short range coms

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Kingfish, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Our plan is to start with short range communications such as CB radio and frs radios. I would like to step into ham after we have that in place. Our main concern is our own perimeter and local outlying areas. Staying in touch with that patrol or gathering group is paramount in our situation. KF
    Alpha Dog likes this.
  2. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    Im working on my ham certs now a friend that has been in to it for years is helping me. He said the best is VHF they talk better and repeaters are every where. The raido is a Kenwood that Im ordering and it will talk UHF and VHF. I ordered a portable to start with that way if SHTF and I have to BUG OUT I will have a com system I can take with me
    BTPost and Kingfish like this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Can't help wondering how repeaters will work if SHTF. While they are up, comms will be a lot easier, and with a scrambler of some kind, fairly close to secure from the hordes, if not the feds.
  4. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    Something else I found out was it's not very costly. The radio I ordered was around $200.00 the lic was $15.00. I did see some radio's around $1000.00 but like he said you can buy all the pretty stuff and lights, whistles that drain your battery and don't work half the time because a light is out, or do you want a good tough radio that you can depend on.

    From what I understand about the repeater systems is most guy's who are into ham radio's have repeater back up system that keep them powered. Along with like our L.E.O. repeater they have some form of battery recharge system that works when power is out and with the ham you can kick off of L.E.O. tower.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Planning is to be encouraged for your Comms, just like planning for your Preps, and Weapons. It is a good idea to start with your local AoO (Area of Operations) first, and get that covered, tested and understood, by you, and the others in your Family, and Group. This is what I call Squad Comms. FRS is a cheap way to get solid Squad Comms for the local AoO. There is one big drawback with this system, and that is it is SCANNABLE. Any Yahoo with a cheap scanner can pick up your comms, just by entering ALL the FRS Channels into his scanner, and then just listening. The same is true for ANY analog FM Radio System, whether it be HF/VHF/UHF. It is all SCANNABLE. These type analog FM Systems are also DF-able, which means as long as you are transmitting, you are giving others a direction, back to where you are transmitting from. This is also true for AM/SSB CB Radio systems. They are DF-able. Ham Radio doesn't give you any better security as they use the same modulation systems (FM/AM/SSB) as these others, however, the HAMS have on thing that these other Radio Systems do NOT. HAMS have thousands of frequencies to choose from, where these other systems have less than a hundred TOTAL. Hiding your comms by using obscure frequencies can provide limited security, where FRS/CB has KNOWN LIMITED Channel selection.

    So, I would encourage any, and ALL, of my Monkey Friends, who are interested in Comms, to spend the time, to pickup a Ham License. You will learn the technology, and have a much wider selection of Bands and systems to build your Comms Network out of. The test is all questions, NOW, No Morse Code required. ...... YMMV....
  6. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    All of our FRS (COBRA CXR920) have 121 privacy encryption codes. Most people will not be able to decode our transmissions. However Our Cb base will be open. We use the FRS RADIOS FOR OUR PERIMETER defense and Patrol comm. KF
    P1010060.JPG P1010061.JPG
  7. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    We own three sets of these. They dont make it 30 miles here. Best we can get is about 3.5 miles from our house and still be clear due to hills and trees. On the water and open road we got up to 15 miles clear. We also get the Weather channel real nice with these little sets. They were about 70 bucks a set . I think we paid 180 for three sets. Very nice battery packs that last a long long time on a full charge. KF
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Well now, your assumption that the Privacy Codes, will keep your Comms from being heard by others, is a False Assumption, based on lack of understanding of the technology. What these Privacy Codes do is put a low frequency Tone, (30Hz to 200 Hz) onto the FM Carrier, or a Digitial Burst at the beginning of the transmission, and this then triggers a Squelch Gate in the Receiving Unit that has the same Privacy Code, setup and that opens the path to the Speaker, so the transmission comes thru, on that receiver. Any Scanner that is listening on that channel will hear and play your transmission, simply because, it doesn't look for the Privacy Code, and ignores it, if one is there. Most Scanners are Carrier Squelch operated. They only need the presents of a Carrier to open the Speaker Path, where as a receiver with a Privacy Code set, needs BOTH a Carrier, and the correct Privacy Code to open the Speaker Path. Get a scanner and try it out, and you will see. .... YMMV....
    ColtCarbine, Cephus and overbore like this.
  9. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Hams do a lot of public service work (CD, ARES, RACES) as a result you'll find a Ham repeaters on commercial/PBS/Military towers. CD requires one practice drill per month so it isn't a free ride on Unk's dime.
  10. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+++

    For affordable,fairly secure,short range com's,check out the"Callpod Dragon"bluetooth unit.It's a small bluethooth headset with built in dual noise cancelling mic's,and a 100meter(320'ft)range line of sight,or upto a 250,000sq ft range in a structure.Other than it's range the"Callpod Dragon"has another outstanding feature.It can be paired with multiple Callpod Dragons,other bluetooth headsets,or even Cobra's bluetooth CB,for use as twoways even without having a phone.The Callpod Dragon can be had on Ebay for about$30nib,and about half that for refurbs.
  11. dwf4475

    dwf4475 Monkey+

    Somehow I think depending on this scenario is a very, very bad idea.

