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Author Topic: Repeaters, EMS and rumors of war...  (Read 6903 times)

Posts: 2

« on: April 21, 2015, 07:24:33 AM »

 I have not heard one Radio Amateur (and as far as that goes.. No EMS blogs either) has ever to bring this subject up for discussion..
Could be no one wants to...  Keeping our head in the sand is much more comfortable..

However,  I would like to challenge the Amateur and associated community to consider (if not learn and discuss about) some details about modern warfare
that could greatly affect the Amateur Radio and the Emergency Services community in their effort to respond or act in the event of a "modern day" WW 3 type event.

Please note,  I am not advocating it is going to happen... Not trying to generate fear..
Just from all the recent Sabre rattling, military actions, stupid things politicians and advisories are doing now...  and all...
the possibility seems closer than usual (Dear Lord I hope never to be).   

Are we really prepared?  Where are the back up systems???

The main thought I want to present to the community is simply this. 
There is a weapon... that we and other advisory countries have in hand that could... in an instant.. disable any form of modern
solid state or other integrated type communications front end (receivers) and processors .
 This would include all local EMS, guidance, banking, fuel depot and aircraft systems that I am familiar with.

 It is a weapon that will (explode and) send  out an electrical impulse so huge..
that anything depending on solid state or integrated circuit front ends in the receivers
(which encompasses most of what we depend on) in  modern day solid state communications.. 
It all Would be lost!

In a lengthy discussion with some Air Traffic Controllers many years back, I learned that the Air Traffic
 control had upgraded all of its systems to newer solid state / integrated technologies.. 
All from crystal based / analog controlled equipment.  In that process this discussion came up..
There was  at the time some worry about this very vulnerable position.

A series of this type going off in strategic locations across the USA could bring us to our knees.. without one rifle shot being fired..
No banking or money source, no fuel pumping, no communications, and worst of all.. no means of organization or reacting to the event.

You ask, What will succumb to the Electrical impulse bomb and what will not (or have a better chance of survival).
Try living with out your cell phone.. Now add all our EMS equipment for 50 to 100 miles,  gone.. 

Amateurs who have investment in all this great new modern gear (that I dearly Love) and all the repeaters will be useless,
unless it / they are unplugged and put away in a steel grounded, Faraday cage somewhere, when the bomb or event happens. 

It would put us back to smoke signals and tin cans with a string between...  in seconds!

Not possible?? Unbelievable??  Look around.. It might! North Korea, Russia and many others have that weapon now!
What and who will survive? 

Believe it or not.. 
Your plugged in (very old style)  tube based, crystal controlled,  or stored battery QRP radio
 has a good or better chance than most to come through the impulse event!
The best knowledge is that after the event and assuming there is not a second event.. the newer stored / unplugged backup equipment
could be put in use...   after the main event or other has passed.. .
Remember though.. most probably, all our repeaters are gone.. handhelds are gone.. Cell phones are gone..  EMS are gone..
and it would take quite a while to replace all that.. especially if you are talking about communities of millions (like the KC area).

With this type devastation who needs to invade countries or kill folks? 
We would be fighting each other for food and basics in a matter of days / weeks!
But if it did happen how would we defend without the communications we are all used to having?
Be prepared!

Read more about it here..

Dan Stark N0CRD
Olathe, KS 66063
Join me at LinkedIn!  *
Join me on twitter

Posts: 2

« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2015, 09:26:16 AM »

Thanks Jerry for your thoughts...  no offense taken..

Where there is a will.. There is a way..  and I am not one to just lay down..  give up..
Knowledge is power.. and survival..  and if it means doing for family first.. then so be it..

What I am more alarmed about is how to survive the chaos after the fact..
and regardless how the government reacts..
How do I insure myself, my family and the community survival after an event as described. 

Thanks again!

Posts: 222

« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2015, 11:54:23 PM »

Perhaps it's worthwhile to bone up on the concept and practical uses of faraday cages for storage of undeployed electronics. 
Something as simple as a galvanized steel trash can and lid, perhaps lined with sheets of plastic or styrofoam, can go a very long way towards protecting plenty of gear from EMP.  Just don't let anyone inadvertently place it curbside.

