Coded Communication

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Gooey, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Gooey

    Gooey Monkey

    I've had this idea in my head for awhile, that I would like to develop a communication grid that would use the same words but have different meanings depending on the order they come over the transmission. The part I'm stuck on is how to categorize things. So far I'm thinking Location - Heading - Action - Time - Time to Next Transmission. What sort of things would you like to see. This boils down to talking over the radios and being able to say something like Alpha - Foxtrot - Romeo and the receiver would look at their code book and understand that it might mean Moving from Primary LZ or something. I looking for some help to develop this into something full fledged that I can stick in the bug out vehicles and bags.

    Thanks for any help you guys can give.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    AmericanRedoubt1776 and BTPost like this.
  3. Gooey

    Gooey Monkey

    Thanks for that info. At first glance it seems to cover everything. Now just o sit down and fill in the grid.
  4. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    The one thing that those that give out advise on survival comm's forget is the security aspect.. Poor security will get you and those with you dead..
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    As the one who wrote the MonkeyNet White Paper, and with the Development Team, setup the protocols for use, I second the above post. Security, and OPSEC demands that a very tight control must be maintained on KeySets, and Generated PADs. If these are Secure, then the associated Comms are SECURE. In the White Paper, there are protocols, that come into play if any KeySet, or PAD, is even thought to have been compromised. These protocols are explicit and must be followed, in order to keep the Security of the Network, intact. Any break in the Protocol, requires a complete rebuilding of that link in the Network. My family uses the MonkeyNet Technology, for SECURE Comms, but we NEVER mix Networks, between MonkeyNet, and FamilyNet in our Secure Comms. The technology is available to anyone, who would like to have it, but MonkeyNet KeySets, and PADS, are only available to vetted Users. If you are interested in obtaining the technology, PM me, and I can get you going. If you are a known Monkey, and are interested in joining the MonkeyNet, then after getting passed the Founders Represenative, we can get you started thru the vetting process. Our Founders are very picky, about who they let in, for obvious OPSEC reasons, but that does NOT mean that you can not build your own Network, for yourself, and group, using the technology. The only things that need to be held SECURE, are the KeySets and Generated PADs, that are common to both ends of the Comm Link, not the technology. .....
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  6. Gooey

    Gooey Monkey

    I think my plan is too delvelop "2 systems". A simple one with a small grid for simple communications that i can practice with my children and be used in the initial emergency and then a more developed one that is more robust like the MonkeyNet.
    The issue I have is filling in the grid. I'm afraid I will forget something or not think of something. I guess the best solution into try. Better to have something then nothing at all.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    What I do is use a generated single Level Phrase PAD, that is specific to my local AoO, with no Row/Column Numbering. Then put a Message Header PAD on the back, Print it, and then Plasticize it to make it weather-proof. For simple local Comms, you can just use the Upper Left as 0:0. For more critical Comms, you can use the Header Message PAD to generate a Header Message that sets the Row/Column Addressing.
    The first is simple enough for children. I have tested this with my Grandchildren, and it is very easy for them, (8 & 6 Year olds) to operate, with Upper Left as 0:0 addressing. They use my SECURE Phones, and all you hear is a few Number Streams, as they code the messages on the fly. Makes a great Game, while teaching them SECURE Comms. The OnePad System can be as simple, or as complex, as it needs to be, for the security of the Message, that is coded. My daughter has taught her two boys, (14 & 12) how to use GPG on their computer, and they are very good at dealing with KeySets, and PADs. It is still a Game for them, to message their Friends, and exchange Encrypted Messages and File, that are NSA-SnoopProof. That makes it relevant for them, considering the NEWS of the Day.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  8. Gooey

    Gooey Monkey

    Thank you for the idea. I will drop an example and maybe I can get a critique. Thanks again for all the info and suggestions.
  9. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    The biggest problem with Monkey Net and similar data protocols is that you need at least one working computer and a modest level of skill to use it. As great as they are, there is no argument around the fact that a computer based system adds a layer of complexity to your comms and seriously takes away the "simple and low-tech" aspect that preppers/survivalists like to go for. Also, a determined person with radio direction finding equipment will still be able to chase down your transmissions. Even if they do not know the content of the transmission, at the very least they will know someone with enough spare power to push a computer is out there somewhere.

