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Discussion Starter #1
With all the SHTF talk going on now, and threats of shutting down free speech on the internet, I have been thinking about communication alternatives. More specifically, what are the options available?
I own a couple of radios that will receive SW frequencies - nothing "high end".

What are the frequencies that should be monitored for information?
I have "scrolled" through the bands quite a few times. I found some interesting conversations here and there. But mostly foreign broadcasts that I can't understand.

Does anyone have any pointers on where to listen?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did find these sites, Mauser. It's a lot of info to digest but looks like they will provide some info.


 

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When I was a kid, I always wanted a shortwave radio. A friend of mine had one in the late '80s and we could pick up a Russian pirate radio station that mostly played The Beatles, Queen, The Who, and other bands from roughly a decade prior or more.

Flash forward to the mid '90s, and I think my buddy Trey and I discovered that same station, but they had finally moved into the music of the mid '80s.
 

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Junction15: Sir; something to print off.
I highlighted a very few.

HAM RADIO will be HF. bye n large a hunt Across the bands.
if it becomes under-ground Chatter will be hit and miss


SCN)

Federal, State & Local government agencies nationwide.
5236.0 Channel 1 SCN Voice Net
14396.5 Channel 2 SCN Voice Net
4490.0 Channel 3 SCN ALE Net
5711.0 Channel 4 SCN ALE Net
9106.0 Channel 5 SCN ALE Net
11217.0 Channel 6 SCN ALE Net
15094.0 Channel 7 SCN ALE Net
17487.0 Channel 8 SCN ALE STI Net
6800.0 Channel 9 SCN BBS Net
13242.0 Channel 10 SCN BBS Net
10586.5 Channel XF


Operation Secure (USB)
2326 2411 2414 2419 2422 2439 2463 2466 2471 2474 2487 2511 2535
2569 2587 2801 2804 2812 5135 5140 5167 5192 5195 7477 7480 7802
7805 7932 kHz


American Red Cross (USB)2081 3170 5135 5140 6858 7549 7697 kHz


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

All frequencies in kHz (mode USB and LSB)
 

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USA-PREPCOM: A suggested radio coms standard for USA preppers
Original Concept By R-UK, Adapted to US Band Plans by KE4SKY

The objective of the USA-PREPCOM is to coordinate between licensed amateur and unlicensed citizens band, Family Radio Service, Multi-Use Radio Service and other USA based survivor radio stations following a major disaster in which conventional telecommunications have ceased.

For easy mnemonics the standard is the RULE OF 3S
3 is the important number. Remember it!

The 3 parts to the Standard are:
• 1/3:WHEN (Time coordination so we all know WHEN to call and listen)
• 2/3:WHERE (Frequency coordination so we all know WHERE to call and Listen)
• 3/3:HOW (Radio set-up so that everyone’s transmissions are compatible)

What’s this document for?

It is intended that this document be printed and stored in a water and light-proof pouch which is to be kept with stored radio equipment intended for disaster communications.

PART 1/3 =WHEN
Everybody looking to communicate needs to coordinate the time at which to do so.
By coordinating times and limiting operational time window precious electrical power will be conserved

Rule of 3s again:
Start communication sessions On the hour
Every 3 hours (starting 00.00h)
For 3 minutes calling and listening, if nothing heard, close the station and try again at next scheduled time.
Note, if a contact is made it is good practice to move communications to another channel / frequency so that the emergency calling channel is freed for other users
There is no requirement to end it after the magic 3 minutes, it can continue as long as required, but bear in mind power consumption.

PART 2 =WHERE
Where relates to Frequency coordination so that everyone is also communicating on compatible frequencies, failure to coordinate frequency is like not knowing the direction in which to flash a torch to signal to someone at night. We need to know exactly where to send and where to look.
Rule 2 is broken into two parts 2a for simple License-free transceivers (CB, FRS and MURS walkie-talkies), whereas 2b Ham is a full version incorporating both license-free and USA Ham frequencies.
PART 2a =WHERE License free
So for license free, the RULE of 3 continues. Set your radio to one of the following:
• AM only CBs = Channel 03 26.985 Mhz AM US band
• SSB capable CBs = Channel 33 27.335 MHz USB
• FRS and GMRS = Channel 03 462.6125 MHz FM- NB (CTCSS/ DCS code turned OFF)
• FM-NB only MURS = Channel 03 151.92 MHz FM-NB MHz (US band)

