Comm and ID'ing ourselves post SHTF

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by CBMS, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    One of my old Ham Clubs used to have a fox hunt. Chasing a .25 watts signal on 2 meters about 20--25 air miles; it took a few mobiles and 4 base stations with stacked Yagis under 3 hours to be driving the road I was hiding near.
    Military would be under a few minutes with a response of any thing from an eagle flight, tact air or an artillery barrage as incoming.
  2. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Consider brevity codes and short transmissions with frequent, pre-approved frequency hops. A one time book code would work also, instead of a brevity code.
    GhettoPass and tulianr like this.
  3. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

  4. Espada

    Espada Monkey+

    Field phones. The "I'm here to help you" crowd has ulta-sensitive DF capabilities. You radio, any code, and freq, and warheads will impact your pos in minutes.
  5. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    The last time I was at a tactical SigInt unit, in 1995 (a long time ago in technology years), our computerized intercept/DF suite could provide a pretty accurate fix on a low-power VHF transmitter, to within a hundred yards or so, with five to ten seconds of transmission time. The more hits, or the longer the transmission, the more accurate the fix.

    Our portable system was capable of being vehicular mounted, and was digitally interconnected, meaning that only one intercept operator needed to press his DF button on his lap top, and all three units would automatically take a Line Of Bearing (LOB). The originator of the DF request would get all three LOBs on his screen, along with an estimated fix (location of transmitter), overlaid on a topographic map, that could include roads, administrative boundaries, etc, at the operator's preference.

    That was 15 years ago, and that was our basic intercept suite. I taught for another six years after I left a tactical unit, and had the opportunity to see even more interesting items hitting the field than what we had. I'm not even going to get into drone mounted intercept systems, and the more sophisticated assets that our civilian clothes counterparts could make available to us on request.

    Hiding communications from minimally sophisticated raiders is very possible with a little bit of preparation. Hiding them from a government agency, particularly our own government, is less likely. It depends on how much data you're trying to transmit, how many outstations are in your network, how often your network is active, what your power setting is, and how badly they want you.

    Staying under the radar would be my best suggestion for avoiding government-sponsored SigInt elements - Short transmissions. Innocuous sounding transmissions. The more sophisticated the encryption system is, the more interest it will generate. You may only be saying hello, but to the intercept operator, if you are going to that much trouble to hide it, it must be something important. More and more assets will be called in until the stations are identified or nullified.

    Just some personal thoughts from someone who spent years under the headphones, looking for signals. (y)
    Garand69, Yard Dart, Falcon15 and 2 others like this.
  6. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Falcon15 likes this.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I KNOW what the USA Civilian Government has, that can be fielded in any reasonable length of time. What I wonder about, and need to better Research, is should Marshal Law be enacted, and the Posse Comitatus Act Statue be circumvented, just how many Military Mobile SigIntel Units could be fielded, and how would they be distributed cross the country. I also wonder, and would need to research, how well these units could, and can, function in the High RF Environment, that is present, in, and around, the cities of the USA. Having been active in the Federal Civilian end of this for many years, I have a good feel for that end of things, but as I was never in the Military, and only spent a limited time with them, dealing with these issues, I do NOT have a good feel for their end, of things, other than what I did gained, while observing a few Field Ops, run by such Units. Just wondering.... Inquiring Minds, want to know... Real Data, not speculation.....
    Sapper John and tulianr like this.
  8. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    All I have to say is :
    Smoke signals and flashing mirrors. Nothing to intercept.
    Me knowum nothing, me seeum nothing.
    Sapper John and ghrit like this.
  9. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    If comm is not needed immediately, dead drop
    send a runner, raise a flag, fire a flare if needed to communicate in a more timely fashion.

    either way, change your cypher regularly and don't re-use it.
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    That was a given; so is such assets are always protected a certainty.

    Why would one desire to seriously peeve off the enemy when all one needs to do is not transmit?
  11. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Sometimes, over vast distances, one MUST communicate with a patrol, outpost, or community. The Pony Express is dead. In a SHTF scenario, a post rider would be a brave, and possibly dead man. Expedient comms in a battle scenario are key as well, unless you have telepathy.

