The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1.)

UHF Business Band Transceivers
This is a more versatile radio than the Midland MXT400 that can access off the beaten path frequencies, and provides much better COMSEC (Communications Security). These can use the same antenna, cable, and adapters detailed for the GMRS transceivers. This type of radio can be programmed per your instructions by BuyTwoWayRadios.com, and the radio is easy to use and rugged. Our choice of frequencies are limited by the radio to the UHF band, and the limits of the antenna that covers only a section of the UHF band. We can also purchase an exclusive license for the private use of a frequency from the FCC using their service:  https://www.buytwowayradios.com/services/radio-licensing.html
UHF Business Band Base Station Transceiver
Icom IC-F6021-51B UHF Base Station Radio (Complete with power supply)
$459.99
UHF Business Band Mobile Transceiver
Icom IC-F6021-51B  (same as base station, but without the power supply)
$299.99
UHF Business Band handhelds and Mobile Business Band Transceivers.
These UHF handhold can be used with a UHF linear amplifier, or we can get a UHF mobile, and base station in your flavor and choice.
Wouxun KG-805G GMRS Two Way Radio
This is the only full 5-watt GMRS radio I can find. It is GMRS repeater capable, a strong point if you have a GMRS repeater in your area.
$79.99
Or,
Olympia P324 Two Way Radio
4 watts maximum. Memory is limited to 32 channels, and it may not be GMRS repeater capable,
yet the price is right so that we can buy replacement radios, or enough radios.
$49.99
BTECH AMP-U25 Amplifier for UHF (400-480MHz), 20-40W Output (2-6W Input), Analog and Digital Modes, Compatible with All Handheld Radios: BTECH, BaoFeng, Kenwood, Yaesu, ICOM, Motorola
$137.89

