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Author Topic: Doomsday Preppers: Effects of radiation/fallout on propagation known?  (Read 6986 times)
W6UX
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« on: March 14, 2012, 09:10:41 PM »

I've been enjoying the TV series Doomsday Preppers.  If anything, it's interesting to see people living in missile silos, but several times, the "experts" that advise the preppers after evaluating their setup will recommend improving their comms capabilities with a ham radio.

So I was thinking....if you had the forethought to have a retractable antenna system that would allow them to survive a nuclear blast (let's assume you've got a nifty bunker underground)... how well is that antenna going to work with all that fallout and radiation?

Does anyone know if it's been studied?

-Jeff
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K1CJS
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 04:51:55 AM »

I doubt it.  The government has other things to do than worry about ham radio if the big one comes this way.
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KC9TNH
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 04:58:15 AM »

I can tell you it's absolutely been studied; my sister-service colleagues who do alot of the engineering for the field antenna handbooks all the services use studied it, especially during the so-called Cold War.  "The existence of large numbers of electrons and ions at high altitudes may have seriously degrading effects on the propagation of radio and radar signals." There's the vanilla statement from one of the civilian groups that specializes in "survival" stuff (and apparently still builds bomb shelters). However, the real answer is:

It depends (burst type, where you are in relation to the plume, what it is you wanted to do anyway, and another 1,001 things).
At any rate, Google is your friend. First 15 seconds of a search yielded:

http://www.all-hazards.com/loring/greenpine/index.html

The above is a baby-toe-size bite of a first footstep. You will go down alot of rabbit holes following your question, but it's not a silly one.  You just have to sift alot of chaff from grain, since those most concerned took a wide-systems approach to this sort of thing. No they weren't concerned specifically with "ham radio" but that didn't stop them from looking at everything that might be useful or affected from one end of the frequency spectrum to another, and that could include HF/VHF/UHF.

Good luck on your journey grasshopper. I hope the recent solar stuff got some folks brushed up on their CW.
 Grin
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 06:03:44 AM »

Being a referenced source in the link mentioned above, I can tell you the least of your worries will be what happens with/to radio.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KCJ9091
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 06:50:47 AM »

Mark,
Please, do enlighten us.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 08:14:09 AM »

Why do your "gun wielding marauders" have to be riding motorcycles? 

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AK4KZ
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 08:37:51 AM »

Why do your "gun wielding marauders" have to be riding motorcycles? 

"Gun wielding marauders in Priuses" doesn't quite sound nearly as ominous??

73,
Chris
AK4KZ
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 08:45:27 AM »

As the program mentions on several occasions, the "experts" state that communications to the outside world will be an important factor.  There are several reasons;  1) To find out how nearby towns are faring.  2) To learn if any motorcycle, gun wielding marauders might be working their way towards your neck of the woods. 3) To locate possible "trading partners" with other communities/preppers.

There is a LOT of illusions as to the survivability of a massive nuclear war.  There is nothing local about nuclear blasts. And someone has been watching too many Hollywood movies about motor cycle gangs surviving blasts. Unless you have a big underground complex stocked with a few years of food, water, fuel for generators, medical supplies, radiation test equipment and protective clothing you are toast.  If you are above ground and not prepared as in line above and are if not killed in blasts,  likely to get radiation poisoning and die a painful death. Ham radio will be the least of your concerns.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 10:14:43 AM »

Excellent discussion! During the "Cold War" I was one of the county Radiological Monitors, having taken a course provided by the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency Staff College in Dearborn, MI.  I had a lot of fun taking this course where I was able to study the effects of Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation including the effects, exposure times and dealing with each kind of radiation.  

Then later, I worked with a guy who was on board the USS Montpelier light cruiser during WWII.  He and he and many of his shipmates walked the streets of Hiroshima two weeks after the "THE BOMB."

I have never been able to understand how this was possible.  Yet I have seen documented proof of it.  

« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 10:19:57 AM by K8AXW » Logged
KB1TXK
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 10:57:32 AM »

Why do your "gun wielding marauders" have to be riding motorcycles? 

"Gun wielding marauders in Priuses" doesn't quite sound nearly as ominous??

73,
Chris
AK4KZ

Who knows...it may come to that.  War = no electricity = cant refine fossil fuels.  Someone w/ a large enough solar array could charge a prius.  When it comes to the gun wielding part...a super-quiet car is good for sneaking up on someone.  A car that puts full torque to the wheels instantly = a quick getaway.  At least a motorcycle you'd hear coming Wink
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KB1TXK
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 10:59:26 AM »


I have never been able to understand how this was possible.  Yet I have seen documented proof of it.  



Typical fallout is exponentially less potent only a day or two after the blast.  After 2 weeks people can walk around for hours before coming close to an uncomfortable amount of radiation. 
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WX7G
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 11:47:37 AM »

I find it odd that cooking is being discussed here but here goes. Here is where to purchase doomsday peppers:

http://www.reimerseeds.com/doomsday-hot-peppers.aspx
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KC9TNH
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 12:11:23 PM »

Being a referenced source in the link mentioned above, I can tell you the least of your worries will be what happens with/to radio.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Nice, sir; for the win! And very true.

WOPR: "The only winning move is not to play."

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Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
W4VR
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 01:18:24 PM »

I remember reading some articles on the matter years ago.  And, with the Iranians developing nuclear weapons you best be prepared!
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W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 02:21:29 PM »

Then later, I worked with a guy who was on board the USS Montpelier light cruiser during WWII.  He and he and many of his shipmates walked the streets of Hiroshima two weeks after the "THE BOMB."

A uncle of my wife also walked ground zero. He died of very deadly form leukemia over 33 years ago. Back then he and many others were lab rats without knowing it at time. 
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