Post SHTF Communications

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Bubba, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Bubba

    Bubba Monkey++

    There are two shows that I have been enjoying over the last year... Jericho - the story of our country that has collapsed because of power hungry political bastards utilizing a Black Water mercenary group to cause the conditions which would allow them to take over. (A scenario that I have no problem envisioning.) And Jeremiah - the story of our country that has collapsed because of an engineered biological experiment gone bad and killed off everyone who had reached puberty. (A scenario that I have a little more of a problem envisioning.)
    In both shows it is interesting seeing how the various elements of our society react to the ensuing conditions. But an interesting idea was brought up in Jeremiah. In one episode there was a bar/pool room where the owner kept track of people. When someone came through and had stories about where they had been - where they were going - who they had seen where - who they were looking for - etc, the 3x5 file cards and push pins in a map kept track.

    After our upcoming catastrophe, whatever the form it takes, how will we communicate and locate others? Assuming there are no computers, phones, cells, mail service, etc? ... CB radios, Ham radios, word of mouth, ??.

    Has anyone given thought to this? Any suggestions - or have heard of any kind of "bulletin board" for what might work?
    Or would it all be a bad idea?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yes, the idea has been floated on this forum. Without doing it myself, I'd suggest a search on "comms" or "radios" or "communications" on this site. We've had a couple discussions on even smoke signals and mirrors some time back.
  3. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Cups and string ;).

    Without internet and email communication, I'm guessing Pony Express or just running into people will be my main communication (outside of the close friends that I see frequently).
  4. RaymondPeter

    RaymondPeter Simple Man

    I think that when the SHTF that most people will not be trying to get a hold of friends and family that are far away. Our world will be much like it was long ago. A day's travel (on foot, horse, bike, etc...) will be FAR. Your family and friends that live near you will be the ones you will have the most contact with, and only rarely from farther away. At least until people start to travel more/travel farther afield, or a mail/pony express type sytem is developed yet again.

    Assuming that the SHTF senario doesn't inclued the distruction of electronics (rather control of them) then I feel comunication will be much like in an acupided teritory. (i.e. France cerca WWII, Vietnam, etc...)
  5. Brokor

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

    Jeremiah and Jericho are two awesome shows. It sucks that Jeremiah was abruptly yanked by the network -ratings were pretty decent, which conspiracy theorists would gladly argue that John Michael Straczinski was onto something there...with the whole bio-warfare theme. Jericho, I have not followed the latest updates, but I wouldn't doubt it will be canceled if it already hasn't. I watched season one and two up to the writer's strike.

    I use several types of comms, from base CB's to handhelds, and Sabre I's and II's to Trisquare eXRS with Frequency Hop. The key, though, is setting up an operating platform with friends or neighbors, to include freqs and SOP's. I have not taken the time to get into HAM yet, but it certainly will be a huge bonus if enough survivalists take hold and use them. You could also go a bit further and set up relay stations to increase your total signal strength. Adapting a mobile setup is also a great idea; solar chargers and car adapters and inverters are excellent additions. And of course, store everything with a computer board and other sensitive electronics inside a Faraday cage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Question_book-new.svg" class="image"><img alt="Question book-new.svg" src=""@@AMEPARAM@@en/thumb/9/99/Question_book-new.svg/50px-Question_book-new.svg.png for safe keeping. This can be made in an affordable manner using a plywood box covered with a metal mesh screen, which is well grounded.
  6. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Jericho was canceled again unfortunately.

