I’ve been having a email discussion with Lightspeed regarding survival comms. He has a great deal of knowledge about the subject being a radio ham and we can learn a lot that could help us if only we ask the right questions.
So that we were clear I listed my specific requirements which I would guess would be similar to other preppers. Let us know if these is something else you think should be included.
1 – I want day to day comms within our team/group/community
I see this being the backbone of our community communications. Used for security, work, hunting and general coordination.
2 – I want regular contact with neighbours an a needs basis for protection and business viewpoint
In a similar way as above but for a wider area. Enabling a larger community to band together for protection, aid and trade.
3 – I want regular contact with friends across the UK
More for social interaction, making arrangements and keeping up with what is going on in the outside world.
4 – I want sporadic contact with potential friends, other preppers
This is again more social in nature. I want to know what is going on from a preppers point of view and perhaps make arrangements for visits or trade. I’m much more likely to meet someone outside the are whom I have met or discussed issues with. Having a relationship, even one that is solely verbal builds up a level of trust. Not enough to hand out the keys but enough to understand their nature a little better.
5 – I want to be able to contact people coming into the area
This is more for security and safety. If you are in communication you can discuss what their intentions are. You can route them around you or to you and watch what they do. If you have set up protocols for other preppers you can identify them via that and if you have preppers you have relationships with then they can ensure that they are who they say they are.
6 – I want to receive news from outside
General reciept of news from outside. Government emergency and news channels. Normal news type radio as well as ham transmitters and longer range equipment for foreign news. A wide range of frequencies is required.
Lightspeed has identified several items of equipment in his previous discussions. Most of those are of interest to me and will make up my communications packages.
PMR446 or CB radio
I see these being of use for 1, 2, 5. Several sets with earpieces for covert use. Number depending on how many people you have as sentries and how many groups you need to keep in touch. I already have several PMR units in my stores.
CB radio with SSB
These could be of use for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. CB as previous with SSB depending on range and atmospheric conditions. I already have one of these in my stores.
I see these mainly for use for 3, 4, 5, 6. The longer range allows international communications and obviously news from outside. I think that for your further away relatives and friends this will be the only solution. Personally, I don’t want a ham license but I want the unit set up for emergency use so that when the phones go I can just switch it on. This means it needs to be set up by a ham now.
Again of use for 4, 5. I live near the coast so there is the opportunity for communications there. I don’t want to have any specialist equipment for this as it is just in case.
General radio receivers as we use normally.
I’ve thought about my needs here. I’m looking at a small family group but with expansion capabilities. I want to have enough to equip a small security detail whilst having the long range equipment and news radios at home where they can be monitored as needed and as scheduled.
Thus the equipment I want is;
- A mixture of PMR446 and CB radio. Approx 5 of each.
- Two CB radios with SSB.
- Two base station HF radios.
- Two portable HF radios.
- Two Marine band radios.
- Several standard radios covering a wide range of frequencies. Several wind up and solar versions.
Lightspeed has recommended the UV3R for the smaller HF setups as it will receive and transmit on those bands. In addition it can receive and tranmit PMR446 and on the Marine bands as well as having the capability of working on other frequencies. several birds with one stone.
I’m currently thining about protocols as well. Processes use in communication for all of these different requirements so that;
- We can be sure that we am talking to the right person
- That we maintain OPSEC
- So we all know what to do
For remote users it means I have to communicate with them before any event so they have a copy as well. Including any codewords and handles that are going to be in use. More on protocols later.
Anything you think is missing from this? Let us know.