Long range commo? after SHTF

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by at99sy, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. at99sy

    at99sy Monkey

    I am new here and have a question that I apologize in advance if it is redundant to
    prior post. I live in NH and my brother lives in NM. If the grid goes down and obviously cells and land lines will likely not be operational; what are our options for communicating over that far a distance? Do HAM radios work that far? Please do not suggest homing pigeons! lol
    however my late Uncle was a grand champion many times back inthe 50's and 60's in Indiana.

    Thanks for any input. I suspect we're out of luck unless we were able to invest major$$


    VisuTrac likes this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes Ham Radio can do that, with ease... You would need a General Class License, and spend maybe $500US for the Radio, Power Supply, and Antenna, for each end. There is NO Morse code Requirement these days. All Test Questions are published OnLine, and there are a number of places that publish Study Guides, and Test Question Quizzes. If you are really interested, I can steer you to some of these resources. We have a number of Monkey Hams around here, and one of our Admins, just got his Tech License, and is now studying for his General. I, myself, have been an Advanced Class Licensed Ham for 40+ Years, and also am a reTIRED FCC Resident Field Agent. ...... YMMV.... Oh Yea, Welcome to the Monkey Tree... Lots of great Prep'er info to be had around here, as well as some really fine folks. Pick out a branch and look around...
    kellory and VisuTrac like this.
  3. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    and within 10 minutes a new monkey get his answer.
    This truly is a great place!
  4. at99sy

    at99sy Monkey

    Outstanding! I am interested in this since it looks like the entry point is within a reasonable budget $. This is something we would probably only use in emergency situations and like many of the "monkeys" here I am probably in good company with the little "hope" and confidence I have in the current administration of our republic. any resources you can point me to BTPost would be well appreciated!

    Thanks for the speedy reply!

  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    At99sy, get your brother on the Monkey, and we'll walk you both thru at the same time. There's more than one way to get started before the need, and there's no time like the present.

    A good first step is find a local ham club and go to a couple meetings. Most hams just can't help themselves, they have to talk about their hobby, and there's little better way to learn than by listening.

    Good scoop here, too. ARRL | Licensing, Education & Training | Getting on the Air

    We have members (not necessarily hams) in NM and in NH, in fact I have friends from days gone by in the Exeter and Manchester areas.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Sy, You have come to the right place.... Ghrit, and some of the other Ham Monkeys can certainly steer you through the process. Get your brother to sign up for the Monkey, and we will get you going, in the right direction.
  7. at99sy

    at99sy Monkey

    Thanks guys! My brother has a vigorous and sometimes violent rejection of all things computer! lol so I will have to spoon feed him the info he needs. He is very mobile right now(on purpose) and is bug out ready. I am more nailed down but I am about an hour away from Manchester and can look for some operators in the area. I grew up in the 70s-80's and spent 4 yrs in the Army Rangers.(3rd batt and Camp Merrill-Rgr School) and I have not seen things this tense ever before. Even during the height of the cold war and the "survivalists and militia" craziness of the 70's there was not this level of anxiety about the future. I see unpleasantries aplenty on the horizon and commo is about my only weakness at this point. My wife thinks I'm nuts but good planning is never wasted. My bro is set up real nice with a tow-camper and about 2years of food, gas, wind and solar generators, self protection devices of various means etc. And he and his wife have the skills and knowledge to live well and not be found. He has several spots in the Kingman,AZ and Northern NM area dialed in if he needs to be isolated from the dregs if need be. I am fortunate to live in a fairly rural area of Sunapee, NH and we have a pretty solid population. However we are close to several welfare towns that could be problematic for some of the less willing and able locals. My place is not one the undesirables would want to visit. I find it fun to think about being able to use a radio to talk to someone half way across the country! Pretty cool stuff.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    One thing to be well aware of is that once you are in the FCC system, your anonymity and location security is blown. The FCC database is open to public access; a search on your call sign hangs you out like a neon beacon. Unless, of course, you commit fraud (which has its own risks) or operate a transmitter without ID. (There is an exception for emergencies, which may or may not kick in if SHTF.) Uncle Charlie (the FCC) is ponderous and clumsy, but will find you if you operate illegally. Expensive, too, it's a Federal offense.

