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About radio communication in an uncertain future

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by wastelander, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    I'm on the market sort of for a radio-setup that would work independently without any receivers or transmitters or anything like that. Like a walkie talkie.
    I am totally new to this area, the only radio-training I had was during my military training and as with most things learned in the military they only work as long as you have the army behind you to repair and fix your gear.
    Since Sweden is a little bit behind on these things we were trained on old gear also and I was able to collect the exact same gear as a civilian a couple of years ago. For those of you old enough to remember I think Iv'e seen similar contraptions in Vietnam-movies. And I did my service in 1998-2001.

    This is what we in Sweden call the RA-145/146 (I have worked both and I see no difference what so ever between the two, maybe they ran out of 5's or something?) My 146 has an extra jack on it but a guy in my group also has a 146 and it does not have it. Like I said, no expert.

    And this is an RA-135. It is called a *cough* handheld reconnaissance unit. Very stealthy indeed when you crawl under barbwire with a 7 ft knife-sharp foldable antenna inside your uniform and a sharp edged brick in your leg pocket that is slowly sawing your leg of. Especially with the "Earpiece" that I dont have but we had back then with a spiral cable as thick as a babys arm, that is just a little bit to short to allow you to keep the radio in the pocket and use it at the same time, and just a little bit to long for you to just save the enemy the bullet and hang yourself in it.

    (During simulated events since we were at peace at the time, but the feeling was very real)

    Today the troops have better gear I'm sure or they might as well just wear bright pink and listen to disco on a boombox strapped to their backs when out scouting.

    And for close range (well, these units aren't really long range with modern standards, but still) Two of these babies are in use today actually as a crazy-man-intercom between the garage and the house and the basement if, God forbids, my wife would want a word with me.

    Now, I am looking for something smaller that one can carry on ones person that would work seamlessly with the 145/145 and 135. Why I just don't drive these dinosaurs to the junkjard? I have problems throwing working stuff away, and I trust them. They are older than me and they work just as bad as they did the day they rolled of that production line, chances are they'll keep on working.
    Plan is I'll have one of the big ones in my car and one in my home or my BOL depending on what happens.
    I'm thinking some sort of walkie-talkie type unit.

    I have also been thinking about something long range, you know, to try and get in touch with the mainland (I live out on an island in the middle of the Baltic) without any satelite-stuff or anything like that, but oldschool radiowaves you know. And ofcourse try and contact the polaks (about the same distance) so I can chat with east-block chicks after SHTF and try and hustle me some cheap vodka. I love Poland <3

    Does anyone know any good links written in somewhat simple English where a total dummy can pick up the basics in handling a HAM-radio? I see those go quite cheap on fleamarkets and whatnot, complete with antennas quite cheap. Problem is I know as much about those as I do about sewing. And the legs on my pants haven't met since I tried to turn them into shorts.

    Any and all input is welcome and appreciated.

    05. bloggOrPage_082844202_111333. Ra_146_1.JPG PICT2836. radioberedskap1.JPG
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    w/l, you might start here
    Getting Started - Survival Comms
    and see if there isn't something there useful for you. At first glance, your goal looks fuzzy, and that thread may help you focus your wants and needs a bit.
  3. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Do not forget plain old hand held civilian walkie talkies like Midland/Nextel (355). They are good for short distances which may be good (less detectable).
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    First Off, We (who are giving advice here) need to remember that he is NOT in the USA, so we MUST understand that the Sweds have different Band Assignments that we do.... The iDen SECURE Phones may or may NOT be useable in his country, as well as any FRS/GMRS type Units. I need to do a bit of research on the RA-145/146 Units to see just what their capabilities are, and what Frequencies they use, for Comms, as well as what .Gov Licensing is required for in-country Operations. If he was in the USA, then I could answer most of those from memory, but Sweden, is a totally different "Can of Worms"....
  5. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    Sorry buddy, I should have added some more technical information, it's just that I'm not very good with these sort of things, I just turn stuff on and expect them to work.
    This is from the manual, copied into google translate



