Quantcast

Communications Plan

Doomsday Prepper Forums - The Number One Prepper Site

Help Support Doomsday Prepper Forums:

Captjim_NM

Member
Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
126
Location
New Mexico
Many preppers are looking for a communications plan. The second consern they have is evading detection. Direction finding of low power transmitters would be more difficult with a frequency hopping plan. Changing bands from VHF to UHF would further complicate direction finding. Say you have 10 people and 20 acres of land, your basic China HT will cover that area fine unless you are in the mountains. Just pick your frequencies, program the radios and you are set. I would recommend a good antenna 30 to 50 foot high and a 20 to 50 watt mobile radio to monitor the entire location. Besides this fixed station I would also have a scanner to monitor local law enforcement and a short wave receiver at the bare minimum. This fixed station would require power supplies and battery back-up and someone to monitor the radio 16 to 24 hours a day for emergency traffic. If you want to talk to someone outside your little group, you need license and learn about repeaters. Now if you want to talk to people around the nation or world you will need a HF station. The big question is how much land do you want to cover and how big is your group of people? Twenty or thirty people all showing up with different radios, batteries and frequency programs and expecting everything to work together would be a real mess. Compound this assortment of radios with different antenna connectors and handset/speaker mic connectors and you muddy the water even more. You can't load multiple programs in these radios. Once you load your prepper list of frequencies into the radio the existing frequencies are erased. I am not trying to rain on your parade, just open your eyes to the planning required for this to work. de KA5SIW
 

firewallsrus

Member
Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
71
Reaction score
159
Location
Paris, Texas
Glad to see others looking at this realistically. I see many preppers wanting to get a radio now that were not interested a few months ago. The problem is, getting a radio without planning what you are going to do with is is like buying a motorcycle before you know whether you want it for highways or off-road.

You aren't likely to interest everyone in your group, but you should strive for two (because two is one and one is none) who commit to developing a communications plan.

You need to asses your group's needs and goals in communication as a first step. I suggest an evolutionary approach rather than writing a fat check and hoping you made good decisions.

Receivers can help you gather information. Without Intel, you are really operating blind. I break this down into strategic and tactical. Strategic information will help you plan the next month, years, or decades and involves staying informed on what is happening all over the world so you can plan for any local effects in advance. Tactical intel is information for right now up to perhaps a month. This is local information and requires pretty simple tools.

Transceivers will do much more than give away your position. The possibilities for radio are limitless, so it may be best to build your group's capabilities on a tiered approach.

The Handy Talkie (HT) is the basic unit and your first purchase so you can get people connected who are close by. They can be cheap or expensive. Cheap ones can be bought in bulk, expensive ones "sometimes" last longer. The primary difference in transmitters is how clean a signal they produce. Receivers are rated by how sensitive they are for weak signals and how selective they are at filtering out nearby signals. The HT's you'll find are FM which is a full quieting mode. Combining this with the fewer interfering signals after SHTF means a cheaper radio will perform pretty well for you and is certainly preferable in some applications I can get to if there is interest.

Once you have become accustomed to the use of the HT's, you may want to expand your communications. The next step is with mobile radios operating on the same bands as the HT's you already have. These can be vehicle or home mounted. In either case, they offer superior power output and there are more antenna possibilities with a fixed unit. These radios can be configured as cross-band repeaters to relay your low powered HT signals to neighbors or family members who are out of HT range.

At some point, you are going to want to communicate beyond your immediate area and this is where HF radio comes in. My advice is to be thinking about uses for more distant communications while you develop your local communications.
 

tmttactical

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
3,899
Reaction score
10,997
Location
Arizona
Excellent post and advice. I would ask all you HAM radio experts / users to post informative information (in plain language) for all of us HAM illiterate folks. My volunteer work is 22 miles from home, what kind of system would I need to communicate with home? We are talking about heavily wooded mountain tops, both locations.
 

MNwr786

Active Member
Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
291
Reaction score
776
Location
minnesota
Get a copy of the ARRL Handbook and the ARRL Antenna Book. Read them both several times. Communications is a dynamic process. Each band on the radio has different propagation characteristics that change which makes each of them uniquely useful under various ionospheric and atmospheric conditions. There are also numerous techniques used to radio direction find, some better for some bands than others. The shape and orientation of the antenna and whats under it can affect where your signal goes (like straight up in a really handy propagation technique called NVIS). The few topics I just mentioned are covered in those books in great detail, and much much more (even stealth antennas). I've read both those books if you have any questions about radio stuff.

Just got a new radio toy today, an SVA1032x, Im gonna be building custom antennas with it, should be all set up in a month. Got tired of mowing grass and traded in the gravely lol.
 

tmttactical

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
3,899
Reaction score
10,997
Location
Arizona
I will add these books to my purchase list. Be prepared to answer a LOT of obvious questions. Thanks for the recommendation.
 

