Author Topic: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?  (Read 663 times)

Offline Greekman

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NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« on: October 31, 2019, 12:27:17 AM »
Hi all!
I wonder if it is feasible to set up such an alert system for alert capable radios.
Though i am guessing it is not allowed to broadcast anything in the preset alert frequencies.
Any chance one could setup a similar system with other methods? Like modifying the radios to receive the alerts in other Frequencies?

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 07:26:25 AM »
I don't know what your laws are in Greece.  In the US, yes, you'd be in big trouble for transmissing on the weather alert frequencies.

Recent scanner radios (receive-only) have a "tone-out standby" feature which listens to a particular frequency and waits for a 2-tone pattern for a particular fire station.  You could probably use this on an amateur or unlicensed frequency, so that the receiver would remain quiet until it received the "prepper alert" tones from whoever transmitted them.

Offline Greekman

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 07:52:21 AM »
yes, I did mean receive only radios.
The scanner idea is better since a proper comms plan for any group would require at least one running 24-7
Can this frequency be changed or is it preset on prefixed region/band of frequencies?

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 03:55:12 PM »
On my scanner, I'm pretty sure the tone-out standby can be set to any frequency.  I don't think it supports monitoring multiple frequencies, but maybe newer scanners can do that.  It does support monitoring one frequency for multiple different tone patterns -- I've got mine set for the three nearest fire stations.  Very helpful during our wildfire season (Feb - Nov).

Offline Greekman

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2019, 02:45:33 AM »
then what I asked Can be done...
thanks M.B.!

Offline cidyl

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2019, 06:03:35 AM »
Sounds like you're talking about selective calling, CTCSS/DCS tones are the simplest form of that.  Most part 90 commercial radios have added selective calling capability, 5-tone or DTMF used for opening the squelch only on radios in a particular group, or to call a single radio.  Mostly it's to help manage many users sharing a single frequency so everyone isn't hearing traffic unless it's designated for them, for smaller groups and with many frequencies to choose from it never made much sense to me. 

Maybe I'm missing something but what about just designating an emergency channel and CTCSS/DCS tone for it, have users monitor that channel, and transmit that annoying alarm/1750 Hz tone most HTs have for a few seconds to get everyone's attention before sending the announcement? 

Offline Greekman

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2019, 02:32:00 AM »
I am thinking on signalling a prepper community on regional matters(i.e active shooter in the region's high school).
The simplest way for the receiving end would have to have an AM/FM broadcast radio always on, and getting a NOAA style alert. but in our case from a designated member.
(over here we have no thing like this, and as far as I understand the NOAA special radios interrupt the channel and switch automatically in a NOAA alert one)

Offline cidyl

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2019, 06:58:59 AM »
In the US weather information is broadcast 24x7 on 7 different frequencies around 162 MHz, if there is a severe weather warning or other emergency then the normal weather information is interrupted and two different alert signals are sent.  One alert signal is a newer digital/analog packet and the other an older 10 second 1050 Hz tone.  How the weather alert radios (receivers) with alert capability respond varies depending on the receiver and how it's configured, but typically the receiver is left on but the audio is muted (squelch closed), when the alert signal is received the audio is unmuted (squelch opened) so the message can be heard.  This is basically the same as setting a digital or tone coded receive squelch on a ham radio, unless the sender transmits that tone it won't open the squelch of the receiving radio.  Some GMRS/ham radios with weather alert capability will switch to the weather frequency if it was tuned to a different channel when an alert is received, which is basically the same as the 'dual watch' capability of many GMRS/ham radios - monitoring two different frequencies and it switches to the one with activity, or to the one set as the 'primary' channel if both have activity.

So guess I'm wondering why you wouldn't just use a cheap Chinese ham radio as the alert receiver?   Seems to me just about any ham radio has all the functions you're looking for.  If there's a concern the user might inadvertently change the settings, then a part 90 radio that you can program to a single frequency and squelch settings, and disable the transmit and front panel programming so they can't transmit or change anything.  I think the $30 Baofeng UV-82C allows that, or if not then I know the $70 Puxing UV9R/973 does.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2019, 08:40:57 AM »
Does it have to be voice?  You can use inexpensive APRS technology to send text messages on non-ham frequencies as well as designated ham frequencies.  This can include gps position data for the incidents location too.




Offline Greekman

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Re: NOAA style alerts for Prepper Communities?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2019, 09:34:54 AM »
So guess I'm wondering why you wouldn't just use a cheap Chinese ham radio as the alert receiver?   Seems to me just about any ham radio has all the functions you're looking for.  If there's a concern the user might inadvertently change the settings, then a part 90 radio that you can program to a single frequency and squelch settings, and disable the transmit and front panel programming so they can't transmit or change anything.  I think the $30 Baofeng UV-82C allows that, or if not then I know the $70 Puxing UV9R/973 does.

hmmmm I think it can be done....An external speaker, and the radio turned to Fm radio (having an everyday usability is a bonus). A CTCSS coded signal will shift to the alert designated frequency. yes I think it can work.