Author Topic: Communication with board members in WROL  (Read 6022 times)

Offline EJR914

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Communication with board members in WROL
« on: September 09, 2011, 08:00:23 AM »
A few of us were talking one night and we all agreed it would be nice to try and keep in touch with members here in WROL, and I guess we mean not by mail or rider.  Something like that may be impossible, but I'm willing to get that answer as well. 

Is there any really long distance way to keep in touch, say, CB radio, or Short-wave radio, long distance, so we could check up on each other, if only once a week, month, or year?  I'm also fully aware that that might just as well be impossible as well, and I know that people are going to have so many crazy things going on in WROL that they might not make a meeting to get on the radio or whatever the reason, you don't link up, but I"m just talking about the rare chance of maybe being able to link up somehow.

I know some of us are planning to have some electricity through batteries, solar panels, or maybe even other ways, maybe generators.  I know we won't have a lot or endless amounts of electricity by any means.

Do any of ya'll have a lot of experience with commo, maybe military or civilian?

If we wanted to try and keep in touch during WROL, what would we need?  How would we do it?

Any experience or ideas on this?  Any suggestion is welcome.

I also know some of you will say you won't have time, or why would you want to do that, but its really just an exercise in long-range commo.  Never mind if we would actually do it.

Now if something like this is literally impossible, as in there is actually no way to do it, even in a perfect WROL scenario, with certain good things going for us, then that is fine too.  Let me know that is well.

Is something like long-distance vocal commo even possible in WROL?

Thank you for your replies and suggestions ahead of time.  They are much appreciated.

Offline WhiskeyJack

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 08:58:27 AM »
The old ham radio systems were used to communicat around the world long before the internet. I havnt looked into it yet but it would be a viable source of comms. Perhaps someone is still producing newer models of this classic radio.
And if ur really desperate you can bounce a morse code signal of the atmosphere with nothing but a 9volt battery. lol
But i sure as hell dont know how to do it, nor do i know morse code.
We could potentially try a community project to get a preppers radio network put together. This would be a good chance to try our hands at some real logistical cooperation. This system could also be used in conjunction with CB systems. The first weather services in america used ham radio to track and report weather systems. this system would provide hours if not a day of more of early warrning about bad weather. Just my .02 cents
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Offline EJR914

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 02:42:13 PM »
The old ham radio systems were used to communicat around the world long before the internet. I havnt looked into it yet but it would be a viable source of comms. Perhaps someone is still producing newer models of this classic radio.
And if ur really desperate you can bounce a morse code signal of the atmosphere with nothing but a 9volt battery. lol
But i sure as hell dont know how to do it, nor do i know morse code.
We could potentially try a community project to get a preppers radio network put together. This would be a good chance to try our hands at some real logistical cooperation. This system could also be used in conjunction with CB systems. The first weather services in america used ham radio to track and report weather systems. this system would provide hours if not a day of more of early warrning about bad weather. Just my .02 cents


Awesome man!  Thanks so much for the information.  Also, I remember hearing about bouncing signals off the atmosphere with a 9V battery, pretty cool man.   [URL=http://www.smileyvault.co

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 03:01:54 PM »
 Sounds like a great idea too me , a network of sorts, just being able to make contact with others would be a huge moral boost. Not to mention you would be able to get the low down of whats happening in other parts of the country. One might be able to avoid hot spots/danger areas if they were going to try to move out or had to travel for any reason.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 11:55:42 PM by STRAITJACKET »

Offline WhiskeyJack

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2011, 03:39:53 PM »
I would like to say to anyone who is thinking of any kind of traveling radio system. A TM on feild expediant antennas is a must. I cant stress this enough. They are actually simple systems that can add a rediculous amount of range to a decent radio system.
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S1nn3r1

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2011, 11:00:45 PM »
 I know a guy on You tube is pretty experienced with ham radio and such. 92scalloped this is his link : http://www.youtube.com/user/92Scalloped  He's a pretty cool guy. He might have some info.

Offline JohnyMac

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2011, 10:15:58 AM »
Yes, yes, yes!

I have been trying to learn more about receivers and transmitters but it seems that nobody in the ham network or the stores that sell equipment want to talk to me. I guess because I am looking for used equipment not brand new.

S1nn3r1, maybe you could introduce me to this guy?
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92Scalloped

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2011, 05:21:26 PM »
Hi all.  Nice forum and thanks for the invite.  A Preppers Communications Network?  This would be a good project to tackle this fall.  I'm thinking of creating some standard meeting locations on each band.  If we look at the spectrum of radio bands, we could choose a frequency for each.  Let me list each of the possible bands:

160 meter
80 meter
40 meter
20 meter
10 meter
c.b. channel 33; AM, upper & lower sideband
6 meter
2 meter
220 mhz
70cm (440)
FRS Channel 1
GMRS Channel 1
900 mhz

If all preppers were to come together and agree on a common frequency for each of these bands, we could come up with a National comm's system.  I'll need to study each band to identify potential frequencies or channels.  As a very large group, we could approach repeater owners to see if they would be willing to link their repeater in a chain of repeaters.  If anybody else has some input, please drop a reply.

