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Portable Communications Kit

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Yard Dart, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Yard Dart

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

    Doing a little organizing today and thought I would show some of my portable communications kit. I follow the layered approach with various radios with different capabilities and function. From the basic Motorola, ISDN phones, Baeofong UV5R+ ham radios, portable CB and scanner. I have two cases packed inside a larger pelican case to protect the equipment, this is one of them which is basically duplicated by the other case. Not shown are the vehicle mounted radios, cell phones, Kindle, laptops, portable generator and such, but they are available as well. Creating a pretty diverse layered approach for local portable communications. 20160613_162754_resized.

    Goal Zero Solar panel kit. 20160613_164353_resized.



    You have to have all your cordage available with spares.


    How is your portable communications gear coming along and your ability to power/recharge your equipment? Do you have tips, tricks or other ideas on how you do your kit?
  2. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey+

    Wow, nice setup! I have an old beater Pro-32 scanner, and use two Cobra FRS/GMRS radios that we use daily here at my homestead. All are fed by AA's which I rotate and recharge nightly. Looking to add a solar battery charger for the AA's, and 9v's for my metal detector. Also looking at SSB CB units to put in my truck as I'm in mountainous terrain and that seems a good option. I'm on a tight budget, so it's slowly coming together.
    Salted Weapon, kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  3. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    My portable communications kit is VERY portable... I have 1 ea. Baofeng UV-5R...and that is that. See REAL portable! :)

    Tell me about the 'Goal Zero Solar panel kit': cost, durability, output...
    I have saw the ENELOOP rechargeable batteries kit in COSTCO but was short on time and I have a full package of D's, AA's and AAA's so I passed.
    Ganado likes this.
  4. Yard Dart

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

    The solar panel kit will either recharge the battery pack with AA or AAA batts. I can also recharge my larger battery back ups like the Amp or Morphie no problem.I have multiple of them so I can rotate and always have at least two at full charge. I use the Amp to recharge cell phones and such in power outages often. I can also run the Kindle off of these....if I choose to.

    The Enloop recharge kit is a nice addition with the various types of batt configurations available. I primarily would use this in conjunction to the generator being in use. Not sure what a full package of batts is for you, are you meaning rechargeables? I have a lot of alkaline batteries... a lot of all flavors.... but at a point you run out, and rechargeables will carry the day. Communications & flashlights are the only use for batts if the grid goes down IMO.... and flashlights are minimal, only when required tactically.
    Tully Mars, Ganado and sec_monkey like this.
  5. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    I have Icom IC-2As that run from AA battery packs or 12vdc for short range, with backup.

    Have two HF rigs, portable antennas, power supplies, solar etc. for long haul comms. If things really get that bad
    1) You won't have anyone to talk to
    2) You would want to go deep silent, no electronics...

    Having worked for several years in military ELINT, if SAM wants you, you are not going to be able to hide and use RF emitters....
  6. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    That's the truth, even the small handhelds will give you away...
  7. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    Great topic!

    I have a Yaesu FT-817 with antennas for 40, 20, 2, and 440. A Yaesu 2M/440 handheld, and a handheld scanner. For power besides internal batteries, I use a 25 watt folding solar panel similar to yours and a 5 amp hour SLA battery. Everything fits in a backpack and weighs less than 20 pounds.

    I take it out in the field and practice several times a year and have had great success with the setup.

    This article from my blog gives general advice on how to approach a go box. It is not a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a particular go box: Go Box Zen: Know Where You're Headed Before You Leave. - Off Grid Ham

    This article details the SLA battery setup: DIY: The Off Grid Ham Portable DC Power Pack. - Off Grid Ham
    Yard Dart likes this.
  8. Yard Dart

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

    I agree that if things go bad and it is us vs the .gov or foreign force..... you would definitely want to go quite to avoid DFing, yet you would still want to be able to monitor what is being said on the airwaves. Going to ground is fine if you want to just hide.... but at some point, the fight will come to you most likely, even if just a small patrol on recon. And having the comm equipment for your team is essential, for coordination and communication with your security elements.
    AD1 and 3M-TA3 like this.
  9. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    YD have you come up with a solar charger setup for the i355, I think I have the 12VDC adapter for a car. but would prefer a direct connect to the plug.

    ghrit likes this.
  10. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    The MotoTalk phones use frequency hopping which makes DFing harder. Also if you program a 10 digit number and call that instead of just using the PTT it is virtually impossible for someone to listen in. I have 9 total - 6 of the i355's with upgraded antenna and 3 i650's. They all have the same 10 digit DN so everybody hears everybody else. I'm looking to add throat mikes and earbuds for each.

    I also have 2 mobile HAM radios, one of which is submersible, a portable CB, and a police scanner.

    A solar charging solution is my next focus.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  11. Yard Dart

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

    I have not got the right setup for solar charging the i355 and still need to find a solution/product for that. I have the ability to either do it via 12 VDC invertors (4 of them on hand) or I can charge off the portable generator.

    I wonder if something like this might work with a little tinkering.
    Amazon.com: MicroSolar 12V 600W (Peak 1200W) Pure Sine Wave Inverter - with Remote Wire Controller - with 2 Foot Battery Cable: Home Improvement
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  13. Tempstar

    Tempstar Losing Patience Site Supporter+

    For DFing, I don't need to hear what you're saying. You pop up on the Spectrum analyzer as soon as you key up, and I then input your frequency (or range of frequencies if using spread spectrum) into the doppler unit, and the next time you key I have your direction relevant to me. If I have two units deployed, I can pinpoint you within a quarter mile from two transmissions. Once I move and you key up again, I can have you pinpointed to within dozens of yards. The key is short transmissions and long periods between them. If you want to beat DF, work out a system of one sided transmissions of short duration. We have a permanent DF unit at 1500' on our transmission tower that gives 1 bearing, and if we're near enough to the signal with the mobile unit to get a bearing, we can be "in the neighborhood" in minutes. The big thing is, you have to be looking, and unless you are a really big problem, no one is.
  14. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    I'm not sure how this topic moved from go boxes to radio signals being hunted down by the government in a Mad Max situation, but it's all very tin foil hat-ish.

    Before anyone will trace your signal you first have to be saying or doing something worth paying attention to, which right out of the box eliminates myself and 99.9% of prepperhood. Secondly, in such a scenario, there will be tons and tons of signals but only a very small number of .gov monitoring stations available to evaluate, track, and take action on those signals. In other words, it's fairly easy to hide in plain sight.

    Of more import will be local non-government civilians who can monitor your signals with ordinary, inexpensive off-the-shelf equipment. They won't necessarily "come after you" but they can glean information that can be used against you later.

    My advice is not to be so full of yourself that you think .gov will be fascinated with listening to your every step (and by the way, the preceding comment is not aimed at any particular individual).

    Worry more about the regular guy up the road with an $89.00 scanner.
    Ganado, BTPost and Yard Dart like this.
  15. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Yard Dart likes this.
  16. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    Okay, I can update that I now have a pair of (2 ea.) Baofeng UV-5R. I still need to figure out a way to recharged in the bush and car. Going to look at @3M-TA3 Solar kit link now...
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