Best Amateur Radio for Prepping?

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24isBoss

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OK....I'll ask the question.....What would be your suggestion for the best low cost amateur radio to prep for the collapse of society as we know it? It would need to be both AC & DC capable and small enough not to take up too much room. Possibly to be stored in a "bug out" location.
 

KR4BD

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You would probably have to go with an older tube type rig. All solid state rigs most likely will be rendered to "toast" in a nuclear explosion or nearby EMP. Its interesting, I have had several non-hams ask me this question in recent years. Powering the older rigs for any length of time would be a challenge if everything unravels.
 

zz0468

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OK....I'll ask the question.....What would be your suggestion for the best low cost amateur radio to prep for the collapse of society as we know it? It would need to be both AC & DC capable and small enough not to take up too much room. Possibly to be stored in a "bug out" location.
What a strange question.

Who do you expect to talk to? Do you expect to know how to use a radio that's been stored at a "bug out location" after who knows how long? Do you expect the radio to actually work, just sitting there? Do you expect there to be AC power when society collapses? Do you want HF, or VHF/UHF? Do you expect to be licensed, or would that matter in the end days? If it matters, what class of license, so we know what to suggest.

Your requirements are too vague to be useful.
 

grogan

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You are kidding, Your best is Guns, Ammo, Booze and ciggaretts. with these four things you can get anything in trade or for the takeing. Also when its going to snow and everybody buys milk and bread. Go for steak and beer, when the power goes out and the snow is deep a good grilled steak and a cold beer is most enjoyable. Both can also be kept fresh in the snow.*** Bread and milk*** I just don't get it.
 

Token

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You would probably have to go with an older tube type rig. All solid state rigs most likely will be rendered to "toast" in a nuclear explosion or nearby EMP. Its interesting, I have had several non-hams ask me this question in recent years.
All solid state rigs would not most likely be rendered toast as a result of “nearby” (need to quantify that) EMP or nuclear explosion. EMP is often over rated as a hazard. To be sure, it is a very real issue, but not quite the all-powerful electronics-ending event that many people take it for.

For sure, solid state and even tube type radios connected to antennas or the power mains will be very likely to take substantial damage in the event of either event. Radios, either hollow state or solid state, not connected to antennas or power sources are going to be much more survivable. Radios stored in even a moderately hardened or shielded container will be most likely to be unaffected by the described events…assuming they are far enough away not to take shock or thermal damage. But, if they are that close you have other issues.

Many preppers have taken to storing radios, when not in use, in metal containers. In all probability this will protect against all but the largest possible very close EMP. And even then I would bet many will still work. Even a heavy foil wrapping around a handheld in a bug out bag should increase survivability.

The results of the American Starfish Prime and the Soviet Unions K Project are generally pointed at as the best examples in open literature to draw from as models.

In Starfish Prime a dense population zone 900 miles away from the High Altitude EMP (HEMP) experienced relatively light damage from the EMP, a small percentage of streetlights were damaged and some telephone gear, for example. There were no reports of damaged radios, even ones connected to antennas at the time. This was in 1962, and although solid state radios were in the minority they were in use by then.

The K Project was an intentional HEMP conducted directly over a populated region. It caused much more extensive damage to infrastructure (for example a major power station caught fire and burned to the ground as a result of the event) and there were several reported radio casualties. However, such reports of radio failure were relatively few. To be sure, in that region of the world, tube type radios were almost all that was found at that time period.

The OP does need to give more details if he wants meaningful answers. What are your goals for such a radio? What distances and with who do you expect to communicate? Portable? Handheld? Mobile? Etc.