Posts: 1095

« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 12:23:21 PM »

Electromagnetic Pulse and the Radio Amateur - Part 1
QST August 1986, pp. 15-20, 36
Will your station survive the effects of lightning strikes ........
Electromagnetic Pulse and the Radio Amateur - Part 2
QST September 1986, pp. 22-26
...testing EMP/transient-protection devices
Electromagnetic Pulse and the Radio Amateur - Part 3
QST October 1986, pp. 38-41
...protectors are connected to Amateur Radio equipment and retested.
Electromagnetic Pulse and the Radio Amateur - Part 4
QST November 1986, pp. 30-34
What can be done to protect an Amateur radio station from lightning......

A four part series on hardening your station against this unlikely event.

Zack W1VT

Posts: 1785

« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 12:26:07 AM »

Better keep those old boat anchors handy!!!  Wink

Posts: 817

« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2015, 02:50:06 PM »

I agree EMP could be a major concern. And I will let others expound on those issues. I want to focus on some old technology that could be of good use after some disaster hits (whatever it is).

I have been telling hams for years to have a packet BBS up and running. It should be able to run on emergency power 12 volts at home, mobile or out in the field and have some sorta message retrieval like mailboxes, text messaging and file transfer capabilities and be able to get messages, and pass them in and out of affected areas.

It doesn't have to be expensive and in fact for some hams it could cost nothing just by utilizing older and "obsolete" equipment that is sitting unused in their basement or closet. While it is old technology, it still works in pinch.

The analogy is people no longer use horses to travel, but a horse can get in spots where a vehicle can't. The horse is just like packet radio, it might be able to get into places or provide capabilities that other modes might not.

It is a great cheap alternative for getting messages, lists, images and maps in and out of affected areas when the internet and cell towers go down. It is old technology, put it is technology that has proven itself time after time.

And it doesn't have to be some WW III scenario that happens, a tornado, hurricane, earthquake can cause some major communication failures for days on end. And old obsolete laptop or computer can be used for packet, a cheap inverter can be pressed into use to power it. Old TNC's are going for $35 on fleabay.

While that old HTX 202 or Icom IC-2A (with the thumb wheel) sitting in your closet might be obsolete by today's standards. it would work fine for packet radio. Re-purpose that old obsolete equipment that is sitting in your closet and put it to good use. Mount it on a rack for portability. Concerned about EMP? Faraday cage it, put it in a metal container.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:56:23 PM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.

Posts: 106

« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2015, 03:02:51 PM »

Boat Anchors won't work. Without power, NOTHING will work. A huge % (80+) of the American population will be dead in 90 days. Better have a HUGE supply of guns and ammunition. HUGE. Roving gangs will break in to your place and kill you and your family and steal everything. Our government knows all about this, but will do NOTHING.

Posts: 106

« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 03:05:21 PM »

"I have been telling hams for years to have a packet BBS up and running. It should be able to run on emergency power 12 volts at home, mobile or out in the field and have some sorta message retrieval like mailboxes, text messaging and file transfer capabilities and be able to get messages, and pass them in and out of affected areas."

Sorry - won't happen. ALL electronics will be dead. ALL.

Posts: 129

« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 03:33:24 PM »

If so, even more reason to focus on back to basics. Hunting, field dressing, and butcher. .... Electronics would be a luxury, and tactical advantage.

Posts: 59

« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2015, 07:41:25 AM »

Should the "Big One" so cherished by so many hams ever actually happen, my radios will be the last thing on my mind.

Posts: 1785

« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2015, 09:04:47 PM »

When hurricane Sandy came through and took out the power, landlines and cell phone towers, the only working communication available to the general public was CB radio!  There are a HUGE number of tube CB transceivers from the 1960s laying around in attics and basements collecting dust, many of which can run off the 12 volt batteries in vehicles.  In a doomsday scenario, they may once again come back to life.

Posts: 106

« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2015, 04:59:52 PM »

Sounds good. But - sorry CB's and accessories will be dead like everything electronic.
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