Offline WhiskeyJack

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 08:57:40 AM »
Hey scalloped so glad you made it it over. I hope we can offer you some info you may not have already. And i know you can teach us a thing or two. Welcome to the party man [URL=http://www.smileyvault.co
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Offline JohnyMac

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 11:16:04 AM »
Scalloped, I would like to play but don't know what to buy. I am unemployed and on a budget but am will to buy what ever I need from Craig's list or EBay.

Just need to know wher to start.
Thx
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Offline EJR914

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2011, 11:07:52 AM »
Sounds like a great idea too me , a network of sorts, just being able to make contact with others would be a huge moral boost. Not to mention you would be able to get the low down of whats happening in other parts of the country. One might be able to avoid hot spots/danger areas if they were going to try to move out or had to travel for any reason.


My thoughts exactly.  Moral boosts and learning about what is going on in other parts of the country or just in other parts of your state.  I could actually help you out, especially if you know some trouble is coming your way.  The usefulness could be endless.   [URL=http://www.smileyvault.co

Offline EJR914

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2011, 11:10:33 AM »
Hi all.  Nice forum and thanks for the invite.  A Preppers Communications Network?  This would be a good project to tackle this fall.  I'm thinking of creating some standard meeting locations on each band.  If we look at the spectrum of radio bands, we could choose a frequency for each.  Let me list each of the possible bands:

160 meter
80 meter
40 meter
20 meter
10 meter
c.b. channel 33; AM, upper & lower sideband
6 meter
2 meter
220 mhz
70cm (440)
FRS Channel 1
GMRS Channel 1
900 mhz

If all preppers were to come together and agree on a common frequency for each of these bands, we could come up with a National comm's system.  I'll need to study each band to identify potential frequencies or channels.  As a very large group, we could approach repeater owners to see if they would be willing to link their repeater in a chain of repeaters.  If anybody else has some input, please drop a reply.

See this is what I'm talking about!   :)  Thank you so much for your input, and welcome to the forum!  I knew that would be people out there with this kind of information.  This rocks. 

Maybe we should try and take a vote and we, as a forum could try to pick a band.  If our site gets big enough and we have enough people doing this, maybe we could make a standard band for fellow preppers.  That would be cool.

Offline special-k

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2011, 12:57:24 PM »
The "11 meter free band" is used to describe the "unallocated by the FCC" frequencies above, below, and between the allocated 40 channels for "Citizens Band" or "CB".  I've have been into CB & "11 meter free band" for many years.  The main advantages of using this band would be lower cost and availability to unlicensed individuals.  This would be the way to go for those of us who do not wish to obtain a FCC license for whatever reason (cost, time, REGULATIONS, studying for  tests makes your brain hurt, etc...)  Plus, most HAM equipment is more expensive than CB and 10 meter radio equipment (to be converted to 11 meter). 

It is true that one can communicate on this band at distances of thousands of miles.  However, that is an unpredictable and undependable atmospheric phenomena (especially in this band) called ionospheric propagation (a.k.a. "Skip").  Non skip communication is called "ground wave."  In my experience, ground wave communication max range range is roughly 100-300 miles from base station to base station, with a good set up.  Depending upon many factors such as antenna type (beam, ground plane), antenna height, terrain, elevation, mode(AM or SSB), transmit power, audio quality (radio being properly tuned/aligned for transmit & receive audio clarity), etc...maximum communication distance on this band can be achieved. 

For nationwide SHTF communication to work with this band, a "relay league" would need to be set up, consisting of "big stations" being set up, roughly, every 100-300 miles and any number of smaller stations set up around and in between.  Chances are there will be gaps, so this kind of communication will most likely be regional.  The goal would be to make your region as large as possible and with any luck your region may eventually overlap another region to create a much larger region.

Before buying radio equipment, you should be aware that although vacuum tube technology may be EMP resistant (nuclear blast),  it is extremely inefficient on power consumption when compared to solid state technology.  You do not need an energy hog during SHTF !!!

Also, I put ZERO faith in repeaters for a long term SHTF.  They need power, maintenance and security like any station, BUT, when any one repeater goes downs, everyone depending on it is screwed.  A simplex relay league is compartmental and should have redundancies by nature.