T!
 

reedeb

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You are kidding, Your best is Guns, Ammo, Booze and ciggaretts. with these four things you can get anything in trade or for the takeing. Also when its going to snow and everybody buys milk and bread. Go for steak and beer, when the power goes out and the snow is deep a good grilled steak and a cold beer is most enjoyable. Both can also be kept fresh in the snow.*** Bread and milk*** I just don't get it.
Well let me explain this secret on bread and milk. If you have a bad storm and power is out you CAN make sandwitches and have cereal for breakfast. But apparently YOU'D be all set to stand out in the cold snowy weather and cook a steak and drink beer. BTW alcohol LOWERS your body temp so next time it's really cold just go on out and have at it [Darwin award winner]
 

thomast77

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Any radio will be fine. But if it is solid state I would keep the radio in the box and wrap with several layers of foil then put it in a galvanized trash can. Use cardboard to make sure the foil does not touch the galvanized trash can. You may also want to consider getting a solar panel system and wrap it just like the radio so you will have a power source. That is what I have done. Just pull everything out and fire it up a couple of times a year to make sure everything is still working. It also doesn't hurt to have two of everything just in case.
 

AK9R

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But if it is solid state I would keep the radio in the box and wrap with several layers of foil then put it in a galvanized trash can. Use cardboard to make sure the foil does not touch the galvanized trash can.
Make sure to save enough foil to make a hat. :lol:

The OP didn't specifically ask about an EMP event. I took the question as more along the lines of prepping for a break down of society and the resulting anarchy. The first question you gotta ask, though, is who you gonna talk to? Since amateur radio covers such a wide range of frequencies and modes, you have to be more specific about your communications needs before you decide what radio to buy.
 

JnglMassiv

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The nice thing about radios and end times is that the armed gangs that will inevitably run things need two halves of a whole. They need your radio gear but they also need the radio operator. There will be questions relating to safe water and food, unaffected cities, government re-establishment, news, weather and so forth that only long range comms can answer. There are few things (vehicles, fuel, weapons, provisions, etc) that will be useful after a societal collapse that can't and won't be taken by force but a skilled and experienced radio operator needs to be kept alive.

They can take your rig but that antenna is confusing to put up and there's a lot of spectrum and propagation issues that aren't that easy to master. That radio sure has a lot of buttons, too...

The radio isn't really that important but you'll want it to be fairly rugged. For distance, you're looking at an HF rig. You'll want a VFO to more easily find others. I'd probably forget AC power and plan on using 12VDC since there will be a bunch of DC power sources still around but fewer AC generators. As always, the antenna is the primary concern. Plan on using broadband wire configurations and don't forget a tuner. A manpack format would be really slick but not crucial.

For extra relevance when the world ends, study medicine, too. They can steal the bandages but not the know-how.
 

gewecke

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To answer the op, a yaesu vx6r (with open transmit) extra batteries, solar charger and clear coil earmic from kawamall.com for discrete use.
Also a pro-106 to stay aware of situations.with earbuds and with extra hi cap aa's to be charged by solar charger.
Also your B.OB. of course! ;)

73,
n9zas
 

z96cobra

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You are kidding, Your best is Guns, Ammo, Booze and ciggaretts. with these four things you can get anything in trade or for the takeing...
So, you plan on killing others to take their stuff if there's ever a societal collapse? That might work for a short period of time but you would very quickly meet your demise by those who are truly prepared.

As for the op's question, I think a Yaesu Vx7r would make an excellent choice.
 

gewecke

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So, you plan on killing others to take their stuff if there's ever a societal collapse? That might work for a short period of time but you would very quickly meet your demise by those who are truly prepared.

As for the op's question, I think a Yaesu Vx7r would make an excellent choice.
The vx7 would be a good choice,if not for it being prone to intermod. In a high rf environment such as a disaster relief setting other full power commercial equipment would overload the receiver.

73,
n9zas
 

N8IAA

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Remember, the pager towers will not be working and interfering with the wide band receive of the intermod prone radios. And if amatuer radio ops have anything to do with setting up comms, it will be done properly so that there we will be able to talk to others.
Larry
 

gewecke

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Remember, the pager towers will not be working and interfering with the wide band receive of the intermod prone radios. And if amatuer radio ops have anything to do with setting up comms, it will be done properly so that there we will be able to talk to others.
Larry
Well they *might* not be up and running,depends on if they lose power from the grid, or are brought down due to weather.
I still would not settle for a radio that has a looser front end, and according to user reports from eham the vx7 is prone to this while posts regarding the ft60, vx6,vx8 don't mention this problem.

73,
n9zas
 
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