Around the ranch, we'll be using two-way radios. Range is fine for this. I am also looking to get a couple of handheld HAMs for myself to keep in the car, and for home. I know we'll have to get the license and all, so still need to do this, but we already have the two-ways. Truck to truck, (and we're getting one for the home too), we also have CB radios. A fairly inexpensive Goal Zero charger can keep the batteries charged (as well as a stock of more batteries), so our sentries can do check-ins.
Other members of my group plan to do the same with the handheld HAMs. We'll even study for the testing together, etc. That way, we'll all know when people are getting here, what they bring with them, etc.
I am mostly local in my communications.. I'm a certified amateur radio person here in Canada.. with my basic with honours and advanced which pretty much gives me the most privileges a person can have on the amateur bands up here. I've been studying for nautical and aeronautical, and think I will keep doing that, not overly complex though. I'm able to build radio devices and have some spare parts to build both transmitters and receivers... mostly low wattage though.. I also have a pi which oddly can be used for long distance communications of low bitrate.. none the less I have some radio projects. I'm not overly concerned though as I'm mostly a solo prepper. My sat phone could also be used for some communications if the network was intact... I know all about the stuff.. but really am of a local nature except the repeaters... and of course I know how to take over the microwave, am/fm, and television systems in an emergency.. but really I do not expect nuclear war tomorrow and if it doesn't happen when missiles get sent into Syria.. it probably ain't going to happen any time soon.
None the less I could create communications or take over any local communications facility without much difficulty.. but as long as there are cops up here.. it is likely a stable situation which would not require that resort. If the police and military don't have an interest up here I'm pretty much on call up to help reduce risk to life and property up here.
None the less while I prep I do not expect.. and while it doesn't hurt there is a fine line between likelihood and that which is closer to fantasy.
Low volume grunts and whistles (for night issues)................. for daytime issues, my shepherds respond to hand signals................... For fun...( beware of wife) sign by gate on front of property.
The above has some obvious use. It's smart to have a backup to a backup when it comes to communications. I agree also that when SHTF a lot of communications systems will either go offline or will be unmonitored, meaning repeaters or base stations will be free for the taking.
No matter what radio, band, or distance, any radio communications has with it drawbacks and the possibility of it being monitored. Unless of course you're using encryption. I have radios that my family uses and the I also have the other radios in case I really "need to talk to someone outside the circle".
The problem with non DTCS and similiary standard encoding methods for example for marine mobile calling etc.. is that it is technically illegal to use encryption on radio communications. There are certain possible exceptions but very rare for instance 1ghz band wifi communications, and while hams have much more power available than standard people law could restrict use.Now in SHTF this may be another situation, however then you need to worry about fox hunts as anyone using encrypted communications may stick out like a sore thumb to anyone who can still recognize them.
If you have links on encrypted radio communications not of the CTS DTCSS marine calling code etc.. I'd like to hear about this.I figure that the military has aegis communications systems that are encoded, and other communications encodings.None the less I'm wondering what type of scramblers can be added, either in the analog stage or in the IF - transmission stage perhaps as a preantenna screw on encoder/encrypter.. but would this be even legal to own in mostcountries?.
we not only have cell phones..but we also have a pair of walkie talkies that i got from my oldest brother..it says they have a 20 mile range.but i think it's more along the lines of there's nothing in the way.other then that..maybe 2 to 3 mile range if that far..
Got the 2-ways. Wife and I use them when we drove to AZ together in separate vehicles. Definately getting a house, vehicle, and bug-out CB set-up. Got some emergency hand-crank radios for emergency broadcasts along with the weather alert radios.
CB is the easiest as the radios are cheap and readily available. One major issue that I have with CB is that its crowded and when SHTF will more than likely be flooded. In a disaster scenario "being heard" isn't always a good thing.
In the UK many of us have severe concerns about OPSEC so we wont go down the licenced Amateur Ham radio route, so many of us have been relying on the UK and EU CB systems which are far from perfect, They are FM not AM like in the US and limited to 4 watts.
So over the last few years large numbers of folks have been getting those Chinese made but good quality Baofeng UV5R radios designed for 2 m / 70 cm ham bands but also have the PMR 446 channels built in. Some folks keep the devices as bought but others like myself delete all the Ham frequencies and set the UV5 up as a 4 watt PMR 446 ( 440Mhz) system.
Price is important as well of course and currently you can buy UV5s for £30 off E bay including programming cable and driver disk, though many folks reprogram using Chirp. so we have very compact but highly useable hand held radio for ranges up to 5 miles.
For longer disantances many folks have gone the Ham route which i think is a bad idea but others have gone for stuff like 40 watt Polish CB band FM CBs and others like myself are waiting for the legalisation of the 12 watt SSB CB frequencies next year.