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Recent Posts

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1
Digital Modes / Off-Grid Crypto Transaction Primed for Post-Apocalypse.
« Last post by gil on September 20, 2018, 04:14:45 AM »
https://cointelegraph.com/news/developer-completes-proof-of-life-off-grid-crypto-transaction-primed-for-post-apocalypse

Cryptocurrency and blockchain meet amateur radio. Not quite sure what to think of this one. I am always worried about the increasing level of complexity in disaster radio. It is nevertheless interesting to see new experiments involving radio.

Gil.
2
Digital Modes / Re: My new homebrew "DigiComm" interface using a USB port and VOX PTT
« Last post by chq on September 19, 2018, 07:28:04 AM »
Greetings....  I'm new to RP's and noticed this post yesterday.  I already have several interfaces that I can use but I'm curious about the circuit and how it differs from one called "The USBlink" from G4ILO.  I don't see anything when I click on the BMP file.  I've gone to the OP's website but he does not have this particular circuit in his list of DIY.  Do any of you have a copy of the schematic?  If not, no a big deal.... I was just curious. 
Best 72  -  chq
3
Military Radios / Re: PRC-320 Military Manpack Radio, First Impressions.
« Last post by gil on September 15, 2018, 03:11:38 PM »
Very interesting thanks. I didn't know about the man other than from his book.

Gil.
5
Military Radios / Re: PRC-320 Military Manpack Radio, First Impressions.
« Last post by RadioRay on September 14, 2018, 02:55:05 PM »
when I was working in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia , I picked-up a locally published book; "SAS In Malaya" and, like you said, Gil - the jungle warfare people did amazing things.  They Malay campaign drove the development of a far better radio;  the PRC-316 and STRONG reliance on NVIS.  Here is a link to an interesting article from your mates at VMARS, describing it's use.

http://www.vmarsmanuals.co.uk/newsletter_articles/prc316.pdf


>RadioRay ..._ ._
6
Military Radios / Re: PRC-320 Military Manpack Radio, First Impressions.
« Last post by gil on September 14, 2018, 12:22:01 PM »
Interesting thoughts, and I agree as well. For me, military radios are more on the hobby side than for prepping, but their ruggedness makes them a great choice for those situations when transporting them alone on foot isn't required. They are fairly cheap and will survive almost anything. Now, I would rather also have three or four (I have many more) $50-$100 radios than one or two $800 radios... It is also easier to scavenge parts for through-hole radios than surface-mount circuits. If one of my military radios craps out, no big deal, I have more... Sure, I'm not going to carry them all in a bug-out scenario, but they can be very handy.

I am reading a book by F. Spencer Chapman, "The Jungle is Neutral" (highly recommended), where enormous radio sets are carried by men on their back in the Malayan jungle and powered by pedal-driven dymanos... A PRC-320 compared to that is a pocket radio! These guys had virtually no support from the outside... So, all is relative... A group of determined men can accomplish miracles. Sure, we have better options today, and that even is debatable, but my PRC-320 with a hand-crank attachment can be a lifesaver.

Best solution? Have both, use what is most convenient or possible for the given circumstances...

Gil.
7
Military Radios / Re: PRC-320 Military Manpack Radio, First Impressions.
« Last post by vwflyer on September 13, 2018, 02:52:53 PM »
I think that whenever someone gives an opinion, it is impossible to avoid basing that opinion an many preconceptions. For example, it is stated unequivocally that a heavy radio is disqualified from being a good prepping radio. The assumption is that all preppers are going to be carrying the radio on their backs over great distances and will not have a group of people for distributing loads. Of course there are many prepping scenarios in which this would not be the case. What if I were the radio guy in a group of preppers and they carried all my things and I was only responsible for carrying the radio gear? Or perhaps I intend to prep for a flood in my house due to a hurricane and i don't plan on leaving the house but want a radio that can be submerged and take a beating from the floodwaters if my house is flooded.

Another assumption that seems to be made is that parts for other radios will be more available than parts for this radio in my survival scenario. In most survival scenarios, no radio parts will be available to me for any radio. In the hurricane scenario, only the radio parts I already have safely guarded on the second floor of my home will be available to me when I need them. In most other cases where I don't already have in my personal stock spare parts, it's not as if I can get replacement parts for my Icom off amazon or from a local Radio Shack. So in the end, the only parts I can expect to have in my time of need are those I'm stocking up on now. If I own a KX2 and am not stocking up on new switches, jacks, final transistors, screens, etc. for it now, I'm no better off with one of those than I am an old military rig. For many of us, stocking up on spare parts for our radios doesn't make a lot of sense. We don't know what will go out and individual parts, when bought separately, cost a lot more than the whole. For many of us, the best option is to simply have multiples of the same radio. Two KX2s, two military radios, etc. And in this regard, the military radio has an edge on other options in that two of them is more affordable than two Elecrafts or Icoms.

Finally the complexity assumption. That argument could be made, and is made, for any HF radio. That's why we hams highly discourage preppers from buying an HF rig without having a license to use it and then say that they'll use it in an emergency when it won't be illegal for them to use it without a license. We hams have all gone through the learning curve of using HF radios and know how steep it can be. We can never expect someone who has not trained and practiced with the selected emergency radio to be able to effectively use it in a disaster. This holds true of a KX2, my drop dead simple YouKits HB-1B, or a military radio.

In the end, what makes a good prepping radio for one person and scenario makes a lousy choice for others.

8
Military Radios / Re: PRC-320 Military Manpack Radio, First Impressions.
« Last post by gil on September 13, 2018, 01:51:46 PM »
I agree about everything you mentioned, except that I consider the 320 to be one of the easiest radio to use that I ever laid my hands on...

Gil.
9
Military Radios / Re: Man Pack Handset Question
« Last post by DC8KH on September 13, 2018, 03:44:37 AM »
Well, Gil,

there are much more different plugs available than what you describe - the U-183/U type.
It depends on  the age of the handset, the manufacturer, the country of orign and type of radio where to connect it.
Your RT-320 radio handset has a different connector than your Racal handset, right ?
10
Batteries & Solar / Universal Battery Charger
« Last post by DC8KH on September 13, 2018, 03:32:06 AM »
Hi folks,
what type of battery charger do you use for your portbale radios?  I've tested a lot of commercial available battery chargers over the years and came to the conclusion that most of them are more or less garbage.  We can divide them in two groups :  One of them will not fully charge the batteries, while the other one will broil the batteries.
If you have different batteries for different radios to charge, you often end up with several different chargers for your radio.  And how you will supply these chargers in case of SHTF?

I dealed a long time with this problems and decided to find a solution.   I am a professional elerctronics engineer and not one of the self-styled specialists you can find everywhere - especially in forums and the well known social media channels. So I decided to develope my own charging system that solves all the problems. The system is in service now since several years and in some number and charges all my batteries, regardless of chemistry, voltage and capacity. If someone is interested we may discuss the project in depth.  But please - no idiots!

Regards,
H.
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