GMRS and UHF Business Band Frequencies
Frequencies that may be used by these transceivers with power levels, and bandwidth restrictions specified by the FCC, and antennas intended for the GMRS Midland MXT400:
GMRS:
462.55  (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH15
462.575 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH16
462.6   (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH17
462.625 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH18
462.65  (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH19
462.675 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH20
462.7   (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH21
462.725 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH22
*for repeater use verify the tone used by local repeaters, or use the default tone used by many GMRS repeaters that is 141.3)
Business Band frequencies that are off the beaten path, and therefore more secure than GMRS:
Or we can use business band frequencies that are itinerants. However, these are less secure:
464.5 Brown Dot
464.55 Yellow Dot
464.6
464.625
464.65
464.7
464.725
464.75
467.75
467.7625 J Dot
467.775
467.8
467.8125 K Dot
467.825
467.85 Silver Star
467.875 Gold Star
467.9 Red Star
467.925 Blue Star
VHF TRANSCEIVERS
MURS could be your alternative, or contingency:
BTECH MURS-V1, (low power setting is an ideal 0.5 watts, and high is the maximum allowed, 2 watts, 11.5khz unusual bandwidth specified by the FCC.  This radio is in full compliance)
$54.99
As is now widely known, MURS is a license-free radio service, and popular with peppers. The MURS-V1 radio comes fully programed with the 5 license-free MURS channels. Switching between high and low does require getting into the menu. It is not simple I would like, but if it is set on 2 watts, then it can be left there.  Simply turn the radio on and you are in business. And here a rarely discussed secret old school option, a VHF linear amplifier for handhelds.  Attach the BTECH MURS-V1 radio to connectors that come with the linear amplifier, and you’ll have about 20 watts out with a 2 watt input from the handheld.  If low power is selected, then the radio only puts out one 1/2 watt and cannot operate the amplifier. When the amplifier is turned off, leave the handheld attached, and 2 watts with pass through to the antenna.  Using the best cable we can afford, LMR 400, 2 VHF watts on a slim jim would have an ERP of about 3.7 watts. 3.7 watts in many cases should have a range of at least 4 miles up to possible 10 miles on the outside. This could all the range that is needed most of the time.  The unusual bandwidth requirement 11.5mhz specifically for the MURS is transmitted. Select the hi power setting on the radio to operate this amplifier that needs at least 2 watts. Use 50 feet of LMR400 to the slim jim antenna, and ERP would be about 36 watts from the antenna. This would provide the range similar to 2 meter transceiver. Although this is illegal today, during a WROL situation when you are attempting to talk to friends and family risking there lives while providing security, I would not hesitate.  This option is not inexpensive, yet it does provide the simplicity needed for persons who are not comfortable with complex transceivers, and are better served with simple and straightforward equipment.
A handheld that has an output of between 2 and 6 watts can be used with this amplifier, including a Baofeng, or Wouxan that you may already have, as these radios can accept the plug in control cable connect ends provide with the amplifier. Using a radio that transmit with more than 6 watts can damage the amplifier. Instead of having to learn how to run a mobile and a handheld, we only need to learn how to run one radio, and that comes pre-programmed, you may already have become familiar with one radio, and need not learn how to operate another. This flattens the learning curve for all in the household.  And should the radio go bad, simply plug-in another radio.  The amplifier is turn off and one with a push-button switch and no other adjustments are possible. The amplifier also comes with a handset (microphone), so that we need not handle the handheld.
Linear Amplifiers:
BTECH AMP-V25D Amplifier (Supports DMR) VHF (136-174MHz), 20-40W Output (2-6W Input)
$154.89
As a general rule, if I use a low power radio and need the maximum performance, I’d use a very low loss cable such as LMR400, but we could also use RG213 on a shorter runs with similar performance results. BR-400 is the equivalent of LMR400.  40 feet of BR-400 costs about $22.00 less than 40 feet RG213 when purchased through Amazon for $74.00.
Browning BR-400 Coax Cable Custom Length ( price per foot) $1.09 x 50 feet = $54.50
Select desired length in one box, and two PL259 connectors in the other box for an about an additional $4.00 each.
High gain ‘slim jim’ antenna that can be used for MURS radio, and for your scanner, if a MURS radio is not in use.
VHF Public Safety, MURS, Marine, & Scanner Slim Jim Antenna
$48.00 – $52.00
External antenna for a hand held used as a mobile in vehicles:
Tram 1181 antenna
Magnetic Mount for the Tram 1181 antenna.
VHF Business Band Transcievers
Just like with the UHF Business band radio, we can ask buytwowayradios.com to program these radio with our frequencies, or ask them for their suggestions.  I would include MURS if they will do it.  A list will at the bottom of this section.  Again, I must reiterate, that it is illegal to transmit on business band frequencies without a license.  However, I would have those frequencies in my radio for collapse situation, and use the licenses free frequencies, such as MURS.  They might be able to power down this radio to two watts to better bring it into compliance for MURS.  Low power is your friend.  We could also use the Btech MURS-1 or other handhelds designed to comply with all of the technical specification until such a time when these more powerful radios might be needed. To talk to this mobile, if they will not program MURS into it, we might need a second set of handheld that are also VHF business band that are programmed by this outfit.  We will need power supply, a 110VAC to 12VDC transformer to turn this radio into a base station radio.  The same slim jim antenna and cable detailed for the BTECH MURS handheld and linear amplifier can be used for this radio service.
Icom IC-F5011 VHF Mobile Two Way Radio
$269.99
“The Icom IC-F5011 VHF Mobile Transceiver is an up-to-date version of the Icom IC-F121S-51. It is designed for use by small to large business and small to mid-size police and emergency services. The IC-F5011 is a mobile VHF 136-174 MHz radio with 50 watts of power. It is easy to operate and has a rugged and compact design. The F5011 is perfect for those who want a basic, reliable mobile radio.”
Samlex SEC-1223BBM 23 Amp Switching Power Supply with Battery Backup Circuit
“Samlex SEC-1223BBM is a 23 Amp switching power supply with battery backup circuit designed specifically for land mobile radio applications. This high-efficiency, advanced power supply produces clean, reliable power. It’s great for converting mobile two-way radios to base stations.”
$169.99
A power supply is needed to run this 50 watt radio off house power. We could also store and charge a Optima Gel Cell Deep cycle battery under the desk, and keep a 1 amp maintenance charger on the battery. We would then have a power supply that is portable and multi-purpose. It could even be used to start the car.
Sealed and safe for indoor use deep cycle battery
Charger (charges dead batteries where most smart chargers cannot.  This is very useful feature)
VHF/UHF Dual Band Business Band, the Best of Both Worlds
Icom F5061 / F6061 Analog, LTR, IDAS Mobile VHF/UHF Two Way Radio
$480.00  (at the time of this writing, it is out of stock)
The company’s description: “The F5061 / F6061 Mobile Transceiver is designed for use by delivery service, public safety and transportation operators. The F5061 / F6061 is a high-power, multi-mode land mobile radio with 50 watts (VHF version) or 45 watts (UHF version). It offers basic LTR™ /Conventional mode operation for efficient trunking operation without the need for an add-on module.It is also available in IDAS™ for digital operation. With a wide frequency range and large 512 channel capacity with 128 zones, the ICF5061/D / F6061/D is powerful mobile two way radio with maximum flexibility.”
To use this as base station, the power supply can be the same as the power supply option as discussed for the preceding 50 watt radio, and all radios mentioned in the articles not installed in vehicles.
VHF FREQUENCY LIST FOR BUSINESS BAND TRANSCEIVERS
MURS (MULTI-USER RADIO SERVICE)
These are licenses free:
151.82 MURS
151.88 MURS
151.94 MURS
154.57 MURS/Blue Dot
154.6 MURS/Green Dot
VHF BUSINESS BAND (ITINERANTS)
(a license is required)
151.505
151.625 Red Dot
151.64
151.7
151.76
151.955 Purple Dot
158.4
These are found in the now discontinued Motorola RDX series handheld radios.
(A license is required)
(To be continued tomorrow, in Part 3.)



