Preppers Calling Frequency.

Started by gil, February 16, 2017, 04:02:29 AM

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I have been thinking for a while of a preppers calling frequency. We need an "official" frequency people can go to if the SHTF. There are few of us and chasing each other all over the HF bands would not be very productive in an emergency. It would also be nice to have a frequency to park on when the radio is kept on in the background. A recent post made me decide to propose the idea now. The question is, where? Here are the requirements I have been mulling over:

This frequency must:

  • Allow NVIS operations for regional range communications.
  • Be between or around the junction of CW, SSB and digital modes.
  • Not require an overly long antenna.
  • Work day and night, mostly around dawn and dusk.
  • Work during trough of solar cycle, summer and winter.
  • Be accessible to users globally i.e. not above 7200 or 3800kHz, etc.

I can't think of a better band than 40m, 7mHz.

The frequency would be used with all modes, including three main modes I would like to propose:

  • CW. For its efficiency and simplicity of the rigs.
  • USB. To allow the use of military radios and differentiate between calls intended to preppers and regular users.
  • PSK-31. For efficiency and to allow for preppers who do not know Morse code.
The above list is in order of preference.

I propose 7100kHz.

Unless everyone is on board to promote this frequency this effort will go nowhere... Comments and suggestions are welcome.



Hi Gil,

Nice idea. Btw I am that guy from youtube that proposed a sked ;)

I love the idea, the only downside, E-Level Hams from Germany are not allowed to access the 40m Band, so we might consider another Frequency on the 80m Band. I personally would suggest even three in 80, 60 and 40 plus a priority for 40 for example. I know this way things get more complicated, but in order to be flexible enough a set of Band might be cool.

Anyways, I am in and will promote any descision we make on my Blog.


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QuoteI love the idea, the only downside, E-Level Hams from Germany are not allowed to access the 40m Band, so we might consider another Frequency on the 80m Band.

Thank you, and welcome aboard :) 80m is a great band, but a half wave is 40m long! Making a practical antenna for 80m is a challenge. The 40m band is not going to fit everyone's need, but I do believe it is the best one. I hear plenty of Germans on 40m ;)

Nice blog:

We should definitely try a sked after I put my 80m Windom antenna back up. I have no trouble reaching Germany regularly from here (near Lille). We could make a video of the contact viewed from both ends...



Hey Gil,

Thanks for the welcome :)

Yes of course there are many A-Level Hams on the 40m Band in Germany. And as I said I like the Idea of using this as "our" main Band. But to be really reliable one would whish to be able to change the band with changing F_opt or changing MUF respectively.

I did not link my blog, as I don't want to look like I am only here to promote myself and a lot of it is in German... anyways, thanks a lot for posting it :)

I personally use a buddipole / EndFed Verticals / LHKA Antennas / Randomwires etc. and eventhough they do get huge on 80m, I did always manage du work propperly /p!!

Anyways, IF my wife and or my PhD Thesis allow me to, I will collect information on how to make directed and planned HF-Comms possible, favoravly with QRP & /p stations.

Definite yes for the sked Video :)

This would add in great to my planned article on planned HF-comms.


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Excellent, we'll talk about it soon. I should be putting my antenna back up around the 15th of March. However, I might operate 80m outside for an upcoming video on the W3EDP antenna... That could be as soon as today, tomorrow or next week.



I agree wholeheartedly that it should be on 40 meters, 80 meters and lower requires a huge antenna and propagation is not consistent enough above 40 meters. One disadvantage to 7.100 MHz is that none of the crystal controlled micro rigs work there, but then I'm biased towards CW. Of coarse it's sort of a chicken and egg situation; if the frequency becomes well established and popular, more rock bound rigs will be built/sold for that frequency.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin



I like 40.  It's a good, workhorse of a band.  Which is why it's used so much.  Although, depending on band conditions, it'd probably be a good idea to have a secondary band/frequency.  I remember when Mt St. Helen's blew its top, radio traffic was sent sent on 6 meters via Australia.

Also, for the CW ops, you'll probably want to have some sort of abbreviated call for the group so you don't have to spell out R-A-D-I-O-P-R-etc.  Something along the lines of PRP (as in CQ PRP) or RPN.  Personally, I like RPN (for Radio Preppers Network) as it is quite lyrical in CW.  Just sayin'.

MaryAnn, NS7X


For me, living at almost 48 North, NVIS during low sun numbers is not going to happen on forty, even in the afternoon.  80m here is very , very reliable out to 350 miles, even with a low wire.  For preparedness, I've found that the 'one-tank-of-gas-distance' is the most important to me, personally.  As MaryAnn pointed-out, the big bang of that volcano, flooding and other emergencies have me quite interested in what is happening among family and friends within driving distance. If it's an actual emergency/disaster, then reliefe locations for water, food and single malt Scotch (yum!) is going to be important - the closer the better.

