PLEASE READ! Welcome to Radio Preppers.

Started by gil, May 09, 2012, 02:11:40 PM

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Information is a vital commodity in a disaster situation. Whomever has any, in the absence of Internet, phone and power services will have a great advantage.

Radio Preppers aims to provide individuals interested in disaster preparedness with an independent tool for the exchange of information about emergency radio communications and preparations. Hopefully it will also help build a community of like-minded individuals who could contact and help each others in times of what is commonly known as 'SHTF' or 'TEOTWAWKI.' Like-minded here means self-sufficient, strong-willed and responsible people. Independent means regardless of nationality, race, gender, political and religious beliefs, as well as unrelated to any organizations. Whether you are a licensed HAM operator, CBer, or simply curious about radio preparedness doesn't matter here.

My motivation for creating this site came from my inability to find an emergency radio club that really wasn't related to some kind of organization, mostly governmental or politically affiliated. Survival is a personal, family or small community affair. I am always suspicious of organizations that plan on telling people what to do for their own good, or else... That said, anti-government rhetoric will not be accepted here. If you don't like your government, vote accordingly. There are plenty of other boads for political ranting. This one is not one of them.

Sign-up, it's free, and stop by once in a while. If you have anything to contribute, please do so! Topics will not necessarily be limited to radio but must be related to disaster preparedness. To avoid spamming, you do need to answer a couple radio related questions; nothing a quick Google search can't answer.

Rules are few: Be courteous. Although some civil political discussions are acceptable, try to avoid them; same goes for religion. Do not suggest anything against the law, or you will be immediately banned.

Please consider supporting this site after joining by subscribing at: Profile > Summary > Actions > Paid Subscriptions. You will get more privileges!

Note that members who do not participate at least once a year will be deleted.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I hope you enjoy this forum and that it helps make you and your family safer.




Tnx for starting something that I personally feel is long over due. I have been licensed almost 50 years and have been active in ARES/RACES for over 30 years. I am tired or these politically oriented organizations with their insistence on useless training courses that anyone can take over the internet. These courses won't make better communicators. I also think that the individual communicator (ham, CBer or individual with FRS/GMRS) who is savvy about the craft of radio can make a tremendous difference in times of unrest. It's the individual, NOT the organization, that communicates.

73 Rich K7SZ


Hello Rich,

I couldn't agree more. I would also rather trust a number of individuals reporting important events rather than some agency.. ARES/RACES probably have the merit of providing a structure and a liaison between disaster relief agencies and the public, but I do not think it is enough. More people with radios, off the grid, is in my opinion the way to obtain and disseminate potentially life-saving information. I am pro-government and pro-law-and-order mind you, but I prefer to be self-sufficient. Many Hams today would probably not be able to use their equipment without power. Others might have very little fuel stored for a generator. A car battery also doesn't last very long.. personally am leaning towards QRP with solar panels.. My newly built K1 draws 55mA on receive...

Thank you for signing up, have a great day,


Jim Boswell

Someone with the ability to take equipment at hand and relay a message is what counts. If you use tin cans and string, fine get the job done with what you have on hand. The skill to adapt technology at hand is what counts.
The past 20 years have seen a major downturn in the skill level of hams. Now most hams can't repair their own equipment not to mention build or tune antennas.
At one of our club meetings I mentioned I preform monthly SWR checks on my HF antennas. Some people said they just use their auto tuner. I questioned how would you determine if you had water in the coax if you rely on a auto tuner? Besides I tune my antennas correctly so I don't need to use a tuner.


Hello Jim,

Welcome aboard :-) I did read all your posts with great interest. I am sure you will have knowledge to share on this board, and that is great.

I am new to Ham, though not new to radio and electronics.. I thought most Hams still did tinker with equipment, but I guess, not so much. Now I am busy learning Morse code... I also built three transceivers so far, including an Elecraft K1. I have a second Rock-Mite on order :-)

That said, my main goal with this board is to educate people interested in emergency preparedness on how to choose and use (even build?) radios which could help them gather information in SHTF scenarios, and communicate with others.. I am no expert, but hopefully, some will join us here..

