The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Communications => Topic started by: leftcoastrightmind on September 19, 2008, 10:40:18 AM

Title: Comms
Post by: leftcoastrightmind on September 19, 2008, 10:40:18 AM
One of the best preps you can make is to become a licensed Amateur radio operator and aquire some equipment.  My suggestion would be to start out with the tech license and work your way up to at least a general license where you can operate on most of the HF bands.  When the Shumer hits, you will be able to communicate with others and ultimately get info from sources other than the "gubment".
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: BigDanInTX on September 19, 2008, 12:21:41 PM
I am interested in doing this.  There are tons of applications in being a radio operator.

Here's a site for practice tests:
http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl (http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl)
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: leftcoastrightmind on September 19, 2008, 01:55:12 PM
I am licensed ans would be willing to answer any questions or concerns re this essential set of knowledge and skills.
QRZ is what I did.  They offer a set of tests that you can use online.  I did the practice tests for 3 weeks and passed my tech exam 100%
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: BigDanInTX on September 19, 2008, 02:29:05 PM
Awesome!  I'm sure you'll be a huge asset when this forum gets rolling.  Thanks for posting/offering to help others, we do appreciate it.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Elliott on September 19, 2008, 04:43:01 PM
That would be great.  I'm looking into it as well.  I found a site that has tons of online practice exams which I am going over along as reading the study guide.  However where I'm going to be concerned with the most is in picking my equipment. 

I don't want professional grade however I do want something that is durable.   

Thanks a lot.

P.S. Ham site with study guide and online tests.

http://www.mecckc.org/

then select "getting started in Ham radido"
then choose "ham class.org"


Title: Re: Comms
Post by: BigDanInTX on September 19, 2008, 04:49:01 PM
Keep the comms links coming.  Also, anyone who may be interested, there's a Communications forum over at Zombie Squad.  People usually post gear questions and reviews there as well.  It could be useful to look at in the interim until we get more "meat" in these forums.  =-]

http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=42&sid=7b835d984ef1c70b332c2aaf0d3c0959 (http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=42&sid=7b835d984ef1c70b332c2aaf0d3c0959)
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Master Guns on September 19, 2008, 08:02:36 PM
COMM:
I also feel that becoming a licensed Amateur radio operator (A HAM Radio Operator) is a requirement for the people who wish to be free and survive.

I like Gordon Wests CD's for becoming a Technician Class Operator. (The 1st Level you can study.)
http://www.gordonwestradioschool.com (http://www.gordonwestradioschool.com)
It can be played as you drive and I know many who can pass the test from just hearing him talk you through the class and his explanations are clear and to the Point.

It is always better to study and to have in depth knowledge of subjects, but in HAM radio you learn more after you get a License.
Many in your local area will be like minded and you can network from that point in many other areas.
Having Communications helps you find like minded people, help others in need, Call for help, and avoid things.

If you need help just ask.

It is a good thing to learn, if times get tough or even if they dont... (Thanks Jack for this Forum!!!)

Title: Re: Comms
Post by: jeremya on September 19, 2008, 10:25:28 PM
I have my Tech License, but I have yet to get a Radio, but it's on the list.

Dan when you get you license we can have Austin chat on 2-meter.  ;D

-- Jeremy
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: BigDanInTX on September 19, 2008, 10:32:52 PM
Sweet.  I definitely want to get a handheld rig for broadcast in the field and in a bug-out.  =-]
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: leftcoastrightmind on September 20, 2008, 09:36:13 AM
I have my Tech License, but I have yet to get a Radio, but it's on the list.

Dan when you get you license we can have Austin chat on 2-meter.  ;D

-- Jeremy

You can use echolink,  It is essentially using your computer for communications.  I have used it and I speak with people from right here in my AO to folks in Glasgow Scottland.  All you need is a good microphone and the software.  Here is the addy for Echolink:  http://www.echolink.org/

  You have to register, and they verify your call sign, but it is a cool tool for those who have not yet purchased any equipment.  Can we upload pics here?

There is another cool tool for VOIP called teamspeak.  Anyone ever used this software?  I used it back in the "Gaming Days".  Works sweet, is slightly better than phone quality, and is cool for group chats.

73's....Bleeeeeeep!!
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: creuzerm on September 22, 2008, 06:11:47 PM
I think comms are important. Being able to gather and disperse information quickly can save lives. Able to contact people in your group in an emergency, or at the 3rd hour, so your on the road by the 7th hour so your all safe at the 11th hour could be a decisive advantage.