PART 2b/3=WHERE Full version
USA Amateur Radio and Citizen's Band Emergency Frequencies:

3723 MHz CW Emergency Response Communications Net CW
3883 MHz LSB Emergency Response Communications Net SSB
3907 MHz LSB Coastal Carolina Emergency, Missionary Radio Service
3935 MHz LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net
3940 MHz LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net
3950 MHz LSB National Hurricane Center
7.137 MHz CW Emergency Response Communications Net CW
7.238 MHz LSB Mobile Emergency and County Hunters Net
7.240 MHz LSB Eastern Region NTS Traffic
7.244 MHz LSB Tahoe Interstate Emergency Net
7.251 MHz LSB North States ARS, South Coast ARS
7.255 MHz LSB East Coast ARS
7.258 MHz LSB Midwest ARS
7.260 MHz LSB Baptist Disaster Relief Net
7.265MHz LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net
7.284 MHz LSB Good Sam RV Radio Network
7.292 MHz LSB Emergency Response Communications Net SSB
14.244 MHz USB Emergency Response Communications Net SSB
14.260 MHz USB Baptist Disaster Relief Net
14.265MHz USB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net
14.280 MHz USB International Mission Radio Net
14.300MHz USB Maritme Mobile Service, INTERCON Traffic, Pacific Seafarer’s Net
14.303 MHz USB International Emergency Assistance and Traffic Net
14.315 MHz USB Pacific Islands Disaster Net
14.325 MHz USB Hurricane Watch Net
14.336 MHz USB Mobile Emergency Assistancer and County Hunters Net
14.340 MHz USB California-Hawaii Traffic and Emergency
26.985 MHz US AM CB Ch 03 Prepper Emergency Channel*
27.065 MHz US AM CB Ch. 09 – Motorist Emergency Calling
27.185 MHz US AM CB Ch. 19 – Highway Traffic Advisory
27.555MHz USB CB "FREEBAND" ( Illegal frequency) but well populated.
27.335MHz USB CB Ch 33 Emergency Channel*
462.5625 MHz FM FRS Ch.1 – unofficial calling channel
462.6125 MHz FM FRS Ch3 Prepper emergency channel***
462.675 MHz FM GMRS Ch. 6 Unofficial Travelers Information /Repeater input 467.675 PL 141.3
=====================================================
* License free: Rule of 3s = USA CB Ch 03 AM every 3 hours, on the hour for 3 minutes (staring 00.00h)
** License free: Rule of 3s = CB Ch 33 USB every 3 hours, on the hour for 3 minutes (staring 00.00h)
*** License free: Rule of 3s = USA FRS/GMRS Ch3 462.6125-NB (CTCSS/DTS OFF) every 3 hours, on the hour for 3 minutes
****License free: Rule of 3s + USA MURS Ch3 151.94 FM (CTCSS/DTS OFF) every 3 hours, on the hour, for 3 minutes
(staring 00.00h)
====================================================
PART 3/3=HOW to set up the radio and transmitting antenna

3.1 Identifying and setting the operating MODE of your radio

In all descriptions there are annotations FM/USB/LSB/FM NB.

These are the different TYPES/ FORMATS/MODES of signal that radios can transmit.
It is essential that sending and receiving stations are using identical transmission TYPES otherwise they will not be able to hear one another even if transmitting and receiving on the same frequency at the same time.
Look at your radio: If it has a MODE knob it will allow you to select the modes required. If it does not have a mode knob and it’s a CB it will almost certainly be FM only. This should be confirmable by looking for a label or stamp of conformity on which the letters FM will be shown.

US-FRS equipment is only manufactured in FM variety so no choices to make.
3.2 POLARITY of your antenna.

For CB the antennas must be vertical

For FRS and GMRS antennas must be vertical

For Ham frequencies below 28MHz antennas must be HORIZONTAL

For Ham frequencies in FM mode above 28MHz antennas must be VERTICAL

For Ham Frequencies in LSB/USB mode above 28 MHz antennas must be HORIZONTAL
 

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information: Antenna understanding. Many variables. From this study. Gleen. Height is your friend. Receiving or Transmitting


Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) is an ionospheric skip operating technique that directs the strongest signals from a station vertically, or upward, rather than toward the horizon. Signals propagating nearly vertically approach the ionosphere with steep incidence angles and may be bent back to earth with similarly small angles. The operational result is skip communications effective within a radius of a few hundred miles. The NVIS technique can help to bridge the communications gap between the local range of VHF/UHF repeater or simplex communications and the longer distance skip of low-to-the-horizon HF signal propagation.
The NVIS technique relies upon a combination of station factors, most importantly the frequency used, the power of transmissions, and the antenna configuration. Let’s consider each of these three factors in the context of the NVIS technique.
 

