Bug Out Vehicles

Started by Geek, June 01, 2013, 06:45:06 am

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Geek

I have generally kept one extra car around.  Recently that has meant 5 cars for 4 drivers.  Unfortunately, my step-daughter totaled her car, putting me into the market for a replacement.  I decided the "new" vehicle will be a true Bug Out Vehicle, i.e. this thing should keep running even during an EMP, which basically rules out anything made since about 1985.  I also wanted Diesel, 4WD, and lots of room.  I found a 1984 Diesel Suburban, but it is a true project car and is not drivable.  This will be a major restoration project and I expect it to take at least a year.   I have done one prior restoration of an old Porsche, which I no longer own.

Has anyone else here attempted anything of this nature, and if so what sort of vehicle did you select?  Is anyone interested in following this project?

BTW: When it is complete I intend to equip it with a CB and a 2m radio, though I am considering making the radios easy to swap out and replace with spares kept in Faraday cages.  I could use recommendations for antennas, mounts and wiring to be installed while the car is apart.

KC9TNH

I'd be interested in periodic reports. A dear friend I visit periodically keeps a Suburban around and, except for the diesel, knows them (and their parts sources & kinks) inside & out. Lots of support for that vehicle out there.

Wiring: set yourself up a switch or other means such that, from inside the cab, you can kill ALL lighting. Everything, brake lights, dome light, everything.

Reverse-TimeWarp Warning: You could even put a single tail-light & headlight center-mounted that, to an observer makes you look like a motorcycle at a distance, selectable from in the cab as well as the zillion-candlepower lighting you're running off your 2x12V system. And curtains, and primer-OD paint, front & rear winch points... oh, wait...
ok, whew - back to the present now.
8)

Geek

Quote from: KC9TNH on June 01, 2013, 08:42:26 am
I'd be interested in periodic reports. A dear friend I visit periodically keeps a Suburban around and, except for the diesel, knows them (and their parts sources & kinks) inside & out. Lots of support for that vehicle out there.

Wiring: set yourself up a switch or other means such that, from inside the cab, you can kill ALL lighting. Everything, brake lights, dome light, everything.

Reverse-TimeWarp Warning: You could even put a single tail-light & headlight center-mounted that, to an observer makes you look like a motorcycle at a distance, selectable from in the cab as well as the zillion-candlepower lighting you're running off your 2x12V system. And curtains, and primer-OD paint, front & rear winch points... oh, wait...
ok, whew - back to the present now.
8)


I thought I was supposed to suck up all the juice with radios.  :-)

Joe

Hi Geek

Congrats on taking the step towards a dedicated BOV  !!! I have plans to build one myself just have to find a place I can put it all together.

Have you thought about mounting radios in a steal sucurity box simular to a tuffy console box. You would have to disconnect and reconect the power and antenna cables when not in use. But everything would be in the rig and ready to go. Precautions would have to be taken to make sure its hardend.

The suburban is a great platform for such a beast with endless possibilities. As KC9TNH had said a blackout switch is a must, and put the vital gauges (oil pressure, coolant temp, and fuel) on a dimmer switch.

Keep us posted as to the progress..

73 Joe

Geek

My thought is that I would have spare radios stored in a Faraday cage.  In the event of an EMP, I would have a running car with fried radios.  Wait a week to be sure there isn't another EMP coming along and then swap the radios.

Regarding the switch to blackout the lights, almost every car I know of from more than 10 years ago you can turn off all lights, except brake and reverse, with the normal switch.  It is only recent models that have the constant on problem.  Why do you think another switch is needed?

KC9TNH

Quote from: Geek on June 01, 2013, 04:54:31 pmRegarding the switch to blackout the lights, almost every car I know of from more than 10 years ago you can turn off all lights, except brake and reverse, with the normal switch.  It is only recent models that have the constant on problem.  Why do you think another switch is needed?
You may have the need or desire to move or enter/exit the vehicle with no visible light signature, none. Something I would do if I had the opportunity to make a dedicated vehicle for such a purpose & do a ground-up restoration & had the wiring knowledge. 'Course nowadays if someone else were asked to do it they'd probably nanny-up & say, "What!? That's against the rules!"  :o

If you can conceive the EMP threat don't rule out trying to avoid something more traditional on 4 wheels. You have an opportunity to humor your imagination. Just a thought.  8)

Geek

A 1984 Diesel Suburban isn't non-traditional enough?

