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Author Topic: Zombie apocalypse  (Read 22514 times)
N0ZLD
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« on: December 24, 2012, 06:56:15 AM »

The setting: A virus has broken out around the globe that has turned the majority of humans into mindless, brain-eating zombies. Humanity as we know it has changed.

The requirements: CW/SSB radio communication using HF. The complete kit should be 1-person portable. Hauling the kit around in a Red Rider wagon technical qualifies but loses points for practicality. Setup/teardown time should be 30 minutes or less. Bands used will be 6 to 40 meters ITU region 2 (this won't matter if the scenario ever played out but helps facilitate this thread).

Budget: $2,500 USD

General assumptions:
1) You have shelter, food, medical supplies and are not in any immediate danger of being turned into a zombie.
2) There are others with HF radio communications. Keeping in touch allows coordination of supplies, knowing areas to stay away from and any changes to the situation as a whole.
3) No need for "backup" items (duplicate microphones, batteries, etc.).
4) You will transmit 10%, listen 90%.
5) Their will be a average mix of sun and cloudy/rainy days.
6) Propagation is average, this is neither the top or bottom of the cycle.

Notes:
1) Nobody is right or wrong. Please refrain from personal attacks.
2) Let's stay on topic. Never mind politics or what the government would do in this scenario. This is a thread about building a complete kit for $2,500 and under.
3) Post items with the name and links where they can be found.  This is so we can purchase the items now but if the links expire or change, others in the future may search for these items.
4) If you've seen (or are watching) the AMC television show "The Walking Dead", the scenario should sound familiar to you.
5) Pictures are a good thing.
6) My assumptions are just that. For example, I understand it may be good to have "backup" items and a "central" station may transmit for more than 10% of the time.
7) Have fun. I could have did a general post of "help me build a go-kit" but I thought this was more fun  Cool
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N0ZLD
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2012, 10:58:31 AM »

If my initial post is "weird", perhaps I can change it to something like:

"Hi!  I'm new to QRP and am looking to get started.  What can you recommend for radio, antenna, power, and carrying everything?  I plan to operate SSB on 6-40 meters.  I'd like something that is easy to setup, say, under a half hour.  It should be something I can carry myself.  I plan to bring it camping for the weekend and would like to operate completely "off the grid".  I've done some lurking on the forums here and some research around the 'net and was able to come up with what I believe is a start.  Thanks!"

Let me start with what I'm thinking..

Radio: Elecraft KX3 ($1300 - Tuner/Filter) http://www.elecraft.com/

Mic: Yapster TM-YB100A ($16) http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Stereo-Gaming-Headset-TM-YB100A/dp/B001FY7LBQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1Z8X6077FB3T3&coliid=I26S9RA0LECQWL

Antenna: AlexLoop Walkman ($366) http://www.alexloop.com/

Power supply: CTSolar 32.2W Blue Nylon foldering solar panel ($310) http://www.ctsolar.com/322wbluenylonfoldingsolarpanelourmostpopularpanel.aspx

Battery: Buddipole 4S4P A123 Battery Pack ($285) http://www.buddipole.com/4sa1bapa2.html

Power controller: Buddipole Solar Battery Charge Controller ($45) http://www.buddipole.com/sobaco.html

Pack: Pelican ProGear S145 Sport ($109) http://www.pelicanprogear.com/product/Pelican-ProGear-S145-Sport-Tablet-Backpack/sport-backpacks
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N0SOY
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2012, 06:38:30 PM »

Good list but I would replace the elecraft with 3 MFJ 94xx radios set up for CW and SSB.  One each of 75, 40, and 20 meter bands.  Why  these radios.  Small, lightweight, if one fails you still have other bands. No difficult to find parts and easy to fix. 

Having only one radio in a EOW situation is not a good idea. 

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KE4VVF
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 06:30:55 PM »

Radio: FT-817ND  Because I want UHF and VHF too.

Mic: I'd use the supplied mic because I sure wouldn't want to be wearing a head set in Zombie territory. The whole object is to not be a h'orderve.     I would carry a small single ear bud to keep receive noise to a minimum.

Antenna: AlexLoop or home brew equivalent and 40, 20 and 10m wire dipoles. Dipoles can also be used as a vertical if you have a loop on one end to pull it into a tree.

Power supply: Folding solar panel

Battery: Home brew 10,000 mAh NiMh "D" cell battery pack

Power Controller: Buddipole Solar Battery Charge Controller

Carry Case: Tupperware square cake carrier w/ foam inserts. It's waterproof, light and fits well into a pack. I plan to be running part of the time. Carrying something that doesn't fit in a pack will keep me from using both of my Machetes at the same time.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 05:25:39 AM »

Re:KE4VVF
               Keep in mind Zombies can only see black and white images,so it's prudent to paint all your radio gear flourescent orange,and same for your hunter orange safety clothing which will enable you to walk among them and attack them from the rear with your machetes(also flourescent orange).
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KE4VVF
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 06:58:42 PM »

Re:KE4VVF
               Keep in mind Zombies can only see black and white images,so it's prudent to paint all your radio gear flourescent orange,and same for your hunter orange safety clothing which will enable you to walk among them and attack them from the rear with your machetes(also flourescent orange).

