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Communications Grid Down Communications - sparks31 2014

Vol 1 - Sparks31

  1. melbo
    3% Signal Corps | There is no news. There is only the truth of the signal.

    Grid Down Communications


    Table of Contents
    • Considerations For Grid-Down Communications
    • The Plan
    • VHF/UHF Radio Communications Monitoring
      • EQUIPMENT
      • Scanners vs Communications Receivers vs USB SDRs
        • What Do I Buy?
        • Full 800 MHz. Reception
      • ANTENNAS
      • BASIC COMMUNICATIONS MONITORING TECHNIQUES
        • Search Techniques
        • Frequency Band By Mobile Antenna
        • Frequency Band By Handheld Antenna
        • Spread Spectrum
        • Encryption
      • INTRODUCTION TO SIGNAL ANALYSIS
      • COMMUNICATIONS MONITORING NOTES
      • PORTABLE RADIO FREQUENCIES
        • VHF-Low
        • VHF-High
        • UHF
        • 800 MHz
      • GOT VISUAL ?
      • THE BUBBA DETECTOR
    • Radio Services Available For Use
    • Radio Communications For Dummies – Sparks' Version
    • CB – Citizens Band
      • 11 METER “FREEBAND ”
    • FRS – Family Radio Service
    • MURS – Multi-Use Radio Service
    • 902-928 MHz
    • Amateur (Ham) Radio
      • QRP RADIOS
      • BOAT ANCHOR RADIOS , MILITARY SURPLUS , AND OLDER GEAR
      • RIG RECOMMENDATIONS
        • HF Gear
        • Older HF Rigs
        • VHF Radios
    • Appendix
      • FCC FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS
      • “COMMUNICATIONS ” FROM US ARMY FIELD MANUAL FM 31-20, SPECIAL FORCES OPERATIONAL TECHNIQUES

    Considerations For Grid-Down Communications

    The lack of viable broadcast news media even at the present situation mandates that you conduct communications monitoring activities in order to get an accurate picture of activities in your area of operations (AO). During a grid-down scenario, this capability will become even more important. If you do nothing else in the way of radio communications, you must at the very least have an adequate communications monitoring setup.

    Your communications equipment will need to be capable of operating independent of the power grid. The lack of consistent reliable electric utility service in a grid-down scenario means that you will have to produce your own power for communications. This equates to rechargeable batteries and alternative power systems. Fortunately there are several solutions available to address this consideration.

    The limited quantity of electricity from self-generation means that you should use the lowest amount of RF power needed to establish reliable communications. Ham radio has a subset of low-power communications known as QRP, and many hobbyists use this technique exclusively. QRP radios also have other advantages that make them appealing for grid-down communications.

    Many grid-down scenarios will have you operating in field locations. Your equipment should be portable or at least easily transportable. This applies to most QRP radios, by the way.

    Commercial electronic repair facilities will not be available in a long-term grid-down scenario. At best you may have access to a retired electronic repair technician or advanced hobbyist with a small personal collection of common parts
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    and basic test equipment. Some of your equipment should be capable of being repaired under these conditions. This means the use of common components, either vacuum tubes or discrete solid state devices, with point-to-point wiring or simple thru-hole PC Boards. This is typical radio construction up to the 1980s, and is still done with homebrew rigs.

    Interestingly enough, the concepts of QRP (low-power), off-grid operation, portable communications equipment, and homebrew gear are all interconnected and very popular among a significant segment of the amateur radio community to the point of several activities such as SOTA (Summits On The Air) catering to hams who are into this sort of thing.

    Socio-political effects of a grid-down scenario may make it necessary for you to implement some form of communications security (COMSEC). Depending on the specific type and severity of the scenario, you may be facing threats ranging from bandits with a police scanner to a professional signals intelligence (SIGINT) asset.

    Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0
    3% Signal Corps | There is no news. There is only the truth of the signal.

    Acknowledgments:
    HH6 & Heiress Apparent, J.P. Martin, Ticom, SFC Steve Barry (Ret.), CA/WRSA, Dan Morgan, John Mosby, Kerodin, Richard M. Nixon (deceased), and everyone else who wished to remain anonymous.

    Per the (CC BY-SA 4.0), no changes were made to this work.
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