    Damned if you do, damned if you do not. Pick yer poison.
    tulianr likes this.
  12. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Using Vietnam era TO&E, if you see a few 81mm mortars; you are looking at a line company. If you see 4.2" mortars it is H&HC which also means there are line companies in the AO.
    To be effective at "recon;" one must learn how to interpret what one sees. If and when one sees RDF gear etc and "must" transmit; advise your whoever don't answer unless they are looking for a fight.
    Remember, the RDF gear is there to locate targets for the Infantry or arty or air. So keying microphones is what they want. If you are looking at a platoon; most likely they wouldn't have RDF gear etc.
    AFA, a battle, if and when you are in contact; it really doesn't matter anymore.
    Yard Dart, BTPost and Sapper John like this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    One of the reasons that I like the iDen/ISM Phones so much is they use Spread Spectrum Technology, and are Digitally Modulated. This makes the UNScannable, and even very hard to DF as they are never on any one frequency for more than .1 Millisecond. It takes Truckload of equipment to even tell that they are transmitting. I have a very good Techtronix Spectrum Analyzer, and have looked at the RF output of these units extensively. If you had know idea where to look, they could easily be seen as Background Noise, and not a RF signal at all. .... YMMV.....
  14. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Somehow, I can't see a mode of transmission so stealth secure the military could not detect it could exist. However, intercepting FHSS (freq hopping spread spectrum) then reassembling the messages even with the messages not being encrypted sounds close to impossible. Detecting the existence of a signal, IMO, is another story.

    If undetectable communications exist it would change every form of communications in land, naval or air warfare. Espionage could bug anything; real time covert communications from any place in the world..

    However, I can easily see it being possible if they aren't looking or remotely paying attention.

    The remotely was a reminder of when the Russians bugged the US embassy with a voice activated bug for six years. :D
    The Great Seal Bug Story - Russian Eavesdropping - Leon Theremin

    Civilian eXRS (Extreme radio service ;)); if anyone is interested in a 900 MHz narrow band FM radio which frequency hops: TriSquare - 2-way Radio - Beyond FRS Beyond GMRS eXRS (TM) eXtreme Radio Service

    The Frequency hopping model is around $80 on Amazon.
    BTPost likes this.
  15. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I wonder if i remember my morse code and semaphor from my old boy scout days....
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes, Tikka, I had a conversation with the Tri-Square Engineering folks, a while back, and they are using the same basic ChipSet as Motorola used in the iDen/ISM Phones. Tri-Square Units also have a Digital Messaging Mode for sending short messages between Units. I was asking if they had or maybe could add a Digital File Sharing Mode to their Units, via a USB Serial connection to a laptop or other computer. The fellow I chatted with, said it wasn't something they had thought about, but after our chat, he was going to look into it. Never heard back after that. If that did come about they would be just great for SECURE Comms, in that one could be sending Encrypted Files, as well as Voice, thru the system. I would pay a lot more, for such capability. .... YMMV....
  17. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey+++

    Hey BT how about recommending a common printing of the bible to all for a simple book code for future use. .
    Tully Mars and BTPost like this.
  18. LogOut

    LogOut Monkey+

    I used to raie pigeons. Slow and subject to predation and can carry only small
    (coded) messages. But they work.

    Just need to get some birds over to whomever I need to hear from.

    Think of it as really slow texting.
  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have thought about that as part of the White Paper. We have an Encryption Specialist here on the Monkey. If you are interested in the project, maybe you two could design that portion of the MonkeyNet System. We were thinking of using One Time Pads, for distributing PGP 128 Bit Keys, and using those Keys for moving the Serious Traffic between Groups. A set of One Time Pads could be put an a Flash Drive, cloned, and sent to the Comms Officer or Guru, for each group, a long with the original set of 128 Bit PGP Keys. Once that is done, then any Key changes could be distributer, easily, via HF, using one of the One Time Pads. I like the PGP System, and its children, simply because it is Open Source, and therefor NO BackDoors. It can be BruteForced, but most of the intended Traffic is so time sensitive, as to make "after the fact" decrypting a waste of effort. 128 bit PGP Keys are simple to use, and generate, in just about every Computer OS, around. ..... YMMV....
  20. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    If and when the world crumbles; who will be looking? :D

    The "Mototalk" iDEN supports ptt for short range phone to phone off network transmissions would probably suffice for 99%. The 1% is probably too close to a major force to worry about. ;)
    In typical LE work, they lean towards wanting to know what is said; military just wants a location.
    Brokor and BTPost like this.
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