    I think in a SHTF scenario where most phones if not all land line and cell phones are out that you will see a big re-emergence of CBs. When I was at the ranch a couple of weeks ago I was going through a cabinet in the house and came across all of the old CBs that used to be used on the ranch. There is still one in the old ranch truck, and a bunch in the cabinet. I meant to take a couple of them home with me, will next time I am there. It would be a good idea to have a couple of them in a Faraday box just in case.
  7. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I think all of the old CB'ers kept there stuff even after it died ,I know just like you I was going through the old shelves and came across about 5 of the ones that had more than 300 channels and even some in the 10 meter range ,I even found 3 old mobile units .
    Now I'm looking for an antenna for them all .
  8. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I believe that C.B.'s will be the only readily available option. Some will have the time and money to invest in ham but for the general masses the C.B. is cheap and plentiful.
    If you can I would recommend buying one now that has SSB (single side band) capability. This allows you to listen to shortwave broadcasts. Which may be the only source for unfiltered, uncensored news in a calamity. Aslo very powerful 11 meter units will give you the range to really reach out. They are unlawful to operate now but in an emergency who cares.
    The next step is to think about powering your units. A base station with a 12 volt deep cell battery, inverter, and a solar trickle charger to keep the battery charged is a self sufficient set up. Also for mobile operations a 40 channel handheld unit with rechargable batteries and a small solar charger will keep all of your group in contact.
    Many Militia units and Patriot groups have contingency plans to utilize C.B.'s in a SHTF scenario with dedicated channels for thier group and monitoring stations spread throughout thier areas of operation.
  9. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    i would say a nice cb radio with a sideband and a 100 or 200 watt lenear should get you a good bit of range the only problem is you would be brodcasting all your info to whoever else has one and is listening to that channel too. so i would say forget about long range talking and if you really have to just keep it to short burst and thats it .as for as family if they are all really close get them walkie talkies with a good 10 mile range and just use them for emergencies. now if the goverment and police are still active then the internet might be up you might not have electricity but you can tap into the internet if your within 10 miles of a tower and you don't need a phone line you can build a cheap but very affective wifi antenna out of a old satellite dish and use it to get your signal. there are many diferent ways to build a wifi antenna but i think this one is the best meaning useing the dish.some people use plates /pans and anything flat but i think the dish would work the best.

    How-To: Build a WiFi biquad dish antenna
  10. Espada

    Espada Monkey+

    I'm looking for field telephones, EE-8 or TA-1 types or anything commercial or more modern. For internal comm on the home place. Concerned about government direction-finding measures with radio.
  11. strunk

    strunk Monkey+

    You know, I was thinking about CB's and how everyone seems to run a short vertical stick for an antenna... It would be interesting to treat them like amateur radio QRP rigs since they usually only run about <5W out of the box, with a long horizontal wire hung high and an antenna tuner. I've not tried it myself but I think most 11m base-to-base station operators could be missing out.

    The ARRL has an antenna book that you can get from Amazon which will tell you more than you'll ever want to know about antenna theory. It seems the CB crowd is so caught up in linear amps and don't put as much thought into the antenna design... though it's true that with most CB operators running mobile rigs, it does limit their options.
    BTPost likes this.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Back in the day, I had a 5/8 wave vertical on the roof of the house for a CB base. Now and then, skip let me talk quite a way; never did have a booster. Logged Scotland from Washington state. Regularly talked to a guy about 60 miles away (but he had a beam antenna.)
    BTPost and strunk like this.
  13. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    As a ten meter loop is about 35.6' of wire; I'd hang a full wave loop up.

    As trees are found easily I'd add reflector (36.5' of wire) spaced about 6.5' behind the first loop. Now it is a directional gain antenna.

    Cubical Quad Antenna Calculator

    Loops are about the oldest antenna known and they work quite well:

    BTPost likes this.
  14. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    yep, radio is radio, and adding an amp is not going to help your reception one bit. The antenna should always be the first place you look to improve. Your puny 5w out on a standard CB when connected to a well designed beam antenna can give you the performance of more like 40w, and that works for hearing and talking. And the 11m band allows for antenna sizes that are pretty easy to manage.

    If you need to talk over the horizon reliably, you can't count on a single band, no matter how much power you waste.

    This is not a subject that can be conquered in a thread. It's a lifelong learning experience, don't wait for TEOTWAWKI to start learning.
    BTPost likes this.
  15. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    As it works on both tx and rx antenna gain is hard to beat.
    BTPost likes this.
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