I am working for my amateur radio license.

I have had CB radios for years. They can be cheap - the last one I got I traded a ride to a place I was going anyway for - they can be a 'fad' item for somebody and they dump them cheaply when they get bored. It might be worth picking up a few at garage sales, from friends & coworkers that are tossing them, etc. They run on 12 volts, so can be solar powered, their range is a couple of miles or line of site. They don't require a license - so you can work with them while your getting your radio license. Hang onto an assortment of magnet mount and other antennas. When you need to set up communications with somebody, you pull them out of you metal storage box, toss one into each vehicle or stationary location that needs to communicate.

I have several older handheld CB radios. The telescoping antennas on them make them quite ungainly to use in the woods. Mine take 12 AA batteries, so they are large and heavy and expensive to 'feed' - as the new LSD (low self discharge) NiMH are out, I need to get a couple of sets of batteries for each.  I have been eyeballing the new portable CB radios with the little rubber ducky antennas and build in battery packs. Anybody use one of these?

My 'trucklet' - Ford Escape - has a CB antenna bolted to the roof rack and a glass mount scanner antenna. Unfortunately, this makes the vehicle a bit distinctive looking, three antennas whipping in the wind. I am looking for a very short fiberglass magnet mount antenna that I can stick on the roof and pull the 4 foot steel whip off if I need to go 'stealth' and range isn't as much of an issue. I would have this and also a spare radio (one of the handhelds)  in the trucklet for somebody who doesn't have a radio on their vehicle. A CB doesn't do you any good if the person you want to talk to doesn't have one too.

I have a portable radio (police) scanner. Let me tell you, this is a handy little fella. I have the local police and fire as well as the surrounding municipalities. I also put in the county sheriff, state patrol, inter-agency communications, park service, local hospitals, etc. into the radio on separate 'banks' so I can turn them off most of the time. I have also added the utilities, power and phone so if they are in the area I can keep tabs on where power and phone are in or out of service. I am adding the local mass transit, light rail, city bus, etc. so in case I need to use one of those systems in a pinch I could pre-screen them for any issues. This radio also has the radio alert system in it so I can keep up on bad weather. I try to listen to the radio a couple of nights a month just to keep a 'feel' for what is normal radio traffic in a non-emergency time.

Don't forget your cell phone as a source of 'comms'. While the system can quickly get traffic flooded or be wholly unavailable in an emergency, they can work quite well just a few miles away on a different cell tower. Also, to the best of my knowledge, the data channel and voice channel are separate, so while a voice call may not connect, a SMS or text message may easily get through. In my experience in Florida, landlines can be down for weeks after a storm, while many cell towers may stay up throughout the storm. After the initial panic phone calls subside, they are quite usable. After hurricane Wilma, my power inverter in the vehicle was loaned out for 2 weeks and was charging cell phones 24/7 that hole time.

I have been looking at these little handheld el-cheapo radios for family/camping/hunting use. Chinamart had some for $30 a pair. I am thinking of watching for clearance sales after the holidays, and picking up several sets. If you can find them at $10 a pop, a hundred bucks would provide you with 10 short range radios. That is an awful lot of comms for a little money. If one happens to fall into the drink or get damaged through carelessness, it's not all that big of a financial loss.

Another thing to be said about comms is to practice. I am sure you have a friend/familymember who is the natural 'organizer' of events. They do all the communications and things tend to happen or not happen depending on their involvement. If you practice comms on a day to day basis, you could also become a natural goto person when it hits the fan. If somebody is trying to get a hold of you, it makes it much easier to get ahold of them. This makes it much easier to organize if needed. This also can form an informal 'chain of command', which also makes communication and organization easier.

Just a quick example, I am a bit of a weather bug - got it from my mom. But when bad weather brews, I am on the cell texting my friends that are in the path of the tornado. A quick check in with them after the storm making sure everything is ok and with an offer to help can also help establish that communications relationship.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on September 23, 2008, 12:13:19 AM
KD0DEV here.  Working on upgrading to the General class now.

The QRZ practice tests Dan listed are a great resource.  Another good resource is Mr. Pugsly & he's found at the following link http://home.comcast.net/%7Emisterpugsly/index.html the tech. & general class notes are printable & allow you to study without having to go & buy the books.  I used the tech. notes along with the QRZ practice exams to pass my tech. test.

