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Thread: Comms Inquiry

  1. #11

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    I have been told by someone that worked in Communications that getting a radio would be a waste of money unless I have someone to program it. Is this true or not? Comms are important and I think he was just being an asshole. Until I get a group, I am going to need a good radio to get assistance should I ever get hurt or attacked and cant get to my phone or have no signal on my phone.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    N. Texas
    Posts
    6,108

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    I don't know jack about the whole ham radio thing. I went a bought some nice HT-750's for our needs. They work great out to approx 4 miles really. Was told they could be programmed to do some other stuff too though. But that Id need the Ham license to do it or have it done...
    "The First Gay President", L'dMAO!! "Peace can ONLY be achieved through SUPERIOR FIREPOWER, STOMPING LIBS and CARPETBOMBING"!!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,085

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
    I have been told by someone that worked in Communications that getting a radio would be a waste of money unless I have someone to program it. Is this true or not? Comms are important and I think he was just being an asshole. Until I get a group, I am going to need a good radio to get assistance should I ever get hurt or attacked and cant get to my phone or have no signal on my phone.
    Of course you can program your own radio if you get on that is user programmable. Some radios require a computer and special software to program. Others are very easy to self program, and can be done with the front panel. The radio I linked to earlier is an example of one you can program yourself.....BUT

    Who are you going to call on the radio? Be realistic, in an emergency your best bet is a cell phone, if that won't work I highly doubt a handi talkie will do any better for you especially given your lack of knowledge in this area. If you can't tell me who you'd call and on what frequency right now, a handi talkie would do you little good in an emergency. Without a plan in place it's just an extra weight you're carrying for no reason.

    For a true emergency you could carry a SAR 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005E1OU1A..._t1_B006JXY0CQ

    Or if you require a satallite based global texting/location sharing/communication device get a Delorme InReach Satellite communicator https://www.amazon.com/Delorme-AG-00...e+communicator

    But this route places a middleman between you and a SAR Team, the emergency goes thru Delorme then thru to SAR, whereas a PLB will directly link to a real SAR team that will deploy to your rescue. You're in the market for a good GPS anyway, why not get one that offers global text messaging, and can summon a SAR team to your rescue should the need arise.
    Last edited by Tdale; 11-12-2016 at 07:10 PM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  4. #14

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    Comms are something I never learned about; depends on the situation. If I get a group, will call one of them; especially when SHTF. As it stands now, EMS or SAR. Between the two gamelands for the turkey hunt and scouting two areas of Pisgah in pre-season for deer, I had no signal in all those locations. I cannot tell you what frequency. My comms experience is extremely limited, something I have to learn. As originally stated, the only experience I have had recently is The Cobra radios mentioned on page 1, which did not work. Thought channel 9 was the emergency channel on the cobra, but got no response on any of the channels. One thing I do not miss that was stolen is the crappy cobra comms.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,085

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
    Comms are something I never learned about; depends on the situation. If I get a group, will call one of them; especially when SHTF. As it stands now, EMS or SAR. Between the two gamelands for the turkey hunt and scouting two areas of Pisgah in pre-season for deer, I had no signal in all those locations. I cannot tell you what frequency. My comms experience is extremely limited, something I have to learn. As originally stated, the only experience I have had recently is The Cobra radios mentioned on page 1, which did not work. Thought channel 9 was the emergency channel on the cobra, but got no response on any of the channels. One thing I do not miss that was stolen is the crappy cobra comms.
    I'm just trying to save you from a potentially dangerous situation where you think having a blister pack radio, or even a ham radio, will actually take the place of a PLB. it most certainly will not.

    For you to use a ham radio would require a level of knowledge that will take time to build up, and even then if you're in the back woods without a cell signal, you probably can't hit a ham repeater anyway, so I would not rely on a ham radio as a life saving device.

    A PLB or a device like the Delorme In-Reach would be your best bet if you really think you need one for survival........again don't know why you'd need one........seems like a complete waste of money for someone in your situation.

