Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#51517 - 10/09/05 11:20 AM Emergency Communications
Anonymous
Unregistered


When the SHTF what would be the point to point communications routine. I am going to assume HAM. Won't be able to rely on cellular phones, Dial up, or internet. @ cans and a string won't go very far, so....
Assuming it is HAM, I have a few questions.

Eliminate repeaters that are currently in existance as batterries will eventually go dead. What band is going to be best?

What radio manufacturer seems to make the best equipment?

Are there models that are fairly portable that cover more than one band, or is a seperate unit required for each band?

Since someone will eventually setup a repeater in the aftermath what would the most likely choice of bands be?

What band in the most portabel size unit allows for the longest distance communictions?

I have noticed that marine band radios usually have higher wattage output, is this a fair alternative?

Thanks

Top
#51518 - 10/09/05 12:42 PM Re: Emergency Communications
harrkev Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Assuming that you want to be able to talk more than 10 miles all by yourself (no repeaters), the only way is to go HF. Currently, that means learning morse code as well as all of the technical stuff. As far as radios go, you can use a $50 kit and a long wire, or you can dump $10,000 on a radio and a $300 beam antenna on top of a $500 tower. There are a lot of options open.

A single-frequency low-power CW rig can be built for $40 (rockmite). A fairly neat four-band CW radio about the size of a paperback novel can be built for $300 (Elecraft KX-1). These are probably the best for portable battery-powered work. Check out Elecraft's other stuff.

The biggest manufacturers of radios are: Kenwood, Icom, and Yaesu. Ten-Tec also commands a certain amount of respect, and are USA-made.

Check out the following web sites:
www.eham.net
www.arrl.org
www.qrz.com
www.gigaparts.com
www.aesham.com

Have fun!

KG4ZUD
_________________________
--
Darwin was wrong -- I'm still alive

Top
#51519 - 10/09/05 12:54 PM Re: Emergency Communications
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
I would say that HAM is not going to be as common as GMRS, or even FRS.

Your assumption on eliminating repeaters is unrealistic. Yes, some will go down, but more and more are running with photovoltaic backup. I've put up half a dozen commercial repeaters alone that use this configuration. In fact, some don't have any utility connection at all.

GMRS radios encompass the popular FRS band, which includes all those Costco $50 specials. Part of the GMRS band includes repeater operations. Unlike HAM, GMRS licensing does not require any technical/operating proficiency testing.

FRS/GMRS is in the UHF part of the spectrum.

The vast majority of Ham ops above HF is in the two meter range.

7 Mhz seems to be the most crowded area in the HF region.

VHF Marine portable radios are rated similar to two meter portables for output.

For the money, if you want a decent back up comms system, get GMRS.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Top
#51520 - 10/09/05 01:18 PM Re: Emergency Communications
Anonymous
Unregistered


For those of us outside of the US, what is FRS & GMRS

As for me, I use UHF Handhend CB's as my primary radio to grab.
I have 2 high quality handhends which transmit on 1w/5w with extra antanne and conections etc. and I have some cheap handhelds for local comms.
I have a couple of 27Mhz CB radios as well if I need extra distance, but they aren't as common around here now.
I also have access to some Ham gear at friends if I need it, but I am not licenced.

Top
#51521 - 10/09/05 03:56 PM Re: Emergency Communications
fordwillman Offline
Member

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Arizona
Hi Bravo25 and welcome to ETS,
I would honestly say that HAM radio is your best bet BY FAR. To get your Technician license is a simple test (no Morse code) and then you can use all the VHF and UHF frequencies. 2 meters is especially useful in emergency situations for "local" communications. Hams plan for disasters and loss of power and many 2 meter repeaters are able to use alternate power. Here is Arizona, we can talk on 2 meters across much of the state because of the mountain top reapeaters. Also, a 2 meter handi-talkie is realatively cheap--net units available for slightly over $100. A very good choice is the ICOM IC-V8 that has 5.5 watts output, is very rugged and covers the weather channels also. (Just an example). The cost about $130.
But seriously, check out ham radio. I think you will find what you need.
Ford

Top
#51522 - 10/09/05 04:12 PM Re: Emergency Communications
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
FRS = Family Radio Service (no FCC license needed)
GMRS = General Mobile Radio Service (one license covers all immediate family members)

They are in the 462/467 Mhz range

Top
#51523 - 10/10/05 05:31 AM Re: Emergency Communications
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Fordwillman,

To be more precise, with a technician license you will be able to use all the available Ham frequencies in VHF and UHF. You will still need a license to operate on GMRS, which is likely where most of the traffic is going to be locally.

In my experience, Ham VHF (2 meters) is the most populated band for local traffic and has the greatest number of available repeaters for a given area. This is in my mostly rural area back home, and I am sure for more metropolitan areas, other bands, UHF especially, will see more use.

In comparison to Ham use, I would estimate GMRS/FRS to have roughly ten to 30 times more users for a given area. If GMRS repeaters are operating, expect the usage to be on the higher end of that estimate.

It used to be that Ham repeater owners were about the only ones who equipped their sites with alternative power in the event of utility failure. Over the last decade I've seen many more GMRS and commercial repeaters go to photovoltaic as either backup sources or as primary power. What used to be considered a luxury became somewhat a standard in a very short time.

