printed scale for use with the plotter. With that and a compass you can get by even without any electronic nav aids.

Good luck!




I really like the SPOT connect looking at it. One, we'll have our smart phones with us and it's one less thing to charge. If I'm understanding correctly, it doesn't matter if cell networks are down or not. Still tapping into the same satellite technology as the IsatPhone, no? Just without voice capability?

Would you agree that this would be sufficient to get everyone coordinated in my family via text or emails?


Yes, Spot connect uses the globalstar satellite constellation and has absolutely no local terrestrial dependencies. Same as the isatphone, actually easier to use for a beginner as the aiming of the antenna is not as critical as a satellite telephone handset. I've used this in forested areas (with a small clearing) and offshore.. Works as advertised. My friend uses the regular spot Velcroed to the dash of his 152 as a backup to a epirb. Works in flight, and in motion in a car as long as it has a clear view of the sky.. Glass without built in defroster is ok as it's transparent to RF energy.

Also remember that spot is a burst data modem and as such uses much less power then an open voice channel, consequently it will get through even if the network is at capacity.. Like SMS on a overburdened cell network. The global star network gets a bad rap for telephone service as their older birds had some decay to the main mission antennas, but that did not interfere with the simplex data portion of the system, now that they have been launching new birds to retire the older ones the phone service will also improve. It should be noted that spot has saved MANY lives and it's effectiveness as an asset tracking system and emergency locater/messages platform at that price point has no equal.

You should also consider the rescue plan that is offered at activation time, it covers helicopter airlift and is worth the price of the entire system by itself.
Kirk

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United States
11/30/2012 01:25 AM

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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
People work the world on 20 meters.
100 watts single side band.
Icom 706 is a nice radio
 Quoting: Kirk


Can you dumb this down for me? Are you saying you are speaking across the world with 100 watts Icom 706?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


correct
Worry is a misuse of the imagination.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/30/2012 01:44 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936


I've got a copy 2378936, thanks. I think you convinced me on getting a few for the fam.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


Sweet, just doing my part, also note iPhone 4S and up supports GLONASS AND NAVSTAR for location services.. Without any cell network.. Using only the satellites. Just get a non download based map application like ARCgis or Tom Tom Etc, pre load your 200 mile maps and you got one hell of a navigation aid for a $50 download. And if that fails some apps (like theodolite) can access the electronic compass and cross check them against the GPS, GLONASS and accelerometers to give a VERY precise fix even in less then optimal conditions. I would also buy the sectional aeronautical chart for your surrounding areas.. Don't download them as you need the printed scale for use with the plotter. With that and a compass you can get by even without any electronic nav aids.

Good luck!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2378936




I really like the SPOT connect looking at it. One, we'll have our smart phones with us and it's one less thing to charge. If I'm understanding correctly, it doesn't matter if cell networks are down or not. Still tapping into the same satellite technology as the IsatPhone, no? Just without voice capability?

Would you agree that this would be sufficient to get everyone coordinated in my family via text or emails?


Yes, Spot connect uses the globalstar satellite constellation and has absolutely no local terrestrial dependencies. Same as the isatphone, actually easier to use for a beginner as the aiming of the antenna is not as critical as a satellite telephone handset. I've used this in forested areas (with a small clearing) and offshore.. Works as advertised. My friend uses the regular spot Velcroed to the dash of his 152 as a backup to a epirb. Works in flight, and in motion in a car as long as it has a clear view of the sky.. Glass without built in defroster is ok as it's transparent to RF energy.

Also remember that spot is a burst data modem and as such uses much less power then an open voice channel, consequently it will get through even if the network is at capacity.. Like SMS on a overburdened cell network. The global star network gets a bad rap for telephone service as their older birds had some decay to the main mission antennas, but that did not interfere with the simplex data portion of the system, now that they have been launching new birds to retire the older ones the phone service will also improve. It should be noted that spot has saved MANY lives and it's effectiveness as an asset tracking system and emergency locater/messages platform at that price point has no equal.

You should also consider the rescue plan that is offered at activation time, it covers helicopter airlift and is worth the price of the entire system by itself.


Awesome, thanks for all your help and sharing your expertise. SPOT sounds like the way to go for what I'll need.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/30/2012 01:45 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
People work the world on 20 meters.
100 watts single side band.
Icom 706 is a nice radio
 Quoting: Kirk


Can you dumb this down for me? Are you saying you are speaking across the world with 100 watts Icom 706?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 140124


correct
 Quoting: Kirk


So you have a really boss antenna or what then?
Anonymous Coward
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11/30/2012 01:48 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?





EMP CANNOT TOUCH THESE RADIOS, THEY ARE NUKE-PROOF.
FUCK THE HAM RADIO LICENSE, IF IT'S SHTF.

GET THE RADIOS AND DIPOLE ANTENNAS AND BE READY
MaryAlananB

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11/30/2012 02:01 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
If they use an emp that is big enough it will also fry satellites that are line of sight. Easy enough to protect ham gear, Metal box that is grounded with any seams and the lid taped with conductive copper tape. There will be signs things are going bad and that will be the signal to protect electronics.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/30/2012 02:04 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
If they use an emp that is big enough it will also fry satellites that are line of sight. Easy enough to protect ham gear, Metal box that is grounded with any seams and the lid taped with conductive copper tape. There will be signs things are going bad and that will be the signal to protect electronics.
 Quoting: MaryAlananB


You'd think they would need satellites for military stuff. Not gonna take out everyone's satellites and just wing it.

And if that's the case then my car ain't working either, so chances are slim I'd get to my parents 150 km away anyways.
Anonymous Coward
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11/30/2012 02:11 AM
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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
I am so happy you asked this question.

First I would like to start off by saying what country would want to shut down communication unless it was to eat their own. Syria, lasted 1 hour.

Second, Where are the military men? I mean really this site is bugged out, 24 7. Heading towards the hill, can't take the Mayan out of the English. wut?

You remember the tin can theory? Homing Doves? When my great great grandpa rode through town with a bottle of Jack instead of Captain we all knew he was wasted and being chased. What is your condition.
Snuffielover

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Russian Federation
11/30/2012 02:14 AM

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Re: Communication When SHTF - Best Radio? Other Ideas?
As a good 'scanner' that covers a lot of bands I'd choose the Tecsun PL-660. It's cheap, has great battery life (especially if you upgrade from the standard 1300 mAh cells to something like 2800 mAh) and covers most of the needed radio spectrum. Not being allowed to send radio transmissions here in Russia yet, I wouldn't know what a good transmitter would be. But I doubt you'd want to be transmitting out in the open if S hits the F. Perhaps some kind of short burst solution hopping on a wide band of freqs from a self-made SDR transmitter?
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