    Here is how I am handling the issue:

    • Low power ham radio handhelds with rubber antennas are ideal for the immediate area. They have a range of a mile or so. Anyone outside that range is not going to hear us, and anyone inside that range is close enough to be a problem whether they can eavesdrop on our comms or not. The matter more or less takes care of itself. The most secure comms are the ones no one can hear.
    • Avoid talking about sensitive topics to begin with. Ask yourself: "Will anyone care about what I am saying?" Speak in generic language: NO: "Tevin, come to the Elm street bridge! I just found a pallet full of MREs and I can't carry them!" YES: "I need an assist at ___." The given location should be generic too: "the old tree", "the hill", "point B", etc. There is no need to have long, involved conversations. Make yourself someone not worth listening to. The second most secure comms are short, boring and devoid of detail.
    • Think of situations when passing detailed information cannot be avoided. Weigh how often this will be needed against the hassle and expense of having the resources to secure the comms.
    • Wired field telephones to fixed points within your area are ideal. Military surplus sets are out there, or you can make them from ordinary consumer phones.
    • I personally feel that the danger of being hunted down via radio direction finding equipment is way overstated. The required gear is not in wide circulation and it takes some skill to use it. I have bigger things to worry about.
    tulianr likes this.
  10. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    I'm sorry, this is simply not true. Not to be harsh, but:
    1) MonkeyNet isn't a protocol of any kind, it's an infrastructure within which there are some pre-defined technologies that can be used. Yes, a computer makes it faster but is absolutely NOT required.
    2) Technology doesn't mean computers. It can include computers but it does NOT need one. A hammer is technology, the wheel is technology, the cotton gin is technology.
    3) I can, with pencil and paper, create two identical 10x10 grids in less than 2 minutes and using it is NOT hard. If you haven't actually sat down and tried using it, you really can't speak to the difficulty. If you have tried and weren't able to, you need to sit down with it and invest some time in it and/or ask for help because the implementation is just not difficult. It's not "fast" but it certainly isn't so hard that only a computer can do it.
    4) The concept behind the pad is not new to MonkeyNet and can be as simple or complex as you like. The first time it was recorded as being in introduced for use is the late 1800's and I guarantee with 100% conviction that they didn't have computers then. (One-time pad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Lastly, though, if you don't feel it works for you...don't use it, but I would suggest not dismissing something out of hand because you feel it has no utility or you don't know how to use it. And while you are correct that the introduction of a computer is added complexity, the use of a one-time or even many use pad does not presuppose the use of a computer.

    Case in point, my grandparents (WWII) used the equivalent of a pad, not just code words, for my grandfather to tell my grandmother where and when they would be in port. She was one of a half-dozen wives that would ALWAYS be there when he came in. The other women had worked something similar out with their husbands and it wasn't using code words because those would have stood out in the message and been intercepted.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes, DarkLight is absolutely RIGHT, on this point. We use OnePad.exe to generate our PADs simply because it is easier, and faster, than the Pencil & Paper way, HOWEVER a computer is NOT REQUIRED, or necessary, to build a PAD. The simplicity of the One Time PAD System, is that even a 10 year old Child can learn to use it, in an hour. A Phrase PAD, that is designed for local AoO use, and used effectively, and often, in daily Comms, gets to the point that it is totally Memory Based, and not even the PAD, is required. Just a few of Number Pairs, over a unSECURE Radio Link. can communicate to the receiving Party, a complete message. This is not Rocket Science. but it IS Totally SECURE Comms from any type of Crack, or Break, as long as the PAD, itself, is SECURE on both ends of the Link. ......
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    [quote="Tevin, post: 286231, member: 12005"] I personally feel that the danger of being hunted down via radio direction finding equipment is way overstated. The required gear is not in wide circulation and it takes some skill to use it. I have bigger things to worry about.

    Actually, Finding a Comm Channel is trivial these days with the SDR/USB based Receivers that have been around for the last year, or so. It used to be that one needed a VERY good Spectrum Analyzer to see what, or who, is emitting RF in your AoO, but that has now gone the way of the DoDo Bird, as SDRs have made that Job, very easy, and dirt cheap. DFing is also getting much easier because of the same Technology, and by adding a Dual Antenna Phased Array FrontEnd System. In it's simplest form it gives you very definable Left/Right Cues when following an RF Emitter. We used such systems, back in the day, when I was with the FCC. Then it took a Van full of gear to do this job. Now it takes a LapTop, and an Antenna System, mounted on the roof of a vehicle, to Ident, an RF Emitter by Frequency & Power, and then Track that Emitter down to it's source. The Mapping technology of Google Earth can be made to do all the Bearing Line calculations in Realtime, and a fixed Emitter, is trivial to find. Moving Emitters are just a bit harder to do, but if you watched "Zero Dark Thirty" they show such an "Ident and Track" senerio, that was done in the last couple of years, to find the "Bin Lauden Courier", while he was using a Cellphone, while driving in a crowded City. ...... YMMV.....
  13. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    Question, and forgive my ignorance, but through the use of a computer would greatly speed the transmission of any messages via radio, would this not decrease the time of transmition and such decrease the exposure to DX,ing??