We have a pretty good Ham network on two meters throughout the Pacific Northwest now. You'd be hard pressed to find a location anywhere in Washington state you can't get on an "Intertie" one way or another. There's even some redundancy built into the network, so if you do go Ham, chances are you can talk to other Hams across the region, wherever you may be. I don't know of any GMRS repeaters in a network, and likely the licensing restricts such operations. The nice thing about GMRS is they can be had for as little as $60 or so a piece, ready to go, with concurrent coverage on FRS operations as well. For a more complete description of what GMRS and FRS are, I suggest checking out the FCC website.

You can find some fairly nice and rugged used VHF radios for Ham radio. Some are progammable, some are fixed frequency. Being the tech that I am, I like a little bit of both, sometimes because I like to tinker and sometimes because I like the coolest latest gadgets out there. I've seen it all, from old tube jobs with dynomotors up to the latest programmable solid state smd "all bands" techno nightmares. My prediction is in 10 years we will all be talking to one another and share our MP3 files and such using unlicensed wrist mounted pda phones on SHF frequency bands talking to network nodes on a thousand low orbit satellites circling the globe.

Anyone wanna bet against that?
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Top
#51524 - 10/10/05 11:34 AM Re: Emergency Communications
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
OK - which band is best (no repeaters - even though many of our locals will have power for a LONG time - emergency generators are good)

It depends on HOW FAR you want to talk - 5-10 miles, your still talking VHF/UHF - a bit further - 6m is good, but not that many people on it. Beyond that? your talking 80m or 40m HF rigs - preferably setup with an NVIS antenna - now your into antennas that are 66-120 feet long, mounted about 5-10 ft off the ground, and a "Non trivial" skill set

As portable repeaters come in, they will amost definately be either 2m, or 70cm(440Mhz) band - and in fact, the first may be "cross band" where the input is in 2m and the output on 440Mhz (or the other way around)

Ham radio HTs typically are 5-6 watts, and Mobile units are typically 50watts in VHF (2m) and 35watts UHF (440Mhz), however, they are easilly available up to around 110 watts

If you want to know what is going on with Ham radio and disaster Comms in YOUR area, look up your local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) or Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) group, and ask and learn

And I'll pass on this piece of advice that one of my Elmers (Ham Radio Mentor) gave me "Don't sweat your first VHF/UHF radio too much - you'll probably go through a bunch finding out what you like - buying/selling/trading" Boy was he right - I think I have 18 of them at the current time
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

Top
#51525 - 10/14/05 12:40 AM Re: Emergency Communications
Steve Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/29/04
Posts: 84
Loc: North Carolina
What do the knowledgable ham folks think about the new 31 baud PSK31 mode for emergency communications? It operates about as fast as you can type and supposedly operates over long distances at low power. Here's a quote from an online emergency communications study guide at http://wcarc.ws/emcomm.pdf :

Quote:
Phase Shift Keying 31 baud (PSK31) is a new mode, and has a lot of promise. In terms of
protocol and operation, PSK31 is similar to RTTY. However, all of the above digital modes
use "audio frequency shift keying" (AFSK). Phase shift keying defeats much of the band
noise, is very robust, and uses very little bandwidth. QRP signals have been sent long
distances. However, the mode is very new, and is not common.


Sounds pretty interesting!
Thanks, Steve
_________________________
"After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my condition, I
began to look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was
next to be done"

Top
#51526 - 10/14/05 02:03 AM Re: Emergency Communications
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Quote:

Eliminate repeaters that are currently in existance as batterries will eventually go dead. What band is going to be best?

Not necessarily. While some don't have good battery backup (for example, in NJ Cherryville has a MASSIVE battery bank) many ham radio repeaters are based in emergency ops centers which have good backup power.

Quote:

What radio manufacturer seems to make the best equipment?

I like Kenwood the most. That's just me.
Quote:

Are there models that are fairly portable that cover more than one band, or is a seperate unit required for each band?

There are many, many multi-band radios, from handheld to in-vehicle.

Quote:

Since someone will eventually setup a repeater in the aftermath what would the most likely choice of bands be?

2Meter (144 Mhz)
440 Mhz
Possibly 6 meter (50 Mhz)
HF bands of various flavors.

Quote:

What band in the most portabel size unit allows for the longest distance communictions?

A portable AM SSB High Frequency portable will really get out.

Quote:

I have noticed that marine band radios usually have higher wattage output, is this a fair alternative?


Not really, that's a 160 Mhz, similar enough to 2M ham...

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
October
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
Who's Online
2 registered (hikermor, Dale), 261 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
jackmiller, DaveL, Dale, rac, Boris
5266 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Time Capsule
by Jeanette_Isabelle
11:35 PM
Florida residents desperate for food and shelter
by hikermor
05:44 PM
Arizona Mine Rescue
by hikermor
03:59 PM
Folder for Opening Boxes
by hikermor
10/19/18 03:18 PM
Best use of time, money
by quick_joey_small
10/16/18 07:54 PM
get a cheap laptop
by TeacherRO
10/16/18 05:45 PM
I'm Not Coming Home
by Jeanette_Isabelle
10/14/18 05:49 PM
Winter preps -- Time for the switch over
by dougwalkabout
10/12/18 03:01 AM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.