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As a licensed HAM operator you need to be licensed to talk on Ham bands. There are sites like two way radios that will give you a link to an online study guide when you buy a radio from them. My initial set back was about $400 and it took me about 2 months of study to pass my exam for the entry level “technician”. The General and Expert require a lot of electronic study.
Now in a SHTF scenario who gives a crap about a license. The knowledge you gain about the radios, how to build antennas, and the electronics knowledge of how everything works. You’d basically be able to make or fix anything you need.
I belong to more than one emergency net that are privately run and will stay on the air with generators and batteries and can be heard all over the US. One of the privileges of having a license is you can join and be included in the conversation.
I hope I didn’t bore you.
 

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Some of the newer digital amateur radio modes are very fascinating and fun! With just a Technician level license, a functioning internet connection, and a handheld low power radio, you can talk next door or around the world with Voip. It has been a great substitute when HF bands are not as active due to solar cycles. Jump in, get your ticket and have fun!
 

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Taking a few screenshots and printing for the freq. list. The only thing we got is a bunch of Baofengs so I don't know that there will be anyone up where we'll be; long range comms have to be HF unless there are known repeaters nearby. Might not be a bad idea to get a discounted HF rig and some stuff to build a basic dipole (did this years ago lol so perhaps that EE background will finally reap some dividends).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It is certainly good to have options.
I have a pair of FRS/GMRS radios but I haven't done a lot with those. I'm not licensed so I stay off the GMRS frequencies. Same with a Baofeng UV-5R. I don't want any negative reaction from Federal agencies. But since I have them, I'm slowly absorbing how to use them.

And I appreciate the information on antennas for SW. My little Tec-Sun PL-880 seems to do OK but I have seen a big difference in reception when I temporarily string a wire along the crown molding. (Drives the "Lady of the House" nuts)
 

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It is certainly good to have options.
I have a pair of FRS/GMRS radios but I haven't done a lot with those. I'm not licensed so I stay off the GMRS frequencies. Same with a Baofeng UV-5R. I don't want any negative reaction from Federal agencies. But since I have them, I'm slowly absorbing how to use them.

And I appreciate the information on antennas for SW. My little Tec-Sun PL-880 seems to do OK but I have seen a big difference in reception when I temporarily string a wire along the crown molding. (Drives the "Lady of the House" nuts)
I have the same radios. Need to get one out and play with it.


Sent from my iPhone using Gun and Game mobile app
 

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Junction15: Sir; I know folks that string wire in attics 😁.
some of us enjoy discrete 🦅

for receiving purposes. Envision air waves. Sometimes an inch” can-will make go-no go.
high buildings-mountains-trailers-elevation-wind-clouds can and will affect signals. Sometimes to extremes.

Signals sent @HF; wires can be scalding meat hot. In other words. Treat emissions carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Junction15: Sir; I know folks that string wire in attics 😁.
some of us enjoy discrete 🦅

for receiving purposes. Envision air waves. Sometimes an inch” can-will make go-no go.
high buildings-mountains-trailers-elevation-wind-clouds can and will affect signals. Sometimes to extremes.

Signals sent @HF; wires can be scalding meat hot. In other words. Treat emissions carefully.
neophyte - I understand that. In this case, I had strung some wire for SW reception only. The Tec-Sun has a jack for plugging in an external antenna but it's only a receiver).
I have not tried to do anything with the little radios - I suspect that would damage them.
 

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Junction15: Sir: exactly.
There is math formula. For transmitting.
id guessed your listening only application 😃

given. I know the formula. But without SWR measurement under load. No transmit.

my encouragement. Is about listening only. Notwithstanding; finding books on antennas 😃
theory and application.
 

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neophyte - I understand that. In this case, I had strung some wire for SW reception only. The Tec-Sun has a jack for plugging in an external antenna but it's only a receiver).
I have not tried to do anything with the little radios - I suspect that would damage them.
Junction15: Sir: exactly.
There is math formula. For transmitting.
id guessed your listening only application 😃

given. I know the formula. But without SWR measurement under load. No transmit.

my encouragement. Is about listening only. Notwithstanding; finding books on antennas 😃
theory and application.
As I can remember it, I've used 468/freq in MHZ for a dipole (half-wave horizontal) and for vertical quarter wave cut that in half. We have folks here who do this alot more than me; I'm a dabbler who used to be an engineer but haven't used that in quite some time.