17 Comments

    1. Part 4 and 5, of this 5 part article will get into VHF/UHF antennas. If you have a repeater in your area that is placed on a high mountain top, at say 4,000 to 5,000 feet or higher above the average terrain, it would be possible to talk more than 100 miles using only 4 watts on VHF/UHF.

      It is early this morning, and the wood stove has finally perked the coffee, yet I am still writing. I recall that in part 4 and 5, that it is discussed using a high gain Slim Jim antenna to access a 70cm repeater approximately 80 miles away. This repeater is well above 6,000 feet, and hypothetically could have make a contact 80 miles opposite my location. My record using a 1/4 wave antenna and a Boafeng is nearly 150 miles to a 2 meter repeater in Kellogg, Idaho regularly. 2 Meter propogates much better in undulating terrain. On the other side of that repeater is flatter land. The 2 Meter repeater on Kellogg could have sent the signal another 100 miles opposite my station. We are surrounded by mountains with repeaters here, so the potential to talk far and wide on a lowly Boafeng is not surprising. ”Height is might”, however in a collapse, these repeaters may not be reliable. Most of them so not have solar back up power.

      A hand held would not be powerful enough to push a signal through dense forest, or to deflect or bounce a strong enough over and off rock faces on mountain sides. The Boafeng is a good start, but you’ll need at least one mobile/base station if the repeaters remain operational. As a poor country mouse, I’ve learned early on, that if all I got is an inexpensive low power radio, that best antenna used can make it perform as well as a more powerful radio, and cover an AO (area of operation) adequately. For example, if 10 watts from a mobile transceiver is enough to cover 20 miles in your area, putting a 4 watt hand held on a high gain antenna, such as a ‘slim jim’ or 5/8’s wave whip on a hill over looking a valley that is well above the average terrain, can in some cases almost cover the same size area. If not, use a yagi, a directional antenna that is a 3 or 5 element yagi that would magnify, or focus the radio waves like a flashlight bean toward the target station. These are available at Arrow Antennas, and even on Amazon.

      Mobile radios are need in vehicles because they are mobile, and may travel in areas that are surround by hills. If at all possible, get a mobile. If talking to hand held transceivers, having a mobile as a base station radio is necessary if those on foot could travel behind hills, and through a dense forest.

    1. ant7,
      Seems to me that you are correct. We are already under attack by the Globalist’s who would destroy millions, if not all traditional Americans, and eventually worse, all of God’s Creation. This is putting it mildly. We are going under God’s judgment that we deserve as a nation. Yes, at some point in the future, as a ground war advances toward us, we could be subject to drone strikes. Should we just give up our guns now, and accept mass execution? Nope! Or if you’d prefer….no way!