Wow. Thanks.  I was going to paint it all camouflage.  I'll have to get a few spray cans of ANSI Safety Orange.   I bet armor made out of traffic safety cones would work out pretty good too. 
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ZENKI
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 02:00:37 AM »

My rig of choice running off my GE basement  nuclear power plant.

http://sunair-beyond.com/web/hf-power-amplifiers/t-10000a-10-kilowatt-high-power-transmitter-system/

I can take control of the frequency and  trample over all the zombie jammers screaming  5/9 QSL. I will be able to the person where Ooohhhhlaaaa is  and where their pet dog Oohhlaaa is wondering about through all the QRM from those
calling Z1A(zombie 1 America). I will also be able to call Scotty to beam me up.

This transmitter and my Barrett 50 cal should see me through the zombie field day dreaming.
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N0ZLD
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 08:38:25 AM »

Thanks for the replies.  I tried to have fun with the zombie thing but I guess people just don't "get it".  Next time, I'll just post something more normal and boring like, "help me build a go kit".

Cheers
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AC4RD
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 10:19:48 AM »

Some of us probably weren't all that interested because we've found out, over the years, that zombies just don't QSL worth a darn.  And practically none of 'em use LOTW, either.
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 09:43:58 AM »

I was able to make a few QSO's during the event before being turned into a zombie. Strangly enough I awoke the next morning with things back to normal. I do occasionally crave brains though.. Rig was a KX-1 running a couple of watts into a dipole.
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KK5JY
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 11:32:59 AM »

I like many of the options presented.  My "improvements" would include:

Radio: trade the KX3 for two 817's.  Many things are easy to repair (e.g., antennas).  Radios are not.  I would spend the same money as the KX3, but have a backup radio.  You could also use that arrangement with a second antenna to do VHF/UHF simultaneously with HF, but my main concern is what happens when something damages my primary radio.

Antenna: small (3') hand-tuned magnetic loop (aka, "small transmitting loop") with vacuum variable tuning capacitor.  If constructed carefully, you can get good performance on the bands you mentioned, plus you can hide/fit such an antenna anywhere, especially indoors.  Not having an outside antenna while the zombies (and/or hungry neighbors) roam your neighborhood could be a very good thing.  Not having to go outside to adjust/repair the antenna could also be a very good thing.

Since the antenna can be made to resonate at any of the frequencies you mentioned, no tuner is needed.  That's one less piece of equipment for your kit.
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 11:55:02 AM »

Not having an outside antenna while the zombies (and/or hungry neighbors) roam your neighborhood could be a very good thing.  Not having to go outside to adjust/repair the antenna could also be a very good thing.
You really only have to worry about the repair aspect. I've found zombies are generally uninterested in wire/aluminum/rope/etc. Keep some brains in the freezer if you need to go outside to repair the antenna. If your antenna is in the back yard, leave the brains in the front yard dangling from a rope somewhere. That will keep them busy for a few hours while you make repairs.  Grin
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AD6KA
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 11:28:56 PM »

Quote
Radio: Elecraft KX3 ($1300 - Tuner/Filter)
Quote

If you're going to get a proper transceiver,
get a proper headset, not a gamers toy.

It will sound much better (xmit and rcv)
and last a whole lot longer.
Heil been bery, bery good to me:
http://www.heilsound.com/amateur/products/headsets.php
......and after getting a headset, work on your head shots! Grin
Zombies stay down with a double tap to the forehead! Shocked
73, Ken  AD6KA
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VE3VID
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 08:05:21 AM »

$2500 is a 'Fist Full of Dollars'.  Pelican Cases to avoid 'Sudden Impact'  I agree, FT-817 or 'For a few Dollars More' an 857D would allow more 'Absolute Power' in a pinch.  They're both small rigs so you wont need '2 Mules' for the wagon. If you're a 'High Planes Drifter' and go 'Where Eagles Dare' you might use V/UHF.  Zombies can be 'Beguiled' by the bag of brains, but carry some 'Magnum Force' and don't end up in the 'Dead Pool'.  'Any Which Way You Can' get an antenna up is good.  I like 300ohm twin lead folded dipoles, just 'Hang 'em High' to cross the DX 'Bridges'.  Bring a sling shot in case its 'Breezy'.  Its not 'A Perfect World', QRP can be 'Good, Bad & Ugly' on SSB, so don't be 'Unforgiven', possibly consider sound card digital modes.  SignaLink USB will make you 'Misty' when the 'Gauntlet' is down and propagation is 'Changeling'.

Smiley  Vita Invictus
David
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 06:46:08 PM »

VE3VID, love the Eastwood tribute.

N0ZLD, your post is not far-fetched because the planning is realistic.  If somebody wants to really do harm to us, a high altitude EMP burst would damage our power grid and knock out all solid state systems.  Total chaos without firing a single bullet.    A very scary scenario that we should consider, if we intend to plan for such scenarios.

The Pelican case is a MUST HAVE.  Affordable.  Rugged.

You can get MP-1 or Miracle Antenna portable whips that work quite well and are less expensive than the loop for EMCOMM.

Also, some sort of EMP protection should be considered.  I read somewhere that keeping the rig in the dryer would help (no, not joking, somebody actually recommended this on one of the forums regarding EMP.)  Another option is some sort of storage with a metal enclosure.

Sunair radios are amazing stuff, I used those when I was in the military.  Very rugged.

Back to other funny comments:

1. Need heavy ammo for the Barrett to take out several in a single shot...there will be many coming in waves.

2. A kw on 432 with phased yagis from an EME station would do some serious immediate RF damage to a group of them...assuming the generator could handle the load.

3. I HATE trying to work zombie DX, they always forget to operate "split"



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