Comm suggestions?

Prepper & Survivalism Forum

Help Support Doomsday Prepper Forums:

Bbowl1

New Member
Jr Member
Joined
May 19, 2016
Messages
2
Reaction score
4
Location
Portland or
hello, I am new to here and to prepping. I live in Portland OR and am concerned with the way past due major earthquake and our 3 active volcanos having 100s of earthquakes.

I saw there is a comm section but seems like it's all about technical stuff and not setups. I do apologize if I posted in the wrong section and hope a mod can transfer to the appropriate if so. I am just getting familiar with the site.

The first thing I want to get into place is communication with my family. I have family 1 mile away and then 4 miles away in the same direction. At a minimum I would like a link to the 1mi house. Then they need a link to the house 3mi from them.

There are a lot of houses and trees in between.

I was first looking at walkie talkies with 30-40mi ranges but it doesn't seem like those would work.

I also am wondering about the licensing stuff? Is that required for it to work or just to use it legally? This wouldn't be used at all besides a monthly test unless something happened. And if something happened I wouldn't care about license...
 

Silent Bob

God Like
Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
1,270
Location
Texas
hello, I am new to here and to prepping. I live in Portland OR and am concerned with the way past due major earthquake and our 3 active volcanos having 100s of earthquakes.

I saw there is a comm section but seems like it's all about technical stuff and not setups. I do apologize if I posted in the wrong section and hope a mod can transfer to the appropriate if so. I am just getting familiar with the site.

The first thing I want to get into place is communication with my family. I have family 1 mile away and then 4 miles away in the same direction. At a minimum I would like a link to the 1mi house. Then they need a link to the house 3mi from them.

There are a lot of houses and trees in between.

I was first looking at walkie talkies with 30-40mi ranges but it doesn't seem like those would work.

I also am wondering about the licensing stuff? Is that required for it to work or just to use it legally? This wouldn't be used at all besides a monthly test unless something happened. And if something happened I wouldn't care about license...

Welcome aboard and don't worry about the posting issue, if Clyde feels that you posted wrong, he can move it over, but Communication or Prep 101 is a great place to start. Your right, we place a ton of technical items in the Communication, mostly geared to those who are interested in HAM radios, since this is now the only one really regulated by the FCC.

So your thinking about linking communications, well you need to think about several communications out there. So lets break it down.

FRS/GMRS, fairly inexpensive, handheld communication, range varies and yes, is affected by housing and trees, but with the right attenae, you boost your capabilities. These are the ones I would recommend when your talking about tying in your family members, they are handheld, mobile and fit into any bag, school bags, or your wife's handbag. You can leave them in your pack, BOB and also in your primary vehicles.

CB radios, another options, not often used, but another good communication device. Limited choices in handheld models and the ones that I have in handheld are limited in range and well in my opinion not very good. The base and mobile ones are the best, take a bit of knowledge to be placed in your vehicle or home, but gives you an option when thinking of having a communication that gives you a limited range and strong reception/transmission based on your mileage.

HAM, we are talking handhelds like the Beofeng models, are great systems, but you are required to get a licence by passing the test...these are the best at giving you the optimum option to keep in communication.

Field phones, going to have to keep an eye out on them, since they are military recycles, but a good one is the Vietnam field types, take D-batteries and use telephone wire. I have about 8 of them and still trying to add a few more, they are single lines, but if you are lucky, you can find a base set that allows you to tie all the single ones.

Cell phones and Satellite phones (Sat ones are very expensive, considering air time and contract, but wow, allows you to call anywhere)

It's late, bit tired, but hope this make sense. Let me know if you need more info.

Regards and welcome again.
 

Silent Earth

A True Doomsday Prepper
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
6,926
Reaction score
11,016
Location
watching from afar
Any frs/gmrs you would reccomend to try out for those distances through residential interferences?
I'm in the UK so I dont know your FRS freqs but we have what is called the PMR system wich is our version of FRS and it runs on 446megs so i bought three of those very good Baofeng UV5RC sets reprogrmmed them using CHIRP to only work on the 446 band 16 channels, on either .5 watt or 4 watts. I greatly increased the radios range by replacing the rubber duck antenna with the Nagoya NA771 antenna I can get 8 miles easily with them, about 5 in heavy built up areas. So if the Baofeng can be programmed to the FRS freqs thet would give good service.
 

Silent Bob

God Like
Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
1,270
Location
Texas
Any frs/gmrs you would reccomend to try out for those distances through residential interferences?

