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PREPCOM: A comprehensive radio coms Standard for UK preppers

The objective of the PREPCOM radio coms standard is to maximise the effectiveness of UK based survivor radio stations following a major disaster in which conventional telecommunications have ceased.

For easy mnemonics the standard is the RULE OF 3S

3 is the important number.  Remember it!

The 3 parts to the Standard are:

  • 1/3:WHEN     (Time coordination so we all know WHEN to call and listen)
  • 2/3:WHERE (Frequency coordination so we all know WHERE to call and Listen)
  • 3/3:HOW           (Radio set-up so that everyone’s transmissions are compatible)

What’s this document for?
It is intended that this document be printed and stored in a water and light-proof pouch which is to be kept with stored radio equipment intended for disaster communications.

PART 1/3 =WHEN

Everybody looking to communicate needs to coordinate the time at which to do so.
By coordinating times and limiting operational time window precious electrical power will be conserved

Rule of 3s again:
Start communication sessions On the hour
Every 3 hours (starting 00.00h)
For 3 minutes calling and listening, if nothing heard, close the station and try again at next scheduled time.

Note, if a contact is made it is good practice to move communications to another channel / frequency so that the emergency calling channel is freed for other users

There is no requirement to end it after the magic 3 minutes,  it can continue as long as required, but bear in mind power consumption.

PART 2 =WHERE

Where relates to Frequency coordination so that everyone is also communicating on compatible frequencies,  failure to coordinate frequency is like not knowing the direction in which to flash a torch to signal to someone at night.  We need to know exactly where to send and where to look.

Rule 2 is broken into two parts 2a for simple License-free transceivers ( CB and PMR446 walkie-talkies),  whereas 2b Ham is a full version incorporating both license-free and Ham frequencies.

PART 2a =WHERE License free
So for license free,  the RULE of 3 continues.  Set your radio to one of the following:

• FM only CBs                                       =  Channel  03 English band
• SSB capable CBs                                =  Channel  33 USB EU CEPT Band  
• PMR446 (kiddies type walkie-talkies)   =  Channel 03 (CTCSS/ DCS code turned OFF)

PART 2b/3=WHERE Full version

UK Emergency Frequencies:
3.663 MHz LSB Weekly RAYNET news Every Sunday 0830 local time
3.760MHz LSB Emergency RAYNET Centre of activity

7.023MHz CW NVIS low-power Morse Code Centre of activity
7.110MHz LSB Emergency RAYNET Centre of activity

14.300MHz USB Emergency RAYNET Centre of activity

21.360MHz USB Emergency RAYNET Centre of activity

27.62125MHz FM CB UK 27 Ch 03 Emergency Channel*
27.555MHz     USB   CB FREEBAND ( Illegal frequency) but well populated.
27.335MHz USB CB EU CEPT Ch 33 Emergency Channel*

51.210MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
51.950MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
To 51.990MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity

144.260MHz USB RAYNETEmergency Centre of activity
144.625MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
144.675MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
144.775MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
145,200MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
145.225MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity

433,700MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
433,725MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
433,750MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity
433,775MHz FM NB RAYNET Emergency Centre of activity

446.03125MHz FM NB RAYNET PMR446 Ch3 emergency channel***
======================================================
* License free: Rule of 3s = CB Ch 03 FM  every 3 hours, on the hour for 3 minutes  (staring 00.00h)
** License free: Rule of 3s = CB Ch 33 USB  every 3 hours, on the hour for 3 minutes  (staring 00.00h)
*** License free: Rule of 3s = PMR446 Ch3 (CTCSS/DTS OFF)  every 3 hours, on the hour for 3 minutes  (staring 00.00h)
=======================================================

PART 3/3=HOW to set up the radio and transmitting antenna

3.1 Identifying and setting the operating MODE of your radio

In all descriptions there are annotations FM/USB/LSB/FM NB. These are the different TYPES/ FORMATS/MODES of signal that radios can transmit.

It is essential that sending and receiving stations are using identical transmission TYPES otherwise they will not be able to hear one another even if transmitting and receiving on the same frequency at the same time.

Look at your radio: If it has a MODE knob it will allow you to select the modes required. If it does not have a mode knob and it’s a CB it will almost certainly be FM only. This should be confirmable by looking for a label or stamp of conformity on which the letters FM will be shown.

PMR446 equipment is only manufactured in FM variety so no choices to make.

3.2 POLARITY of your antenna.

For CB the antennas must be vertical

For PMR44s antennas must be vertical

For Ham frequencies below 28MHz antennas must be HORIZONTAL

For Ham frequencies in FM mode above 28MHz antennas must be VERTICAL
For Ham Frequencies in LSB/USB mode above 28 MHz antennas must be HORIZONTAL

Note: This document is available for download from the comms area of the files site.

7 comments to PREPCOM: A comprehensive radio coms Standard for UK preppers

  • Fred

    Dangerous. Once you start following that up, you’re caught up in Nagoya NA-771 SMA Female antennae and the like.

  • This looks like a great plan. I’m going to look it over more carefully with an eye to making adjustments suitable for USA ham and citizens bands, VHF, UHF, HF. Thanks for posting

    • Skean Dhude

      Feel free. If you do want to make mods can you discuss with Lightspeed if possible, if not then keep him up to date with them.

  • Here for discussion purposes is a draft US frequency list following your concept which I am going to post on some US prepper sites with link-back to here to see if I can generate any interest.