The key is to match the antenna in that a serious mismatch might damage your rig on transmit. It's a resonance thing; you want to get as close to perfect antenna resonance as you can (most antennas use electrical 'software' tricks to give them a range of operation). I don't know the tolerance of the Chinese baofangs to abuse in the final amplifier stages. The antenna that comes with them isn't very good but there are aftermarket ones that are OK.

There's a quarter-wave-ish mobile antenna that fits the small handhelds which is significantly better than the walkie-talkie one. But once you get away from the lower frequencies (above perhaps 28 MHZ) without a repeater you're line of sight anyway--at least the way I've done it (I've heard of skipping higher frequencies and there's a class of radar that operates on a higher frequency that does just that but it's way beyond anything I've done. We used to exploit a phenomena known as 'ducting' in the GHz radar bands--it MIGHT work in the UHF bands if anyone's experienced it-- but it depended largely on atmospherics and wasn't reliable like the skip off the ionosphere in the lower HF bands. It DID work during a test in Alaska years ago but that was unexpected)
 

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informaction. At many levels ducting can occur / does occur;
Its not dependable
@2w we can moon bounce. Non ducting.

@2,000w we may or may not reach hundreds in miles. Antenna capabilities =‘s line of sight.


I’m posting from ham universe theRory.


Here is a simple line of sight calculator that will do the complicated math for you to determine just how far the horizon is from your HT or your base station antenna at any height above level and flat ground (or calm water) on the VHF/UHF ham bands.

This calculator assumes nothing is in the way of the radio signal between the antenna and the horizon at a chosen height above ground. It does not take into consideration the height of the "other" station" antenna you may be communicating with nor any attenuation caused by weather, band conditions, antenna gain, path loss, or other factors such as dB loss in coaxial cable.

To use the calculator, simply type in your antenna height above ground in the appropriate window below and click the "Compute" button. You will see the actual line of sight distance to the horizon in the "Distance" section before the radio waves are attenuated by the curvature of the Earth.

As an example using "Height in Feet" in the calculator below, and assuming we are using an HT, the antenna is about 5 and 1/2 feet above the ground, then just plug in 5.5 in the "Feet" window, click "Compute" and read the answer in the "Miles" window directly below. You should see 2.9 miles in the answer.

So with an antenna height of 5 1/2 feet above the ground and assuming there are no obstructions and the ground between you and the horizon is perfectly flat, then it is 2.9 miles before the curvature of the Earth starts to take effect on your signal strength at the level of the horizon! It does not account for any higher angle radiation coming from your antenna that may be "seen" by a much taller antenna such as on a tall tower standing beyond the horizon. It acts much like you were aiming a laser beam or spot light toward the horizon rather than a radio wave. The result is like a straight and level line from your antenna to the start of the curvature of the Earth.

At any distance beyond that 2.9 miles, your signal is attenuated rapidly due to the Earth being in the way of your signal. Again, this is assuming that the "other" station antenna is "below" the horizon from your.
 

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information: Now! This is getting more depth. Wasn’t my intention. Desiring more to interest and explain


LINE LOSSES
The path followed by the RF energy, as it is sent to and from the antenna, is associated with a loss of power. This loss occurs because of the escape of energy through less than perfect shielding, resistance, and because of the reflection of energy as it passes through less than perfect line couplers. Line losses which occur in commonly used coaxial cables are quantified, and are published by the manufacturer. The best way to determine actual line loss is with an RF power meter inserted before and after the transmission line.
Typical values for line loss of the most commonly used coaxial cable, RG-58A/U, is approximately 9.5 dB per 100 feet.
POWER OUTPUT AND RECEIVER SENSITIVITY
Transmitter output power, usually specified in watts, is the power which is available at the transmitter. Using the units of decibels relative to 1 mW (dBm), a 2 watt transmitter produces +33 dBm of power (10*log10(2/.001)).
Receiver sensitivity is typically specified in units of microvolts for a 12 dB SINAD (signal to noise and distortion). The amount of RF power required by the receiver to faithfully represent the actual signal transmitted is arbitrarily set at the 12 dB SINAD, which translates into -114 dBm for a typical receiver.
 
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