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How we need to prepare


FarmBot Genesis

Here is a computer controlled growing tool called the FarmBot Genesis. It is a computer controlled farming robot which can be used to get the most out of each plot by controlling exactly where each seed is put, how much water it gets and it even can seek and destroy weeds. All using magnetic heads that the system can change itself.

Although it is a tad expensive, *cough*, at just under £3K, it does show what technology can do to help us. As it is opensource the plans and software are available for free so those with a DIY bent can build their own.

It’s limitation from what I can see is that the frame needs to encompass the area it is covering which is fine for small areas and as you can see FarmBot Genesis covers up to 1.5M x 3M as designed. This is going to be OK for us with our backgarden requirements but for the future I have no doubt that they are already working on bigger versions for those with bigger gardens, smallholdings and larger bits of land. I suspect we will have free ranging robots doing the dirty work when we come to large farms but the principle will be the same with computer controlled growing. Silent Running is getting closer. All we need to do is put the right seeds in the dispenser. This is where it will go wrong.

The whole thing is controlled by a Raspberry Pi and they even have plans that will allow you to wire the whole thing up to solar panels so that it will even work offgrid. They are currently working on making additions to it in areas such as new heads and as it is opensource you can design your own changes so more will be available as some bright sparks get involved.

Expensive but anything that will take a bit of tedious work off us must be worth a look. Who is good at building their own equipment? I’m thinking of building my own as a project.

Prepping for medical issues.

Been refreshing my medical kits over the last few weeks. I have an interest in staying alive and having some medical kit is a good way of doing that once the basics are sorted.

I’m a great believer in having a good kit with several items as well as some instructional books. I also believe in having some advanced stuff that I don’t know how to use but can be used by a professional such as a Doctor, Nurse, EMT or anyone with beyond first aid skills. I have several medical books which are well beyond first aid books but would be OK for Doctors. Although nobody I have in my group at this time has anything beyond basic first aid skills you never know what will turn up.

I have four areas that I cover;

  1. Car Kit
  2. Large first aid kit enhanced with extra burn items, clotting powder and emergency blankets. Basically it is until the emergency services get there so don’t need to have duplicates of items that I can replace.

  3. House Kit
  4. As Car Kit but with larger quantities and includes more comprehensive manuals as well as additional item such as olive oil, thermometers, woollen blankets, dental kits, stethoscopes and blow up splints and the like. What I will need for the emergency services to get here plus everyday issues that doesn’t require going to A&E for.

  5. EDC Kit
  6. A smaller kit that fits in my pocket. Contains basic stuff for general use. Bandages, eye patches, tourniquet, clotting powder, burn items and antiseptics as well as plasters, tweezers etc.

  7. Survival Kit
  8. As house kit but a lot more of everything and as this may never be replaced there is a lot of everything that I have picked up over the years and contains lots of everything that is not perishable as well as some that are but will last a long time. It has dental equipment, bone saws, surgical equipment, transfusion kits, etc and also includes tools I can’t even spell. This is a superset for covering every eventuality I can think of. There are items in there I don’t really know how to use and I have books in there that I don’t understand. Hopefully we will either learn or find someone who does. It will run out eventually if it isn’t restocked but should last a long time if used carefully.

All my smaller kits are in Green bags clearly marked as First Aid so they will not be missed when you are in a rush. Each kit has a first aid book in there, larger kits have larger books and more of them. The Survival kit is in several boxes with several quite detailed books as well and although each box is documented it won’t be the best place to go in an emergency. The Survival kit is meant to be pulled together after an event where you can still use the House or Car ones until you have extracted what you need from storage.

My hope is that my basic first aid knowledge and experience will be enhanced when I start having to perform first aid and that I come across someone with medical experience, a doctor, EMT, Nurse or even a vet as I know that me and mine can’t gain the experience we need outside real experience and the law seems to be set against me experimenting practising on the homeless and down and outs.

Dodgy knock off 2m / 70 cm / PMR 446 antenna for Baofeng

So It looks like I too have been caught out with the wave of dodgy knock off Antennas for my Baofeng UV5 RC antenna. On YT and only the respected Miklor site that are numerous articles and videos of people trying to distinguish between the Genuine stuff and the fakes.

Often its the ubiquitous Nagoya NA-771 Antenna that is the commonest dodgy twig, but after searching for hours and not find any definitive way of spotting the knock offs I’m taking the advice from the various radio forums and not buying any more antenna off eBay, and even some Amazon suppliers have been of concern.

Its almost impossible to check out good from bad because for example even Nagoya keeps changing its packaging. Even the odd dealer has been caught out with knock offs from the Chinese suppliers.

One Nagoya “tell” for the NA-771 SMA Female antenna is the genuine stuff is supplied with a spare spacer, neither of mine had spacers. Genuine antenna produce an VSWR of 1.5 to 2 on these multi band antenna, but many of the knocks offs VSWR is 10 and looking around I see similar concerns over knock off Watsons and Diamond Antenna as well as Nagoya which raises the issue of not wrecking our radios and getting the best possible efficiency from our limited comms.

One possible option has been suggested on the Charlie Tango site, It is to buy British, A company in Wales (I think) manufacturers antenna they even offer a bespoke service for specific bands and frequencies. They are called Sandpiper and as far as I can tell they produce good quality antenna in the UK and there are no knock offs. Looking at their website they list this antenna which should be an ideal upgrade for our UV5s. Its £14.95 inc VAT.

Unless you lot know better???

Charley Tango Comms Bash July 2016

For all those with an interest in Comms with your prepping this was sent to me by one of our colleagues with a comms interest.

A serious Preppers Comms site


Seen a few comments from preppers about going to this could be very interesting for the Ham fans and preppers who like Comms stuff

Charley Tango radio Website

Dear CT Members,

Charley Tango

Buxton, Derbyshire will be the setting again this year for the annual CT bash, noon on the Friday 22nd July till noon on Sunday 24th July

We have 2 large rooms, kitchen, toilets and showers. Overnight camping available, It’s a fantasic venue. As ever, we will be doing the traditional CT BBQ. Please feel free to bring any food or drink to contribute. We have to pay for things so to cover costs we kindly as for a contribution towards to event if you plan on attending. We will have a bring and buy stall so feel free to bring you radio bits and pieces you dont want or need and you might just walk away with something you will use. Below is the address of the event.

Brandside Parish Hall
SK17 0SF

Please show your interest on the forum and let us know if you are able to attend.
Zetaboards Thread