I have a ton of links bookmarked if anyone is looking for something in particular.  I'm also setting up a computer to operate echolink on if anyone is interested.  It's not operational yet, but I hope to have it online by the end of October.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: leftcoastrightmind on September 23, 2008, 08:24:49 AM
I think comms are important. Being able to gather and disperse information quickly can save lives. Able to contact people in your group in an emergency, or at the 3rd hour, so your on the road by the 7th hour so your all safe at the 11th hour could be a decisive advantage.

I am working for my amateur radio license.

I have had CB radios for years. They can be cheap - the last one I got I traded a ride to a place I was going anyway for - they can be a 'fad' item for somebody and they dump them cheaply when they get bored. It might be worth picking up a few at garage sales, from friends & coworkers that are tossing them, etc. They run on 12 volts, so can be solar powered, their range is a couple of miles or line of site. They don't require a license - so you can work with them while your getting your radio license. Hang onto an assortment of magnet mount and other antennas. When you need to set up communications with somebody, you pull them out of you metal storage box, toss one into each vehicle or stationary location that needs to communicate.

I have several older handheld CB radios. The telescoping antennas on them make them quite ungainly to use in the woods. Mine take 12 AA batteries, so they are large and heavy and expensive to 'feed' - as the new LSD (low self discharge) NiMH are out, I need to get a couple of sets of batteries for each.  I have been eyeballing the new portable CB radios with the little rubber ducky antennas and build in battery packs. Anybody use one of these?

My 'trucklet' - Ford Escape - has a CB antenna bolted to the roof rack and a glass mount scanner antenna. Unfortunately, this makes the vehicle a bit distinctive looking, three antennas whipping in the wind. I am looking for a very short fiberglass magnet mount antenna that I can stick on the roof and pull the 4 foot steel whip off if I need to go 'stealth' and range isn't as much of an issue. I would have this and also a spare radio (one of the handhelds)  in the trucklet for somebody who doesn't have a radio on their vehicle. A CB doesn't do you any good if the person you want to talk to doesn't have one too.

I have a portable radio (police) scanner. Let me tell you, this is a handy little fella. I have the local police and fire as well as the surrounding municipalities. I also put in the county sheriff, state patrol, inter-agency communications, park service, local hospitals, etc. into the radio on separate 'banks' so I can turn them off most of the time. I have also added the utilities, power and phone so if they are in the area I can keep tabs on where power and phone are in or out of service. I am adding the local mass transit, light rail, city bus, etc. so in case I need to use one of those systems in a pinch I could pre-screen them for any issues. This radio also has the radio alert system in it so I can keep up on bad weather. I try to listen to the radio a couple of nights a month just to keep a 'feel' for what is normal radio traffic in a non-emergency time.

Don't forget your cell phone as a source of 'comms'. While the system can quickly get traffic flooded or be wholly unavailable in an emergency, they can work quite well just a few miles away on a different cell tower. Also, to the best of my knowledge, the data channel and voice channel are separate, so while a voice call may not connect, a SMS or text message may easily get through. In my experience in Florida, landlines can be down for weeks after a storm, while many cell towers may stay up throughout the storm. After the initial panic phone calls subside, they are quite usable. After hurricane Wilma, my power inverter in the vehicle was loaned out for 2 weeks and was charging cell phones 24/7 that hole time.

I have been looking at these little handheld el-cheapo radios for family/camping/hunting use. Chinamart had some for $30 a pair. I am thinking of watching for clearance sales after the holidays, and picking up several sets. If you can find them at $10 a pop, a hundred bucks would provide you with 10 short range radios. That is an awful lot of comms for a little money. If one happens to fall into the drink or get damaged through carelessness, it's not all that big of a financial loss.

Another thing to be said about comms is to practice. I am sure you have a friend/familymember who is the natural 'organizer' of events. They do all the communications and things tend to happen or not happen depending on their involvement. If you practice comms on a day to day basis, you could also become a natural goto person when it hits the fan. If somebody is trying to get a hold of you, it makes it much easier to get ahold of them. This makes it much easier to organize if needed. This also can form an informal 'chain of command', which also makes communication and organization easier.

Just a quick example, I am a bit of a weather bug - got it from my mom. But when bad weather brews, I am on the cell texting my friends that are in the path of the tornado. A quick check in with them after the storm making sure everything is ok and with an offer to help can also help establish that communications relationship.

