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Hard Decisions

One of the problems we create for ourselves is that we all choose different systems and most of the times they are incompatible. This is actually a significant risk for us.

We buy crossbows, several different types requiring different bolts and different strings. Thus when one breaks most of us can’t fix it and when we do we have a poor version of the original. We buy water filters but with different fittings and different storage media with different lids and seals.

I decided a while ago I was going to stop my quest for keeping different tools as a risk reduction exercise because I may buy one poor design but the others should be good. Sadly, it doesn’t work like that and I ended up with different incompatible systems and increasing my risk instead. I was going to find a good quality system and then keep spares of that that could be swapped or not. Thus I standardised on jars and have several of the same, crossbows, well I still have several but they fire the same bolts and if I buy any new ones they duplicate an existing one.

This meant standardisation of as many items as possible. Almost every aspect of our prepping can be standardised and only when happy that we have sufficient should we put in some variety. So maybe I will buy that gas powered air pistol but not at the moment thank you.

Although this article is being raised because of the comms systems we are currently discussing, I actually see those being more compatible than many of our other tools because the comms systems are being used for several different tasks and there isn’t that much overlap. Short range comms are clearly PMR, local comms are clearly CB and long distance is clearly HF.

So having several different types of comms equipment isn’t quite the same. We buy the same equipment so share the resilience in we can cannibalise the units to make another but we can’t replace our HF set with a PMR but why would we? If we wanted resilience there we would have spares of the HF unit like we have spares for everything else.

LightSpeeds post on the choice of HF should not really have been a surprise, it was clear from the start there was no alternative and that choice was limited. The licensed route alone creates problems for many of us, the costs involved and the logistical requirements create others. None though that are insurmountable.

Thus the question is do you as an individual want long range comms in your preps?

I’ve made my choice and the answer is ‘Yes’. However I don’t want to register for a ham radio license. It’s not the registration or the cost, it’s the actually sitting the exams and the compulsory courses. I just don’t have time. So I want some alternatives, Can I just buy a license and not have to sit any courses?

You see I don’t want to be a radio ham. I want to buy the kit, set it up and test it, like everything else. Then I would use it sparingly, perhaps to talk to people abroad or long distance without having the Stasi monitoring all the details.

So, I’m going to go down this path and buying the equipment as a minimum. Testing it myself if possible and having a long distance comms solution.

We know the options on kit and LightSpeed has been great on helping us out there. Let’s see what options we have over licensing. It is worth pursuing of you want long distance comms. So now is the time for us to take our next steps.

4 comments to Hard Decisions

  • Paul

    Good for you SD. A sensible approach regarding equipment.
    I’d also buy a CB though. With the harmonisation of European CB, we’ll soon be able to legally use SSB in the UK and that will greatly improve how far voice will travel on the airwaves.

  • Skean Dhude

    CB is already part of my comms solution. As I mention previously I have already set up my PMR and CB survival setups. I will however add to my CB network and enhance it when I get the opportunity.

    My long range comms solution though is still in flux. I have a couple of general receivers but no transmitters yet. That will be resolved soon as LS defines the kit.

  • Northern Raider

    My primary concern is short ( up to 1./2 mile) and medium range (10 miles) radio comms so theres where I’m focusing my efforts. Ergo I’m investing in CB kit first. my PRIME radio need is to be able to signal to family members our TRIGGER phrase clearly and simply that will make them stop whatever they are doing and return home or to agreed RZ point immediately and without question. On 7/7 it took nearly 2 hours to contact wife, thats not acceptable. Then radios will be used for local comms in the initial period of TSHTF up to 10 to 15 miles. I feel that financial constraints will prevent me from buying HF Amateur kit for a long time, but I make be able to buy a second hand scanner so I can at least listen in at the agreed group broadcast times.

    BTW When are we going to set and agree on group radio broadcast times for after TSHTF?, We really need to know and get used to listening to the rig at a set time after TSHTF.

    As for standardisation I think that is a long long way off before we all use vehicles that run on the same fuel or use the same size tyres or we standardise on the type of LPG we use and what size bottles.

    Fortunately by default those of us who have recurve crossbows appear in general to be using 27 in strings and very similar bolts

  • Skean Dhude


    I have the same primary aims. I set that up a while ago and the PMRs have been in heavy use. The CB less so. It is now time for long range for me and that will be ready pretty soon I think.

    Then it’ll be setting up the protocols. They will be usable by PMR and CB as well as HF so no matter where we are in relation to each other when we are in range to communicate we can initiate contact.

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