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Foothills of NC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the event of a major event, one of the very first things that will go away is communications and our society is so ingrained in having a phone, internet, cable, etc. that they will be dumb without it.

If/when I bug out to a safer location I plan on having a couple of families go with. I would like to have some form of communications that we can use to coordinate responses, prepare defenses, and operate off of.

I don't know much about ham radios. I figure that is the way to go cause you can have "reach" and I think you can do tactical work with them as they are handhelds too.

It would be nice to see some commonality among us so we could reach out to one another.

I guess what I am looking for is more than simple answers than "buy a cb" or get a "ham" radio.

what are your communication plans?
 

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performing monkey
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4,230 Posts
depending on the terrain, even the cheaper new FM handhelds have a pretty good range...
 

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I put SAs on IGNORE!
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2,426 Posts
I do not have a communications plan.

I would probably stay at my house until everyone showed up.

Something I definitely need to think about.
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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8,000 Posts
Have you considered hidden-message communications where "grafitti" is used to get a message across to readers who would understand what the message is supposed to mean ("Uncle Billy was here" could mean that there was trouble and that you headed out to a safer place) - message in plain sight that means nothing to anyone else.

Another option would be a post-it-note placed on a door or window in a place where loved-ones would see it and understand a criptic-message ("over at neighbors, be back soon" means that a trusted neighbor has the real message waiting for the receiver) ...

Communications can be much more than just radio, cell, ham or other electronic system.
 

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Registered
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1 Posts
Ham

Have you considered hidden-message communications where "grafitti" is used to get a message across to readers who would understand what the message is supposed to mean ("Uncle Billy was here" could mean that there was trouble and that you headed out to a safer place) - message in plain sight that means nothing to anyone else.

Another option would be a post-it-note placed on a door or window in a place where loved-ones would see it and understand a criptic-message ("over at neighbors, be back soon" means that a trusted neighbor has the real message waiting for the receiver) ...

Communications can be much more than just radio, cell, ham or other electronic system.
Ham radio is the way to go.
Invest in an inexpensive HF radio.
This is the one that will reach around the world.
6 months ago I realized I had no COMM in my plan.

Now I have two HF rigs, one base and one mobil.
I have several 2 meter mobil units, these are considered LOCAL radios.
Typically they use repeaters , but they don't need to.

I have half a dozen hand held 2 meter radios.
All with optional AA battery power units.
I suggest you do some research.
 

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Foothills of NC
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info.

I am a former LEO Communications specialist and really understand the need for a good communications plan.

I think I will "adopt" the Marine Radio service here for my needs. Ham is just to complicated and not easy for the novice to understand.

Marine radio service has mobile, base, and handheld. The handhelds are water proof and can run off the AA batteries in addition to recharge packs. They are very easy to use, have decent features, and cheap.

Thanks again for the input.
 

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Jack of all trades?
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8,397 Posts
If you go HAM, you have better start getting proficient now. It is not something you can learn by yourself after things have gone bad.
 

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BillM
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2,001 Posts
What ever

What ever means of communications you use, it needs to be encripted or coded.

If you are traveling in a carivan, I would assume many people are listening.

In a hostel enviorment this could be deadly. Know one needs to know your destination or where you are stoping.

Visual signals to others traveling in a group are safer than broadcast signals. A color code useing strips of fabric out of a window could indicate that the lead car is stopping at the next exit or that there is a visable obstruction ahead , ect.

Marking turns and or other coded instructions with spray paint on the highway is a good way to signal famiely members following later on without broadcasting info !

These markers and signals need to be unique as you won't be the only one doing this.

:rolleyes:
 

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Sr. Homesteader
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437 Posts
Ham radio is the way to go.
Invest in an inexpensive HF radio.
This is the one that will reach around the world.
6 months ago I realized I had no COMM in my plan.

Now I have two HF rigs, one base and one mobil.
I have several 2 meter mobil units, these are considered LOCAL radios.
Typically they use repeaters , but they don't need to.

I have half a dozen hand held 2 meter radios.
All with optional AA battery power units.
I suggest you do some research.
SO! you must be the guy suddenly jaw-bonin' and ragchewin' next state over from me the last few months... feller can't get no sleep no more :rolleyes:

At least you're into repeaters and not linear amps! :D

73's *yawn Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.....


th' 'ol Ham shack...
 

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Member
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178 Posts
I have no communications plan...my one weak area. I was trying to read up a little on ham radios and the equipment needed; then someone said you needed a large tower and you need this and you needed that; all strange descriptions of items I couldn't make heads or tails out of it.

Is there someone who can plainly spell out what kind of basic equipment one would need to get started.....I'd take the test to get my license before purchasing anything....but, I have NO idea where to begin.

Its either that or homing pigeons.....I have two neighbors I'd like to stay in contact with; if they don't have radios, then I can't stay in touch with them; if I have pigeons....then I could....that or ride a couple of miles on my bicycle to their place.....
 

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Premium Member
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6,660 Posts
Idaholady, you may want to look at getting a CB radio if you are within a few miles of the folks you want to keep communications with. We have one in the house and hubby keeps the other on the tractor.

We got ours for under $100. bucks.

Just something to think about.
 

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Still waiting for the zombies.
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1,596 Posts
Depends on the distance, needs, security, etc. I'm looking at FRS for short distance (car-car, or around the property). No security but the usage isn't intended to be something that would need secure comm. I'm also reading/studying for my ham. This would be used for longer distances, but I don't expect to transmit much, more to use it as a listening device to get a feel for what is happening out there... out there defined as state, region, country and even world depending on an event. You might also want to look at MURS which, from what I understand, is similar to FRS in terms of range and capability but also can work with accessory devices like motion sensors and such that will then play a prerecorded message on your radio. Something like "Alert, zone 1". This could be handy for detecting an approach well before they get close.

I'm by no means an expert, just getting started myself but the above is what I have learned and how I'm planning to setup my comm. If anyone has any suggestions or weaknesses I haven't already pointed out, please post them.
 

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Jack of all trades?
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8,397 Posts
Idaho Lady, you will do well to find someone near you who can teach you what works well. I would get your basic license out of the way, and honestly.... you will need about $1000 to get set up with equipment that will be very useful. $300 will get you stuff that is partially useful.
 

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Member
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178 Posts
Good idea about the CBs. There is a group of ham operators at the fairgrounds during fair time in June; I'll stop by their booth and see if they can help me out. Thanks all.
 

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Gear Head
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32 Posts
This isn't nessecarily the best way to go, but you could use an antenna tuner to load up the aluminum gutters on your house. There are antenna designs that will fit inside your attic. Or you could dangle a tuned wire out your upstairs window, maybe toss the other end over a nearby tree... TONS of hams get by without a tower just fine.
 

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Jack of all trades?
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8,397 Posts
A lot of old TV antenna towers are free - just have to ask to take them down and haul off.
 

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That's true what oilcan said. You can get away with a tuned dipole just as well as a tall tower, especially for HF rigs.

Good stuff there about used equipment too LincTex.
 

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Gear Head
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32 Posts
Oh I almost forgot. I have a home built VHF 2 meter ground plane hung up in the tree next to my house about 10 feet off the ground, and it works pretty doggone well. The antenna is practically invisible, and the feedline (50 ohm coax) doesn't stick out that much, either.
 

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I am a little teapot
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2,696 Posts
I realize that this thread is mostly about radios, but just to back up Naekid's post, here's a system that did very well with nothing more complicated or advancedthan something to scratch markings with.

Sometimes the old ways work best.

WEBSITES\HOBOPAGE\hobosigns
 
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