If you really want to use a CB as part of your comms plan......which is a good idea, My suggestion is to get a CB with single sideband capability.  You will have more power and some degree of privacy compared with traditional AM only CB's.  4watts is the legal limit for std AM only CB's while you can legally use 12 watts with SSB mode.  here is a link with info on CB radio.

 http://www.roadtripamerica.com/dashboarding/CB-Radios.htm

Keep in mind that 11 meters is considered HF.  That being said, because we are at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, don't expect too much distance.  Non licensed people would be better off with a Maxtrac converted to the GMRS band.  I personally have set up my own GMRS repeater and have radios in my vehicles.  Line of sight in my AO is about 50 miles.  Radio to radio is about 15 miles.

But then with the tech license, you will be able to use anything above 50 MHZ.  See band plan here

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/Hambands_color.pdf

You will realize real, solid, reliable Radio to radio comms in the VHF band, more if you use local repeaters.  I have personally talked to great Britain on 2 m when using internet connected repeater systems.
enough for now
73's  bleeeeeppp!!!!!
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on September 23, 2008, 08:35:40 AM
Yet another practice website...

http://www.kb0mga.net/exams/index.php (http://www.kb0mga.net/exams/index.php)
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: stevebluff on September 23, 2008, 03:56:44 PM
Don't forgot a normal am/fm radio to keep up on the local news. LW and SW capabilities enhance the useful information that can be gathered. Go for a unit that has solar and/or wind up.


CB's are useful, vehicle, home mounted units plus hand held.


Basic walkie talkie, the license free kind are a great way to stay in touch up to a couple of ,miles. Just saw some wind up ones a couple of days ago.

The higher end stuff has been covered in great detail above apart from sat phones. they are not as expensive as people think, and can be a real life saver if you are out of GSM/Cell phone coverage.  I have used mine more in the national parks in the UK than in Africa or the middle east.





[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: kaiservontexas on September 24, 2008, 04:41:17 PM
One of the best preps you can make is to become a licensed Amateur radio operator and aquire some equipment.  My suggestion would be to start out with the tech license and work your way up to at least a general license where you can operate on most of the HF bands.  When the Shumer hits, you will be able to communicate with others and ultimately get info from sources other than the "gubment".

Hurricane Ike solidified this point into the group's mind. Friends and I consider ourselves a group. Ike disrupted the phones and cell networks. A text message, and we all know how they say use text messages to save bandwidth, would take hours to a day to arrive. The internet on my end failed before my power went out, and never mind the ones who did loss power. The last of our group finally got power restored this afternoon.

We all decided after such disruption of every form of communications we are familiar with failed that radio is a must in preps. If there would have been a real emergency, we all came through ok, nobody would have known. No means of calling for help. No means of checking on people. We ended up driving to each other's residences, which it is a good thing I stayed home because sometimes they missed each other as both were driving to the other person's place. We also understood that if we had to evac a convoy would be a goal. Radios would keep us in constant communication with each other while the rest of the grid went kaput.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: stevebluff on September 24, 2008, 05:26:49 PM
For non "end of the world" situation, like a hurricane, a sat phone and sat data terminal are the only way to maintain reliable sophisticated comms.  I design and deploy comms (voice and data) solutions for deployments to developing countries.  Plan b is always have a sat unit as back up! 
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Master Guns on September 26, 2008, 08:41:39 PM
Sat is great. I have  both personal and Work Sat phones.
But for the Normal person it is a bit over the top as to cost.
Most are costly to keep active even if you dont use it.

To have a phone that you can use ANYPLACE it is a great tool and I love it.
I still use my HAM radio gear more.
Scott

Title: Re: Comms
Post by: stevebluff on September 27, 2008, 06:49:35 AM
Sat is great. I have  both personal and Work Sat phones.
But for the Normal person it is a bit over the top as to cost.
Most are costly to keep active even if you dont use it.

To have a phone that you can use ANYPLACE it is a great tool and I love it.
I still use my HAM radio gear more.
Scott



To be honest I have looked at ham several times, but have never got around to taking my license.  It is on my "to do" list, and certainly would not argue that is an asset that some one in a community should have.

I supply Sat, HF, VHF and UHF, marine band, P25/Astro, TETRA, MPT1327 etc radio systems.  I have access to VHF and UHF hand-held and mobiles (vehicles and buildings), but find CB's, PMR446 (license free handhelds) and SW receivers cover most needs I can realistically think of for most preppers  and I would suggest these three ahead of a HAM set up.  Of course a cell/mobile phone is a great tools whilst they function, consider a push to talk version (nextel in US, www.youpoc.net in the UK).
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Master Guns on September 29, 2008, 09:36:26 PM
The Thing I like about HAM Radio is the World wide common factors.
In most countries you have reciprocal License agreements But it is not always the case.
As to 446 radios. I see this link about freq Differences.
http://www.geocities.com/euro446/frs.html (http://www.geocities.com/euro446/frs.html)

I did not know that the USA and UK had different frequency's.

