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Author Topic: Survival radio  (Read 31022 times)

Posts: 17481

« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2013, 09:16:45 AM »

Quote from: W7ASA

...Elevate this antenna even twenty feet and you VERY SIGNIFICANTLY increase your range over flat terrain...

Modeling suggests that raising an antenna from 5' to 20' gives a 10dB gain over flat ground
at a distance of 10 miles.  That's equivalent to going from 5 watts to 50 watts without
increasing the battery drain.

In practice it can be even more, especially in gently rolling terrain, and that's in addition to
improving the antenna over the standard rubber duck.

When I worked for the Forest Service in Alaska there was one valley where I couldn't
hit the nearest repeater on my HT, so I climbed up a 30' spruce tree.  Still couldn't hit
the repeater (which was behind a ridge) but I could reach the dispatcher's remote base
on simplex - 90 miles away.  That became the daily routine - at the end of the day the
rest of the crew would pack up the equipment while I climbed the tree to call for the
helicopter to pick us up.


As for Zombies, I spray around the house with Deep Woods Zombie Repellant and so far - no zombies. Naturally, I never leave human brains laying around outside after dark where they might attract unwanted attention - that's policy.

I've had good results with "Zom-B B-Gon" in the convenient pump spray bottle.

Posts: 2100

« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2013, 11:00:47 AM »

 An excellent alternative to Zom-B B-Gon (hard to keep in stock) is Garlic based Mace spray which will disrupt the Zombies auto immune system and render them harmless. This is effective on all classes of Zombies with the exception of those whose ethnic origins are from Mediterranean area in which case it would be wise to carry a back up can of chili powder based Mace.

Posts: 376

« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2013, 02:20:24 AM »

Form fits function.  For me, a 'survival radio' is a just in case radio to summon help, but one of the SPOT messaging units will do that quite efficiently. However, ham radio could used for more than to summon help so it makes a better balance of usefulness -v- weight, so let's think about that.
An alternative to a SPOT is a 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon which uses the same Cospas-Sarsat system as EPIRBs and ELTs. The disadvantage of the PLB is that it doesn't start tracking you until your life already is in danger, while the SPOT allows you to let people know your progress on the map and send non-emergency status updates. An advantage of the PLB is that if GPS doesn't work, it can also be located by doppler and homing beacon.

Posts: 510

« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2013, 12:27:18 PM »

If you want a true survivor radio, in my opnion a FT-817 is the way to go. 5w vhf/uhf will get you several 10's of miles. Even more if you can get to high ground. And more still with a portable yagi.

But if you allow yourself HF, a simple wire NVIS antenna will let you get out HUNDREDS OF MILES SIMPLEX even with 5 watts.

Posts: 376

« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2013, 03:09:49 PM »

That again depends on what kind of "surviving" you want to be doing. An FT-817 is after all not water tight, not as miserly on the battery use as it could be, only goes up to about 5 w, and is quite difficult to use. If one needs to talk cross-service (which is allowed in life-and-death situations) it can be freebanded, but it's not as easy as just cutting a single wire inside, and it doesn't have as wide VHF/UHF coverage as many HTs do.

For the "I'm lost and injured in the woods/plains/lake" scenario, something like a PLB is often water proof and some float. They can typically be activated with a couple of coarse motoric actions with one hand, and don't require much skill, concentration or nimbleness to use. Just pull off safety, push button, and wait.

For the "I need to coordinate a complicated rescue effort/anti-zombie resistance" If you've got the money to throw away on a fabulous HF setup, something MIL spec that's reasonably water and shock proof and puts out hundreds of watts with built-in keyboard and efficient digital modes might be the thing. Or a satellite phone.

For a long-range hike in an area without cell coverage, maybe something like a KX3, a SPOT device/PLB and a satellite phone, and solar panels might augment each other nicely.

Posts: 2646


« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2013, 12:44:50 PM »

For personal/life safety for wilderness/hiking/etc... I'd go with PLB. It's light weight and it gets the right people on their way to helping you immediately. Who will be listening for you on VHF/UHF? Will you be able to get a response? As a secondary option... a small lightweight HF QRP rig. With something on 20/40 you can get out day or night. That's fun in general to have if you're hiking. On a few occasions they were used to initiate a rescue

For zombie apocalypse... a KX1. Its light weight, efficent, and gets out with a minimal antenna. Zombies should generally leave you alone as they respect Elecraft.

Posts: 491

« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2013, 06:30:05 PM »

Zombie's -v- Elecraft. 

There USED to be much on the web about The Elecraft Incident that stopped the zombies dead (well you know...) in their tracks.  However, the web has been censored, because NOW I can't find even a single mention of this incident, area 51 and Elvis delivering all those KX1's in a UFO - nothing. I understand that this is the information which Edward Snowden is holding over the NSA as his trump card.

QRP can be powerful is ways we do not yet know ...

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Posts: 500

« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2013, 12:38:15 PM »

Line-of-sight to the other station is what is important on VHF/UHF.  Watts in/ watts out mean little.  If your 5 watt HT doesn't work in a particular area, chances are your 10/ 20/ 55 watt "man-pack"/ mobile won't either.

When I got my license I bought a HT and portable 3 element VHF beam from MFJ.  Twenty years have passed and that 3 element beam is still in use.

Zombies?  I won't go there.

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