A good frequency for two-way radio communications is the little-used [amateur] FM radio band on 220 MHz. (See: http://wireless.fcc.gov/220MHz/) Very few scanners cover it–only the most expensive scanners do which most people won’t buy. The reason scanners don’t cover 200 – 300 MHz is because its [mainly] used by the military. For example, the control tower at Moffett Field Naval Air Station is on 301.something MHz.
In my research, I noticed that there are only two repeaters in Idaho that are on 220 and they are both in Boise. Outside of the big cities 220 is hardly used. One exception is the Condor Net (www.condor-connection.org), which covers Nevada, California and Arizona. It is the only repeater network of its kind in the US. And it’s only available on 220MHz. I used 223.480 MHz simplex for many years. The comment from the guys that used [this band] was that it was like their private “intercom” because it was so quiet until someone got on and started talking. The user community on 220 is so small that everyone knows everyone on a first name basis. The range is as good as 2 meters and the noise floor is very low. Sparking electrical equipment does not effect 220 like it does 2 meters. There are still plenty of good radios are around for 220. Kenwood, Icom, Alinco, ADI, Midland and even Cobra made a few.
Right now there are two Midland cyrstal-controlled 220 radios on eBay ready to go. Excellent radios and there are plenty of parts [like custom crystals] available. (Hint, hint) They last forever.
If you are looking for almost secure communications and excellent range, then 220 is the way to go. It is not uncommon to make contacts to Donner Summit [of the Sierra Nevada mountains] with only 25 watts from the [San Francisco] Bay Area. A few 220 radios were made all-mode, including single sideband (SSB) and they are still around and still used. BTW, most of the people who own this scarce variety refuse to part with them. – Fred the Valmet-meister
JWR Replies: I wonder how difficult it would be to set up a dedicated 220 MHz repeater network in the western states, preferably all with net stations that use photovoltaic power. If the infrastructure would be too expensive, perhaps it would be best to just stick to HF .
I think the proposal by David in Israel is like a dream come true for us that are new to the preparation meditation. I would love to be a part of the “frequency” network whether it be in using, or somehow helping out with the development, (albeit mostly inept experience in “radioing”) I for one would feel so much less alone if something were to happen and I knew that I could search for some sort of consortium in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Take Care, and a Sincere Thank You!, – The Wanderer