Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by shaman, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    Please don't think I'm being trollish on this. I'm just being ignorant. I was a pretty regular listener to SW back in high school, but never got much into the X-mitting side of things.

    How does Amateur Radio help me prepare for the S hitting the perverbial F? The reason I ask this is that I have 2 old fart friends. Both are retired. One is an ex-spook that used to listen in on the Russians. The other is an ex-Marine of Vietnam vintage. Both have recently bought radios and are going for their licenses. It's the Marine's idea; he's quite a prepper. I was out turkey hunting with the old spook, and he really could not answer my question. He's just doing it to have something to do.

    Can y'all give me the ways in which y'all are planning on using radio, and what post SHTF problems you see it addressing?

    Just off the top of my head, I could think of a bunch of reasons to stay as quiet as possible.
    chelloveck and UncleMorgan like this.
  2. bpaintx

    bpaintx Monkey+++

    It can provide you with the ability to determine what is happening outside the mainstream media, if that even continues to function. You will be able with the right equipment to talk and listen to people in other parts of the states and the world should you desire.
    Bandit99, UncleMorgan and ghrit like this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    My answer to the question is simply that comms is another tool in the box. Getting licensed now gives you the opportunity to learn how radio can help or hinder before the need. Never mind that post problem, licenses may or may not be honored, that won't be the time to learn. (Plus it really is something to do when that bad knee keeps you home instead of splitting wood.)
  4. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    One of the most important and overlooked things in a PVP (Poop vs. Prop) situation is the need for communications. Knowing what's going on near and far can hugely influence survival choices. And the lack of that knowledge can severely impair them.

    At the very least, it's the chatter of other survivors that can tell you when it's time to come up out of the bunker. And when it's safe to start tilling fields, or safer not to.
  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I am convinced that while food, water and weapons are definitely important, communications are just as important and in some regard - more so. The capability to know what is happening down the road from you, 100, 50, 20 miles away is priceless intelligence and could be life saving intelligence. HF/UHF/VHF radios provide this 'eyes on' intelligence in real or near-real time. Knowledge is power and anything one can do to improve one's intelligence picture of the situation is money well spent. In my case, new to the area and with only two in our family, radios will be just as valuable or even more so than say the extra ammunition I could purchase at the same cost as a radio.
  6. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    OK the lights go out...

    Is is a local event?

    Satellite TV is out, OK what's going on.

    AM radio... what's that?

    HAM Radio, check the nets, contact other Hams perhaps East-West of you, what's going on...

    Load and Lock.

  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    .MIL Types will always look at the Intelligence, before formulating a Battle Plan.... In a SHTF Senerio, where are you going to get that Intel from? In my world, you get that from listening to the Yahoos that never learned CommSec, in a previous life.... In my world, where fishermen are traveling around on their Boats, I have learned that listen to those guys, who can't "Shut Up" while they travel along, gives me a LOT of Intel, about who is around, and what they are up to.... It will be the same in after the SHTF... Listen to everything around you, and even things that are far away.... However CommSec, just like OpSec is the watchword in all this... You only draw attention when you are transmitting, so keep that in mind, ALWAYS.... If I want to know what is around my AoO, all I have to do is listen... and when I want to talk to AlaskaChick, when either, Near or Far, it is done on Encrypted Comms.... When near we use SECURE Phones.... When Far, we use Encrypted Comms on the Internet.. (FaceTime, Messages and Wire) and if that isn't available, we use our Family MonkeyNet PADs via whatever Comm Connection is available....
  8. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    OK. Thanks for the responses. This is starting to make sense. Keep it coming folks.
    chelloveck likes this.
  9. oldbee1966

    oldbee1966 Monkey++

    At 70 years old I decided to get my ham ticket. Past the Tech test last Thursday and waiting for my call sign.
    It is never to late, get going!
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Good job!!
  11. kellory

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

    You also draw attention by a huge freakin' antenna tower that just screams "HAM RADIO HERE!!". I will either stick to mobile antenna or a stealth antenna. (It's nobody else's business)
  12. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Get your license.

    You need to practice with the equipment.

    Several of us here are licensed.

    Make friends and network and have a plan.

    When the balloon goes up, you have a network of contacts, with freq, times, codewords OTP to use to pass messages.

    Read the book series Going Home for an example of how this would work. Plays ot very well in the books.

    They had a "Frickin Fantastic Brilliant Amateur Radio Advisor" [grlft]
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
    Yard Dart and chelloveck like this.
  13. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Congratulations old guy, I'm almost that old, got my General a year ago, I need an antenna... got a radio, need to put up a good tower or long dipole from the house to the windmill tower, anybody in AZ want to be my

    AD1 likes this.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Az ... You need to contact @AD1. He is in Aridzonia most of the time, and can help with the HF Antenna...
    I use a Dipole cut for 75 Meters, and a Manual Tuner for All Frequencies from 1.7Mhz to 35 MHz.. I took a 4:1 Balun, some #12 Stranded Copper THHN Wire, and a couple of Wood End Insulators, and made my own... It lasted 30+ Years, and finally broke last Sunday... A quick repair, and it is back up in the Air and OnLine... I work the West Coast, every morning, on 20 Meters...
  15. hitchcock4

    hitchcock4 Monkey++

    Great job !
  16. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    I fly home today from Yard Darts back yard and will be home until Tuesday when I head to San Diego Tuesday-Friday next week.