;D

KC9TNH

June 01, 2013, 09:03:29 pm #7 Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 09:05:45 pm by KC9TNH
Quote from: Geek on June 01, 2013, 08:59:00 pm
A 1984 Diesel Suburban isn't non-traditional enough?

;D
OK, I see how you took that. '84 Diesel Suburban good.  Being in the '84 Diesel suburban, and being able to avoid something more traditional* than an EMP - better.  ;)

* Another SUV that's for show but not really ROUGH-terrain capable, and can't hide when they accidentally tap the brakes - that kinda thing. Even outrunning a BMP or whatever the latest is that the Leviathan can think of. You may want to play Soviet sub and just "go quiet."

RadioRay

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KC9TNH

Wow. That's a rolling ground-plane.  ;D

I'm liking the'84 Suburban though; it may ride better. Thinking of the ground plane thing, on the BOV you could include a capped SO-239 - well-grounded at multiple points of the chassis - for those times you might want to pull over & run a wire to pickup short-wave or run HF, or running it to something better if you're set-up overnight, etc.

That's all later though; mechanical reliability is the first thing.  This could be a neat project; not a bad platform to start with, given the vintage.


Geek

Quote from: KC9TNH on June 02, 2013, 07:52:04 am
Wow. That's a rolling ground-plane.  ;D

I'm liking the'84 Suburban though; it may ride better. Thinking of the ground plane thing, on the BOV you could include a capped SO-239 - well-grounded at multiple points of the chassis - for those times you might want to pull over & run a wire to pickup short-wave or run HF, or running it to something better if you're set-up overnight, etc.

That's all later though; mechanical reliability is the first thing.  This could be a neat project; not a bad platform to start with, given the vintage.


The SO-239 is an idea I like.  You are right it is down the road but once all the bits and pieces are accumulated or repaired I'll want to run any wiring before installing the interior.

Has anyone incorporated HF into a vehicle in this manner?

KC9TNH

Quote from: Geek on June 02, 2013, 09:01:43 amThe SO-239 is an idea I like.  You are right it is down the road but once all the bits and pieces are accumulated or repaired I'll want to run any wiring before installing the interior.

Has anyone incorporated HF into a vehicle in this manner?
Think of it simply as a convenience outlet for RF. If you are sheltered up for the night you could use a push-up mast (or old fiberglas fishing pole), or just run a short piece of coax to your wire antenna & operate from inside the vehicle. Wire to a tree-limb, or whatever. I got the idea from a compadre' who did this to his hummer and regular talked from Mosul back to Baghdad (200+ miles) NVIS with wire going from bumper height to a bush or small tree a few feet off the ground.

When probably running lower power levels I wouldn't go with anything less than RG-8X due to RG-58 & below (in spec) being so lossy; you want to wring every watt you can out of such a setup. If you've got a rig mounted or otherwise sorted out in the vehicle, just rig up a coax switch for a multi-band radio or a another socket to plug the radio into from inside the vehicle.

Frosty

Quote from: Geek on June 01, 2013, 04:54:31 pm
My thought is that I would have spare radios stored in a Faraday cage.  In the event of an EMP, I would have a running car with fried radios.  Wait a week to be sure there isn't another EMP coming along and then swap the radios.


No one ever discusses how long to wait after the first EMP hits before pulling the gear out of the cage.  Except for maybe a am/fm/sw radio, one week sounds about right to me before risking the good stuff. 

I'd like to read the progress reports if you decide to do this. 

Geek

I've definitely decided to do the restoration.  Lots of specifics remain to be decided.

gil

I've been through that with an old Toyota FJ-40; finally had to sell it. Just keep in mind it will take three times more money and time than your estimation...

Gil.