Preparedness Notes for Sunday — December 27, 2020

On this day in 1979, in an attempt to stabilize the turbulent political situation in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union sent 75,000 troops to enforce the installation of Babrak Karmal as the new leader of the nation. The new government and the imposing Soviet presence, however, had little success in putting down anti-government rebels. Thus began nearly 10 years of an agonizing, destructive, and ultimately fruitless Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan. It was death by a thousand cuts.

I will be back at the Rawles Ranch in seven days, so I’ve resumed taking orders at Elk Creek Company, with a speclal New Year Sale on most of our rifle inventory. Mailing of new orders will begin the day after my return.  Thanks for your patience.

Today we present a guest article written by a SurvivalBlog reader. At just under 1,000 words, it was too short for consideration in the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest.

I encourage readers to share their knowledge and write articles for SurvivalBlog. You’ll both add to the readership’s collective readiness and you’ll put yourself in the competition to win some great prizes. Is it worth it? Just ask any of the more than 270 people who have been awarded any of the top three prizes. I’m sure that they’d tell you that they were delighted when they received their prizes.

Round 92 ends on January 31, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Great Britain, Russia, and the United States aided by GB have all spend time and fortunes their. To what end? Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans and let them live their medieval lives they way they want to. They are ungovernable in the western sense.

  2. USSR – almost 10 years in Afghanistan…
    USovietSA – 19 years in Afghanistan…
    The problem is that Islam is like Communism – they want the whole world…

  3. Attention Radio heads

    In a comparison with a slim jim antenna, this is a good demonstration of an easy to build 2 meter yagi in action. This design is popular with Amateur Radio for fox hunting exercises (direction finding), and so, is a well proven design that has a very high front to back ratio, meaning most of the power goes out the front, and it has a null in the back side, also useful for DF.

    Attention Radio Heads, Part 2. The OWA 6 element yagi.

    This is my favorite yagi design because it a tighter beam width, more gain, and has an impressive bandwidth that is much more than the 3 element yagi build discussed. It is not as portable however. I use 3/8” diameter aluminum tubing, however I will attempt to increase the bandwidth in the next build using 1/2” aluminum tent poles. I expect only modest improvement. This is a relatively easy to build because it too is a direct connect, essentially a simple dipole, and no matching device is needed.

    1. Attention Radio Heads, Part 3, the Slim Jim antenna.

      Here is a good demonstration and documented test result of the excellent Slim Jim antenna, my favorite. I find that my 1/2” copper pipe slim jims have a much broader bandwidth, typically 144 to 153 Mhz, than the 450 ohm ladder line variety. Indeed, using 3/4” copper pipe for 70 cm slim jim, it is good forl 430 to 470mhz. I believe my Slim Jims have a 2 Mhz broader bandwidth than my J-poles made of the same diameter materials. I also believe that these antennas will have a lower take of angle resulting in improved performance the higher that they are mounted. The test results shared in this video validate the claim that these antenna have a 3Dbd gain. In other words, these antenna double the out put of the radio, if no line loss is deducted.

    2. Copper Pipe Slim Jims.

      This is just as I build, however I intentionally tune them so that they can be used on as many different radio services as possible. A 2:1 SWR is acceptable, and because these antennas are consistent in that once the antenna is made, it maintains a stable SWR, I tune mine with center frequency of 148 Mhz instead of 146 Mhz that is for the 2 meter band only. This allows the antenna to transmit on the 2 meter and public service band, and Murs 1,2 and 3. Because the price of these antenna is reasonable, it is actually easier to buy than build. However, it is best to get an SWR meter and learn how to make a variety of antenna and how to repair antennas.

      Here is a slim jim for 2 meters. Copper pipe slim jims are very durable and excellent performers, and no ground plane is needed. The high gain of 3Dbd is impressive and double the out put of standard 1/4 wave antenna. If there were little line loss involved, a 4 watt Boafeng would have an Estimated Radiated Power of almost 8 watts.

      1. My pleasure to be of assistance. You may like this option as well.

        Here is one of many instructional videos on how to make your own $10.00, portable 2 meter tape measure yagi that can be used for a patrol, or direction finding or how you see fit….

        We can send this out with a patrol should they need to check in during a commo ‘window’. Mine is made for the MURS frequencies, is painted OD green, and folds up small enough to fit inside a bag that can be strapped onto a pack.

        Of course you will also need a $53.00 SWR meter to check and fine tune the antenna. This inexpensive meter could prove to be invaluable in that one can make more antennas, and repair existing antennas. It is a must have in my book.

        Or you can buy a professionally made 2 meter yagi at Arrow Antennas for $79.00. However, it does not conveniently fold up into a portable package that can be carried by a patrol. It might be better to get this type of yagi with 5 elements in a UHF frequency, that is third the size, but it could still get damaged on the trail.

