The Modern Breadcrumb Trail, by BowtiedPartisan

Introduction Modern life in a First World country is fantastic. Access to everything you need. What’s even more beneficial, is having a computer in your pocket. That’s right, your smartphone, it’s a computer and a radio transceiver. It can communicate with almost anyone in the world via radio waves and the Internet. All it needs to do is reach a cell phone tower. Let’s focus on a few aspects of this though, what the cell phone was originally created for, and what it has replaced. It plays a part in understanding your reliance on this device. Cellphones were primarily created …




The Prepper Potential of an Old Cell Phone, by Mr. Zipph

Over the years, I have read many articles on communications in a grid-down situation. Those articles typically focus on using ham radios or CB radios to communicate with other like-minded folks in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. I have also read articles focused on the importance of gathering and accessing important information that you would need if the Schumer hiints the fan (TSHTF). These articles typically discuss the importance of having hard-copy books and printed planning information, contact information, and other important information that would be valuable to have. I first suggested the importance of a cell phone in preparedness efforts in …




Making a Simplex Voice Channel Plan, by Don Shift

The average person who gets a Baofeng radio will have no idea how to tune in when they turn it on and see an input like 445.000 staring back at them. Pushing the buttons to blindly tune the frequencies up or down doesn’t work like a CB radio, car stereo, or marine radio. You can’t just pick a frequency at random and start using it. First, there will probably be no one to talk to. Second, you could be transmitting on a frequency or in a mode that is prohibited. My pre-ham radio experience was with VHF law enforcement radios; …




Mitigating the Drone/RDF Threat – Part 3, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.) A Low Cost, and Simple-to-Operate Simplex Repeater We can use a simplex repeater such as the Argent Data Systems ADS-1 Simplex Repeater. This is essentially a sophisticated digital voice recorder that is superior in quality to the Surecom, and other cheap Chinese renditions. We must have a reliable system especially when it is relatively difficult to access and a linchpin in importance. Using a simplex repeater in conjunction with a cross-band repeater can confuse the RDF analysis further. This ‘repeater’, is actually a digital voice recorder that provides many useful functions. For …




Mitigating the Drone/RDF Threat – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1.) Down and Dirty, Remotely Controlled Transceivers Armed with the axiom that if something is ‘stupid, but works, then it is not stupid’, we can become creative. In the most austere environments where field expedient and unconventional means are the only means, I should mention that a Citizen’s Band (CB) radio with a Public Address (P.A.) function, or a hard wire intercom can also be used with the VOX feature of a transceiver to cause it to transmit. Using these means, we can transmit remotely, yet we can only receive via a transceiver located at the base …




Mitigating the Drone/RDF Threat – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

Introduction This is an extension to my recent SurvivaBlog article titled Advanced Field Telephone Techniques, yet it examines and details the topic in the context of a specific threat. It often pays to reiterate and reinforce. While partly an intellectual pursuit, this discussion is grounded in decades of real world experience, sans actual battlefield experience, or military training. With this disclaimer stated, we can rest assured because the method of remotely operating transceivers via field phones was once SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for U.S. military forces. It is well-proven on the battlefield as method of avoiding RDF, and subsequent direct …




Advanced Field Telephone Techniques – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

Remotely Operating Transceivers Via Field Phones If one could potentially be DFed, then we should operate a transceiver remotely, and should do for this purpose at a distance of no less than 500 meters away from a base station. 500 meters was once the standard for an adequately small enough area that was considered as a good ‘fix’ on a location identified by using radio direction-finding techniques in the 1990s. It was an area size small enough for an effective artillery bombardment.  Drones can be used to pinpoint a location, yet there can be user error.  There are ways to …




Advanced Field Telephone Techniques – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

The odds of survival for those attempting to defend themselves in a Mad Max kind of world, or less dangerous environment, are higher if we have a solid communications plan.  The amount of time and effort applied to establishing easy-to-use, and redundant communications is a critical investment that could pay dividends in many ways. As always, I’d rather have too much of a critically essential, rather than not enough. And surprisingly, the cost could be less than that of an HF transceiver.  I could do without an HF transceiver as those whom are closest in proximity will be far more …




