Author Topic: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?  (Read 4174 times)

Offline rangergear

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what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« on: February 28, 2010, 01:22:05 PM »
I’m looking for a communication system for SHTF or another Katrina situation. I plan on putting it in a vest that I will be using for CERT/ NET. I would like this radio as powerful as I can make it. I plan on being able to use a 2 to 3 ft antenna for extended range. I would like it to be able to operate on MURS, FRS & GMRS, along with all the other HAM freqs. I have heard a little about using a GPS with it so others in my group can find me. There will also be times that I will want it to be more secure.
I plan on getting my armature license.

Is it possible to make a radio more secure?

Is there a radio that will reach the wide range of freqs?

If everyone in my group has a license will we be able to operate on it to coordinate resources, or will it be too busy?

This is the radio I have been eyeing yaesu  VX-8DR http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=03484E782FF9B7DFA27AEE086A68F530&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

Offline Truik

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 01:35:10 PM »
I’m looking for a communication system for SHTF or another Katrina situation. I plan on putting it in a vest that I will be using for CERT/ NET. I would like this radio as powerful as I can make it. I plan on being able to use a 2 to 3 ft antenna for extended range. I would like it to be able to operate on MURS, FRS & GMRS, along with all the other HAM freqs. I have heard a little about using a GPS with it so others in my group can find me. There will also be times that I will want it to be more secure.
I plan on getting my armature license.

Is it possible to make a radio more secure?

Is there a radio that will reach the wide range of freqs?

If everyone in my group has a license will we be able to operate on it to coordinate resources, or will it be too busy?

This is the radio I have been eyeing yaesu  VX-8DR http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=03484E782FF9B7DFA27AEE086A68F530&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0


The radio you linked to does have nice APRS capabilities (the location tracking) and true dual-band dual monitor capabilities. That's a nice radio!

As far as having an all in one MURS, FRS & GMRS rig, I don't believe that is too feasible and you would probably want to have separate transceivers for these. Remember, two is one and one is none. In real life, equipment fails. If you have a dual band ham rig, a MURS radio and an FRS and any one of them fails, gets lost, destroyed or simply runs out of juice, you have backup.

Just my opinion.

Concerning making secure comms, the only encoded transmissions allowed with amateur radio is when controlling a HAMSAT. Otherwise, it is not allowed. Perhaps someone else can elaborate on the secure aspect of MURS and FRS.



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Offline rangergear

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 12:52:57 PM »
Thanks

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 01:35:58 PM »
rangergear here's an Antenna you might like if you're going to use your radio on a vest.

http://radiowavz.us/html/mbitr_tvas.html   freq coverage is 30Mhz to 512Mhz and they can put any connector end on if needed

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 02:05:11 PM »
rangergear pick up the high-capacity battery for it if you get it, maybe 2 of them if you're away from the charger for a day you'll be glad you did. You'll be shocked how fast radios chew through batteries after a cpl hours of heavy comm traffic
I have the VX-170 with the 1400Mah battery Yaesu built those for SAR but its only 1 band
It gives my Motorola HT1550-Xls a run for its money on battery life

Offline rangergear

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 08:13:45 AM »
Does anyone know how the GPS feature works? Does it give you grid on the display or is it only read by the receiver on the other end?  And can I get someone else location on my radio or do I need a computer to track it?

Offline Truik

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 08:26:29 PM »
Does anyone know how the GPS feature works? Does it give you grid on the display or is it only read by the receiver on the other end?  And can I get someone else location on my radio or do I need a computer to track it?

Check out a couple different displays part of the way down this web page.

http://www.aprs.org/

One is data, one is a real-time color map.

Its very versatile.

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Offline rangergear

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2010, 07:35:36 AM »
That’s a neat and confusing web site. I think I have a lot to learn on this subject.

Offline Truik

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2010, 08:09:49 AM »
That’s a neat and confusing web site. I think I have a lot to learn on this subject.

I'm going to do an article on tracking in an upcoming issue of TSP Hams.

You need a transceiver with a TNC so it can handle packet and ARPS transmission and reception.

http://www.texastowers.com/kenwood_tmd710a.htm

You need a GPS receiver.

http://www.solware.co.uk/gps-products/wired-gps-receiver.shtml

and a display like a laptop would be really nice for an actual graphic representation.

and you need a tracker.

http://www.argentdata.com/products/otplus.html?gclid=CJTfoZmjpKACFVNb2god7EgKaw

There is a PDF available on the bottom of the link above that explains a bit and has a simple diagram of how it is all connected together.

I don't have an APRS setup myself yet but I plan on getting one soon. I still need to do a lot of research before putting together the article and before getting my rig and other gear.



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Offline kc9eci

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 08:11:03 AM »
Quote
I would like it to be able to operate on MURS, FRS & GMRS, along with all the other HAM freqs.


First, it's ham, not HAM, it isn't an acronym.  Better yet, call them amateur radio bands.  Next, Your ham radio is just that, a ham radio.  It is contrary to FCC rules to use it out of band on say MURS or FRS or GRMS frequencies.  The exception to that rule is you may transmit out of band if it is an emergency, and you have no other means of communications, i.e, you have a working cellphone in your pocket you can't call the local PD on their dispatch frequency.  Radios for use on the other bands you mention need to be FCC certified.  This used to be called 'type accepted.'  Encryption is a no no on the amateur bands.  The use of codes and ciphers is not allowed.  

Here is a link to FCC part 97:  http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/news/part97/  Every licensed amateur radio operator should be familiar with it.  It is the law of the land that you agreed to follow when you took your test and earned your license.  