I will now step back and await the smack-talk from licensed HAMS.  [It's an inside joke for all you non-radio people...there's an ongoing feud between non-licensed and licensed (who think their shit don't stink) operators...sort of like AK verses AR.]
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Offline disposable

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 01:32:24 PM »
i am very interested in this discussion and very willing to participate in this network. I'm trying to get my ham but dont have the money for a ham radio and accessories right now, cb is much cheap for me to get at this time.

Offline JohnyMac

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2011, 01:49:25 PM »
Well, who would like to own this one? As stated earlier I am in and will buy the necessary equipment- it just will not be new off the shelf. If you folks would like me to set up a discussion on Face Book or ICQ to get this started speak-up on this thread and we will then set a mutually agreed upon date, time and media to discuss the next step.

Thoughts? 
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Offline WhiskeyJack

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2011, 04:12:46 PM »
Oh this is good. Great info guys. I think we need to run with this one in an unlicenced capasity as im pretty sure folks round here prolly dont want to deal with FCC asshats.
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Offline EJR914

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2011, 10:25:23 PM »
The "11 meter free band" is used to describe the "unallocated by the FCC" frequencies above, below, and between the allocated 40 channels for "Citizens Band" or "CB".  I've have been into CB & "11 meter free band" for many years.  The main advantages of using this band would be lower cost and availability to unlicensed individuals.  This would be the way to go for those of us who do not wish to obtain a FCC license for whatever reason (cost, time, REGULATIONS, studying for  tests makes your brain hurt, etc...)  Plus, most HAM equipment is more expensive than CB and 10 meter radio equipment (to be converted to 11 meter). 

It is true that one can communicate on this band at distances of thousands of miles.  However, that is an unpredictable and undependable atmospheric phenomena (especially in this band) called ionospheric propagation (a.k.a. "Skip").  Non skip communication is called "ground wave."  In my experience, ground wave communication max range range is roughly 100-300 miles from base station to base station, with a good set up.  Depending upon many factors such as antenna type (beam, ground plane), antenna height, terrain, elevation, mode(AM or SSB), transmit power, audio quality (radio being properly tuned/aligned for transmit & receive audio clarity), etc...maximum communication distance on this band can be achieved. 

For nationwide SHTF communication to work with this band, a "relay league" would need to be set up, consisting of "big stations" being set up, roughly, every 100-300 miles and any number of smaller stations set up around and in between.  Chances are there will be gaps, so this kind of communication will most likely be regional.  The goal would be to make your region as large as possible and with any luck your region may eventually overlap another region to create a much larger region.

Before buying radio equipment, you should be aware that although vacuum tube technology may be EMP resistant (nuclear blast),  it is extremely inefficient on power consumption when compared to solid state technology.  You do not need an energy hog during SHTF !!!

Also, I put ZERO faith in repeaters for a long term SHTF.  They need power, maintenance and security like any station, BUT, when any one repeater goes downs, everyone depending on it is screwed.  A simplex relay league is compartmental and should have redundancies by nature.

I will now step back and await the smack-talk from licensed HAMS.  [It's an inside joke for all you non-radio people...there's an ongoing feud between non-licensed and licensed (who think their shit don't stink) operators...sort of like AK verses AR.]

Great!  Even more good information.  Thank you, again.  I think it safe to say that we want to go unlicensed and that's probably without needing to say it. 

What kind of radios are we looking at?  Any models that anyone suggests?  How about price of getting started?

Offline Combollian

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2011, 11:50:06 PM »
I'm also interested into getting into this sort of thing. To be able to maintain global awareness during a disaster/wrol situation I believe is paramount. I'll be monitoring this thread closely.
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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2011, 03:47:57 PM »
i always wanted to get into it but never put the money there.. guess it wouldnt hurt  Wrol happens pretty sure the FFC will have other things to worry about then the regs for ham so it might be a good comm tool

Offline disposable

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2011, 01:59:41 AM »
I just did alittle research on the 11 meter free band. interesting and never knew that existed. if we were to set something up like this i think it would behoove us to start what is called a DX group. We would be able to issue call signs to our club members to help keep that band clean and professional. the 11-meter band is not CB, and is "self policing", so etiquette on the air is desirable. if we had something along the lines of a dx group it would be taken more seriously and less backlash from other dx groups (international and national) and operatiors.  Thoughts? Ideas?  special k or 92scalloped you seem to know alot more than myself and rest of us. what do you think?

Offline special-k

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2011, 11:19:13 AM »

Great!  Even more good information.  Thank you, again.  I think it safe to say that we want to go unlicensed and that's probably without needing to say it. 

What kind of radios are we looking at?  Any models that anyone suggests?  How about price of getting started?

It is said "The antenna and its set up accounts for 75% of a stations capability."  That being said I will skip ahead to the fun part...RADIOS !!!  I will get back to the drudgery of antenna set up in later posts.

