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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 05-02-2019, 5:51 PM
DeadWhiteGoose DeadWhiteGoose is offline
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Default Basic Prep : Weather Radio. Good for SHTF?

Hey guys, made a quick video about those basic Emergency Weather Radios that have the flashlight, solar & hand crank generators. Super cheap to get, but are they viable for a SHTF scenario? Let me know if you guys use these, think they are a waste or if you feel like they are a must.


Last edited by DeadWhiteGoose; 05-02-2019 at 5:53 PM..
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2019, 6:16 PM
ErikC12 ErikC12 is offline
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For your standard natural disaster they would be useful as it may be your only source of information regarding evacuations, shelters or hazards. In a TEOTWAWKI / sociatal collapse scenario they'd be basically useless ar there would be no information to recieve.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2019, 6:51 PM
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I have bought and used a couple of these over the last few years. They don't seem to hold up very well and the charging system degrades quickly. I have one that sits in my bedroom window and one in my truck in the window just as a last resort.

What works way better (for me) is a Baofeng UV-5R. I bought 2, 2 upgraded antennas, 2 of the large batteries, 2 rubber cases, a 12 volt adaptor, and a solar panel charger. These can be used as a HAM radio (2 meter/70 centimeter), GMRS radio, NOAA weather radio, and FM radio (it also has a small flashlight bulb, but I've never used it). You can set it to monitor a HAM frequency (or GMRS) and then set it to FM radio or NOAA radio - if someone transmits on the HAM frequency you are monitoring it will automatically switch over to that.

I have used these to listen to the radio (while monitoring a local HAM club repeater that I frequent) everyday for 4-8 hours a day for the last 4 years and they still work great and the batteries are still almost as good as when they were new.

The solar charging panels I bought charge pretty slowly, if I was going to change one thing it would be to get a bigger better solar charger.

I do have more invested than what one of those solar/crank radios cost . . . but I get much more. Well worth it in my opinion.
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2019, 9:13 PM
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I've got two Kaito Voyagers that are similar to what you're describing. A little spendier. They've held up well. I rarely use the hand cranks, and the solar cells are enough to power them in moderate sun even with the rechargeable battery disconnected entirely.

Like any decent prepper knows, this shouldn't be a single point of failure -- I also have GMRS and dual-band HAM, running off of AA's that I can recharge from real solar panels; also folks almost always have a vehicle nearby that can receive FM for days without recharging. But they do the job.

In a disaster situation you may well have (1) a bunch of people who need something to do, and (2) a need to have someone sit on radio broadcasts for a few hours to make sure you don't miss something important. A simple receiver like this brings those two needs together.
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Old 05-03-2019, 8:42 PM
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Try to find a BayGen radio.
Wind it up and as it unwinds it powers the radio.
It works infinitely better than the wind up charging radios.
It plays for about 30 minutes per windup.
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2019, 1:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
I have bought and used a couple of these over the last few years. They don't seem to hold up very well and the charging system degrades quickly. I have one that sits in my bedroom window and one in my truck in the window just as a last resort.

What works way better (for me) is a Baofeng UV-5R. I bought 2, 2 upgraded antennas, 2 of the large batteries, 2 rubber cases, a 12 volt adaptor, and a solar panel charger. These can be used as a HAM radio (2 meter/70 centimeter), GMRS radio, NOAA weather radio, and FM radio (it also has a small flashlight bulb, but I've never used it). You can set it to monitor a HAM frequency (or GMRS) and then set it to FM radio or NOAA radio - if someone transmits on the HAM frequency you are monitoring it will automatically switch over to that.

I have used these to listen to the radio (while monitoring a local HAM club repeater that I frequent) everyday for 4-8 hours a day for the last 4 years and they still work great and the batteries are still almost as good as when they were new.

The solar charging panels I bought charge pretty slowly, if I was going to change one thing it would be to get a bigger better solar charger.

