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

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  #1  
Old 05-06-2022, 1:19 PM
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Subotai Subotai is offline
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Default Monitoring communications?

Do you see any value in having many forms of communication - ham, gmrs, CB?

i have two SW radios to listen in, a cheapo windup Red Cross radio and a Crane Skywave at home and each car's bugout bags have cheapo windup/solar powered SW radios. We just picked up some GMRS handheld units and we are testing their range around the area. We have Wouxon 905G's and Nagoya antennas but we are also testing with their standard antennas. I will probably setup a GMRS 50 watt base station.

Do you think there is any value to maybe having a SW and a CB handheld radio? Mostly for monitoring? But, in a pinch, for emergency communication.

The GMRS is to stay connected to family, the other radios are mostly to know what's going on around me in a crisis.
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2022, 2:44 PM
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hermosabeach hermosabeach is offline
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yes... GMRS are cheap for a reason... buy them cheap used at the thrift stores...

Ham radio, besides a license, require a lot more training or people cant recall how to turn them on




Some go old school and duplex...

each person has 2 FRS radio

example
One set to channel 9 and one set to channel 1

Person 1 only talks on channel 9

2nd person one talks on channel 1


if you are listening in, you will likely only hear one side of the conversation
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2022, 10:06 AM
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I have shortwave, CB and FMRS. We use CB for LOS in the canyon as a backup to cellular or for those whose phones can't see the only tower in the area.

I got turned on to shortwave in the 60's. Never got my ham license though, I think my anti-authority streak started pretty young. Too many rules.

Close contact body coms, I'm working on acquiring the same kind of gear the military uses. It's not cheap but reliability and wearability are important. Communication and coordination are key in adverse action situations, whether that be threat situations or natural disasters.

In Oregon, we face both since the Commie factions have already torched stretches of our domain and the Cascadia lurks offshore.

I think needs and preferences are individual. Do what works best for your family/group/militia.
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Old 05-07-2022, 10:10 AM
DolphinFan DolphinFan is offline
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I have a FRS/GMRS license for the family.
I have both UHF/VHF/HF base stations and portable for POTA/SOTA.
In addition to analog, I also use DMR/P-25, and other modes RTTY/FT-8
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2022, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
Some go old school and duplex...

each person has 2 FRS radio

example
One set to channel 9 and one set to channel 1

Person 1 only talks on channel 9

2nd person one talks on channel 1


if you are listening in, you will likely only hear one side of the conversation
That is a good old school trick and may work better than nothing, but today's radios can auto-scan the channels pretty fast and would pick up most of the conversation unless it there was congestion on the other scanned channels.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2022, 3:01 PM
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Default Monitoring communications?

You can also run a cheap RTL_SDR usb dongle software defined radio with scanner software. There is a python program called ‘ham2mon’ that scans a frequency range running in a command line and saves WAV audio files of all traffic. It can pickup all FRS and GMRS at once, simultaneously scanning many channels.

A $30 USB dongle and a cheap included dipole antenna at approximately the right length works tremendously well for a full range scanner. I keep one running on GMRS, a separate one running on only my GMRS repeater channel and tone, and a third often scanning the amateur 2m/VHF range. They work great for monitoring airband and aircraft TCAS/IFF as well.

(I have been doing some development contributions to this, so full disclosure this is my repo link)

https://github.com/lordmorgul/ham2mon

Here is the original authors repo, https://github.com/madengr/ham2mon
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  #7  
Old 05-14-2022, 11:43 AM
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FeuerFrei FeuerFrei is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post
Do you see any value in having many forms of communication - ham, gmrs, CB?

i have two SW radios to listen in, a cheapo windup Red Cross radio and a Crane Skywave at home and each car's bugout bags have cheapo windup/solar powered SW radios. We just picked up some GMRS handheld units and we are testing their range around the area. We have Wouxon 905G's and Nagoya antennas but we are also testing with their standard antennas. I will probably setup a GMRS 50 watt base station.

Do you think there is any value to maybe having a SW and a CB handheld radio? Mostly for monitoring? But, in a pinch, for emergency communication.

The GMRS is to stay connected to family, the other radios are mostly to know what's going on around me in a crisis.
Out here in the hinterland/fly over counties a ham radio is king. Program a couple repeaters in as well as local sheriff/ems/fire and use those to monitor what they are saying/doing/locations etc. Many ham clubs that operate repeaters set up an " * emergency net" that relays messages from other hams on the ground in real time. Just listen in. ( * in times of BIG's emergencies. it's not an every day gig)

IMO the frs/gmrs are family blabbler radio traffic for camping/playtime.

License is not needed to listen in or buy radio gear. Yet.
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Last edited by FeuerFrei; 05-14-2022 at 3:04 PM.. Reason: cleared up emergency net use
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2022, 9:04 PM
SharedShots SharedShots is offline
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Anyone broadcasting anything is just putting a beacon out that says "here I am". The equipment for determining the location of anyone broadcasting anything is pretty inexpensive and not difficult to operate.

If you are going to do it then having everyone you know that will use the comms should be done via a schedule created using random transmit times with pre-arranged questions and no idle chit chat. Make it very quick, very succinct and the most common questions and responses by number.

Example: Station 1 asks: 6 (are you ok?)
Station 2 answers: 9 (ok, no needs no other pertinent info) or;
3,X (ok but need something - wait for next message which is X minutes from now).

It can be simple to setup but does mean everyone needs the cheater card. Its not a hard comms protocol to decipher but most anyone monitoring isn't going to bother trying to figure it out. It can allow you to save battery charge .
The monitoring becomes easy when you start chit chatting or carrying on longer conversations. It takes alot of discipline to maintain restraint not to start the back and forth.

In that way most of your comms is difficult for most others to interpret and since the times of the Q and A can be even only a minute apart someone monitoring will likely not sit listening to silence not knowing if the answer is 1 minute away or one hour or more.

If you make your comms complex or something based in computer software or anything past very simple PTT gear or similar the chances are very high one in your group isn't going to have a working solution and it all falls apart. Once you lose contact you're done as it will be almost impossible to re-establish it without pre-planned contact times.

Last edited by SharedShots; 05-15-2022 at 9:07 PM..
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