Something else, don't wait for the SHTF to break out your mad radio skilzz.  OTJ training in a disaster is a bad plan and bound for failure.  There are plenty of radio related activities going on all the time.  As I post this, the ARRL International DX contest is going on.  That's a great opportunity to set up a HF rig and a dipole somewhere and see how long you can run off your battery, how well your dipole works, etc.  Later on in June there is a VHF contest, again a nice opportunity to do some 'training' with your equipment.  Field Day also rolls around in June and there isn't a better time to get together with the hams from the local club and see what equipment others have and get some more op time on the air.  Programs like US Islands, Summits on the Air, etc all provide a point of motivation to go portable with your stuff and have fun while learning how things work.
It's ham radio, or better yet, amateur radio, not HAM...it isn't an acronym.

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Offline rangergear

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 02:21:05 PM »
and Roger.

Offline KSDeputy

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2010, 01:20:53 PM »
New Motorola digital spread spectrum portable DTR 550 / DTR 650. No license required. Range 1-2 miles. It is what I am going to get. :)

Offline Kagetsu

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2010, 09:52:26 AM »
I think of it as "who do you want to talk to?",,, Or is it "with whom do you wish to talk"

Anyway,,, You'll need more than one radio and the antenna is going to be required by the frequency

I don't think I seriously need to hit Canada and Europe, so any thing below 10 meters is a bit pointless.

I want the "big 3". CB, everyone on the road with a radio has one. FRS or even better with GMRS, people without FCC Certs can have and use them, great for close range. Then I want the power. 10m through 70cm. Possible skyjumps, good cluttercutters, repeaters, to very clear close range.

Secure? No. I believe scramblers are illegal. If you transmit it, a receiver can hear it. Computer to computer packet???? there may be file options there. I've never used packet.  
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 09:55:19 AM by Kagetsu »

Fred_47460

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2010, 10:19:37 AM »
I’m looking for a communication system for SHTF or another Katrina situation. I plan on putting it in a vest that I will be using for CERT/ NET. I would like this radio as powerful as I can make it. I plan on being able to use a 2 to 3 ft antenna for extended range. I would like it to be able to operate on MURS, FRS & GMRS, along with all the other HAM freqs. I have heard a little about using a GPS with it so others in my group can find me. There will also be times that I will want it to be more secure.
I plan on getting my armature license.

Is it possible to make a radio more secure?

Is there a radio that will reach the wide range of freqs?

If everyone in my group has a license will we be able to operate on it to coordinate resources, or will it be too busy?

This is the radio I have been eyeing yaesu  VX-8DR http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=03484E782FF9B7DFA27AEE086A68F530&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0


I know of no radio that is able to transmit on all those bands....at least legally able to transmit.

I would look at the Kenwood TH-F6A, Yaesu VX-8DR, or Icom IC-91A. All of these radios (Hand helds) transmit on the most common ham radio bands for local emergency comms (2 meters, and 70 centimeters)....but they also receive about any band known to man (FRS, GMRS, Broadcast band AM/FM, Shortwave, CB, and local emergency Gov resources (Non trunked). Some of them even have GPS optional capabilities.

I know of no communication equipment available to the consumer that has any kind of scrambling available.

If everyone in the group has a ham radio license, ham radio equipment like I listed above doesn't use "channels" but rather ham radio uses "frequencies" on bands. The "frequency" availability is for all intents and purposes unlimited. It is extremely unlikely that you would not be able to find a clear frequency to use.....and it is very likely that you would have "some" degree of privacy....but the way ham radio works there is absolutely NO guarantee of privacy.

I hope this helps....this can be a confusing subject to try to help with.

Fred

Offline Stormchaser

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2010, 03:26:13 AM »


Secure? No. I believe scramblers are illegal. If you transmit it, a receiver can hear it. Computer to computer packet???? there may be file options there. I've never used packet.  

Been quite awhile since I've done packet (digital) ham radio, but the the most common mode was AX-25, which could be 'read' by another AX-25 TNC (terminal node controller), but I recall another mode, just not the name of it, which was more secure (though not scrambled or encoded). There was always a concern of ham groups that used packet in association with the various authorities that the AX-25 systems could possibly be monitored by news organizations (though I never heard of any specific instance of this), whereas the (other) secure system would not allow this.

Anyone know the name of the other protocol? My brain is scrambled.
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Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2010, 06:33:04 AM »
The FCC recommends CW if you want to limit who can understand your transmissions.
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Offline Carl

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Re: what radio to use for SHTF or Katrina?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2010, 07:54:15 PM »
Hi ,I am Carl and I am new to posting here . The only 'secure' ,or discrete HAM radio I know of are several by ICOM that have the DSTAR option installed.
You use DIGITIZED audio and only other DSTAR gear or the computer dongles can HEAR what is going on. You can send voice or text (with a keyboard)
and it is discrete.  I wonder though why someone wanting to be discrete would also want to transmit a signal on so many bands and not to mentions APRS ,
that ID's you ,and where you are every couple of minutes?

No HAM gear is accepted on FRS,GMRS,or MURS , though many will marginally cover those frequencies,the performance ,and antennas , would make it hardly
worth your while. There are some type accepted radios that can also work on HAM bands ,and this option may be better.
Personally,I feel a TEAM would be better served with 'single channel' radios ,more work,less fiddleing with radios, less confusion.The command post is where
the multi-service radio would best serve to monitor for distress calls and then direct help.
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