      Radio communications are vital to resisting the evil that comes our way. My job is to resist this evil with everything I got, and be a witness. Money and comfort are irrelevant. For more than a decade, every waking moment and daily action is focused on resisting this evil, that is so evil, that we cannot fathom the depth of it’s depravity ( or, if it could be a word, ‘evilness’). I would describe this individual as highly motivated. Why are they so motivated? I do have an appreciation of what is headed our way. Welcome to the party. I do hope others appreciate the severity of the situation. 99% do not.

      Joel Skousen, who is at least one order of magnitude smarter, and better informed than I, believes that the Inter Mountain West will the last point in a defense, a ‘hold out’, a last stand in a long term struggle. Previously JWR, over a decade ago, coined the term, and defined on the map, what is now recognized as the American Redoubt, and started the movement and migration. This is why you are here. I also believe what the Bible has to say, that a Remnant of 144,000 if taken literally, verses a figurative interpretation, will only remain in the end. Right now, it looks to me to be a literal number. Although I might be a descendant of the Lost Tribes, I am too old to be apart of the Remnant. In the end, no one gets off this planet alive… No, this is not going to be fun.

      At the moment we are helping others get into a ‘raydio’ that they are comfortable with. Eventually we may discuss techniques that help us to avoid being found, and killed. Low power networks using directional antennas are part of the counter measures that can help us. Near Vertical Skywave propagation would be less reliable, and not a practical answer for most local communications for several reasons. We will learn now, or learn latter, how to operate radio in a safe and secure way, and other means of communication that does not involve ‘radio’. We will need to operate radio in a different way than we do now.

      Amateur radio’s goal is to talk to as many stations as far away as possible, an admirable goal was the charter, to defend the United States of America. My grandfather was early in this effort. With only a 6th grade education, he worked as a liaison between American Telephone and Telegraph, and the Dept of War during WW2. I even found his remarks warning the people of Palatine, IL about the rationing that would occur during the coming war. My father told me that I could be my grandfather’s room mate, because we were so much a like. I’m just a chip off the old block. We are all chips off the old blocks, and so, history rhymes, and we should see our place in it.

      As amateurs, HF is certainly apart of the equation, however a smaller part, and so would be local, and regional land line telephone within the American Redoubt. However,sooner or latter, most important in a possible conflict, would be the kind of “raydio”(as St.Funogas aptly refers), that I have been investigating over the past 10 years, as time and money allowed. It is a way of operating radio that is often the opposite of how Hams operate, in that the goal is to communicate to a particular station without being detected, or found, or understood. The military (the government) has mostly forgotten how to do this using analogue radio, so we must look back into our history, and rediscover it, and use what they no longer fully understand to our advantage. High tech as ruined our military, and recent policy is utterly gutting the talent. We would happily accept their help, and use the low powdered VHF and HF of our grandfather’s time with much better equipment, by using the same basic technique injunction with high tech advantageous or not, that were developed during WW2, and used into the 1980’s. This kind of radio has proven to be effective and is further validated by the fact that it is still used by the Russian military. It is tried and proven and still relevant. This is where we need to go should a tyrannical government subvert the will of the People, and to defend our Bill of Rights.

      Clandestine operation is a skill few process today. Talking across the country in a secure way, is necessary. However it should not be the primary goal for most radio operators. Hams can tie separate communities that are using many forms of radio in their low power networks, with other small networks together, by using 2 Meter, or NVIS propagation (‘short skip’ for the old guys) that does not require repeaters to talk regionally. High tech guys can use digital modes such as PSK65, or FLDigi, while most of us should learn CW that cannot be interpreted by computers. Each person who can operate a radio, a child, or grandpa, can be a node and relay, in a low power network. The more low power radios in operation the better, as it promotes a stronger community, and defense, and is another source of RF (radio frequency, or radio waves) that disperses the risk crossed a network, and regions.
      ,
      In the last chapter, we may be reduced to smoke signals, ‘dead drops’, and light cannons, but for the moment, we can arm, equip, and train each other to resist until the end, with the best we got. In the end, as depicted in the Kevin Costner’s movie, The Postman, the old vet who operates an HF set, can find no station to talk to. Yet they keep him around because he ”knows stuff”. We should in Churchill’s words, “endeavor to endure”, and cram as much between our ears as possible, because in my words, ‘stuff ain’t enough’.