But like you say as long as you have some sort of Comm the basics are covered and that is all you need most of the time.

Also HAM is not for work so it is better and required that you use it for Hobby and emergency use.

In the USA we have a good web page that you can see the Location and coverage of the Local Repeaters.
http://www.k5ehx.net/repeaters/qrepeater.php (http://www.k5ehx.net/repeaters/qrepeater.php)
You can click on any area in the USA and find the local repeaters.

For Emergency Situations it is a good Added Tool in the kit bag..
Scott
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: stevebluff on September 30, 2008, 12:35:43 AM
Cheers Scott, what's the furthest call signs you have picked up regularly? I have some experience with HF both in the military and afterwards (ITT, Racal, Harris VHF/HF and CODAN - Australian HF).  I have always considered it an art not a science although the new link quality analysis radios are very cool.

Will get back to yuo all on the license free options in the US.

BR

Steve

arte et marte
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: kaiservontexas on September 30, 2008, 11:13:00 AM
Sat phones would be nice, but the group and I could not afford such a set up. The other issue I would have, and the point I was trying to make, is being not being dependent on a service provider. HAM/radios are not dependent upon a service provider; therefore, it is immune for technical glitches and what not that service providers occasionally suffer.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Beetle on September 30, 2008, 01:33:57 PM
My wife and I are both hams. We have 2 meter rigs in our trucks that we use constantly. The repeaters in our area have a huge footprint. I suggest it for all.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Hellboy on October 01, 2008, 06:54:18 PM
I got my tech lic this spring. I went out and got a Yaesu FT60R.  ;D I need to get a base station, but wated to get up to speed with the handheld first.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: herculeze on October 23, 2008, 04:38:25 PM
I'm new to the comms and am wanting to buy a radio. I found what looks to be a good deal for a gmrs set up but from my understanding i need a licence to operate it even though the add says i don't.  I have to assume that it is due to the power source or the power behind the signal.  I'm also concerned about the batteries needing a charger and the charger needing 120V.  Any advise on the following:
pwr source (batteries, rechargeable, windup)
if left on for 72 hours expected drain time (#of batteries needed)
how gmrs is legal without licence
if bug out time occurs would it even matter
if i buy Motorola on the web and i want to talk to someone who buy whatever brand from walmart (probably 1-14)
the following link is a grms 2 way radio that i am interested in
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=470598
it doesn't mention the channels it uses but i have to assume that since it says gmrs that is is the upper channels

Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Beetle on October 23, 2008, 04:52:44 PM
I'm new to the comms and am wanting to buy a radio. I found what looks to be a good deal for a gmrs set up but from my understanding i need a licence to operate it even though the add says i don't.  I have to assume that it is due to the power source or the power behind the signal.  I'm also concerned about the batteries needing a charger and the charger needing 120V.  Any advise on the following:
pwr source (batteries, rechargeable, windup)
if left on for 72 hours expected drain time (#of batteries needed)
how gmrs is legal without licence
if bug out time occurs would it even matter
if i buy Motorola on the web and i want to talk to someone who buy whatever brand from walmart (probably 1-14)
the following link is a grms 2 way radio that i am interested in
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=470598
it doesn't mention the channels it uses but i have to assume that since it says gmrs that is is the upper channels



Skip the GMRS route, Ham is way better. To get your ham license study an on line test (35 questions) Once your proficient with the on line test find a local club to give you the test. Cost $14 to get your license that is good for ten years( free to renew). Then go buy a couple Ham handhelds and your are in business. I just got the Yaesu VX 170 for $120, I also bought an optional car charger for $20 so don't have to rely on the grid. The radios are performing flawlessly, and using a repeater I can talk with my buddy who is 200miles away. Check out the on line study test at http://www.arrl.org/ (http://www.arrl.org/)  You will be much happier with Ham than GMRS...Good luck   PS here is the link to look up the Yaesu vx170 you can read the specs on it http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=7A3213027D790BCFC558E51B3306C192&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0 (http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=7A3213027D790BCFC558E51B3306C192&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0)
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Bodhi on November 05, 2008, 05:21:01 PM
My wife and I are also hams (I have my General and she has her Tech), and one of the things that brought me into Ham radio was the use during an emergency.  I would highly suggest getting in touch with your local repeater owner and asking about local emergency "nets".  A net being a formal communications protocal for relaying emergency traffic.  Nets have been the backbone of what you hear about when Hurricanes and natural disasters hit.  Our local repeater owner would love for more people to be involved in learning how to "run" a net. 

