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Scenario: Power is interrupted globally; People turn to radios to communicate:

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DayTrippin

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How do you communicate 5 Miles away, 50 Miles away, and 500 Miles away? Thanks. I have read a lot of posts and there are many thoughtful people.
 

N2MWE

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I own several Motorola portables on ham frequencies, as well as a 2m/220/440 HT. I also own a Yaesu FT817 with a gel cell that will last quite a while.No worries here.
 

popnokick

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

Radio.
 

wyomingmedic

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A sound understanding of radio theory, propagation, and the hardware to back it up.

Couple that with hundreds of Ah of battery backup that can be solar charged.

That is how I intend to communicate.

WM
 

DayTrippin

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Yes radio is the conclusion I came to. I am learning. Solar power system seems the most logical. This technology is on my radar. Could it all be done from a handheld? Thanks. I believe in this senerio there would be less repeaters at least initially. If the power interruption was prolonged more stations would come on line. Not sure if that is the right term.
 

wyomingmedic

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The truth is, we really don't know what will be online in a situation like this. But I am 99% sure that a handheld will not cover what you want.

My idea is that I should rely on NOTHING outside of my control. No repeaters, no external power, no outside resource for antenna materials.

So at my house, I started with power. I have 450+ Ah of 12 volt battery backup with some solar capability. It is essentially a never ending resource.

For my equipment, I have broken it up essentially like you have. I have built myself a tower and placed some decent antennas for VHF/UHF. I have reliable SIMPLEX (without repeaters) communications from my home to a mobile for 60-70 miles. I have several backup setups on my tower and free standing. I feel that I am covered with my local comm needs.

For 100-500 miles, I have an NVIS setup. I also have large HF antennas on my vehicles. I have setup and tested my NVIS capability and can talk 300ish miles to my (and other) mobiles and 500ish miles to fixed stations. With NVIS I can easily talk over some of our rocky mountains that would block VHF communications.

For my long haul stuff 500+ miles, I have a large HF beam at a decent height. I frequently chase DX and it is common to talk worldwide.

So with the equipment, I have also studied propagation. Understanding the layers of the ionosphere and specific factors can really help know where you can or cannot talk to at a certain point. I also PLAY radio a lot. Instead of just sitting on my radios and waiting for an emergency, I use them often. I am aware of my capabilities and my limitations.

Having a communications plan is a great way to prepare for emergencies. But a simple handheld is not going to cover it. To do it with any sense of reliability you need to invest quite a bit.

WM
 

davidgcet

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the biggest thing it does not good for you to have radios capable of talking 500+ miles if no one is setup to talk back to you. and something big enough to take out the grid world wide would likely produce such surge voltage it would fry any units hook to long or tall antennas, that is how a flare take down a grid section by inducing higher voltage. the worst thing would be an emp, which would fry all sort of electronics, maybe a "nearby" pulsar or something could produce one strong enough to blow our the earth electronics.

as said above, all you can count on is yourself. if radios do still work, they will likely have only limited range. though the good thing is the noise floor will dang near be in the dirt!
 

DaveNF2G

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How we cope will depend on the cause of such a worldwide blackout, as davidcget suggests.

If it happens because of human-caused violence, then communications over long distances will probably be the least of our worries. Don't count on getting any batteries if there is any advance warning. Nor should you count on getting batteries after the blackout. Retail stores will be paralyzed, and probably full of looters.

Be prepared technologically as well as you can be, and expect the worst from other people. Be prepared for that, too.
 

DayTrippin

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I watched a documentary called Collapse and listen to a pod cast called No Agenda and it just seems the we are capable of working our way into this problem, partially intentional and also a lot of bad decisions.
 

n2nov

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Get into my truck and use NYC repeaters that have battery backup.
Not this city! Many do not have battery backup. And those that do, they automatically switch to lower power to extend the life of the battery or they just die when the battery goes in less than six hours. That's why we train our members in NYC-ARECS to use simplex when the repeaters die like during the 2003 Blackout.
 

DayTrippin

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Yes that solar power looks sweet. With a handheld, simplex can 5 mile and 50 mile communication be done?
 

gewecke

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Yes that solar power looks sweet. With a handheld, simplex can 5 mile and 50 mile communication be done?
5 miles yes, on simplex but 50 miles? Maybe with a good band opening,provided that you have a tuned antenna.


73
n9zas
 

Jay911

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I was hoping someone would post that. (I don't want to be the only one talking about it - it makes me seem like a kook with an agenda. :lol: )

Odds are extremely high that anything that can take out power on a global scale, or even a national-ish scale, would damage the electrical equipment to an extent that there would be no amateur or commercial grade communications equipment functioning, be it repeaters, radios, wired landlines, etc.

How are you going to talk 50 miles away? A runner - if you are exceptionally lucky he will have a working automobile/motorcycle or, more likely, a horse.

How are you going to talk 500 miles away? Same kind of thing, except expect it to take on the order of weeks or months.

How are you going to talk 5000 miles away? You aren't. And you're not likely to need to; people that far away may as well be on the moon, in a situation like we're painting.
 

KC0FZZ

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Depending on the nature of your outage...

Depending on the nature and cause of your outage, a principle similar to CONELRAD (CONtrol of ELectronic RADiation) may be in your best interest.

Do you want people to know you've made preparations to survive the coming crisis that would follow in a grid-collapse Road-Warrior type situation? You'd be talking about a world where, until the crisis was over you'd be on your own. People fleeing cities en masse. Gangs of looters trying to scrounge what meager supplies they could find, just to make one more day, or week, or month. People unconcerned with your plight-people unapologetic about their own lack of preparations and desparate enough to kill you and take yours.

That being said...

The communications that will benefit you the most are going to be the ones that will help you communicate down the block, from house to house, among the neighbors you've known for years if not your whole life. Five, maybe ten miles. In fact, from a security standpoint, unless your positon is unassailable, unless you have enough defensive capability to repel assault by a determined or desparate crowd, you may want to limit your comms to within 1-2 miles.

Trisquare makes 900MHz spread-spectrum radios that would be practical for this-they're a bear to track using the RDF equipment I'm familiar with...

I would concentrate more, at the point of a global breakdown, on hardening my own home, making it look less desirable to any scavengers, making it look harder to access and less worth their while to come in.

As for the longer range comms, if it became necessary, I'd send a rider (bike or horse, whichever made the most practical sense) about five miles down the road with the absolute minimum equipment necessary to establish communications-a small SLA battery, fully charged. An HF radio and two or three simple dipoles to communicate on 80, 40, and 20 meters Maybe an MRE or some smoked meat if he was to be gone for more than a couple hours, and a rifle. The long range comm scouts would carry equipment that has a minimum ammount of value for the simple reason that if they're overrun or lost, the material loss would be minimized.

Alternately, I would leave the long-range comms to the people SENDING me the information, and glean what useful knowlege I could from them.
 
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