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Messages - gil

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General Discussion / Re: The Postman Scenario
« on: September 03, 2012, 12:05:56 PM »
Hello colonel, and thank you for starting this thread here. My vote is for CW, but I trust your experience here when you say it is too slow. Maybe a good start though. I do think CW (Morse Code) is something all preppers should know. See the new Morse Code board I created last night...

I am not against data modes, but when you start adding computer, modems and such, we are leaving the realm of simple communications in dire emergencies. There might not be many working computers around.. Transporting a station composed of many devices would also not be easy, the the need arose. That said, I know some PSK31 transceivers can have everything built-in. That, I agree would be an excellent mode of forwarding messages. I guess one could build a small data station with one of those tiny PCs that cost less than $300 and a small radio... It would indeed be interesting.
Dave Benson of Small Wonder Labs used to offer a PSK31 transceiver. It is no longer there, but a replacement might be in the works...:

Another thing to consider would be the Winlink system where messages are passed as emails and no operator needs to be present to copy a message. Speaking about copying, I don't think printers and their ink cartridges would be widely available in a large scale disaster, not to mention paper...

I am curious as to what ideas will pop-up here...

New To Radio / Re: Ham Radio Dictionary?
« on: September 03, 2012, 11:50:04 AM »

I would encourage posters to place the full wording of acronyms at least once per thread, in parenthesis... I don't always remember to do so myself, but it is good practice for newcomers. I will look for a dictionary module for the Simple Machines forum software...


General Discussion / Re: A question for all prepper hams
« on: September 03, 2012, 09:41:33 AM »

Anyone who thinks EMP protection is overkill should read this:


General Discussion / Re: PLEASE READ! Welcome to Radio Preppers.
« on: September 03, 2012, 02:41:52 AM »
Sunflower, you make an interesting comment, and you are not the only one, about the perceived complexity of Ham radio. I say perceived, because it doesn't have to be. Although I am a programmer by trade, I do not like complex radios. I spend too much time as it is using menus and complex interfaces. I like my radios to have a volume button and tune button, and not much else! The least the better. More features does not make a radio transmit better. It does make it hear better sometimes, but bells and whistles are optional. My favorite radio, one I build myself, is the Elecraft K1. It isn't the simplest, does use menus and has a few knobs and buttons, but remains very easy to use, small, and has a very low current draw. Anything more complex, I shy away from. Let's face it, if I can't explain to someone how to use it in a few minutes, there is a potential problem there... I can't teach Morse code to someone in 5 minutes of course, but SSB (Single Side Band voice) radios can be simple too. Look at the MFJ-9440 or an old Atlas... That's the kind of simplicity I like. With the Tech exam being so accessible, why not? Sure, it's a pain to have to pass an exam and be "registered," but to practice, you need to get on the air. When the SHTF is not a good time to learn. You could use CB and learn a lot about antennas of course, but you limit yourself to one band that only allows long distance communications in the best of conditions.

By the way, other members can thank you for suggesting the "New To Radio" board, it is on.


Morse Code / Starting the Morse Code Board.
« on: September 03, 2012, 02:10:26 AM »

I am creating this board based on my opinion that Morse Code might be the ultimate communication mode when it comes to prepping. Sure, Morse Code is hard to learn (for me anyway) and somewhat slow compared to other modes (though that can be argued..), but it has many advantages...

- Morse code can be used not only with radio but with visual signals such as light, laser, sound, touch, the detailed list would be long.
- Morse doesn't need a lot of power to cut through the ether.
- A telegraph system is easy to set-up using new or existing wire infrastructures and insures privacy.
- Is is inherently more private than voice modes.
- CW-only radios are cheap and small, with low current drain.
- With an appropriate key and earphones, it allows to transmit messages silently.

Feel free to add more...

I use two training tools to learn Morse Code: The ham Morse iOS application, and There are many more.

In my opinion, Morse Code should not only be preserved but promoted in the prepping community at large as a great emergency communication mode.


General Discussion / Re: Frequency considerations and introduction.
« on: September 03, 2012, 01:44:06 AM »
That is a good idea, I will make one...


General Discussion / Re: Elitism in Ham Radio and Further Thoughts.
« on: September 03, 2012, 01:35:15 AM »
ConfederateColonel, I agree about the importance of building communication networks in case of a "Postman" situation. The difficulty would be to establish somewhat of a standard.. II like the basic Morse radiograms. CW is after all a data mode and the availability of computers and the required software might be rather "spotty." I think that foremost, Morse should be not only preserved but promoted as the major SHTF mode. You can use it with radio, lights, banging things, visual signals, the list is endless. There should be a thread started on the subject, and I will do so when I have a minute, but if you want to beat me up to it, please do! I have a lot to do as is...


Tactical Corner / Re: Help from Elmers for NuBs
« on: September 03, 2012, 01:06:00 AM »
Hello Hayr,

I am new to Ham as well, but not radio or electronics. You don't need to be an electronics guru... I would suggest that you concentrate your efforts on learning about antennas, which I believe is the most important factor in getting a signal out. The rest of it will come later. As to tuber sets, I would not suggest them... First, because they use very high voltages and are dangerous to mess with if you don't know what you are doing. An unplugged radio can shock you pretty bad if you touch a charged capacitor by mistake. Second, they are very heavy, and mobility in my opinion is an important advantage in prepping. If you want to buy a cheap radio, look into old solid state rigs like the late Atlas radios, or anything between tube technology and surface-mounted components.
I personally used to be interested in the latest stuff with all the bells and whittles, but my opinion has somewhat changed. Now I value simplicity and ruggedness more. So, my best advise is to take your time in choosing. As to fixed or mobile, I prefer "portable." which is a third category. I want a radio that is simple, with a low current draw, light, small, that can be transported easily, even on foot. You have to give up other things to get all that, like power, but I think portability is more important. That's just for the minimum of course, you can always get that boat anchor later  ;)


General Discussion / Re: A question for all prepper hams
« on: September 02, 2012, 01:04:34 PM »

First I would turn on my 2m handheld on and start scanning.

Second, I would jump on 20 and 40m to check news from further away. People might not know locally or regionally about what is going on, but Ham in different states or even countries/continents might have heard news about the event...

I think both HF and VHF are a necessity.


VHF and Above / Re: TriSquare eXRS Radios for Secure Comms
« on: September 02, 2012, 01:01:54 PM »

Do you need a license for these radios, or should we just not mention anything about that  ;)


General Discussion / Re: Elitism in Ham Radio and Further Thoughts.
« on: September 02, 2012, 12:58:05 PM »
Oh yes Scott, I agree. Emergency radio is not a profession though like being a doctor or a teacher.. It can be in some cases probably, but usually isn't. So, what is the motivation here? We have to be honest with ourselves when talking about serving a community. In many ways, of course, helping your community is beneficial to yourself and betters the world around you for everyone. I don't think however that people usually think that far. So, there are I believe two kinds of individuals that would be willing to pay to help others. Those who are smart enough to realize that they are creating a better environment for themselves and their families, or simply enjoy the hobby and want to do a little more while providing a service, but there is also the kind with an ego problem who crave recognition for their services (maybe not consciously). The later are the people I do not like. Not that they are prevalent, but they are around...


Tactical Corner / Re: Setup for post-collapse communication with family?
« on: September 02, 2012, 12:48:53 PM »
Thanks Frosty for that great link!

About CB, the problem is that a beam antenna is huge, and not everyone can or wants to set-up such a monster on their roof... A beam antenna for a 2m SSB radio is much, much smaller...



I got a Yaesu FT-270R and I really like it. It isn't too complicated but has all the features you want. It is also waterproof, with is a nice feature for an emergency radio...


General Discussion / Re: PLEASE READ! Welcome to Radio Preppers.
« on: September 02, 2012, 10:02:25 AM »

I would like to welcome all new members who joined us here this week-end following a link from
Thank you to whomever posted it, and thank you all for the great posts  :)



The Ic-7000 sure looks great. 2A though is indeed way too much for battery operations. My K1 draws 55mA, K2, 220mA, and that's with the backlit LCD on, and the S-meter on as well. Even the FT-817-ND draws 450mA on receive, which is considered high..


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