For northern USA (Europe and Canada etc.) Lower frequencies are required for NVIS than for more southerly locations.  80m is working for me very well for regional skeds, until VERY late at night when the MUF moves below 3.5 Hz for NVIS. daylight on 80m right now (solar minima) is surprisingly good, doing what 40m does during the solar cycle times of higher sun numbers.

A Note About Antennas: EFHW on 80m is 40 m : true enough.  However a square, horizontal loop is only 20 meters on a side - still large, but possibly manageable at low height and ideal for NVIS.  The QUARTER WAVE antenna with wire counterpoise along the ground is very easy to erect , lower visibility and not a bad performer for comms within Europe (when I was there back in dinosaur days   ;-) 

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

Jim Boswell

In the Summertime 80 meters has lots of QRN due to lightning from thunderstorms. I think 40 meters would be best, above 7200 because some of us only have General lic.  CW on 40 would be great but my CW skill is almost 0. I will watch and see what you decide, if I hear a good open spot I will let you know. 73'S  KA5SIW


When I lived in The South, yes indeed - QRN from T-storms was tough on the lower bands.  The continual T-storms in the tropics made quite a racket year round, but only for the HIGH 80 m dipole I had at 110 feet. However, here in the northern part of the continent, we rarely have that level of T-storm induced noise, unless a local storm is on top of us.

Timing matters as well. making skeds for morning or noon , avoided the southern T-storms noise for me.  Band choice is based on propagation though, so if you have no path between the two stations, then the noise does not matter.

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


I agree with RadioRay - here in EI there are long periods where 40M is practically unusable for NVIS contacts - contacts on 40M within Ireland & UK can be problematic, even for stations running QRO with efficient antenna systems.

60M is more reliable for NVIS and I'm glad we're after getting a small slice of it to use. But due to the limited bandwidth and the fact it hasnt been approved by all members, leaves us with 80M.

Out of necessity I spend time experimenting with compromise antennas and I have managed to rig a primitive 80M setup indoors, using attic space for the antenna and the internal central heating pipes as ground. It works surprisingly well for local comms - the layout seems to ensure the signal is sent straight up.

Ideally it would be nice to have centre of activity frequencies on all available bands, but if we even start with identifying and agreeing on freqs for 80, 40 & 20 that's going to be great.


Keep in mind that there really doesn't need to be a frequency which everyone can use to communicate with everybody else.  Hams have a long history of relaying radio traffic if direct communications aren't available.  (Hence the American Radio RELAY League.)  Although coverage will likely be spotty, those who wish to communicate with family members who are several hundred miles away are a lot more likely to find a ham who can relay the message(s) than they are to get those family members licensed as hams.  This is yet another reason why radio skills need to be practiced before the poo hits the blower.  Er, I mean the shtf.

MaryAnn, NS7X



I always said that 'If you are NOT talking to someone now on a regular schedule, you will likely not be talking to them in an emergency.".  There is one emergency communications team I've seen regularly practice running several nets per month in several modes. They also run multi-day,  'scenario based'  communications practice exercises at least once per per year (one is always scheduled, the others are quick reaction nets, which 'happen' on short notice) . This team is the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network (AmRRON). Despite the name, they are already international, being in Canada and the Caribbean.

Here is their website:

They have a Signal Operating Instruction (SOI) booklet available for download or in a bound paper copy for a very moderate fee.  The link to their SOI is below. It has provision for hams and non-hams to communicate (legally in the USA) by using FRS, GMRS, MURS and CB as defines under US law, but these provisions would work with the European 4XX MHz FM  'CB' and perhaps other systems in other regions which are short-range, non-licensed radio operations, fed to an area ham for relays of critical information.

I am not paid for any AmRRON activity. This review is based on years of operating with them.

Have a look and see if the shoe fits for you. Of the networks I've seen and participated with down through the decades, this is the best and they are not tied to ARES/RACES, though many of their operators are also attached with them.

Here is the AmRRON mission statement:

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


I like 80m, it does NVIS very well. How would it work between say Europe and the United States?



EU to US on 80m was not very common for me , even when I lived next to to ocean in Virginia with all that wire up 110 feet. It was SOLID on 80m when the EU station also had a large and high antenna: a rarity in most of Europe, you are fortunate to have that much space available.  However, early to mid-afternoon east coast time , 17 m was filled with EU stations and no contests. I used to talk with many of them while I was mobile on the 16ft whip and old marine radio.

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