Have a great week-end,



As you probably know, the Tech test basically has very little theory in it, but it has more concerning the rules and the traditions of ham radio.  It may be a "joke", but it does help to keep the ham bands somewhat free of the CB mentality and language.  Unfortunately, there are portions on some of the bands that rival the CB as far a language.  Unfortunately, when they dropped the code part of the exam, they opened the door to many who really don't know what they are doing, and don't really know what or how they are doing it.

Rules on the ham bands, most of them gentlemen's/ladies agreements are there for a purpose, and serve a purpose to keep the traditions alive and well in hamdom.  Please don't minimize the tests because they might be a "joke" to you, but they do serve a time honored purpose.  I passed the Tech and General the same night, and nearly passed the Extra, but had to come back the next test session to pass it.

Having been, and still am involved in some large prepper comms groups, I have found that most people can pass the tests, but they fail to purchase the equipment to practice those skills.  Therefore, they are useless to the group, and especially themselves and their families.

I hope that those who frequent this site don't fall into that category.  Purchase your equipment and become proficient in their use.  Just sayin...


You know, long time Ham people can discount the new Technician test and requirements and I appreciate where they're coming from, but consider the prepper who wants to add communications to their preps and appreciates the great resource Ham is but doesn't have the time to spend WEEKS or MONTHS studying just to get a basic license. I fall into that category. In a perfect world, I'd be getting my General right now, and really want to so I can actually test out my Yaesu 857D, but for right now, I'm content to just listen. And have that listening capability if things get bad. In the mean time I can use my VHF/UHF mobile and learn at my own pace. Scanning fire/police/public service and weather all the while. I'm not about to use bad language, and can use my VHF/UHF legally. The new technician license is a great entry level in my opinion. It's enough to get you 100% of the benefits in emergency, and still requires people to take a test thus keeping the riff raff at bay a bit... Heck I got my technician license in 2007 and am just now getting around to going to the local club meetings. It's taken that long to get the time free.  :)


Thanks for welcoming me on board. As you well know, the ability to provide security, transportation food/water, and shelter along with our communications is also important.


Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Norm call sign W6NCF and am located in the the Santa Clara Valley in California. I hold an Extra Class license but am not a more code person. I prefer the HF digital modes over voice and have put together a radio bug out kit that includes VHF/UHF/HF for voice and digital. I volunteer with the city R.A.C.E.S group and help with communications and transportation for local bicycle events. Relatively speaking I've only been a Ham for a shot time. I returned to ham radio in 2002 so I'm not an old timer and still learning. I hope I can learn for others and maybe pass some of the things that I have learned to others.

Norm W6NCF


Checking in.

No, this is not my real call sign.  :)


Hi folks,

Like Normancf22, I'm in the lovely Silicon Valley too.  I'm a recent HAM (tech) and fall into that category of someone who's not steeped in electronics but wants the utility of HAM for both emergency and general use. 

The goal of prepping is to be prepared for most foreseeable events (e.g. "the big one"). Radios give us the ability to keep in touch with others to understand what's happening locally as well as in other areas. That info can be crucial to helping smaller groups cope after a disaster. It can also help local neighborhoods coordinate resources for aid and safety.  That's my outlook on it.

So, tech licensed, currently using a Yaesu FT-60R HT (2m/70cm) around Sunnyvale-Mt.View. Eventually I want to expand to include 6M or 23cm (not decided yet). 



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  :)


Jonas Parker

I just wanted to check in. A forum like this is long overdue. Thanks for taking your time, effort, and treasure to do it, Gil!



Just wanted to post a checkin, thanks for starting this forum, a useful mix.  I'm in the So Cal area, anyone down here?