    USA-PREPCOM: A suggested radio coms standard for USA preppers

    Original Concept By R-UK, as Adapted for US Band Plans by KE4SKY

    The objective of the USA-PREPCOM is to coordinate between licensed amateur and unlicensed citizens band, Family Radio Service, Multi-Use Radio Service and other USA based survivor radio stations following a major disaster in which conventional telecommunications have ceased.

    For easy mnemonics the standard is the RULE OF 3S
    3 is the important number. Remember it!

    The 3 parts to the Standard are:

    • 1/3:WHEN (Time coordination so we all know WHEN to call and listen)
    • 2/3:WHERE (Frequency coordination so we all know WHERE to call and Listen)
    • 3/3:HOW (Radio set-up so that everyone’s transmissions are compatible)

    What’s this document for?
    It is intended that this document be printed and stored in a water and light-proof pouch which is to be kept with stored radio equipment intended for disaster communications.

    PART 1/3 =WHEN
    Everybody looking to communicate needs to coordinate the time at which to do so.
    By coordinating times and limiting operational time window precious electrical power will be conserved

    Rule of 3s again:
    Start communication sessions On the hour
    Every 3 hours (starting 00.00h)
    For 3 minutes calling and listening, if nothing heard, close the station and try again at next scheduled time.

    Note, if a contact is made it is good practice to move communications to another channel / frequency so that the emergency calling channel is freed for other users
    There is no requirement to end it after the magic 3 minutes, it can continue as long as required, but bear in mind power consumption.

    PART 2 =WHERE
    Where relates to Frequency coordination so that everyone is also communicating on compatible frequencies, failure to coordinate frequency is like not knowing the direction in which to flash a torch to signal to someone at night. We need to know exactly where to send and where to look.
    Rule 2 is broken into two parts 2a for simple License-free transceivers (CB, FRS and MURS walkie-talkies), whereas 2b Ham is a full version incorporating both license-free and USA Ham frequencies.

    PART 2a =WHERE License free
    So for license free, the RULE of 3 continues. Set your radio to one of the following:
    • AM only CBs = Channel 03 26.985 Mhz AM US band
    • SSB capable CBs = Channel 33 27.335 MHz USB
    • FRS and GMRS = Channel 03 462.6125 MHz FM- NB (CTCSS/ DCS code turned OFF)
    • FM-NB only MURS = Channel 03 151.92 MHz FM-NB MHz (US band)

    PART 2b/3=WHERE Full version
    USA Emergency Frequencies: From ARRL Net Directory
    3723 MHz CW Emergency Response Communications Net CW
    3883 MHz LSB Emergency Response Communications Net SSB
    3907 MHz LSB Coastal Carolina Emergency, Missionary Radio Service
    3935 MHz LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net
    3940 MHz LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net
    3950 MHz LSB National Hurricane Center
    7.137 MHz CW Emergency Response Communications Net CW
    7.238 MHz LSB Mobile Emergency and County Hunters Net
    7.240 MHz LSB Eastern Region NTS Traffic
    7.244 MHz LSB Tahoe Interstate Emergency Net
    7.251 MHz LSB North States ARS, South Coast ARS
    7.255 MHz LSB East Coast ARS
    7.258 MHz LSB Midwest ARS
    7.260 MHz LSB Baptist Disaster Relief Net
    7.265MHz LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net
    7.284 MHz LSB Good Sam RV Radio Network
    7.292 MHz LSB Emergency Response Communications Net SSB
    14.244 MHz USB Emergency Response Communications Net SSB
    14.260 MHz USB Baptist Disaster Relief Net
    14.265MHz USB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net
    14.280 MHz USB International Mission Radio Net
    14.300MHz USB Maritime Mobile Service, INTERCON Traffic, Pacific Seafarer’s Net
    14.303 MHz USB International Emergency Assistance and Traffic Net
    14.315 MHz USB Pacific Islands Disaster Net
    14.325 MHz USB Hurricane Watch Net
    14.336 MHz USB Mobile Emergency Assistance and County Hunters Net
    14.340 MHz USB California-Hawaii Traffic and Emergency
    26.985 MHz US AM CB Ch 03 Prepper Emergency Channel*
    27.065 MHz US AM CB Ch. 09 – Motorist Emergency Calling
    27.185 MHz US AM CB Ch. 19 – Highway Traffic Advisory
    27.555MHz USB CB FREEBAND ( Illegal frequency) but well populated.
    27.335MHz USB CB Ch 33 Emergency Channel*
    462.5625 MHz FM FRS Ch.1 – unofficial calling channel
    462.6125 MHz FM FRS Ch3 Prepper emergency channel***
    462.675 MHz FM GMRS Ch. 6 Unofficial Travelers Information /Repeater input 467.675 PL 141.3

  • Lightspeed

    Good to hear you are doing similar things in USA Charles

    I’ve copied your standard as there are some frequencies on it that are hearable from Europe.

    SD: Please could you correct a small error on the final line of the recommended frequency listings on the UK standard.

    What reads: 446.03125MHz FM NB RAYNET PMR446 Ch3 emergency channel***

    Should read: 446.03125MHz FM NB PMR446 Ch3 emergency channel***

  • Lightspeed

    Charles, your USA version appears to have left out part 3 of 3 HOW.

    ???

  • OOPS@! Thanks for the catch, need to fix!

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