        1. Hi ant7,
          Sorry for the confusion, I was attempting to refer to myself as a third party. Bad form on my part. I tend to get creative when I should be plain speaking. It’s a habit I need to break.

      1. Tunnel Rabbit, Yes, stuff ain’t enough. But the good Lord may send intelligent people my way who do know how to use radio stuff. I’m going to print off all of your advice and keep it. I also have the blog sticks for reference all your articles. Thanks for helping us!!! Blessings, Krissy

        1. Hi Krissy,
          You are doing the right thing. I ain’t no doctor, yet I could supply a doctor or dentist with whom I already do business with in a number of ways in exchange for services. I can start by supplying my own medicine, and perhaps trade precious antibiotics for their help. Building relationships is key. Developing critical skills, such canning, and gardening is easier to develop than getting to know folks that you know you could trust, and they you. Get to know folks by doing business and working with them often. Just knowing the right people could be more important than stuff. As they say, it’s not what you know, but who you know that can make all the difference in life. Bring complimentary skills and knowledge to the table, and there could be a winning combination. Even if you have go out of your way to develop relationships, it needs to be done early. The Lord would choose better friends for us that we would for ourselves. Ask for guidance. It took me the better part of a decade to find the right folks. Please be careful out there….

      2. Excuse me, but what kind of analogue radio is still used by the Russian military?
        Can you give me a brand name and model that can be purchased here?I’m getting lost in the terminology of VHF and HF. Thank you.

        1. Hi KayBee,
          We can’t buy Russian military technology, but we can buy an easy to use CB. That could be a good place to start. I’m sorry about the terminology. The radio guys fault me for being not technical enough. I’m doing my best to talk to several levels in the same audience at the same time. As with anything new, there will terminology associated with it as it is necessary to use words that apply to that subject, even if it is Basket Weaving 101. It can be like learning a new language, and taking a drink out of a fire hose. Please do not sweat the small stuff and the terminology for now, but focus on what is most familiar, and the eventually the brain assimilates to the topic without our conscience effort.

          If CB is a familiar term to your self and all the rest is just too much at the moment, perhaps getting a CB as your first radio is a smart way, and the best choice for you. To compliment the CB radio, you could buy some hand held walki-talkie type radios at Walmart, Kmart, or where ever FRS/GMRS radios are sold, or you could go to this link and buy these radios. These are the least expensive radio at hand and require no programming. They are cheap enough that if you can’t figure them out, it would not be much of a loss. Eventually some you know could help you with them. These different types of radios, the CB and Midlands, compliment each other. For the money, the Midlands gives you two radios and you can use one to talk to the other for practice. There are lots of videos on YouTube on how to use this radio. If you like these get more. Look before you leap, and look up both of these radio’s on YouTube and see which of these is most appealing and start with that choice. Let me know if there is something else I could help with…

          Midland T290VP4 High Powered FRS and GMRS Two Way Radios (a pair of 2 radios)
          Midland, GMRS, pair of hand held radios, maximum 1.5 watt, not repeater capable.
          https://www.buytwowayradios.com/midland-t290vp4.html
          $89.99 (one pair)

          If you’d rather have a CB, this choice is both a hand held and a mobile. It is very easy to install in the car as a mobile, and all the parts needed to do so are included.
          Just plug it into a cigarette lighter outlet in the dash and pop the antenna on the roof. There are also many good videos on how to use this one.

          Midland 75-822 Portable / Mobile 2 in 1 CB Radio
          “Midland is known for its portable radios. Now it takes CB to true portability with the Midland 75-822 Micro Mobile-Portable CB radio! The 75-822 is a 2 in 1 plug and play two way radio that’s a lightweight hand held and a mobile CB all in one powerful package!”
          https://www.buytwowayradios.com/midland-75-822.html
          $99.99
          Reviews as found on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Midland-75-822-Channel-CB-Way-Radio/dp/B00000K2YR/ref=sr_1_16?dchild=1&keywords=anytone+at6666+cb+radio&qid=1611963568&sr=8-16#customerReviews
          A video that best explains this transciever: https://d2y5sgsy8bbmb8.cloudfront.net/v2/be377865-f4de-539d-a7f5-cec9efc64457/ShortForm-Generic-480p-16-9-1409173089793-rpcbe5.mp4

  1. Radios.
    By the third word, my eyes glaze, and you might as well be squeeking chinese… or Martian.

    I cannot explain my incomprehension.
    I see a collection of freqs, and my tiny brains go flat-line.

