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Author Topic: HT go bag set up  (Read 26542 times)

Posts: 88

« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2013, 01:11:53 PM »

Excellent!  Thanks WB6BYU.  This is exactly the kind of technical objective info I was looking for.  I'm thinking a roll up Jpole 2meter and some type of additional 6 meter antenna that I could stash in my bag would give me the kind of reach and capability I'm after.  I appreciate your time and ideas.

Quote from: KJ4SKP

I'm still curious if the hive believes that 2or 6 meters or other would be the best band for SHTF communications and my go bag configuration.  Or perhaps a combination of antenna's?

As is so often the case, the answer is, "it depends..."

Do you want the highest chance of being able to contact someone?  or the maximum
possible distance coverage from a small package?  Over how large of an area are you
assuming you need to communicate?  Are there specific stations you can plan to contact
ahead of time, or are you looking for random contacts with anybody still alive?

Your best chance of contacting somebody is on 2m, simply because there are far
more operators who have 2m equipment than for any other band.  (440 may come close
in some urban areas - it is better for making contacts from inside buildings, but not as
good for distance.)

6m is capable of better coverage, especially in hilly terrain, but antenna efficiency on
an HT is pretty poor.  I remember some folks complaining that their VHF-LO band HTs
couldn't even talk to each other across a field where they could see each other (though
this may well have been because they were trying to talk through a repeater.)  Unless
you are going to connect a full-sized antenna to your HT, range will be rather limited.
And there aren't that many people out there who will be using 6m FM equipment.

For coverage over a wider area, an HF rig is the way to go.  The higher bands are capable
of longer distance communications on low power, but you have to wait longer for them to
be open.  40m, 80m and 160m are good for relatively local contacts, though no one band
will provide 24 hour coverage.  (This also depends on local conditions - we've needed 160m
for Oregon statewide nets after 6pm in the winter in many years, because the skip zone
gets too long on 80m.)  For a single band rig, either 40m or 80m would be a good choice -
80m will give more local contacts within a couple hundred miles, 40m gives longer distances
but may not be open for local work (all depending on the current ionospheric conditions.)
CW will give better results than SSB, assuming that the operator at the other end can copy
code.  And, yes, it is possible to put an HF rig and antenna in a portable Go Kit, though not
as convenient to use one while walking (though folks do - check out the HFPack group.)
My 40m backpacking rig fits in a large pocket, along with the antenna.

So it all comes down to who you want to talk to.  If you're trying to call for medical
assistance or a rescue team, 2m is likely to be your best bet because the folks you
need to talk to aren't too far away.  If you want to get word of an earthquake to the
outside world several hundred miles away, a 40m rig would be a better choice.  For an
event that affects the whole continent, use 20m.

Posts: 2005


« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 02:27:35 PM »

I'm thinking a roll up Jpole 2meter and some type of additional 6 meter antenna that I could stash in my bag would give me the kind of reach and capability I'm after.

Do you think this would be helpful if you were in the Philippines right now? You don't get much more of a SHTF situation than what happened there!

Posts: 97


« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2013, 07:13:14 AM »

I hate to sound negative, but I think 6 meters is a waste of time for emergency operations.  And this hurts, because 6 meters is undoubtedly my favorite band:-)

But, 6 is basically a VHF band that requires an antenna about 3 times as large as an equivalent 2 meter antenna.  It's hard to beat 2m for range, and compatability.  440 is nice, but not as many ops have 440 capable radios...   But, very few ops have 6 meters, the antennas are much larger, and the range is likely less compared to 2m...

If you need more local range than 2m will provide, you likely need to setup a local net operation.  Or, like the other folks were pointing out, move to a low band HF rig.


Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
former K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!

Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
The once and future K9ZF /R no budget Rover
 ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Maili

Posts: 2099

« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2013, 07:42:03 AM »

Re: N0IU  reply #16

I'll tell you what a Filipino ham's next go bag will contain, only WATER and FOOD and a FRS HT in one pocket and the other pocket full of spare batteries. As of today I suspect this set up would be very popular with other family members and non hams also.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 07:52:45 AM by W1JKA » Logged

Posts: 1941

« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2013, 07:32:04 PM »

FRS.  Yes, a nice idea after all else fails except the supply of AA batteries and a few more stumbling points.  More valuable than H2O.  Maybe the hand-crank or Ruskie "shake-light" generators used for flashlights could be jerry-rigged to run FRS HTs or offered as a combo unit.

Then again, which channel?  Aren't there 16 of those?  And, don't forget the PL that might just be turned on by mistake by the unknowing.  A few years ago, a Petition was filed to try to designate FRS channel 1 as a national emergency frequency to no avail.  The FCC wasn't interested and quashed it.

Besides, could a person trapped in a below ground shelter really be heard on such a radio any further than his/their audible shouts for help?

Posts: 2099

« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2013, 04:41:37 AM »

Re: W6EM

Apparently everything else did fail, I also mentioned a pocket full of extra batteries, but I like your idea of one of those crank flashlights being able to some how power any type of HT. Yes 16 channels but no problem for first responders/rescuers to monitor and eventually sort out. As you say, no radio is a cure all, just a possible extra chance for help during/after a disaster such as this. You're right, if you don't know how to use any type of communications device it's useless.
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