1]  BASE OR MOBILE RADIO(used as a base station)?  ANSWER: MOBILE.   Everyone has seen a mobile radio before, a small rectangular box thing that fits nicely into a small small space such as a vehicle and is powered by a 12 volt DC source.  A base radio is a small suitcase sized thing that is powered by 110 volts AC.  A base radio is actually a mobile radio circuit board mounted inside a box along with a power supply that converts 110VAC to 12VDC , and usually has slightly larger and fancier knobs and meters.  For our purposes, MOBILE RADIOS (used as a base station) ARE THE WAY TO GO.  They are less expensive, smaller, can easily be put in a vehicle if need be, and the main thing is they are designed to run on 12VDC.  In a SHTF situation you want you rig to run straight off of 12VDC.  Just think of the wasted fuel running a generator, all day,  just waiting to receive a message.  Also DC to AC inverters usually draw 1/2 - 1 amp in idle and are less efficient than running your radio rig straight off of DC.

2]  CB or 10 meter HAM (converted to 11 meter)?  ANSWER:  A converted 10 meter radio will, almost always give you more channels to use, plus other features.  But I will tell you a little about both here.
 
Some CB radio models can be modified to have "extra channels."  The more superior of these mods will give the CB radio 40 extra channels above and/or 40 below the regular 40 CB channels, that is accessed by a secret switch that has been installed.  Easy to use and will give you up to 120 total channels.  The more inferior of the mods varies from model to model (PLL chip to PLL chip) and will give the CB radio approximately 25 to 60 extra channel above and/or below the regular 40 CB channels.  These extra channels will be scattered, not in proper sequence, and will have gaps (missing channels).  You will need a chart or frequency counter to find any particular frequency while working one or more switches and the channel knob.  Here are a few common CB models that can be modified:  Cobra 2000 (base), Cobra 148GTL (mobile), Galaxy 949 (mobile), Galaxy 959 (mobile).  There are many others but these are the most common.

IMHO, converted 10 meter radios are the best for our purpose.  The basic conversion mod is relatively simple compared to adding extra channels to a CB.  They have various bells and whistles that CBs don't have and will range from 120-400+ total channels (including the 40 CB channels), depending on model.   They also have better overall circuit quality when compared to CBs. 

Stay away from radios that claim to do more than 50 watts (from the radio itself).  These radios have a built in amplifier and usually suffer from heat related issues.  Also, they can't be matched up with the most common types of amplifiers (low drive) and will have to be used with a more costly, and less common high drive amp if amplification is needed.  The term "HP" (High Power) in a radio's model doesn't necessarily mean it's good or bad, just stay away from anything that claims over 50 watts.

Radio suggestions:  Let's start with Galaxy mobile 10 meter radios.  There good for the money.  Don't pay new price for any Galaxy model above '55...'.  Reason being, the main extra feature you get for that price, SSB (single side band mode),  is an inferior, unstable (for my liking) sideband circuit.  If you want stable SSB, get a radio (with SSB) with microprocessor control, such as Magnum or RCI.  There are other brands but these two are the most common.  RCI tends to produce more lemons but when you got one that works its good.  The Magnum model S-9 is my personal favorite.  I own two of them.  Magnums also have top shelf receive circuitry and far better AM modulation (transmit sound quality) than RCI's.  The Connex brand is good but is nothing more than a Galaxy circuit board with a few extra bells and whistles, therefore Connexes are overpriced and I would never pay new price for one.  Stryker brand is a very good radio based on the Magnum brand.  But, to my knowledge, Stryker doesn't have a model with SSB.  Stryker's are basically like lower S model Magnums (S-3 & S-6).

Don't buy anything yet.  I will be back with more equipment buying tips very soon.  And I will have plenty more posts regarding options concerning the rest of the radio equipment you will need and the setup......as long as you all seem interested.  Can't wait to get this on the air.                     

« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 04:24:36 PM by special-k »
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Offline Frosty

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2011, 01:58:19 PM »
I'm interested. I've always needed more comms knowledge [URL=http://www.smileyvault.co
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Offline JohnyMac

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2011, 02:18:29 PM »
Special K and the rest interested in this...

I am sitting here with a shit eating grin on my face that runs ear to ear. Can't wait to get started.
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Offline Combollian

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2011, 10:13:22 PM »
G'day, @ Special-K, would this work for those models in Australia or am I looking at having to research further into this myself? My intent is not only being able to communicate within Australia but also with you guys in the states and anyone else around the world. My last question, have you considered doing instructional videos on youtube with the advice on setting up this type of gear?
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Offline EJR914

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Re: Communication with board members in WROL
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2011, 01:26:52 AM »
Wow, special-k, quite and amazing read, what incredible knowledge you contain.  I can't wait to hear more.  This rocks.

I really hope we can get something set up.  I can't wait for the first conversation to go on.   :) [URL=http://www.smileyvault.co