Also, if you have a group of survival hams in your area, you can establish comms SOP's which would state that you are going to be online and monitoring during certain times, certain information being relayed...etc.  It's something I am working to develop and make a part of our emergency kits/plans. 

-Bodhi
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on November 06, 2008, 06:00:49 AM
I ordered a Yaesu VX-6R just the other day.  I take my Tech test next Sunday.  I'm looking forward to using the Amateur radio waves.  I've got one buddy who is a Tech.  We're trying to get the rest of our friends to get their liscense so we can develope a comm network.

I've had zero luck with FRS.  The Mrs. Badger and I both carry FRS/GMRS radios in our BOB's.  But, we both realize the limitations of those.  They would be used only once we got into the same area and couldn't make contact through cell phones.

I would LOVE it if she would get her Tech liscense, but I really don't see that happening.

HAM is the way to go if you ask me.  Plus, the HT I picked has a very wide range receiver on it so I can have access to info from a variety of sources.  Too bad television is going to go digital next year.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: iron mike on November 06, 2008, 07:36:02 AM
I'm new to the comms and am wanting to buy a radio. I found what looks to be a good deal for a gmrs set up but from my understanding i need a licence to operate it even though the add says i don't.  I have to assume that it is due to the power source or the power behind the signal.  I'm also concerned about the batteries needing a charger and the charger needing 120V.  Any advise on the following:
pwr source (batteries, rechargeable, windup)
if left on for 72 hours expected drain time (#of batteries needed)
how gmrs is legal without licence
if bug out time occurs would it even matter
if i buy Motorola on the web and i want to talk to someone who buy whatever brand from walmart (probably 1-14)
the following link is a grms 2 way radio that i am interested in
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=470598
it doesn't mention the channels it uses but i have to assume that since it says gmrs that is is the upper channels



You might want to consider eXRS radios ,  for licence free  short range SECURE person to person & group comms these are really hard to beat
http://www.trisquare.us/

http://www.cutratebazaar.com/  has them at $70 a set w/ charger ect.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Beetle on November 06, 2008, 10:04:04 AM
I ordered a Yaesu VX-6R just the other day.  I take my Tech test next Sunday.  I'm looking forward to using the Amateur radio waves.  I've got one buddy who is a Tech.  We're trying to get the rest of our friends to get their liscense so we can develope a comm network.

I've had zero luck with FRS.  The Mrs. Badger and I both carry FRS/GMRS radios in our BOB's.  But, we both realize the limitations of those.  They would be used only once we got into the same area and couldn't make contact through cell phones.

I would LOVE it if she would get her Tech liscense, but I really don't see that happening.

HAM is the way to go if you ask me.  Plus, the HT I picked has a very wide range receiver on it so I can have access to info from a variety of sources.  Too bad television is going to go digital next year.

Sweet Tactical let us know what your call sign will be....PS did you get a car charger for your radio also?
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on November 06, 2008, 10:13:22 AM
Yup.

After I figger' things out, I'm going to rig up an external antenna and amp for the HT for use in the car.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: jeremya on November 06, 2008, 11:42:28 AM
I have my Tech License, but I have yet to purchase a radio. I am leaning towards an HT for now. Any thoughts or suggestions?

-- Jeremy
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on November 06, 2008, 11:57:24 AM
I took my lead from IllicitDreams(on ZS).  He really likes the Yaesu's.  I know he has a mobile unit in his truck right now.  I don't think he has a HT yet though.  We talked a lot amongst ourselves (the Ohio ZS'ers) and decided on the VX-6R because of it's receive range and the fact that it's submersible.  The next step up from that one would be the VX-7R.  It's another $40 or so.  Universal radio has a really good deal going on those now.  ICOM has some really nice units as well.  They tend to be a little more expensive than the Yaesu's though.

Just how I picked mine.  I'm sure someone out there has a lot more experiance to draw on when it comes to HT's.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Hellboy on November 06, 2008, 12:57:53 PM
Here is my hand held rig as well as another toy I purchased myself when I passed my test:

(http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a212/alexmartinjr/IM000229rot.jpg)

And the Major award!

