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Backup communication

So what’s everyone’s backup communications plan. I know most are going to say a Ham radio of some sort. Getting the license is fairly extensive and most won’t want to get that much involved in radio. A lot will say CB .
My plan is to have several types . GMRS radio being my mid range communication. Why every one related to me can use my license. GMRS will also be used for our security comms. For our little area also the radio equipment is fairly reasonable priced . Also GMRS is more user friendly then other forms of communication.
I will also have a CB set up . I of course will have a couple Ham radios for longer range use and for monitoring emergency service etc. Also I can use a lot of the same things that I use for GMRS. Such as base antennas power sources etc.
So I’m curious about what your guys plans are.


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CaddmannQ

.50 BMG
The only thing I have is a voice operated GMRS unit, set up on my motorcycle helmet. It’s basically very short range, almost line of sight only.

I was big on CBs back about 1972, But I moved to California a few years later and the scene here was pretty impossible.
 

hombre243

.30-06
I had some handheld cb's but they were stolen 3 months ago. So, all I have now is 10,000 yards of string and 2 tin cans. Not trying to be funny, but it didn't occur to me, not being a prepper, to worry about it.
 

Bobster

.30-06
My dad built his own ham radio back in the 50s-60s. He was out of it by the time I got old enough to even know what a telephone was. I don't know what happened to his gear, probably sold it during a move and after more children took his idle time. There were a couple 1950s manuals of his I sold 15yrs ago on debay that I sort of wished I had kept now. Or not... ;) I have been keeping my eyes out for used, more contemporary equipment that shows up for sale once in a while but not ready to drop $500+ for a base station yet... As for licensing, when the SHTF I don't think anyone will care! :D

I've picked up a couple old CBs over the years that I just tested recently and both appear to transmit and receive. Need to do something about the antenna situation to increase range. Don't know if I'm ready to invest in something like that if there are no other users around, at least no one responded to a request for a radio check... :(

Have a couple pairs of higher-end walkie talkies in the electronics "bin" along with the VHS rewinder... :D Cell phones made them obsolete around here. They should still work as I'm careful to remove batts from anything going into the bin.

I was curious how easily signals could be jammed of any device and if this is yet another thing to worry about...
 

John A.

Unconstitutional laws are not laws.
Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderator
Wish I had a ham, but all I have are frs and cb.

Thought about getting some marine radios since they'd be really uncommon here.
 
Any military with any kind of tech. Can jam the signal and will jam signals when invading. I have also thought about the marine radios also . I would imagine that in a worse case situation and there was no signal jamming that CB , FRS ,GMRS and even Ham radio transmission will be over loaded . The marine frequencies maybe less . I’m almost certain In my area that CB will be the first over loaded . Then possibly GMRS and FRS .
With that said Marine frequencies would be probably the least used frequency.
For now it’s GMRS. Then later on just a hand held Ham radio . I’m doing a GMRS base station now . I have several decent GMRS radios . Once I complete the GMRS system I will have a couple of the Cobra marine radios that also transmit in GMRS.
I’m just trying to cover most of the communication spectrum. Without going to over board.


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I have also been checking into those also . I’m trying to get most of our group to have at least one standard form of communication. The easiest is GMRS as far as licensing plus available radios. Most of the group probably won’t buy the type of GMRS radios like I have they will most likely buy the higher end Midland GMRS radios that Walmart sells . Those will work with what I have set up.
With that said I’m going standard GMRS . The set up will or should cover my area that I want to cover also if I want to extend the range beyond our property and area we can set up portable simplex repeaters. Those won’t cost to much and should be fairly simple to set up. Also if in SHTF situation and we need to go further from our area to trade or scavenge for supplies. We should also be able to set those same portable repeaters to extend range so we can split up further and be able to communicate. Also like Ham radios A lot of GMRS radios are repeater capable. Although I think that in a bad SHTF situation most of those kind of repeaters same as the ham repeaters won’t be operating.
So far that’s what we have come up with .
Me and maybe a couple others will also have a few other types such as the Baofeng radio. That way we will be able to listen in with local authorities and emergency services. Plus if it is necessary to get help from them if need be. Unless it’s bad enough that those types of services are not working you know WROL.
I think I have a new hobby with the radios.
Also in the last year GMRS radios have been getting very popular.


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CaddmannQ

.50 BMG
A SHTF type EMP event would be the end of many common devices. Protective storage could be possible, but puts them out of commission for present needs.

Eventually, batteries will be an issue. Knowing how to make power for com devices will be a key.
 
I’m going to work on the EMP stuff after I get the communication set up. For now I’m working on my base station set up . If I don’t get the ranges I want I’m also going to put together a couple portable simplex repeaters


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CaddmannQ

.50 BMG
I didn’t realize until now that I still have a short wave receiver, and I haven’t listened to it in 15 years. It’s not an expensive one, it’s a General Electric, but it works, And it’s AC/DC.

The thing I like most about that radio is that it has a woofer and tweeter.
 
