Communications, cell phone tracking, radios

hi folks. Wow we have lots of work to do. Hard to know where to start. I think Communications should be right up there since without communications, we’d still be writing on cave walls.

We have to break this topic up into subtopics like;

  1. what to do when the internet goes down / power goes out
  2. how to avoid being tracked and traced

without power, cell phone towers will not work. ham radio repeaters will not work (unless they have generator backup, and then for how long?)

as far as being traced, I had heard that if you get an old flip phone you will be safe. This is not true. I have a bunch of old phones I looked up the specs on. Most have GPS on them but even those that don’t can be triangulated based on what towers they are pinging off of. So to really be not tracked, you must ditch the phones all together. Then how do we communicate?

Radios like CB, HAM, VHF and FRS (Family Radio Service) are limited in range and transmissions are completely open to anyone listening. hence why in WWII they used codes transmitted so that even if they were intercepted, the enemy (Bill Gates) cannot figure out what we’re saying.

Discuss…

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I’ve been seeing on Gab that if communications go down, everyone meet at your local library at 9 on Saturday morning. Not so sure that would be a great idea since most libraries that I know of are run by commie libs. I say meet at your local bar on Saturday night!

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ha ha perfect! unless they want you to be jibjabbed at the bar?

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I’m a 30+ year ham radio operator, IT guy, light prepper, general-purpose geek. I’m approaching this in more of a “Boy Scout” Be Prepared sort of mindset, rather than an “the apocalypse is imminent” manner.

Power:
When the power goes out for “normal” reasons (weather-related or other localized infrastructure issue), it is good practice to have backup power, whether in the form of a regular desktop UPS (for short outages) to protect equipment, or, for longer outages, a battery bank with an inverter/charger and/or a generator. Solar panels can be very helpful if your location makes them practical.

I currently use telecom-grade 12V batteries connected together with a 2000W pure-sine inverter/charger, and have wired a few AC circuits in the house through that. I also have my cable-modem and an “emergency” little router connected directly to the 12V DC bus (which will keep us online, if the cable is working) - and Life can continue relatively normally in that configuration. If the outage is long enough, I can start my gas generator to run my HVAC, recharge the battery bank, etc - and then shut it down to resume (quiet) battery-only operations.

In the case where you’re looking to better survive a major abnormal power outage (EMP caused by CME or other), you’d be well-served by keeping a set of emergency electronics in a Faraday cage, which will protect them from the EMP-induced currents. I have a metal trash can for this, which does a pretty good job of shielding the contents from outside EMF. Clearly, in that situation, your available power budget is very low, so you’ll want to focus on what you’ll really need in that situation - communications, food and water. You’ll not want to be in (or near) a major metro area in that case. Low population density will help a great deal, though having friendlies to share responsibilities is critical. It pays to make sure you use your available power as efficiently as possible in general, but especially so when that power is at a premium. When running on battery, every watt must count. Fortunately, there are many ways to be efficient.

Communications:
With whom are you trying to communicate? Who is your “community”? If in a SHTF situation, I’d be focusing on my immediate family, but I’d likely be working to bring together the like-minded - and for me, that would probably involve my church. Consider with whom you’d be allying, with a mind not only on how they’ll help you, but how you’ll help them.

Typical cell phones will not last more than two days on standby, if you take steps to minimize power drain. Cell sites generally don’t have more than about 8 hours of battery. The central mobile switching offices are regularly overwhelmed when power is out, as it is the only communications (phone and internet) the public has when the mains power fails. On 9/11/01, the cellular network was absolutely unusable.

FRS/GMRS radios operate in UHF spectrum, and are generally reliable for a mile or so - though they can go much further if you have line-of-sight.

I strongly recommend you get a ham radio license. It is, by definition, a decentralized communications mechanism, and while it can be overheard and the origin of signals can be triangulated, any communications there are likely to be itinerant, and very hard to track - particularly if you change frequency regularly. Equipment isn’t terribly expensive, and there is a very strong community of hams who like to help other hams. Clubs are everywhere, and are generally very supportive of one another. There are a ton of free resources that can help you study for the license test. One certainly can get equipment and (not legally) transmit without a license, but if you don’t know much about radio and electrical fundamentals, you’ll find they’re not going to work very well, particularly in an emergency.

Centralized systems like ham repeaters will run for a while on battery, and beyond that, many clubs will work to keep those system running through a protracted outage with generator power. Repeaters don’t require a ton of power to operate, given that most of the time, they’re not transmitting. They can provide good local-area coverage, absent cellular and/or internet. Repeaters are mostly for 146MHz and higher bands, though there are a few around 50MHz and 28MHz.

However, ham radio has a very large amount of long-range RF spectrum available. The lower the frequency, the bigger the antenna is needed for efficient transmission, but the more opportunity there is for distant reception, particularly at night. Look at “QRP” operation, and efficient, directional antenna use.

Having a plan is good, but it needs to be adaptable as the landscape, weather and other uncontrolled variables change. What works well for a rancher in Wyoming may not be practical for those who live in an apartment in Chicago, or in a house in suburban Phoenix.

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Oh, and yes, I do advise that you get familiar with how you’ll protect your “community” - both via proficiency with firearms and with first aid. The veneer of civilization is quite thin. If you can’t defend what you have, you’ll lose it - particularly as the less-prepared discover how hard life was before we had reliable electricity!

Buy books, and read them. YouTube videos and Kindle volumes are good learning tools, but a physical book can work perfectly after 20 years, even if it gets wet.

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Synchros

if you wanted to be as stealthy as possible, why would one get a licence? Any licence seems to just lead to more problems IMO.

Having a license keeps you legal as you use the radio during “normal” times. The ham radio community has a lot of preparation-minded people, and a lot of folks who take great pleasure in helping those new to the hobby. It is a valuable resource to help you both now and later.

Having a FCC-issued ham license paints a far smaller target on you than does the background check when purchasing a firearm.

That said, when you’re using your radios and you want to not mention your call sign, that’s your option. In my experience, too many who just buy radios without going through the licensing process end up using them improperly and not getting the desired outcome.

I have a VHF licence from the 70s but haven’t used VHF since 89 or 90. We used it on the boat. In ideal conditions, we could talk to others 40 miles away but the there are no obstructions on the water. I have couple of CBs. I can only get maybe 2 miles out of them in the best of conditions. In town they can’t cut though buildings or even trees. I found those family walkie talkies are likely better than CB. They can reach as far and have lots more frequencies to use so lots less chatter. You can lock down a channel like 17.6 for example, something obscure that the odds of someone scanning every channel and every variant of that channel within your range is very slim.

Some days on CB, I can hear people from all though the US, as far as CA. There’s one guy calls himself Radio Motor Mouth. I think he has a CB shop in California. They must have lots of power behind their units. I can’t transmit for more than couple miles.

Another thought I had was Im sure there’s some way of hacking an FM signal and broadcasting on it, short messages about whats going on in the world. Most people still think it’s about a virus. They do whatever the radio and television tells them. Maybe if they heard something on radio (or tv) that was against the mainstream narrative, they might snap out of their mass psychosis.

In Kazakstahan, the people have overrun the government and the military.

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For shorter range [depending on the terrain, 1/2 to 5 miles] (which could be extended by developing a mesh network) LORA band (433Mhz) is requires no license, transmitter needs very low power output, and this has been and continues to be used for point to point data transmission Also itcan easily be used for SIP or other encrypted voice communications.

What about Satellite Phones?

dunno much about them but apparently they are really expensive.
What we need is a simple texting app. That should not cost 30-50/month.