KJ4BXZ
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on November 06, 2008, 12:59:21 PM
Which Yaesu is that?
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Beetle on November 07, 2008, 01:33:56 PM
Tactical you would probably be wiser investing in a mobile for you car, instead of an amp for your handheld..If you get the right radio it can act as a repeater for your handheld..

Picture of my 440 repeater at my house...

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3051/3011296452_d2938b7a20_b.jpg)

Radios in my truck, Motorola is a SAR radio  155.805mhz...

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/3011309172_b85193af26_b.jpg)

Title: Re: Comms
Post by: GroundPounder on November 07, 2008, 11:04:08 PM
You might want to consider eXRS radios ,  for licence free  short range SECURE person to person & group comms these are really hard to beat
http://www.trisquare.us/

http://www.cutratebazaar.com/  has them at $70 a set w/ charger ect.

Nothing wrong with these but keep in mind when you go digital you cut your range significantly.  If you use encryption even less.  based on personal experience I have seen comms distance cut in almost half with digitally encrypted comms. 

Title: Re: Comms
Post by: iron mike on November 08, 2008, 04:50:37 AM
You might want to consider eXRS radios ,  for licence free  short range SECURE person to person & group comms these are really hard to beat
http://www.trisquare.us/

http://www.cutratebazaar.com/  has them at $70 a set w/ charger ect.

Nothing wrong with these but keep in mind when you go digital you cut your range significantly.  If you use encryption even less.  based on personal experience I have seen comms distance cut in almost half with digitally encrypted comms. 




These freq hop much loke the singars radios did.   that's the security part.


As stated,  they're more for short range between members of a hunting party ect.  just think of them as secure replacements for FRS / GMRS
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: GroundPounder on November 08, 2008, 07:09:08 AM
Have you ever looked at the Garmin Rino?  It is GPS / Radio combo.  Not secure, but if you have a group with them it will show everyone's position on the GPS.  If you are familiar with APRS it is very similar. 
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on November 12, 2008, 07:07:16 AM
Tactical you would probably be wiser investing in a mobile for you car, instead of an amp for your handheld..If you get the right radio it can act as a repeater for your handheld..

How does that work?  Are you saying I can use the mobile unit to retransmit the HT signal?  So...as long as the HT can reach the mobile in the vehicle, the mobile will transmit at 25W or whatever a mobile unit is good for?

More info please.  I like the sound of this a lot.  I  can see using my HT a lot if I can set up a mobile unit as a repeater for it.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on November 12, 2008, 09:19:01 AM
You're talking Crossband Repeater aren't you?

See...I knew there was a reason I hang out in this forum.  I mean, other than goofing off at work...

Like this...Linkity link (http://www.qsl.net/wb3gck/cbr.htm)...right?
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Beetle on November 12, 2008, 02:07:38 PM
You're talking Crossband Repeater aren't you?

See...I knew there was a reason I hang out in this forum.  I mean, other than goofing off at work...

Like this...Linkity link (http://www.qsl.net/wb3gck/cbr.htm)...right?
Yeppers exactly. Is your new handheld dual band? Plus with a mobile you'll really be able to get out there way more power than you could ever push through an HT. I got the Yaseu VX 170's which are 2 meter only, because the repeaters in my area are amazing. I do own a 440 repeater but I don't have any 440 radios other than the repeater yet...lol

I will eventually buy some dual band HT's and a new mobile to cross band repeat myself soon.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Tactical Badger on November 12, 2008, 03:05:34 PM
Dual Hell!!!  It's triple!!!  :o  :D
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: deaconblue22 on November 28, 2008, 06:04:13 AM
Alright, I might sound like an idiot here, but if the stuff does hit the fan, is the need for a license really going to be an issue?  My train of thought is that I get mine, I know my wife won't get her license, I teach her how to use the stuff non-the-less, and when it hits the fan, she can use hers.  Any reason this wouldn't work? 
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Beetle on November 28, 2008, 09:24:23 AM
Why won't the wife get hers? Work with her and tell her it's important to you. Both of you can study and take the test together. My wife went and got her's.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: BerserkerPrime on December 02, 2008, 10:56:31 PM
I'm looking hard at getting started, especially as winter sets in.  Are the online practice tests worth using?  I see a few folks that did it that way.  Also, what is a good resource for the newbie HAM wannabe's? 

V/r BerserkerPrime
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Beetle on December 02, 2008, 11:08:04 PM
I'm looking hard at getting started, especially as winter sets in.  Are the online practice tests worth using?  I see a few folks that did it that way.  Also, what is a good resource for the newbie HAM wannabe's? 