    If you just want a good HAM radio for SHTF I'll repeat my previous recommendation and say get the $25 Baofeng UV-5R https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R.../dp/B007H4VT7A , for the money it will be the best radio you can get, It will give you access to 2 Meter, 70 CM, FRS, GMRS, MURS, NOAA Weather Radio and FM Radio, honestly for $25 you will not find a better radio, and then once you have it you will have to take some time to learn about HAM radio, get your HAM license (It's free) program your radio for the repeaters in your AO, and then see if it will be useable in emergencies.....but don't expect it to take the place of a PLB
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Texas,coastal bend area
    Posts
    407

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    Yeah I agree with what Tdale has said. the area you are in ,if this is still the area must be pretty easy to get lost or injured in , as seen in this story http://www.charlotteobserver.com/new...e74588212.html . I have seen that you have had gear stolen from your camp, so comms wise you really can only depend on something you carry with you on your person. A PLB seems to be the best option if you get off into a poop storm out there. These are the guys that will be showing up if you set off your beacon http://www.bceoc.org/sar.htm You might want to get to know a few of these folks ,might pick up some valuble info from them.

    Good luck to you.
    Last edited by jnr0104; 11-13-2016 at 06:39 AM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East TN Smokey Mountains
    Posts
    3,753

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    I will be a little more blunt and to the point.

    Your blister pack radio is not gonna get it done.
    Limited range especially in the Smokies / Pisgah range might be measured in yards.
    And there is no security of transmission at all and every hunter, camper, boy scout troop, every family that take kids to Disney has them. And half the weekend keyboard commando preppers have a handful because they were cheap and like you they got misled on range. That includes me. I first bought a handful of FRS then a handful of GMRS which advertizes 32 mile range. At my AO i get about 1/2 mile due to the terrain.

    So then some real preppers on this board (thanks Backpacker1513) told me the same things you are now hearing and I bought some HAM radios - mostly Baofeng but a few others that I got before the Baofeng came out.

    When the time comes for real radio communication the serious preppers will not be using toy radios bought at Walmart. So if you want to perhaps stumble onto communication from a keyboard commando an FRS or GMRS or CB might work if you happen to be close to them. But you wont' be hearing me or any of my group because we simply won't be transmitting on those freqs. Listening yes, xmt no.

    I am in a deep valley and can reach three different repeaters that are each about 20 m away with my hand held Baofeng. And one of our group and I were able to maintain 3 mile simplex communications with him moving in a vehicle with a mobile ham and me using my Baofeng - thru very mountainous country.

    So get yourself a couple of Baofengs.

    One other very cool thing about the Baofengs is that they are like the evil black rifle in that there are zillions of addons and attachments made for them. Take this for example. I have used it when don my CERT uniform and masquerade as part of the LEO team at large public gatherings, hehe

    https://www.amazon.com/Arama-Acousti...ds=baofeng+ear
    Last edited by explo72; 11-13-2016 at 06:34 AM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,362

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    Agree with the other posters here about the Baofeng radios...good radios for the monies. I have those Cobra/midland/Motorola...GMRS/FRS frequencies installed in mine up towards the end of the memory bank..some 21/22 frequencies...mostly for monitoring. The Beofeng radios put out twice the power on those frequencies as do the Cobra/Midland/Motorola/Wal Mart type radios.

    T dale is correct..these radios can be computer programmed. However....For SHTF purposes I have taught myself to manually program mine. This can be involved and frustrating/tedious but I am not dependent on a computer for my programming should we reach SHTF or TEOTWAWKI. All of that is your call and your monies..but I agree with the other posters...the Baofeng radios are a good value for the monies

    Agree with one of the other posters. Most people known little to nothing about radios and at work they do not know my radio is not a company radio...they haven't a clue.
    I have the extended battery on mine...it lasts significantly longer. I chatted with my friend about 12 miles distant for almost two hours the other night on my Beofeng and it did not quit on me. The regular battery I would have had to change twice. I also carry a spare extended battery in my daily BOB as well as a regular battery.

    When you operate out in the field ...spare batteries/power is always a good idea..if for nothing else..for your flashlights. I also keep two spare batteries for my phone and will not get a phone for which I cannot change batteries. I am not tied to a charger/wall outlet as are so many.

    Nonetheless..the Beofengs are a good value for the monies.

    The point of the other posters is also valid...learn now ..how to use comms...how your radios work and their limitations....assets. Do not wait until it is too late and time runs out to learn and know.
    Find a ham or someone who knows how to work with radios/walkie talkies. Many of them will be happy to show you the ropes.

    Thanks,
    Orangetom
    Last edited by orangetom1999; 11-13-2016 at 07:11 AM.

  9. #19

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    Perhaps, you all missed it but the only thing I dont miss that was stolen was the crappy Cobra comms. The only thing I will not be rebuying. Likely will go with one of the suggestions. Thanks.

  10. #20

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    From reading that report, sounds like someone forgot to be armed and bring a local area map or topographic map or even a good GPS. That area was close to where I did pre-season scouting and encountered 5 White-Tail Deer.

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