    CLEAR FM (frequency modulation) PROTECTION MSK (Minimum Shift Keying, ie, frequency shift)
    Phone: Analogue or digital
    Data: 30 char / s, 16 kbit / s
    Frequency Range: 30.000 to 87.975 MHz
    Channel spacing: 25 kHz
    Number of Channels: 2320 pcs
    Number presettable channels: 8
    Remote control: All functions except the on / off and the received signal level.
    Manufacturer: LM Ericsson
    Price: about 100 000kr including DART

    radio 180
    Weight: about 10 kg (with accessories)
    Output: low position: 0,025 W, Normal mode: 5W
    Range: 5 W, normal antenna Approximately 8 km,
    5 W, march antenna About 4 km
    Power Supply: Battery 12 V 5 Ah, or power-försörjningsdon Ra 180 from fordonsnät 10-32 V
    Operating time: about 10 hours at -10 ° C and S / M ratio 1:9,
    shorter time when DART 380 is powered by the radio

    Radio 480 (Ra 180 Mobile)
    Weight: approximately 17 kg (with accessories)
    Output: low position: 0,025 W, Normal mode: 5W. High range: 50W
    Range: 50 W, vehicle antenna Approximately 20 km
    50 W. High tin 2 Approximately 30 km
    Power supply: 20-32 V fordonsnät

    DART 380

    Message length: up to 200 char / message
    Weight: about 2.5 kg

    Memory Charger 180
    Recording nätprogram: Top 12
    Power supply: 12 V from Ra 180/480
    Weight: 0.4 kg
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ok that makes more sense.... so it is a wideband FM Analog System, with a Digital MOD Package added and uses standard Milspec Frequency Coverage. This Unit will be able to communicate in wideband FM Analog Mode, with any Ham 6 Meter or Commercial Low Band (30-55 Mhz) VHF Radio System, one could come across. Figure with Portable to Portable Comms distances at about 5 Km Max in forested country, and maybe 1.5 times that over water. The Mobile Units will have 30 Km coverage, Mobile to Mobile, and Mobile to Portable your back down 5 Km, due to the Portable Tx Power, is the limiting factor. Digital Comms will cover about the same Ranges, but with better Security of Messaging..... Now as far a Legal Licensing, that isn't an Option, here in the USA, using those Units, EXCEPT, in the 6 Meter Ham band. (50-54 Mhz) The rest is .MIL, and Commercial, which MUST be Narrowband FM in the USA. In Sweden, I suspect that things are quite different, in that they are in ITU Region 1, and will follow the EU Rules.....
    wastelander likes this.
  7. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Are those not old military radios BT?
    On another note BT--Son/grand children are camping in Denali. You close to there?
    wastelander likes this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yep, Standard MilSpec FM Comm Units...... apparently, with a Digital MOD Package added.....
  9. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    The one looks like the old PRC 25/77 - the -25 has a tube final, the 77 is all solid state.

    Been my experience that most .mil units, outside of HF, aren't all that useful owing to the wideband FM modulation.

    As far as electronics knowledge, the US Navy has the NEET classes posted on line

    NEETS - Navy Electricity
    and Electronics Training Series

    All the modules are online and free to the Internet, thanks to the US Taxpayer. Enjoy and you're welcome
  10. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Pretty sure he has a PRC- 77, the connections look right but as you said DKR, the guts will tell which model it is .... they would be okay in a set for local comm's... bout it though.
  11. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    I was told that they were actually the very same ones that the US used during the Vietnam-era? I don't know. I was told alot of weird stuff during my service.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  12. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    The PRC-77 was a great durable radio set... down sides though are: FM homing is a cinch for anyone with the gear to come right in on you if your radio discipline is not tight, the batteries need to be replaced often in a carry mode.... a three day supply will add up in weight (I can testify), and if anyone gets your radio and wants to mimick your signal for disinformation, you best hope you are using, freq changes regularly and encrypted code or they will pull down your signal all day long and beat you with it.
    BTPost and wastelander like this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Basically these are 40 year old technology, that has been MOD'ed to add a Digital capability, that is two decades old.... There is much better Hardware available today, using Modern Technology, and even in the commercial marketplace. The newer Spread Spectrum Technology makes much of the Tracking, and Monitoring Technology of the past decades moot. This give users a much better chance at SECURE Comms. ...... YMMV....
    Yard Dart likes this.
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