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Thread: 180 mile SHTF (only) comm plan

  1. #11
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    Nicor Brings up an excellent point...in SHTF or TEOTWAWKI. Do not get in the habit of counting on repeaters. Have a band plan for you and the parties for whom you want to contact. A meeting frequency. Here in good times my friend and I meet on a repeater ..and go to simplex. But in SHTF we have alternate plans.

    As to antennas sticking up 40 or even 20 feet.

    Your call..but I have manufactured my own dual band J pole antennas out of solid aluminum 3/8 rod...threaded them myself and put them together. When I was finished ...before assembly I blacked them out with black magic marker. This was to make them not so visible. I chose black magic marker so as to put the thinnest coat on them to darken them out. The coaxial connector too.

    These J pole antennas such as theses three..have been blacked out with magic marker





    What I have also done is to take several lengths of 1/8th diameter nylon cord tied end to end and used this ..also blacked out ..to hoist up the J pole into a tree up some 60 feet. It is not that visible unless you are specifically looking for it. This method... with a fishing pole ..gets rid of the sightly mast...making the whole arrangement less easy to spot. I do not use 70 cm much and the 2 meters works fine on it. There is no rule saying you have to hang an antenna on a mast. If you know how you can do without and it does not take that long to put it up in the air ..unlike a mast. And the J pole is an Omni antenna.

    The black magic marker does not affect the transmit or receive.

    Just some advice on what can be done to camouflage for your station.

    Agree with Nicor in that certain antennas and how they are mounted are easily visible. Particularly in todays advent of drones snooping everywhere.

    There are things you can do to camouflage your set up and wire antennas are difficult to find. You have to be right up on them and disciplined in the art to find them and know what they are. Use black magic marker to hide your insulators and baluns.

    My 300 foot loop antenna is likewise threaded up into the top of the trees using that nylon cord and a fishing pole to help me thread it across the tops of my trees. I occasionally have to redo it but it is not difficult.



    Just some additional .02

    Orangetom
    Last edited by orangetom1999; 05-10-2016 at 12:49 PM.

  2. #12
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    Nice job on the antennas, they look a little like the ones made by arrow. A dual band like that was my first ham antenna for 2m/70cm. Transmitted really well, but was lacking on the receive side. Some of us still use them as backups though.

    The tree idea is great , however unless you have a palm tree ,down here you are hard pressed to find anything much over 30 ft, and we have found with 2m that the leaves on trees near our antennas really cut into the signal, both Tx and Rx.

    First noticed it when one of the group put up a new antenna in winter of 2014 , no leaves on the trees in his yard, spring came and it got to the point two of us that were farther out from him weren't hearing him as well, and our signals dropped into his station, mobile it was much worse , stations within 5-10 miles not a problem, but we were 27,and 29 miles from him in different directions. He ended up doing some tree trimming and we were back to a solid signal with him, both base and when we were mobile.

    Different areas different problems and solutions. What works in one area may not be so good in another,and what works right now ,may not be the same in 2 hours, just normal ham radio. That's why you gotta use your gear and learn how it works in different situations. The folks you hear talking about buying radios and storing them away for shtf, are gonna be in for a steep learning curve. Just my opinion of course.
    Last edited by jnr0104; 05-11-2016 at 05:25 AM.

  3. #13
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    Meanwhile, my cousin hasn't done more than charge his Baofeng and made sure it would power on. He's waiting for me to help program it so I suspect our HF project is likely dead in the water. I personally didn't have much desire to go there anyway, and believe he was under the impression that $1,000 was way more money than what would be required for 100% reliable communications at this distance.

    J-poles look nice Tom, never tried them but have thought about getting a roll-up one to use with a small/portable/temporary crossband repeater system to extend our HT-HT range for local use. Built one with a Puxing UV-973 HT that fits in a bucket along with everything to deploy it up a tree (line, slingshot, lawn tractor battery) but it's using a 1/4 wave mag mount without enough ground plane so know I'd probably get much better range using a J-pole. Welcome to the forum.
    Everything marked, everything 'membered. You wait, you'll see.

  4. #14
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    Apr 2016
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    JNR0104,

    I never noticed it except to get the dimensions from this page..but it is the Arrow design from here..further down the page there are designs and dimensions for both 220 MHz and also the dual band 2 meter/70 cm antenna.

    http://www.i1wqrlinkradio.com/antype/ch24/chiave295.htm

    I used this design because I had experience making the roll up type J poles for emergencies. I keep several roll ups around for just such an emergency in addition to a roll up in my locker at work.

    The J pole is not the best antenna out there. It is simple which says a lot for it. Cost efficient too...also light weight. The difference in performance is mostly made up with some 60 feet of altitude. All the parts came from the local True Value Hardware Store. They are about the only place around here I could find 3/8 solid aluminum rod. SWR is very flat across the 2 meter band.

    Using a salt water fishing pole and lead weight I toss it up over a carefully selected tree branch and then reel back the 1/8 blacked out nylon line tied end to end to make up the difference. Then I tie on the antenna and pull back the nylon line thus erecting the antenna up to below the selected tree limb. Works out great here.

    WOW!! I had not thought about Palm Trees...I must admit...you have me there.

    Agree ...different areas ..different problems.

    Main point being here ...there are things you can do to make your station and antennas less visible.
    As I said Marked...J poles are simple. There is something to be said for simplicity.

    It takes some doing getting a com link set up for emergencies between certain parties. It is more difficult when one party lacks certain initiatives and waits for someone else to set up the buffet line for them. I've been there myself.

