The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we focus on a DIY Radio Data Terminal.

A DIY Radio Data Terminal

NC Scout’s latest, over at the great American Partisan site: A DIY Radio Data Terminal On The Cheap. Take the time to read all of it, but here is a pericope:

“First and foremost, in keeping with the basic principles of clandestine radio communications for guerrilla groups, we’ve got to keep our time on the mic short and transmitting power low, and if at all possible, using a directional antenna such as my small UHF Yagi on a simple camera tripod. Transmitting a long message can take some serious time, is susceptible to interference and/or jamming, and also might not be understood on the other end. But most importantly, the largest drawback of using your own voice over the radio is that if a sophisticated opponent is monitoring you, they now have a voice to record and exploit. Students in my Signals Intelligence course have learned exactly how dangerous that can be, creating a massive amount of confusion in a short period of time. After all, exploitation is the primary goal of intelligence- how can I use what I’ve collected against an enemy?

So that points us in the direction of digital communications. For most, one of two things will come to mind here. Either a digital handheld radio, normally a DMR, D-Star or Fusion, or one of the many modes found in a free program called FLDigi. FLDigi is normally thought of only for HF radio, but it has a lot of uses on VHF and UHF as well. And because it gets very little use in these bands, most folks won’t know what it is if/when they hear it. Not only that, with some of the wider band modes available, its transmission time is incredibly fast. A long message, such as a detailed CYRIL report, can be sent in just over four seconds. So if you’re following the other points of a solid communications plan, you’re going to be a hard target to catch.”

Will We Lose The 2-Meter Band?

Reader SOG sent this: No Strong Opposition to 144 – 146 MHz Reallocation Proposal at CEPT Meeting.

Needles, California: A Gun Sanctuary City

Several readers sent this: California town wants to be a sanctuary — for gun owners. Here is how the AP article begins:

“The Old West desert town of Needles, California, is where the beleaguered Joad family crossed the Colorado River into California in John Steinbeck’s classic novel “The Grapes of Wrath” and was a boyhood home to “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz.

These days, Needles is gaining notoriety for another reason. Leaders have declared it a “sanctuary city” for people who believe California’s strict gun laws have encroached too much on their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The City Council in the town of 5,000 that borders Arizona and is a few miles from the southern tip of Nevada last month unanimously declared Needles a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary City.” The vote had no immediate practical impact on how guns are treated in the city. Rather, the Needles city attorney was directed to draw up a resolution asking the California Legislature to allow licensed gun owners in other states to carry their firearms in town.”

Affordable Housing: Meet Amazon’s $18,000 “Lillevilla” House

Reader DSV sent this: Affordable Housing: Meet Amazon’s $18,000 “Lillevilla” House with Free Shipping

Outlawing Encrypted Messaging?

A hat tip to H.L. for spotting this: The Government Wants to OUTLAW Encrypted Messaging in iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, Etc. Here is a quote:

“The encryption challenge, which the government calls “going dark,” was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Senior officials debated whether to ask Congress to effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption, which scrambles data so that only its sender and recipient can read it, these people told POLITICO. Tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have increasingly built end-to-end encryption into their products and software in recent years — billing it as a privacy and security feature but frustrating authorities investigating terrorism, drug trafficking and child pornography.

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. Re. 2-Meter Band
    Question for HAM experts: How would this affect AmRRON, a network of Preppers, Patriots and Redoubters? I believe about half of their local nets use this band.

        1. Just for your information, it’s not just in the northwest, but
          Nation wide local EMS depends on HAM groups to assist them in emergency situations

  2. Re. Amazon’s cabin kit

    This old coot remembers people building their own homes. Built two myself (not to be confused with ‘having one built’). Why do you not see that anymore?

    My advice: Before contemplating the construction of ANY building, subjects should understand their Master’s demands and obtain his permission.

    1. Montana Guy is saying true. Where I live, the cost of building is secondary to the price of open land and labor. Then there are permits, zoning, and taxes.

      Cover all your bases before ordering a cute pre-fab.

      Carry on

  3. A guy in my neighborhood is just about finished with a new house, using Integrated Concrete Forms (ICF) construction with a foot thick reinforced concrete base on the ground floor. The ground floor walls went up in a day or so after the forms were set. And that took about one day per level. IIRC, he left the walls to set for a week between pouring the next floor, which may have been more than needed. He built a concrete safe room on the ground floor as well. My only quibble with his design was he used wooden joists and floors between levels rather than pour concrete floors.

    With properly reinforced ICF, a house should be tornado and hurricane proof, earthquake resistant, and provide ballistic protection from small arms.

    1. We built one basically as you described. Great option. Very energy efficient. Utilities cost about half of our previous house about the same size.utilities will never be cheaper so energy efficiency is a really big deal. Aso makes it much easier to heat with alternative sources. The extra cost was recovered within the first three years of us living here. So from here on out it’s a significant savings every month. Oh and then there’s the ballistic protection…

  4. After reading the 2 meter reallocation, “confiscation” article I was not surprised that it is suggested by the French. Well, I lift my finger to them. I for one will keep on using it until my license / contract with the FCC runs out and they refuse to reissue it. This constitutes a taking under our laws. Sounds like another one sided Paris Climate Accord deal to me. It will of course become a mote point after the SHTF happens. I cannot wait for a French lackey arrives at my door with their odious bureaucratic rules and regulations.

  5. Lest anyone be packing their bags to head to the gun sanctuary city of Needles, CA, note that the high temperature today is expected to be 114° F.

    California makes open carry illegal. It may be a good idea for everyone to carry concealed in Needles. Open carry could result in serious burns to the hand if the gunowner was forced to draw.

  6. Re,2 meter band plan- This is a preliminary proposal to study changes to use in EUROPE!! There is no reason to panic.This is years away if ever.

    In any event if the SHTF we will be using whatever comms we want and will not be worrying about the FCC.

    Pay more attention to learning your HF radios, how to build antennas than some French proposal to study band reallocation.

  7. If within 25 miles of eachother, and terrian is favorable, try using the ground wave from a 160 meter NVIS antenna during the day when D layer absorbs, so there is no skip, long or short. 160 is rarely used, and only used at night. Be where everyone else is not. 160 meters NVIS antenna does not need to be higher than you can reach, and can be run or hung where ever convient. Also, use a BOG to listen (Beverage on the ground.)

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