    Thank you BT.. There is the ansewer to my question.. That is what I was thinking would be the case. Near instant ID of location of a TX..
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2013
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    That would depend on the the connection between the Computer and the Radio, as well as the Modulation Bandwidth used to move the message, across the link. With Voice, reading the message, NO, but with a direct Digital Link between, the computer and the Radio, and a fairly fast, and wide Modulation Bandwidth, a message can be sent in a matter of a second or two. I use an APRS link on 449Mhz between Momma's and My Handheld DualBand Radios, and back to the Base DualBand Radio, and the total time of a RF Message Burst is never longer than 2 Seconds. Encoded in each RF Burst can be GPS Coordinates, and the Number Pairs for the FamilyNet Phrase PAD Message. The complete APRS Message can hold up to 64 Charactors. so THAT GIVES 32 Phrases available in each Message. Usually plenty of room for most Messages. With a custom Modulation and Wide Bandwidth Comm Link that can be dropped significantly, but APRS is an established System that can be bought "Off the Shelf"... Our Base Radio is connected to the LAN here, and any computer on the LAN can LogIn, and then Read, and or respond, to any received APRS Message, or generate it's own APRS Message, that is sent out to the local AoO.

    Hey Dont, Was it you that left a Message for Me, on my profile Page, about MonkeyNet? If so, resend it as a PM (conversation) and I will respond ASAP....
  15. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    Ignorance is not bliss.. Am learning to move around here..
    Last year when this subject came up in a conversation I had really started to consider just how to ensure sec. comm's.. With multiple groups widely dispersed in an area, secure comm. will be necessary.. Well, let us say my imagination just cut loose..
  16. milton6994

    milton6994 Monkey+

    Not true. All it takes is two receivers with cheap loop antennas. Triangulation is the key to location.

    To avoid being located, just keep your transmissions short, change frequencies often, and stay moble.
    tulianr likes this.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Cheap Loop Antennas will work for HF, but would be useless for VHF/UHF Emitters. Bearing Lines have a certain unreliability, and the farther from the source, one is, the worse that unreliability error, becomes. If your source is 50 miles away, and your Bearing Line is +/- 3 degrees, that is a whole lot of Uncertainty, and Ground to cover.... This is why for MonkeyNet, we use SECURE Phones for any local AoO Comms. The nature of the Spread Spectrum Frequency Hopping Digital Emission keeps these from being DF'd, as well as Scanned, or Monitored. .....
    tulianr likes this.
  18. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    You're reading too much into my statement. I didn't say it was impossible. I only said that the "threat" is overblown. I'm not a psychologist, but my gut tells me that a lot of the fear of radio DF that almost seems like an obsessive phobia in many prepper circles is in large part based on one's own inflated sense of self importance, ie, we want to believe that what we're saying is worthy of attention above the ocean of other traffic flying around out there. Please understand that the preceding statement is a general observation of human behavior; I'm not specifically referring to any individual participating in this topic.

    And as BT Post explained, loop antennas only get you "in the ballpark" and only on HF. Also, you need two receivers placed many miles apart.

    In organized events, ham "fox hunters" have the benefit of knowing the general locale of the target transmitter (and it is usually sending a continuous, steady signal). Even then, there is a lot of guesswork. Now extend that concept to a survival situation where not only are there no predetermined boundaries or "easy" signals, the DF hunter must want to find his target bad enough to navigate possible hostile territory with no assurance he will find anything useful.

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
    Yard Dart and tulianr like this.
  19. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    I find much truth in each of the three preceding posts. I spent a career in Signals Intelligence and Electronic Warfare. When I started out, better than thirty years ago, we still used loop antennas; and it is true that their accuracy leaves something to be desired. If you could get a signal down to ten square kilometers, with three very good teams, after a lot of transmission time, you called it a good day. Still, it was much better than having no idea at all where a signal was coming from.

    When I left the field, the teams were vehicle mounted, and a press of one button would sync the computerized intercept equipment from all three teams, and near instantaneously provide a triangulated fix to within a square kilometer or so, all variables being near ideal. All it took was three to five seconds of transmission time, if the frequency was fixed, and already known.

    That was the tactical side of the house.

    The strategic side of the house was another matter entirely. A press of a button would sync the onboard intercept receivers from multiple overhead vehicles, comparing the Time Distance of Arrival, and Time Distance of Intercept TOA/TOI, and provide an emitter location accurate enough to program into a cruise missile, so as to assure destruction of the target. The program was sophisticated enough to interface with a terrain mapping program, and provide you with not just a lat/long, but with the elevation of the target and a three dimensional representation of the location of the emitter antenna, showing you on which side of the slope it was situated. Capability at the strategic level is downright scary.

    But first, you have to attract the attention of the powers that be. Then, you have to warrant expenditure of resources, at the tactical or strategic level. There are so many threats out there, foreign and domestic, that rating those resources is almost a compliment to ones fearsome capabilities. Either that, or it is a condemnation of ones stupidity for not staying under the radar in the first place.
  20. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    Out of sight , out of mind... As I had told others when discussions lean this way..
    tulianr likes this.
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