    PM me here and I will give you my phone #. I will call and we can discuss your set up.

    I have a good friend who is on "our side" but works for Uncle near Naco and is a Extra. If you are a smuggler using comms gear coming across the border, you may have met him [LMAO][own2]
    Ganado, kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  17. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Nope not a smuggler, I did say Hola to an obviously Hispanic gentleman, walking down my road from the mountains, I saw the BP had him held at ... Coyote Lane, very appropriate I think....

    I will PM you.

  18. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    PM returned and phone # left
  19. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey++

    Tall order.

    Hmmm ...

    Someone once said that "Everyone wants to succeed. The reason so few do is that so few want to do the work of preparing to succeed".

    There are lots of guys who feel that they can buy a radio and will, ipso facto, be a world-champion radio guy who everybody wants to have around, wants to feed, wants to bed, and wants to listen to. It doesn't work that way: as others have pointed out, a radio is just a tool. During the 50's and 60's, radio hams were guaranteed a welcome at every public-service events, post-catastrophe recovery effort, and planning meeting, for the simple reason that nobody else knew how to operate the radios that were going to be used. The older vacuum-tube technology required specially-trained operators, and hams fit the bill, so some of us assumed that we'd be "taken care of" because we were the only ones who knew how to tune a pi-network output or figure out the dimensions of a dipole or use a tube tester.

    Those days are gone, and with them any chance of hams being the prima donas of yesteryear. Modern programmable radios can be operated by pretty much anyone who knows what "push to talk" means, and every Incident Response Commander views hams, CBers, radio dispatchers, and anyone else assigned to the commo team as "Communicators" - and nothing else. Any ham who arrives at an Incident expecting to be treated like royalty or given an easy job relaying messages will soon find out he should have checked his ego at the door.

    I am planning on using radio, and the ham license I have, and the (most importantly) the knowledge and practical experience I got from learning to be a ham, to make myself a valued member of a civil defense team, which will give me access to food, shelter, medical care, and security because I contribute in ways that others can not.

    Those who are already part of the disaster-response infrastructure will have a big edge over others when it comes to surviving. It's not a sure thing: nothing ever is. However, because I contribute to my local CD effort, and participate in drills, planning, and special events, I think I'll be able to survive the first month or two of meltdown when the proverbial manure hits the proverbial impeller.

    On one hand, you're right: but only if you have everything you'll need to keep yourself and your family alive until order is restored and supplies are once again widely available. On the other hand, it might be your downfall: I think that only those who are willing to join in the effort to restore order have a reasonable chance to survive.

    William Warren
    Mountainman likes this.
  20. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Monkey+

    I have been an incident commander (including on Level-I national responses).....And I have a GROL (actually a 1st Class Phone) and an Extra Class. I have been an emergency responder in a variety of roles for more than 40 years.

    As an IC (or CUL, or RO, or OSC/PSC/LSC or any of the other ICS positions I'm qualified to fill) my comm requirements are pretty simple. I need circuits installed, and I may need radio operators.....thats it.

    Frankly, I would rather have a dozen Civil Air Patrol Cadets with Radio Operator Permit cards (CAP radio authorization) than any number of typical HAMS.....

    Here are some of the reasons:
    • I don't need people telling me how to set up radios that are already set up and working. So what if they are (or aren't) ham radios...they might just be better, but they work right now. I don't give a crap about Moto snobs looking down on Taits, or Harris fanboys telling me that MOTO is overpriced crap - I know it is, it is what we have to work with right now so start working.
    • I don't need people with marginal equipment spending most of their time trying to make their equipment work. If you don't know how to operate (including program) your radios, don't have the ability to maintain/fix/program them in the field, don't have the various bits and pieces and spares of commonly needed accessories, why are you using my oxygen? Get your stuff together, preferably in one bag that you can move yourself, and then tell me you're mission capable.
    • I don't need prima donas that spend most of their time talking - to each other, and not on the nets. Or won't bother with administrative requirements, or get trained before hand. ICS? Whats that? Let me tell you how we used to do it, sonny! (And I'm 60 years old).
    • I don't give a damn about their interpretation of the various FCC regulations...My radios, my license, and my responsibility. If that offends their sense of responsibility then leave, I don't have time to argue.
    • I certainly don't need another 'expert' ham who cut all the N-connectors off the coax because he didn't like them, planning on replacing them with PL-259's....except the radios had N-connectors, the antennas had N-connectors, he didn't have any PL-259s and the nearest store that did was 200 miles away....on Memorial day weekend. Or his cousin who couldn't figure out how to erect a Rolm telescopic mast so he got funky with a hacksaw and destroyed a $100 piece of MY PERSONAL equipment.
    Communications is a commodity....and in the era of cellphones, it doesn't take rocket surgery to figure most of it out.
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