I ordered my antenna and a couple other things . I have pretty much decided to go with the midland MXT115. It’s only 15 watt radio but it fits my budget plus comes with a antenna that I can use for other things . I may even get a pig tail so I can use the original midland antenna with a hand held in my vehicle. While the MXT115 can be the base radio. That will extend the range from base to vehicle. The base antenna should or I have hopes it also covers our property and we have better range from hand held to base . I hope any way . I have the base antenna set up I do because of space limitations. If it won’t accomplish my goals I will go ahead and order a actual base antenna. I really don’t want to spend that much but I will to accomplish my range goals.


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Got my antenna Saturday I set it up and connected it to a 5watt hand held unit . I did some range test Saturday evening. I got 2 more miles with it . The other radio was a hand held radio in a vehicle. So it really wasn’t a good test . My wife was helping she took the other radio and went as far as she couldn’t get any transition’s from me . She said that I come through nice and clear.
I wasn’t thinking about her only having a hand held and sitting inside the car. Had we had that radio hooked to a antenna outside of the vehicle. I would have gotten a clearer signal from her.
So what the test did prove was a outside base antenna improved the range . So now I know for sure that a higher wattage mobile/ base radio will definitely increase my range . So once I get the base done I will get a decent vehicle antenna for my wife’s and my truck.
Also I will have a antenna for my of road vehicle.
At least I know now that any area within my 5 mile perimeter of the base unit I can get a signal through. That’s from base to hand held units in the woods . Then from base to vehicle radios that are in our group.
Once I get a permanent base radio that has a higher wattage transmit power . The range will increase . So I will more then likely get a 10 mile transmission range.
For me to get better incoming transmission the ones in my group need to have antennas mounted on the outside of there vehicle. I’m almost certain they will. Once they see what I can do with my set up.
For now I’m just working on getting the property comms set up. So our security has some added advantage. Also makes it nice to be able to use on our property to communicate when doing projects and property management


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CaddmannQ

.50 BMG
I have been watching a YouTube channel called Mr. Carlson’s lab. This week he is putting up a new antenna mast, but most of the time he is repairing old radio in gear in his lab. He comes up with some wild projects too. The last one I saw he was fixing a radio from a World War II bomber.
 
So I have decided to just use a higher watt. HT unit for my base station radio and add a amp. also. The amp will boost my radios output power quite a bit. According to the specs. The amp will take a radio that is pushing out 2watts and move it to 10-20 watts . So I figure a 5 or 10 watt radio will be amplified to the full forty watts .If add a outside antenna pushed my transmission signal a couple more miles using a 2 watt and 5watt radios . I figure if I boost the radio I will get more range may even go past the perimeter that I’m trying to get . As for base receiving signal all I and others need to do is add outside antenna to our vehicles . As far as base to HT radios we have that for sure .A amp will boost that . And insure base to field communication is good. Also if I go with the amp I can use it later for a boost for a simplex repeater that I may build. That will be later .The ranges that I want to cover and have been working on are base to field and base to vehicle.
Later if I build a simplex repeater it will be for widening our communication coverage . That way in SHTF not only we have our property covered for a 5mike circle. We will be able to cover off the road and the areas / woods around the town . Should SHTF be so bad that we need to go foraging/hunting etc. to supplement our food supplies


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John A.

Unconstitutional laws are not laws.
Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderator
A SHTF type EMP event would be the end of many common devices. Protective storage could be possible, but puts them out of commission for present needs.

Eventually, batteries will be an issue. Knowing how to make power for com devices will be a key.

Depending on the battery type, just about anything is possible.

If you have a device that uses two 3v batteries (even hard to find ones like CR123's for instance), that device does not know the difference between two 3v batteries or four AA 1.5v batteries.

With nothing more than a simple re-wire to a different battery bank, if the device is not damaged, will restore function.

I'm a big fan of rechargable batteries.

Example: https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Holder-FolioGadgets-Storage-Switch/dp/B07D1D9SWJ

A lot of people are not aware of this, but many household devices, despite being plugged into AC, use DC power to operate.
 

Bobster

.30-06
Example: https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Holder-FolioGadgets-Storage-Switch/dp/B07D1D9SWJ

A lot of people are not aware of this, but many household devices, despite being plugged into AC, use DC power to operate.

I had a small safe I got in an auction lot that was locked closed. I could hear the keys flopping around inside it. Electronic keypad and originally came with a device similar to what you linked to to be able to power up the board if the internal batteries died, which they had. Downloaded the instructions off the web to determine how many batts were needed, dug through my collection of small transformers (ie: cell phone chargers, printer/router power supplies, etc.), found an end that was correct (volts were not) and a charger that had the correct voltage, spliced the two together, hit "1-2-3-4" and the safe opened right up. :)
 
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CaddmannQ

.50 BMG
I opened one of those little safes with a couple of big pry bars in about 30 seconds. There are times when you just cannot wait for a locksmith.
 

Djcala

.30-06
Supporter
HAM and GMRS both.
For family The GMRS Repeater network in our region is impressive and effective, made it worth the investment. I would suggest anyone shopping GMRS purchase programmable repeater capable radios.

KO4EDK
WRJZ693
ATL607
 
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