Two Letters Re: Thoughts on SHTF Communications

I feel that any article that brings attention to the need for communications in the future is a very good article! However, Carl really needs to upgrade to a General or higher class license and experience just what some of the HF bands can do for him. How well something like 75 meter phone can cover a very wide area that will put his favored two meters to shame, no matter how “big” the two meter station is. Not to mention really long distance communications with no infrastructure whatsoever on whatever ham band happens to be working at the time.

There are a few radios on the market that are very well suited for doing most all of the things needed for a true “do it all” radio. The Kenwood TS 2000 is such a radio. For much more secure radio communications, the newer 900Mhz digital spread spectrum radios are the thing to have. This is the type that was used by the military a few years ago, And local listeners with scanners will not hear anything when these are operating. (Spread spectrum “spreads” the transmission over the whole band, And the digital breaks the transmission up into thousands of little “bits” ) This type of radio will be secure from all but the higher level government “snoops” who have some fairly sophisticated equipment. I would like to point out the article I wrote for SurvivalBlog some time ago regarding ham radio.

To update that article, The newly available “spread spectrum” radios is about all I could add.

Thanks again to JWR for a great blog site! – Extraman


I really appreciated Carl L.’s well thought-out post on SHTF Communications.  Although we have a licensed UHF business frequency for our retreat, my like minded friend has convinced me to get my Technician licence for communications with him and others through the amateur  repeater system.  I plan on taking the test when I get back from an overseas trip next month.   I would like to point out another part of SHTF communications and that is SIGINT.  A good quality short wave radio is important to hear what is going on around the world and the country.  A wide band scanner is also a very useful tool to obtain raw data from local government sources such as Police, Fire, Sheriff, Highway Patrol, EMS, CAP, etc.  Since our location is remote and surrounded by federal lands, we also have out scanner programmed for all FRS, GRMS and MURS frequencies to detect anyone using these inexpensive radios near us in a SHTF scenario.   I recently purchased a CB radio and base antenna for our radio room.  I view the CB as another tool for SIGINT.  Truck drivers traveling cross country are constantly advising each other of their travels on the CB.  This could prove valuable in a bug out vehicle.    At night, with a good base antenna, you can listen to “skip” transmissions from all over the country.  This could be a very important and an inexpensive method of getting a SIGINT picture of what is happening around the country in a grid down situation since there are so many CB radios around the country, many of them in vehicles.  The radios are inexpensive and storing an extra radio in a Faraday Cage (a steel trashcan with lid) is cheap.   By being a good listener in days of a crisis, valuable intelligence can be gathered to make better decisions.   – P.D.