What’s in the Rest of My Bags and Why – Part 1, by D.D. in Arizona

I suppose this is more of a continuation of the first article link that I submitted to SurvivalBlog and that was posted back in March of 2013: What’s In My 72 Hour Bag (and why). I was surprised to see over 400,000 downloads from my website and I got more than a few e-mailed comments. Some Background: In 2011, I started carrying a 5.11 satchel with a Glock inside since I obtained a CCW permit in Colorado. Over the years that messenger bag turned into an intermediate between my EDC key ring and my 72-hour bag. But recently, while in …




A Retreat Locale Selection Criteria Update

When I launched SurvivalBlog in 2005, I summarized my criteria for selecting retreat locales in a series of articles. Soon after, I evaluated 19 western states, for their retreat potential. I later put that data in a SurvivalBlog static page: Recommended Retreat Areas. This article serves as a 2022 update to that page. Some Things Don’t Change A lot has changed in the intervening 17 years, but some ground truths and some key trends haven’t changed at all: The tendencies of governments haven’t changed. They’ve only grown a bit bolder and their tools for surveillance of the citizenry have become …




Semi-Secure Digital Communications for Civilians, by R.T.D.

In times of emergency, many American citizens have found both amateur radio and FRS/GMRS radios very useful to keeping in touch with friends and family as well as keeping local, state, and federal disaster response agencies up-to-date with the latest information on road conditions and disaster area damages. All of those radio communications are made entirely in the clear as there is no need for encryption, obfuscation, or brevity codes for such work. It’s done as a public service to assist others in times of natural or man-made disasters and just part of being a good neighbor. But just how …




Ham Public Service Communications, by Reltney McFee

Amateur Radio Operators (“hams”) have a tradition of public service. Indeed, the FCC rules, section 97.1 (a) states one of the purposes of Amateur Radio is: “Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.” Commonly, that public service is rather mundane, providing communication support for, by way of examples, the Boston Marathon, Michigan’s Consumer’s Energy AuSable Canoe Marathon, and the annual Marine Corps Marathon which starts and ends in Arlington, Virginia. Commonly, hams interact with other, non-ham folks, as in the AuSable …




Building a EWB/UHF Yagi – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

Introduction The focus in my recent SurvivalBlog articles has been to promote communication methods, means, and technical solutions, that are easy to implement at the community level. The grassroots is where this counts most, and where it is needed most, as we will likely be on our own, and forced to be as self-sufficient as possible. In a worst-case catastrophe that we might anticipate, there will be no disaster relief agencies to assist us. Without communications of some sort, we’ve got nothing. Communications, even if limited, enable those who can to provide assistance, a local barter economy, and can be …




MURS Dakota Alert IR Sensors and Antennas – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) a Radio Survey Performing a radio survey of the area first is a necessary step before purchasing or fabricating the appropriate antennas. You might find that no directional antennas will be necessary, the cost reduced, and the remaining budget used to purchase additional sensors.  The range of any transmitter is in the end limited by or enhanced by the surrounding terrain. Given that very low power transmitters are being used, the 1 watt transmitted by these sensors, versus the 5 watts of a handheld transceiver, the challenge is greater. Having favorable terrain …




MURS Dakota Alert IR Sensors and Antennas – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

The case for using directional antennas to contain signals within an area of operations (AO), has hopefully been adequately made in my previous SurvivalBlog articles. Today, I will describe how directional and omnidirectional antennas can be used with MURS Dakota Alert Sensors. With the advent of HF equipment that can now be operated on very low power, there has been a growth in interest among some Amateur radio operators in QRP (low power).  It is a style of HF (High Frequency, a.k.a. shortwave) radio that challenges operators to communicate very long distances using only very low powered transmitters.  This style …