I would like to comment on all the SHTF and TEOTWAWKI people who are running out getting their amateur radio licenses.
Although I applaud their ability to take a test (but the tech test is 35 questions and I have had children less than 16 take it and pass quickly), I wonder some days WHY they are getting a license to begin with.
IF the SHTF (or maybe better WHEN), there will be absolutely no accountability with people using amateur radio bands; NONE. That will be the last thing on the minds of the alleged authorities.
A CB radio with good linear will get out pretty far. When the bands are right, they might even get out of country. In a TEOTWAWKI, there will be almost no comms because in that type of event, the air will be so clogged with fall out (pulverized rock), radio will not work except for very specific and narrow bands.
2 meter will quickly become point to point (simplex) because the repeaters will run out of power when they kill the power grid to allow things to ‘cook’.
The ONLY way that any radio will be effective is if there is a local coordination of people on specific pre-agreed on frequencies.
The scramblers built into some radios are already programmed into the PTBs computer systems, so that will serve to confuse them for about 5 seconds. Using a real scrambler is VERY illegal in the US and will be tracked to it’s origin quickly (less than 1 hour) if you test it out. That DOES scare the PTB.
People who survive the initial purging and culling will be trying to communicate past the borders; they will be using HF and weak signal (QRP in HAM jargon). They will relocate after every session because the PTB will try and locate them; with drones, that will be very quick.
Allot of Baofeng 5W 2M/70CM radios will be just a huge number of FRS/GMRS radios in the hands of someone who has not clue of programming them. With the repeaters down, there will be allot of people calling for help with a 2 hour battery and getting very ticked off when the battery dies and nobody answers.
Again, the KEY to any use of survivalists would be coordinated frequencies, radio use protocol, battery preservation (especially with HTs). Other than that, a CB radio would be more effective. For those that survive past a few weeks, getting and knowing HOW TO USE a QRP rig will be the people who make good use of the tech and bands. A good QRP rig, power supply (that actual HARD part!), a portable antenna (I use a modified sling shot and a coil of copper braid covered rope), a small transmatch and knowledge of who is listening when and where to get the coms outside of the country. Maybe even a small laptop (palm top, tablet, etc…) to get on PSK (which does not require allot of power to begin with). I have a few contacts in eastern Ukraine; ask them and the survivors of Clinton’t little genocide in Bosnia and those areas.
I have not read your entire communications section; I ran across your site by accident by looking at Pinterest that stated an article for $120 radio rig. Thinking it was a SDR I checked it out; the picture was misleading.
The PTB are not going to be concerned about the “ham shack on a belt” people. They will be VERY concerned about coordinated com plans. They will target as number 1 the mobile QRP users! Getting the truth out will be their top concern for suppression. Their plans will not survive the light of day.
I can write about this for days on end, let me know if you want more prose.
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