  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just looking at the Published Specs of this system, I would say that the quoted Range is a Marketing Fantasy. These units communicate in the 2.4 Ghz ISM Band, like all 802.11x WiFi units do, and have the SAME ERP limitations as ALL 2.4Ghz ISM band devices. Assuming that the designers get the absolute MOST EPR out of there omni-directioinal Antenna System, and limited Peak RF Output, 300 Feet may happen over water, or in an open field, but in any kind of forest, or Urban environment, 100 Ft would be doing VERY Good, and less (30 ft) if there is WET foliage in the RF path. ..... YMMV.....
    ColtCarbine and VisuTrac like this.
  13. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+++

    Most bluetooth headsets say they have an advertised 30'ft range,and do.UNLIKE FRS/GMRS two ways.
    I plan on getting a Callpod Dragon,and giving it a real world shakedown,and review.When I do posted results will follow.
    I figure if it will work in a large truck stop full of idling trucks,amplified wi-fi,and linear powered CB's,that would be a good start.
    The next test would be the woods behind my property(in FL),that has heavily wooded rolling terrain sit in the shadow of a 2,000'ft TV broadcast tower.
    If the results are half assed posotive,I'll buy a second one to test them in the same manner,but as stand alone two ways without the phone.
  14. cornninja

    cornninja Monkey+

    a lot to take in here lets say a midwestern state like kansas i want to be able to comm with people in the state what euip do i need at a cheap rate? wheres the best place to get? but still get a decent quality system that could be upgraded to say talk around the midwest with no problem
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    There really is no Regional Comms System that would cover whole State like Kansas, that one can buy, and use that doesn't REQUIRE an FCC License. I would suggest that you look into Amateur (Ham) Radio. There is NO Morse Code Requirement these days. All tests are Multiple Guess, and the Test Questions, are ALL Published. If one spends a couple of weeks of Night Study, you can get up to speed, and Pass the General License Test. (10 year olds, do it all the time) This will allow you not only Regional Comms, but Worldwide Comms for a modest investment in Used Radio Gear. Less than $500US on eBay. If you are looking for local AoO (Area of Operation) Comms, read the SECURE Comms Thread here in the Advanced Comms Forum. These are very solid Units with well understood Range, and Operational Data, used by Monkeys, and Groups, all over the US, and require NO License. ..... YMMV....
    Epa, ColtCarbine and Idahoser like this.
  16. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Any Ham can have a repeater on the bands they are licensed to operate on. Extra Class can put up their own satellite if they have the $.
  17. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    BTPost as always has it exactly right. To talk all over your state without any kind of infrastructure, you're talking about using a low-end high frequency band such as the ham bands 80m at night and 40m in the daytime, coupled to an antenna with a good vertical radiation pattern such as a low (1/10 wavelength) dipole or loop. This set of criteria makes up a system called the Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) propogation method.

    The only thing you need the license for is transmitting. You can get the license with ease if you take a bunch of practice tests, you don't even have to learn anything. Not sure what the draw would be for that, but I did get my license first and then started learning.

    But you can get a good old ham rig for under $200 that will do these bands. You may even already have a shortwave receiver that can do it. They're generally optimized for AM commercial broadcast stations, you may need a little nicer one for ham stuff to get to the right frequencies and be able to use SSB. If you've gotta spend a hundred to get the receiver, I'd just skip it and get a ham transceiver... even if you don't choose to get licensed and actually use it for a hobby and practice and learning, you'd have the capability if there were no more enforcement when the SHTF.

    There are also low power kits for these bands that don't cost much. They may not have the power to transmit reliably to the state but the receiver should be fine.

    The wire antenna is truly cheap to make.

    With this, you can listen. No license required.

    The point of all this is, people have been trying to accomplish what you're trying to do for over a hundred years, and that group is amateur radio operators. To think that you're going to buy a chinese wonder radio that will do what they haven't figured out is a dream that won't be coming true. THIS is the way to get what you want.
  18. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    What qualifies you to give this kind of advise...... :D [stirpot]

    The short distance COMMS work great, thank you again. I can't wait to step it up to the next level of COMMS.
  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    about "Me" - Survival Monkey Forums

    50 Years as a Licensed Amateur (Ham) Radio Licensee
    40 Years as a Licensed Commercial Radio Operator, Class T1 w Aviation, and Radar Endorsement
    40 years in the RF Communications Field in Marine, Aircraft, and Alaska Communications
    reTIRED FCC Resident Field Agent for Southeast Alaska

    .... YMMV.....[monkeyeating]
    Epa and TheEconomist like this.
  20. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Thanks CC for making BT throw his quals out there so the rest of us comm challanged(me) listen or rather read what he says.
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary