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Author Topic: A question for all prepper hams  (Read 17562 times)

Jonas Parker

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A question for all prepper hams
« on: September 02, 2012, 12:35:45 PM »
Scenario: the S has HTF in any of the scenarios of your choice.  "Big Sis" and the DHS have shut down telephone, cell phone, and internet coms.  The local radio/TV hacks are broadcasting the standard message "Keep calm! Stay in your homes!" As a ham with a "general" class ticket, you fire up your rig on emergency power.

Question: What frequency will you tune to first, and in what mode? Why?

gil

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 01:04:34 PM »
Hello,

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.

Gil.

Scott

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 01:47:14 PM »
Depends on the scope of the incident.  What S has H what F? 

If we're talking about a local or regional incident, most likely my first movement will be to check my local ARES frequencies on 2m for activity to see if I've been activated, and if so, in what capacity.  If there's nothing there, I'd followed my section's comm plan and try to find the relevant net.

If you're talking TEOTWAWKI, get the hell off the radio.  You'll have time for that in your BOV on your way to BOL.

Frosty

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 03:23:26 PM »
I'd be scanning VHF and CB, I'd want to know what the police/fire/em/ems were doing locally first, and CB'er reactions/observations.  I live in the boonies, so I'd probably pull the rubber duck on one handheld scanner to just pick up anything real close that might be a cause for concern.  Then depending, either start DX'ing to see what happened, or leave the wife in the shack with a recorder so I could listen later, while I start securing the property.  This would be 'shut up and listen time' imo, but that's pretty much my normal mode anyway. 

But, if the Feds did decide to go to the trouble of trying to impose a communications blackout by shutting down telephone/cell/internet service, then it might be a bad time to be a licensed ham too.  See the recent "ASSIGNMENT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMUNICATIONS FUNCTIONS" executive order, there's some disturbing sections regarding "privately owned communications resources" and "deactivation, or closing of radio stations, services, and facilities".

bu2chlc

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 03:31:58 PM »
I would start "small" on 2m/440 to get a feel for what might be false info. If I understand the circumstances correctly, you are firing up your rig because commercial news outlets are not functioning. This would imply that MAYBE the news outlets are "misinforming" to put it lightly. I would want to start on the local bands to get a feel for reports that might not be accurate or may very well be complete lies. I would then branch out from there once I have confirmed the information is accurate. I have tried to contact hams locally and a few hundred miles out and tried to setup some "challenge/response" questions ahead of time to verify the info I am getting (digital/CW) is really a person I know and trust. I am NOT a fan of crypto, I just want to know that I am not speaking to and unfriendly person on the other end. This is critical when we are not looking for the latest person to get dropped from American Idol, but real, life saving info.

ConfederateColonel

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 03:48:06 PM »
If it's serious enough as you describe, then it is not local. I would have my shortwave receiver tuning to various foreign stations - I have an extremely low confidence level in what comes from the major media in America. I would tune my HF rig to a prearranged frequency (band varies by time of day) that I and another ham have arranged and practiced. Mode would be SSB to start with - other modes follow in priority. Mostly though, it's just a matter of making and confirming contact with another prepper(s) and then listening and not talking.

The question of what frequency to tune to is something that I am hoping this forum can help sort out. There are several proposals floating around, and this forum is a good place to discuss it.

As a previous post said though, there are other priorities that take precedence over radio stuff. If you're planning to bug out (not much of a plan in my opinion) that comes first. Otherwise, time to circle the wagons and follow what everyone should have - a written list of things that need to be done to secure your location.

MIA

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 06:31:16 PM »
Scenario: the S has HTF in any of the scenarios of your choice.  "Big Sis" and the DHS have shut down telephone, cell phone, and internet coms.  The local radio/TV hacks are broadcasting the standard message "Keep calm! Stay in your homes!" As a ham with a "general" class ticket, you fire up your rig on emergency power.

Question: What frequency will you tune to first, and in what mode? Why?

If it is indeed this serious, then you can bet that the Amateur Radio Service has been suspended also. It has happened before, in WWII, and could very quickly happen again. If that is the case, then as ConfederateColonel said, "I would have my shortwave receiver tuning to various foreign stations".

KC5OTL

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 07:58:24 PM »
If it's a local emergency, I'd certianly monitor the local 2 meter repeaters and CB.  If it is a national or global event, I'd be listening to shortwave, as well, to find out the extent of the event.

But if Amateur radio becomes suspended, I would not be talking, potentially giving my location away to the Federalies.

If we experience an EMP or CME event, it would be at least two weeks before I'd be breaking out the radio equipment I have protected.

Y'all do have some of your radio and test equipment EMP protected, right?

ScottHW

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 07:59:12 AM »

Y'all do have some of your radio and test equipment EMP protected, right?

I recently invested in these:

http://techprotectbag.com/

and have all my HAM gear (and other stuff too) in these bags.  Some of it is further embedded within other containers for multi level protection, but all radios (Unless I am actively using them of course), stay in these now.

gil

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 09:41:33 AM »
Hello,

Anyone who thinks EMP protection is overkill should read this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

Gil.

Sunflower

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 12:37:19 PM »
The only frequency I would like jump on right now is "Crying." I don't know enough yet to really make good use of the equipment I do have.

Jonas Parker

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2012, 01:29:48 PM »
Scenario: the S has HTF in any of the scenarios of your choice.  "Big Sis" and the DHS have shut down telephone, cell phone, and internet coms.  The local radio/TV hacks are broadcasting the standard message "Keep calm! Stay in your homes!" As a ham with a "general" class ticket, you fire up your rig on emergency power.

Question: What frequency will you tune to first, and in what mode? Why?

If it is indeed this serious, then you can bet that the Amateur Radio Service has been suspended also. It has happened before, in WWII, and could very quickly happen again.

Why is it that I would expect some bit if "civil disobedience" were this to happen?

ConfederateColonel

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 02:16:27 PM »
Why is it that I would expect some bit if "civil disobedience" were this to happen?

Correct. I suspect that some folks visualize what they may have seen in the movies - teams of government agents with RDF trucks tracking down evil radio operators the moment a microphone is keyed.

First of all, RDF (Radio Direction Finding) is a VERY inexact science. If you're using VHF or UHF, and you're careless about transmitting, then you're making it easy for the Dark Side. If you are using HF - especially if you are using an NVIS antenna setup - it is nearly impossible to accurately track down and pinpoint the source.

Second, unless you are actively and openly using radio to attack the government, they will have much bigger fish to fry. Unfortunately, the FCC and their kind are not the only ones to worry about.

There is clearly a slice of the ham community that gets a feeling of power by going with the Dark Side. They will gladly track down and turn in their fellow ham operators for daring to defy "official government orders". Anyone who has been involved in ARES and RACES knows what I'm talking about. They are the folks who like to be seen wearing official-looking patches and name tags; maybe even some sort of uniform-looking clothing. They often have more flashing lights on their vehicle than an ambulance, and maybe an "Emergency Communications" sign on it. They seldom smile, and refer to people as "civilians". It was the prevalence of folks like that that caused me to drop out of any organized ham activities. I used the be the county ARES coordinator and assistant RACES officer here. Never again.

Frosty

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 03:03:57 PM »
Not having your name and address in the (publicly searchable) FCC database of licensees makes you a little harder to locate too.


gil

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 04:13:12 PM »
Quote
refer to people as "civilians".

I would burst out laughing if I ever heard something like that!
I don't think I could walk by a lights-and-signs car without making snazzy comments either  ::)

Gil.

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Re: A question for all prepper hams
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 04:13:12 PM »