    I worry about that in SHTF or TEOTWAWKI...
    To many people accustomed to having the Buffet line set up for them and just showing up to eat.
    I've had a lessons learned about this kind of thing in Hurricane Isabelle years ago. Taught me some important lessons.
    I had my first roll up 2 meter J pole antenna back then and fishing poled it up a tree here about 25 feet in altitude. Car battery on the kitchen floor sitting on a piece of plywood. My olde Radio shack HTX 212 mobile radio was used. The hams let me know where gas stations had electricity. I did not have to burn up precious gas to find gas as did so many. Most of my gas went to my generator supplying electricity for my freezer and refrigerator at night here..and at my parents house in the day time.

    Since that time ...one of those J poles blacked out like in the photo is put up in a tree in similar fashion at my elderly parents house and the cable rolled up and stored between the screen and a window. Altitude is about 30 feet. I keep a Baofeng UV 5 R there...and a charger, antenna adapters, and spare battery. I have also bought another generator which I can take there and leave it along with a gas can. My elderly mother has medicines which need refrigeration so electricity or some kind of refrigeration is a must.
    Lessons learned. My parents do not use the radio but it is there nonetheless just in case...on line and ready to go. I check it out on occasion when I visit. OP check.

    Hurricane Isabelle also taught me to buy the wheel kit for my generator. Hauling it back and forth to my parents house got very laborious. Talk about pumping Iron.
    As I said...lessons learned.

    Thanks to all for their posts,

    73,
    Orangetom
    Last edited by orangetom1999; 05-11-2016 at 08:50 AM.

  5. #15
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    For using the roll up j poles down here in the land of the short tree, I started carrying a collapsible 31ft kite pole, it breaks down to 4 ft , so I keep in in the back of the Jeep, use it as a walking stick if we are out with backpacks. Works great.

  6. #16
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    Apr 2016
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    JNR 104,

    For using the roll up j poles down here in the land of the short tree, I started carrying a collapsible 31ft kite pole, it breaks down to 4 ft , so I keep in in the back of the Jeep, use it as a walking stick if we are out with backpacks. Works great.
    Wow! Of what is that stick/pole made? It cannot be metal. 31 feet is a tall pole for a collapsible. It just seems like it ought to be heavy...weight wise.

    Do you have a link?? I'd like to check that out for reference and bookmark it.

    Land of the short tree....LOL LOL...OK..I got it!!

    Thanks,
    Orangetom

  7. #17
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    https://www.jackite.com/index.php?cPath=41

    They are fiberglass,and light, yet plenty strong. I use 2 here at HQ to hold up my 40m and 75m end feds at about 18ft agl, they work great . The 31 fters, cost 78 bucks, but I haven't broken one yet.
    On the one I keep in the Jeep that I sometimes use as a walking stick , I do duct tape the snot outta the end that hits the ground.

    With the roll up type antennas, I usually tape them to the top on the pole along with the coax so it isn't flopping around, some small Velcro straps would actually work better but I haven't got around to getting any from amazon yet. The OD green pole blends in rather well when in use.

    With the end feds I just tie a loop of cord thru the eye on the end of the pole with the antenna wire running thru it for the center pole so it can have some movement, the far end I tie the insulator to the top or the pole, zip tie, or bungee( for temporary setup)poles to trees or whatever is available at my location.
    Last edited by jnr0104; 05-11-2016 at 01:57 PM.

  8. #18
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    jnr 0104,

    Hey ...thanks for that link. I have bookmarked it for future reference.

    I busted out laughing at the address as it was totally unexpected and a surprise. It is right across the river from me here in Virginia.

    I had no idea they were there or what they sold.

    Nonetheless..thanks for that information and the link.

    I have bookmarked it for future reference.

    I have a friend who is also a ham. He will be interested in the link as well.

    Going to research the precise location of this address and how to navigate there on Google Earth.

    Thanks again,
    Orangetom
    Last edited by orangetom1999; 05-12-2016 at 11:27 AM.

  9. #19
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    Jan 2011
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    Austin Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicor View Post
    I would forget about relying on repeaters.
    Grid could be down.
    Most of the repeaters are owned by the HAMS themselves, are they hooked up to a reliable backup power source?
    Some are. Most are not. I know of 2 local to me that have solar rigs in place and will switch to 5W when on backup power. I doubt that's the standard setup though.

    I do not want any type of antenna sticking up at 40 or even 20 feet.
    I use a wire on my roof. you can see my balun hanging from my direct TV dish, but you can't see the wire. So unless you know what a balun looks like at a distance, you wouldn't know I have an antenna.

    As I have said earlier, I had just rather listen to what is going, both on HF and 2m.
    Yup. listening is the most useful.

    Then again if an EMP, have to cover for that also (tube radio).
    with a disconnected antenna, it would have to be VERY strong. Keep your antenna disconnected and your rig grounded and you should be ok in most situations. Sure, having a backup rig shielded completely isn't a bad idea, but it's an expense to protect against a small risk.

    On HF, I would prefer to run a long wire with a tuner.
    Easy to put up and take down. You really don't need much wattage at HF to get out.
    Yes. The EARCHI antenna is nice. You can just google for "EARCHI antenna" and plans for the 9:1 balun will come up. Pick your favorite chart for "good" random wire lengths that will work better on multiple bands. That plus a tuner and you're set.

  10. #20
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    Good points there austinrob,

    That is exactly how I keep my station. When I am shut down the antennas are disconnected and the electricity plug removed from the wall. It is my habit for years now. Not for EMP so much but for lightening strike. Been doing this even before I got my ticket..back in the CB days.

    I do a lot of listening too..when up in my Man Cave or radio room...even while watching videos and such...Listening ..just like the submariners do...listen..stealth. Even shortwave listening. Interesting to me what is going on in other countries which never makes the news here.

    I do not know of many ..or even any repeaters around here with back up power..but it is a nice concept.

    Thanks for your post,
    Orangetom

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