  4. What up with Nashville?

    Looking around for information and so far not much.

    So far it is reported as a suicide bombing. The AT&T facility is suspected of being an NSA hub for monitoring telecommunications and perhaps about to be used to analyze Dominion voting machines. People appear to have been warned away and the time appears to have been chosen to minimize casualties. There is some speculation that it may have been a missile strike and not a bomb. Some report hearing gun fire prior to the explosion.

    While a suicidal person is apt to do anything, I find parking your motor home in a populated area, WARNING people off and then blowing it up rather odd. It would seem that if this really was a suicide, the bomber was still trying to damage that particular location on the way out. And it is reported that the warnings were a mechanized voice so who knows if the person was alive when the bomb went off?

    Is this a significant event or just random? Anyone have a good source of more information? And hopefully one that is not a 3 hour video with the pertinent information 2 hours and 45 minutes in. I don’t have time to watch videos especially the big long ones.

    Is this the start of something bigger yet?

    1. A question I thought about this morning is: We see a lot of pictures of that area impacted in Nashville, but the majority of the pictures I have seen are not showing the AT&T building. Why is that? I think I have seen one picture. All other pictures are framed in order to not show AT&T’s property. Anyone else notice this?

      1. This is the best source I have seen so far.

        I don’t know if the link will work for everyone or not. I have a subscription but some of their content is open to anyone. It is rather random.

        I cannot tell what the photo is of in this article.

        I find the attack on the AT&T hub interesting on a personal level. In my nearest big city there is a big telecommunications hub run by an old shipmate of mine. When fiber was up and coming, reportedly someone or some companies were running huge fiber trunks through various cities. Some enterprising person (retired Army officer I think) saw a business opportunity and got a group together to purchase a hotel on the street where the main trunks ran in town. Over time the trunk was routed to the upper stories of the hotel to a massive high reliability switching center where various carriers and I presume others can lease fiber back and forth pretty much in real time. I guess it is pretty big business.

        Where it gets interesting for me is that the place is largely run by retired submariners like myself. They actually use this fact as a selling point to customers. If the guys running it could keep submarines running reliably under water they can keep your data flowing as well. It was on their web site. Don’t know if it still is.

        What now occurs to me that never occurred to me before was that all those guys also had a minimum of Secret security clearances while in the Navy because all submariners do. Perhaps TS for some. Might not have anything to do with anything. Or it might if some alphabet soup agency is also a customer which also never occurred to me till now.

    2. All your points are good. Agree. Highly suspicious. It does not look like a suicide. Evidence about the imaginary victim was also too readily available. Automated voice warning is not consistent . If the supposed suicide victim did not wish to harm anyone else, they would have not done it in the middle of a city. He was used as a ‘patsy’.

    3. My two cents worth, and I am not an expert, is that this was not a “terrorist” attack. There is nothing there that is significant on a national level such as cultural/historic, financial or strategic and casualties were purposefully limited. This explosion had a specific reason. That reason may be as simple as trying to distract the masses from the election fraud or the Biden scandal. Whatever the case, I don’t think we’ll ever be told the truth.

  5. Although I do not trust Pence, it is possible that he might side with Trump, and perhaps only because he would violate his oath, and could be latter arrested by Trump, should Trump be forced to invoke the Insurrection Act. Here is a video that details the situation, and I agree, this could be the reason Trump wants a huge crowd in D.C. for the occasion.

    Video by Bill Still.
    Only Pence Can Pull the Emergency Brake!!!, 3424
    6,573 views•Dec 27, 2020

  6. Be Forewarned – As our world turns, a look to the future. Could be speculation, hypothetical, conspiracy theory, total nonsense, what have you. Is it a possible roadmap to our future? Not that long and pretty interesting. After a listen I think most with any sense of history will admit, that due to past, and very recent past events that have unfolded, none of what is stated is out of the realm of possibilities or merely “fiction”… You decide! But I could not in good conscience let it pass without at least offering it to fellow patriots & freedom lovers, wherever they may be and whomever they are.

  7. Re: the Nashville bombing effects. Won’t delve into the event itself but have a young relative in the affected area. One parent out of town, rest of the family at home under quarantine due to Covid, and completely reliant on the cell/internet system for communications. Few neighbors around since it was the holiday. No capability to even call 911 if it was necessary. No comms with family or friends on Christmas and worse, didn’t even know the bombing happened.

    NEVER forego redundant comms. Plain old telephone service is mostly independent, at least locally, from the rest of the infrastructure. Pay for the ancient wire telephone service. You never know when you’ll need it. If you do odds are it will be working longer than the internet and cell system will be in an emergency.

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