    So far as repeaters goes, here's one site that carries some location info. A bit tedious to get into, but has more than enough data to find a repeater in any area you'll venture in the US. I don't know how up to date it is. K5EHX Amateur Radio Repeater Mapping
  9. Warus

    Warus Monkey

    Excellent information. I've been lurking for awhile and registered today to post.
    I'm also new into the comm world. Bought a pair of Baofeng uv-5r during black Friday. I'm interested in learning how to use these effectively during a SHTF event.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You have to assume that the repeaters will be down, thus you'll be essentially limited to line of sight simplex comms. Think walkie talkies. The range can be improved by getting as high as possible. You should pick a frequency that is NOT on one of the local repeaters, and test them out in your AO, and plot the ranges you can send and receive to/from. Remember that you'll need a Technician Class license during your testing (unless the S has already HTF.) You might also rig an antenna that will improve things beyond what the rubber duckies will do.

    BTPost can add to this, and tell us where I'm wrong. I'm quite new to ham operations.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Most folks can use Comm Gear in there every day life... Most will have have Cellphones, landline phones, etc... And SHTF Comm Gear should just be an extension of those uses. The thing that NEEDS to be defined, for each person, is WHO are you interested in having Comms with, and how far away are they likely to be? Is your plan to be able to have Comms, without the use of the Cell Networks, or Wired Networks? Radio Comms can make that happen. Selecting the right Gear will depend on distance, and terrain of needed Comms. We have a basic Primer of possible Radio Comms Systems here, on the Monkey Site. Alaska Wilderness Communications Read this and then come back with specific Questions, and one of our Comm Gurus will be happy to answer your questions. I wrote this BLOG, to bring beginners up to speed, with what is available to US Citizens, for their Personal Comms Uses. it was specifically written for Alaska, but 95% of the information will be good, anywhere in the USA. @Warus @at99sy
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Maybe after December 21st, we will all become psychic and radio communications will be obsolete. [alien]
    franks71vw likes this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I am not "Holding my Breath" for that eventuality.....
  14. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    You can build a 2 meter beam very inexpensively.


    A quad: 2 Meter 3 Element Quad Antenna Project - Direct Feed!

    Another is adapting an old TV antenna: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/9611034.pdf

    I've built one out of brazing rod and a PT 2x4. It isn't that difficult.

    Usually VHF and higher are for local or line of sight. However when condx (conditions) are "right;" tropospheric ducting and sporadic E propagation are possible and EME or moon bounce for the well funded. :D

    As it is a very poor time to learn, don't wait for the big emergency.
    BTPost likes this.
  15. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    You're in the county's real estate database already, don't give up a hobby you like out of paranoia.
    VisuTrac likes this.
  16. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    You can get your name out of the database by creating a trust or other fictitious 'Person' (llc, inc.) and have the property held in it's name. That way, you personally are not on the list.

    Maybe not entirely out of the database especially if someone has previous years data from the taxation units of their AO.
    jollyrodger13 likes this.
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The county is one thing, the FCC is national. Anyone that wants to look thru all the county records (not all are digitized, including mine) they are welcome to it. But the FCC has you nailed, both on paper and electronically. Just sayin' --
  18. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    @ghrit, what county are you in. I'll check to see if they recently joined into the federal program to convert parcel, meets and bounds to digital with all the pretty accurate lat/lon boundary data.

    As part of the stimulus programs in late bush throughout obummer, the feds coughed up coin for the county tax assesors to modernize. Right now the database has 100's of millions of parcels in it. Getting bigger every quarter!

    PM me the county if you are interested, don't post it in the open forum.
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    They are working on it, I'm told, but not close to completion. The gasicane affected the progress. Eventually, they'll get there.
  20. Hi guys. first post here. I managed to pick up a Kenwood TS-520 from my local Craigslist for under $200. This is a hybrid tube and txister set with great functionality on all HF bands. It is NOT restricted to local repeaters. I am building the antenna for it.
    Right now, I'm not too worried about a license as I'm just getting started and if SHTF, I will surely not worry about a license.
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