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Communication Plan

613 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  neophyte
Many preppers are looking for a communications plan. The second concern they have is evading detection. Direction finding of low power transmitters would be more difficult with a frequency hopping plan. Changing bands from VHF to UHF would further complicate direction finding. Say you have 10 people and 20 acres of land, your basic China HT will cover that area fine unless you are in the mountains. Just pick your frequencies, program the radios and you are set. I would recommend a good antenna 30 to 50 foot high and a 20 to 50 watt mobile radio to monitor the entire location. Besides this fixed station I would also have a scanner to monitor local law enforcement and a short wave receiver at the bare minimum. This fixed station would require power supplies and battery back-up and someone to monitor the radio 16 to 24 hours a day for emergency traffic. If you want to talk to someone outside your little group, you need license and learn about repeaters. Now if you want to talk to people around the nation or world you will need a HF station.

The big question is how much land do you want to cover and how big is your group of people? Twenty or thirty people all showing up with different radios, batteries and frequency programs and expecting everything to work together would be a real mess. Compound this assortment of radios with different antenna connectors and handset/speaker mic connectors and you muddy the water even more. You can't load multiple programs in these radios. Once you load your prepper list of frequencies into the radio the existing frequencies are erased. I am not trying to rain on your parade, just open your eyes to the planning required for this to work.
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A communications plan vs a COOP Plan - Concept Of Operation Plan is IMHO more comprehensive because you have to look at fail over, relocation, power, start-up (getting everything connected), and take-down in order to relocate. Power requirements is another big issue and the more radios and people you have to support, the more complex it becomes. Just a few more things to think about.
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GMRS radios & a couple Baofeng radios that are GMRS capable, a mobile base radio 25watt also a 20watt radio as a portable field radio for extended range also it can be setup as a portable repeater for even longer distances. We will also do the channel jumping so outsiders from knowing everything. You know transmit on 19 and the other person transmit’s back on 18. Extreme situations we will us radios capable of using vhf and uhf frequencies.

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With VHF and UHF radios antenna height is more important than transmitter power. If you are only working with battery power, transmitter power will suck the juice from your batteries. That is how VHF and UHF signals are different from HF signals. If you program your Baofeng radios with 12 channels and change channels every hour, that should work to confuse people outside your group.
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Hmm, I would qualify that statement regarding height vs. transmitter power. No doubt, height is important, Uhf/vhf being line of sight frequencies. But they also need adequate power, especially with FM. Very much so when you don’t have a high powered, high and clear antenna location, on a repeater system to provide that power for you. The audio quality is great, but it comes at a price.
information: for the new:

VHF- Very High Frequency
Very high frequency is commonly used for FM radio broadcast, two-way land mobile radio systems, long-range data communication, and marine communications, just to name a few. VHF includes radio waves from 30 MHz to 300 MHz.
VHF waves must not exceed the local radio horizon of 100 miles. VHF frequencies are less likely to be interrupted by atmospheric noise, issues with electrical equipment, and other interferences.
There are different bands within VHF frequency, including low-band and high-band. Low-band VHF range of 49 MHz includes transmission of wireless microphones, cordless phones, radio controlled toys and more. Slightly higher VHF range of 54-72 MHz operates television channels 2-4, as well as wireless systems defined as “assistive listening.” VHF frequencies 76-88 MHz operate channels 5 and 6. The highest low band VHF is 88-108 MHz and operates the commercial FM radiobroadcast band.

UHF- Ultra High Frequency
UHF radio waves are much shorter in length than VHF, measuring around 12 to 24 inches. As a result antenna length is reduced as well as radio range. Anything from a building to a human body can interfere with UHF transmissions. Dropouts and interferences are far more likely, but greater bandwidth occupation is permitted. As a result you may find a wider frequency range as well as wider range of audio signal. Up to 250 mW is allowed, exceeding the 50 mW power restrictions applied to VHF.
Low-band UHF overlaps with high-band UHF, low is 450-536 MHz and high is 470-806 MHz. Typically, business services and UHF television channels 14 through 69 operate using these frequencies. High-band UHF (anything above 900 MHz) offers the least amount of disturbances and requires antennas measuring between 3 and 4 inches. These channels operate studio-to-transmitter links as well as other primary users and additional channels.
UHF radio waves generally only go as far as line of sight. Anything in the way of your sight will also interfere with frequency range, such as buildings, tall trees or any other obstruction. The transmission is high enough to penetrate through building walls, making indoor reception a possibility. It is the limited line-of-sight broadcast range that makes UHF unsuitable in some instances. VHF offers a much larger broadcast range, which is preferred in some industries.
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