MNwr786

Active Member
Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
291
Reaction score
776
Location
minnesota
communication with whom? especially post SHTF I dont know of anyone I would need to communicate with, I have an ordinary radio to listen to any broadcasts but thats about it.
A family member 100 miles away perhaps. Lets say we don't want to understand all the intricacies of RF propagation and just want a foolproof way to get an emergency signal out to someone you expect to be listening.

If I wanted to have contact with my parents 116 miles away, a weather balloon on a tether carrying a simplex repeater to 9,000 feet will provide me with a 116 mile line of sight radius.

$20 baofeng, $60 simplex controller, 1 gallon liquid latex $65 (because a single weather balloon costs that, why not make a few dozen), 3,000yd spool fishing line $40, and maybe a DIY antenna. Everyone with an FRS radio within 100 miles will hear you. If I do, I'll say hi.
 

firewallsrus

Member
Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
71
Reaction score
159
Location
Paris, Texas
BigPaul, for someone with no family or friends, you are absolutely correct. With all possible respect, this thread is for people who do have someone they are going to feel compelled to communicate with whether in the first days of a collapse or otherwise. In other communications threads you have made it abundantly clear that you have no intention of communicating (Internet chatter notwithstanding) which is why I keep wondering why you troll the radio communications threads. It is disappointing to have to wade through so many posts from people who have no interest in communications to get to the people who do have family, or who do have to work a considerable distance from home and/or family.

Amish Heart is right on point though that broadcast and other official emergency radio services will give you whatever line the government wants you to hear.
 
Last edited:

bigpaul

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
13,816
Location
as far away from "civilisation" as i can get.
its just that I keep hearing about communications on various forums I have been on in the past, not just now and here, and I could never understand who people were so keen to keep in contact with especially WTSHTF.
I understand hand sets and walkie talkies which seem to have a limited range and are probably only good for anyone out of the house "doing the rounds", limited range here because of all the hills.
 

firewallsrus

Member
Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
71
Reaction score
159
Location
Paris, Texas
BigPaul, since you have no family or close friends I can understand your confusion, but be assured there are many, many people who have strong ties to others. That's what the communications threads are for. Trying to convince a loner of the need to communicate is like trying to sell a photo album to a blind man. I doubt either is possible and am sure nobody here will try to convince you otherwise. I'm just confused as to why you always try to drag the topic off the original post.
 

Amish Heart

God Like
Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
785
Reaction score
3,199
Location
Kansas
My husband and I have been ham radio operators for nine years. So this isn't anything new for us. We helped with state emergency radio communications a number of times.
I do see an increase in people wondering about ham radio.
 

bigpaul

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
13,816
Location
as far away from "civilisation" as i can get.
BigPaul, since you have no family or close friends I can understand your confusion, but be assured there are many, many people who have strong ties to others. That's what the communications threads are for. Trying to convince a loner of the need to communicate is like trying to sell a photo album to a blind man. I doubt either is possible and am sure nobody here will try to convince you otherwise. I'm just confused as to why you always try to drag the topic off the original post.
well thank you for that, you have now convinced me that this subject is not for me and I will refrain from commenting further.
 

firewallsrus

Member
Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
71
Reaction score
159
Location
Paris, Texas
Many preppers are looking for a communications plan. The second consern they have is evading detection. Direction finding of low power transmitters would be more difficult with a frequency hopping plan. Changing bands from VHF to UHF would further complicate direction finding.
I like the way you think. Here is an idea for cheap frequency hopping. Pick 31 random frequencies from the available bands. Program one frequency in the list as memory channel 1. Now repeat the process until you have the first 31 memory channels programmed to be seemingly random frequencies spread back and forth across both bands. All the group's radios start on the channel matching the day of the month. During a conversation, a word like "bump up" or "bump down" is the signal to go up or down a memory channel. After the conversation, all the radios are reset to the day of the month.
 

BillMasen

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
3,350
Reaction score
11,957
Location
terra firma
I too have no extended group to communicate with any more but I do see the value in two way radios as a source of news if the normal means are unavailable, but I would never apply for a ham licence as everyones addresses are kept in registers in places like Council offices, Libraries, State and National government agencies and in many cases online. So radios GOOD for INTEL, licences BAD for OPSEC.

Forunately many preppers now own stuff like the Baofengs UV5 or 8s and similar which can be tweaked to put out between 5 and 8 watts coupled with better antenna and using the 440 freq range designated of PMR / FRS duty, and use em like walkie talkies which more than meets my two way comms needs.

Our Merkin cousins can utilise Ham radio much better than us over here, but I would again raise the issue of OPSEC both in licencing, and operations (after TSHTF) I would not set up and operate a BASE station at your home, BOL or retreat, nor would I leave large antenna in place. I think a "" mobile"" base station unit would allow more secure comms used away from home would be very useful.
 

Latest posts

Top