V/r BerserkerPrime

We kinda hi jacked a thread ... Check this link to some previous posts and there is a online practice test link in it.  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1194.msg11810#msg11810 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1194.msg11810#msg11810)
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Dan on December 04, 2008, 04:06:03 PM
I'm looking hard at getting started, especially as winter sets in.  Are the online practice tests worth using?  I see a few folks that did it that way.  Also, what is a good resource for the newbie HAM wannabe's? 

V/r BerserkerPrime
First I would like to say good for you getting in to this. I started studying a few days ago after a little proding from Bailey and should be going for my technician license on the 10th. I have tried several of the online practice tests and I prefer the ones at http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl (http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl) once you figure out how the controlls work you can skip questions and come back to it later and if you get one wrong you can try the other choices to find which answer was the right one. If you get one wrong and try other answers until you find the correct answer it will not change the score in your favor but you will at least know the answer in case you come across that question later in your studies.

For resources I have found the notes available from http://home.comcast.net/~misterpugsly/index.html (http://home.comcast.net/~misterpugsly/index.html) to be very helpful. I printed them out, read through half of them and have already noticed an improvement in my test scores.

I hope this helps and good luck!
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Jack Crabb on December 05, 2008, 11:23:01 PM
I'm looking hard at getting started, especially as winter sets in.  Are the online practice tests worth using?  I see a few folks that did it that way.  Also, what is a good resource for the newbie HAM wannabe's? 

V/r BerserkerPrime

I went from nothing to general with online tests.  I took a weekend prep course for technician and found out about the online tests.  There are a couple websites.  Try a few and find the one you like.  I used HamTestsOnline.

Basically, there is a pool of questions for each license.  The questions and answers are widely available.  The test is just a subset of the pool.  I just kept taking online tests until I consistently scored 90% or better.

Pointers to improve your score:
1. The longest answer is frequently the correct answer.
2.  If you have a choice of A, B, C or all of the above, it is usually all of the above.
3. There is one question in the general license pool for which the correct answer on the word "aurora" in it.  No idea what the question was, but always pick the answer with "aurora."
4.  Emergencies have priority.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: BerserkerPrime on December 06, 2008, 06:25:52 PM
I'm starting the process now, and found that there are 2 great Ham Podcast shows that you can find in ITunes.  Will post them once I get on my 'real puter'. 

BP
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: blar on December 20, 2008, 09:33:37 PM
If anyone near me (Nashville, TN) needs ham help let me know. I have been around the block a few times with everything from handhelds to HF digital and Sat operation.

-A
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on December 21, 2008, 07:15:19 PM
I'm starting the process now, and found that there are 2 great Ham Podcast shows that you can find in ITunes.  Will post them once I get on my 'real puter'. 

BP
Post these up when you get a second BP.  I'd like to have a listen.
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: BerserkerPrime on December 21, 2008, 07:30:15 PM
I'm starting the process now, and found that there are 2 great Ham Podcast shows that you can find in ITunes.  Will post them once I get on my 'real puter'. 

BP
Post these up when you get a second BP.  I'd like to have a listen.

No problem DEV.  First is the http://www.hamradioclass.org/ (http://www.hamradioclass.org/) ham radio podclass.  Kinda dry, by very informative.  http://www.podcastalley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=46028 (http://www.podcastalley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=46028) is the other one.  It is Resonant Frequency.  Pretty good stuff.  Many hours of listening.  Enjoy.

Berserker Prime
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on December 21, 2008, 08:46:25 PM
I'm starting the process now, and found that there are 2 great Ham Podcast shows that you can find in ITunes.  Will post them once I get on my 'real puter'. 

BP
Post these up when you get a second BP.  I'd like to have a listen.

No problem DEV.  First is the http://www.hamradioclass.org/ (http://www.hamradioclass.org/) ham radio podclass.  Kinda dry, by very informative.  http://www.podcastalley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=46028 (http://www.podcastalley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=46028) is the other one.  It is Resonant Frequency.  Pretty good stuff.  Many hours of listening.  Enjoy.

Berserker Prime
Cool!  Thanks much. ;)
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Masterherdsman on March 10, 2009, 06:48:28 PM
I am willing to help also.
and trust me it is not that hard.
KC5FSP
Title: Re: Comms
Post by: Heavy G on March 21, 2009, 08:10:40 PM
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