I have two good Cobra CXT1035 and four Uniden GMR 5099 that I bought earlier this year, I tested both, while the Uniden has better range and has a three year warranty, its a bit plastic...I know, I guess I like something a bit more rugged and thought that Uniden, one of the leaders in radios, would have figured it out...the only draw back with the Cobra's is that it comes with a 1 year warranty and the range at least when I tested them out with my son, was that it maxed out at 35 miles for me, where as the Uniden's were pushing at 45. Now I know what the manufacture rates the miles at, but this was my tests, not there own lab tests. Also you have to remember its going to vary, based on topography and lay of the land. Where I live, right out of the city, it is flat Texas...even a Flat Stanley can be seen standing up, so this was a pretty unobstructed test. Both come with charging stations, the rest of the crap that comes with it, ear piece and carbineers, I would just chuck as they are cheap and do not perform well in operational conditions. Funny how you spend a good bit of dollars and they place a piece of junk ear piece and aluminum carabineers. Totally worthless and they sit in a back up junk pile. Better to get a headset with voice activation and a real carabineer from Black Diamond, well that is what I have.

As for cheaper FRS, then I would go with the Motorola Talk About series. They run about $50, I have several in my Communication Go-Kit and each of my bug out bags and INCH bags. All my vehicles have a GMRS sets and as back up the two pairs of Motorola Talk About, I plan to find better replacements with either the Uniden or Cobra model (still testing them out).

MURs radio, if you can find them, can be programmed to five friendly stations, without a license.

Also, while some will say a Marine Radio is not a good idea, think about it...if you have some extra cash or place it on the "Wish List". You'd be surprised by its capabilities.

Forgot because I was tired to mention that your going to need to apply for a license for the GMRS sets

As Northern Raider stated the Beofeng's, especially, as he stated UV5 series are tried and true Ham handhelds. You can get them from any source. If your really wanting to know more about HAM's, I would direct you to PM, Clyde, our gracious host, he is the HAM guru, and I turf really all the comm stuff to him. He might be busy, but give him a few days and he will respond. Clyde can tell you more about licencing and the in's and outs of HAM radio, which is what you saw on the Comm Forum. Some of us, place the info out there, for people to use and have as info/library.

Also, if you don't have one, you should consider getting a handheld scanner and a base model scanner, you can program them with your local PD, Fire and other government channels, helps to keep tabs on what is going on, when the SHTF. I have a base model in the home, one in storage, and four handhelds.

I know this is a lot to consider when prepping, but I am sure their are a few that will disagree, but redundancy is not a bad thing. Better than Mr. Murphy raising his ugly head and telling you so!
 

Gazrok

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
7,477
Reaction score
9,119
Location
Florida
Without all the techno babble....

HAM is the best bet. Sure, there's a license involved, but it really isn't that expensive (and no, it isn't required for function, just for legality, but since you'll want to know how to use it anyhow, should go ahead and get the license).
Since you can get a decent handheld HAM for about the same (or less) as a handheld radio, and it has better range than that radio, it's really the best option.

I have other projects ahead of it, but it's certainly on my to do list. (including a base unit for the home).

I checked into the different options for myself, and kept coming back to the HAM solution. And this is from a guy who currently has a CB in his truck.
 

Loomis

Active Member
Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
739
Reaction score
372
Location
Atlanta GA
hello, I am new to here and to prepping. I live in Portland OR and am concerned with the way past due major earthquake and our 3 active volcanos having 100s of earthquakes.

I saw there is a comm section but seems like it's all about technical stuff and not setups. I do apologize if I posted in the wrong section and hope a mod can transfer to the appropriate if so. I am just getting familiar with the site.

The first thing I want to get into place is communication with my family. I have family 1 mile away and then 4 miles away in the same direction. At a minimum I would like a link to the 1mi house. Then they need a link to the house 3mi from them.

There are a lot of houses and trees in between.

I was first looking at walkie talkies with 30-40mi ranges but it doesn't seem like those would work.

I also am wondering about the licensing stuff? Is that required for it to work or just to use it legally? This wouldn't be used at all besides a monthly test unless something happened. And if something happened I wouldn't care about license...
I agree that HAM radio is the best way to go. But keep in mind your terrain. VHF/UHF are line of sight communications. Get your antenna as high as possible. If there are any mountains in the area best to be on top of one of them. If you go High Frequency it won't matter. BTW way, Welcome.
 

eireguy

Active Member
Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
482
Reaction score
388
Location
Kentucky
Frs & murs dont require a license . Gmrs does ( technically ) but 1 license will cover your entire family .
 

Latest posts

Top