I do have more invested than what one of those solar/crank radios cost . . . but I get much more. Well worth it in my opinion.
I vote for this setup too. In localized events, hams give better/quicker info than major news outlets.

I found out a guy died in his truck due to getting swept from flooding from the activated weather net on my local repeater hours before the local news posted it during those bad storms a few months back.
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Last edited by WarBoyNux; 05-04-2019 at 1:11 PM..
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2019, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GW View Post
Try to find a BayGen radio.
Wind it up and as it unwinds it powers the radio.
It works infinitely better than the wind up charging radios.
It plays for about 30 minutes per windup.
I have some Baygen radios. They have worked great for decades. I wish they still made them.
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2019, 3:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
I have bought and used a couple of these over the last few years. They don't seem to hold up very well and the charging system degrades quickly. I have one that sits in my bedroom window and one in my truck in the window just as a last resort.

What works way better (for me) is a Baofeng UV-5R.
I bought 2, 2 upgraded antennas, 2 of the large batteries, 2 rubber cases, a 12 volt adaptor, and a solar panel charger.

These can be used as a HAM radio (2 meter/70 centimeter), GMRS radio, NOAA weather radio, and FM radio (it also has a small flashlight bulb, but I've never used it).

You can set it to monitor a HAM frequency (or GMRS) and then set it to FM radio or NOAA radio - if someone transmits on the HAM frequency you are monitoring it will automatically switch over to that.

I have used these to listen to the radio (while monitoring a local HAM club repeater that I frequent) everyday for 4-8 hours a day for the last 4 years and they still work great and the batteries are still almost as good as when they were new.

The solar charging panels I bought charge pretty slowly, if I was going to change one thing it would be to get a bigger better solar charger.

I do have more invested than what one of those solar/crank radios cost . . . but I get much more.



Well worth it in my opinion.

Solid advice.


Much more useful in a wider variety of scenarios...
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2019, 6:08 PM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
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Another plus to HAM radio is that if you talk on it regularly you build up contacts in other areas. If anything happens you can connect with your contacts and get eye witness reports that are usually way more accurate than the news.

I have friends that live in Paradise - when it burned I reached out to HAM contacts (through repeaters) and one of them was talking to me as he was driving out of town giving me updates that were way ahead of the news. There were also people giving shortcuts, which roads were open or closed.

I have friends and family across the country, I can reach out to them via repeater or HF if there is ever an emergency or SHTF.

An AM/FM radio can't do any of that.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2019, 3:28 PM
DeadWhiteGoose DeadWhiteGoose is offline
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. I am definitely looking to invest in to my comms and right now I only have lower level gear when it comes to that. I am however working on at least acquiring some Baofengs just to get started.
Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2019, 3:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
Another plus to HAM radio is that if you talk on it regularly you build up contacts in other areas. If anything happens you can connect with your contacts and get eye witness reports that are usually way more accurate than the news.

I have friends that live in Paradise - when it burned I reached out to HAM contacts (through repeaters) and one of them was talking to me as he was driving out of town giving me updates that were way ahead of the news. There were also people giving shortcuts, which roads were open or closed.

I have friends and family across the country, I can reach out to them via repeater or HF if there is ever an emergency or SHTF.

An AM/FM radio can't do any of that.
Yup, similar thing during the recent bad storms, hams were checking in to the active net on the repeater and reporting flooded/washed out roads to avoid.
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2019, 4:07 PM
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Long story short. I picked up a Kaito 390. There was an unexpected power outage a few days before the 1st earthquake and the need for a dedicated radio presented itself.

I am really pleased with this radio. (There is a 20% off coupon on the page)
https://www.amazon.com/Kaito-Portabl.../dp/B071DXSZ7Z

I also ordered the 23ft antenna extender.
https://www.amazon.com/Kaito-T-1-Rad.../dp/B00066Z9XG

This does run off 3 D batteries so it has a ridiculous run time. I also tested it with my Eneloop AA->D spacers and it works.
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Last edited by WarBoyNux; 07-07-2019 at 4:10 PM..
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