    “This does that mostly-bad except sometimes-OK but not unlike this but not that other in these conditions except for those conditions but only if this gizmo/event is within such-such miles/nanometers…”
    [ slowly realizes same sentence read twelve times while drool is puddling on lap ]

    I will be in the porch-rocker if anybody needs me.
    [ crickets ]
    [ and that suits me just fine ]

  2. Hello,
    I’m new to this and may really mislead everyone but I can tell all of you, the military has encrypted radios BUT, at a military facility I worked at, the encryption was required to be changed once per month. It was never done because it was too hard.

    The local news listened to all the facility’s radio traffic, waiting to pick up something, which they did on a regular basis.

    I was responsible for folks who had about 60 radios, none were even initially encrypted as the communications group either could not or were too lazy to do it, it took too much time. When I complained nicely, I was treated like an idiot…….everything was fine….probably the same thing the airiines told everyone about hijacking, which had gone on for decades before 9/11, locked doors to the cockpit were too expensive and/or could not be done, too hard. That ended right after 9/11.

    You will be able to listen to many government communications.

    If you ever see someone in the military with the rank of Lt Col or above and their lips are moving………..oh well.

    God Bless you all, I’m sssslllllooooowwwwwlllllyyyyy learning and appreciate the help!

  3. Excellent articles about Shortwave ‘Ham’ Radios by Tunnel Rabbit. Our government is demonstrating, how communications can be controlled and stopped, during this COVID-19 ailment, and the recent 2020 election cycle.

    Censorship is being done by many communication sources. … When did Americans complaining about elections, the government, and the politicians ~ ever face such censorship LIKE WHAT”S OCCURRING NOW, ~ ever before? … When did the 1st Amendment to the Constitution get removed?

    +Plus, the gigantic Energy Disaster in Texas, recently, demonstrates how dependent our society has become on ‘our’ government leaders to act with commonsense.

    We need to support SurvivalBlog. People should copy the information being provided by Tunnel Rabbit. It doesn’t look like things will get better (at least in the near future).

    People need to wisely develop independent avenues of communication, and become more self-sufficient. Look through the advertisers and the recommendations here at SurvivalBlog.

  4. Great article Tunnel Rabbit; I’ve gotten a lot out of your articles on RF communications, and am finally looking to do something with that information!

    You recommend VHF/UHF DUAL BAND BUSINESS BAND, THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS as an option, and it sounds like a dual band radio in a single piece of hardware. However, Icom F5061 and Icom F6061 are two different radios (first one is VHF, the second UHF). Is there a dual band transceiver available that I’m missing?

    If not, would you recommend having both radios? (That seems like a little much.) The freqs you list are all VHF; if you were only going to have one transceiver, would you recommend the F5061 in VHF?

    Thanks!

  5. TunnelRabbit,

    What’s your thoughts and opinions on the Anytone AT-D868UV (or 878, now) and the ConnectSystems CS800D?

    I have both of these, along with some Baofengs and a few blister pack FRS/GMRS radios. Both the D868 and CS800D were under $200 per. They are, as I’m sure you know, are DMR capable. Of course DMR likely won’t be around during TEOTWAWKI.

    What I like about them both is they have plenty of room for groupings and frequencies. In fact, I’ve put in all your Pirate Radio article frequencies in them and several groups of UHF and VHF simplex frequencies. In fact, I’ve named one of my groups PirateRadio in honor of your excellently written article.

    I also have essentially made them a mirror of each other, so if I’m driving and using my CS800D, I have the same groups with the same names and frequencies as I do on my AT868.

    I don’t like they are CCP made, but at the time they fit my budget, have DMR and are dual band and I could never see the benefit of owning 2 radios, 1 for UHF and 1 for VHF.

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