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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

COMMUNICATION ISSUES

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    Posted: January 29 2006 at 4:54pm

Important information on communications during a pandemic.

Internet access.

Walkie Talkies.

Telephone.

Cell Phones.

Text Messaging.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2006 at 10:07am

Hand Crank cell phone charger (for obvious reasons)

Just google it. :) You can get one for about $20 USD.

Here is one site that sells it http://www.soscharger.net/ (I have not purchased from them so I can not endorse this company, I am simply giving an example)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2006 at 5:58am
Self-Powered Radios

You can purchase small portable self-powered radios from Radio
Shack, that you can power-up for 30-minutes with one minute of hand
cranking.

Edited by Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2006 at 6:25am

CB radios are a great way to communicate when everything else fails.  A standard CB signal only travels about 4-8 miles, but mods can be made.

A friend of mine, who turned me on to this site, has done some research regarding converting base stations.  He found ways to enhance the signal across multiple states.

It's not cheap ($500-$700), but it might be a great way to continue this forum.

I, or my friend, will post more detailed info soon for anyone interested.

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wannago Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2006 at 4:18pm
Find a local Ham radio operator as they can communicate worldwide.    I used to be one but let my license lapse .  

There's someone round here as I spotted the antennae.  Must go and say Hi
wannago
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Right now the problem is time.  To get on the really long bands requires an FCC license.  While I'm sure the FCC won't be knocking on our doors during an emergency, we'd not only be clueless but also in the way of the real Hams, who have proven, over and over again to be the backbone of communication in a true crisis.  However, it's not too hard to find CBs that have been modified to also transmit and receive in the 10 meter band, these also have builtin amplifiers boosting them from 4 watts CB to up to 200!  Alot of truckers have been doing this.  The 10 meter band has some distance and is also considered a 'Ham' band.  You could communicate with friends, as well as the outside world.  At your leisure, you could take the 35 question test and do the morse for the FCC to get legitmately on the band, but in the meantime, if H5N1 happens, you've got two-way, both CB and low level Ham for about a $500 investment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wannago Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2006 at 12:27am
Aodhan
A short wave HF receiver would be enough to keep yourself informed.  I'm certainly not advocating getting in the way of real Hams, just if you have one in the neighborhood, they can keep you updated on what's happening worldwide. 

It took me so long to get to 25wpm morse; I can't face it again 
wannago
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Heh.  It's been along time since I took the test (1977) - the FCC does'nt even have me on record anymore.  I talked to a Ham friend of mine and said they do lapse. 

Anyway - after long discussion with said Ham, I've concluded that 2-meter is probably the best way to go for what I'm seeking.  He and most of his Ham friends also maintain 2-meter set-ups.  We live an a suburban system with a heavy 2 meter infrastructure that has a lot of generator backup.

What I'm seeking is not so much the "big news" worldwide - I think I'll get enough of that sensationalist stuff.  I want news from all the towns and stuff within a 30 - 50 mile radius.   The stuff like, "If I leave my house to go to town, what's happening out there?"

Also, for myself and few likeminded friends, we'd like to simplex and not use the repeater system to communicate with each other.

The cost and technology is right - for $400 we can get up and running with a maybe 50 mile radius and airwave connection to many Hams.

The Downside: we can listen, but if we transmit, we're breaking the law until we get our Techniciains licenses, though I doubt we'd be hunted down unless we made nuisances of ourselves somehow.

The Upside: we can install, study ( my guides on the way and I already know Morse, which isn't even required any more for a Technicians), and if there's time, take the test at a local Repeater club.   If we run out of time, we still have a communication system.  

Anyway - that's the current game plan!

 

-The Rock is Gonna Fall on Us - Harry Chapin

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote corky52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2006 at 1:34pm

SAT INTERNET system with phone software!

TV antenna for local stations

SAT RADIO

SAT TV

Cell Phones with walkie talkie feature

Sats will be the last to go down! 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tybaltlives Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2006 at 7:10pm

I got a nice radio (Freeplay Summit) - they are available from many places on the internet but I got mine from 21stCenturyproducts.  I paid about $60-$70 for it. 

I like it because it has a crank generator and a solar panel - plus a normal 110 volt wall charger.  The batteries are NiMh - which are nice and have no charge memory. 

It is also entirely digital with a scan feature.  Many of the cheaper crank radios only have analog tuning - and I think this would be difficult to use.  In the Freeplay, once you have zoned in on the signal you can store it in memory and easily get back to it when you need to. It plays am/fm and shortwave bands.  I think the shortwave feature will be useful if the local radio stations run out of power and stop broadcasting.

For local communication in the immediate neighborhood I have GMRS/FRS radios.  They use AAA batteries - and I have a solar charger for those.   The range is only about a mile, though - even though the advertised range is 10 miles!

-R

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tansau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2006 at 4:15am
For real-time information in an emergency situation, a public frequency
scanner (aka "Police Scanner" or even "NASCAR Scanner") can come in very
handy. In the case of riots, for instance, hearing where dispatch was
sending enforcement units could alert you to the proximity of trouble.

Civil defense, hospitals, sherrif's departments and even utility companies
often transmit over scannable frequencies, potentially giving you a wealth
of raw information unfiltered by mass media.

Before you purchase, however, you'll want to search out your local
frequencies and transmission types, and make sure you get a scanner
that can actually pick up your local area. Large urban areas are now using
"trunking" technology that requires much more expensive units. Rural
areas often use more standard frequencies that can be scanned by units
in the under US$100 range.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Enumclaw,WA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2006 at 5:21am
The VHF radio in my boat travels a long way and can talk to Coast Guard and some police too. Gets weather and can talk to other people. It's parked in my driveway. So it is handy. Under $250.00 for complete set up. Doesn't have to be in a boat either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mississipp Mama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2006 at 7:36pm
Hi Enumclaw, I am intrested in the VFH radio,  I would love to be able to talk to other people during any crisis.  Is this  complicated to set up and operate?  In your opinion where would be the best place to set one up.  Does it have to be outside or could I put it in the house?  You can tell I don't know much about this system.  Do you talk to strangers or do you have friends that have one too?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2006 at 8:31pm

Hi MM,

Bannor and I just recently set up VHF transceivers (2-meter HAM) on both ends... it works.  We can communicate no matter what happens.  We can also here a lot of what's happening in our area.

If you're interested, I or Bannor can give more detailed instructions.  Each setup ran about $500 (radio, AC power supply, 100' cable, antenna and mount).

You should get a license.  Not that difficult.  We're in the process but wanted to set up the radios first to make sure we could communicate.  For now we just listen... soon we will be able transmit legally.

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2006 at 9:05pm

WOW Spoon!!! 

Could I ask you to post the information??? Pretty please!!!!

I think it would be something to consider, but I readily admit, I'm clueless.  I think I will also scrounge the bookstore for a good For Dummies type of book.  $500.00 is doable, I didn't realize it could be done so reasonably.

Debi

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Enumclaw,WA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2006 at 4:19am
Mississipp Mama,
The one in my boat runs on 12V. Solar panels to recharge batteries. Yes it could be set up Inside the house. nNot hard to set up either. You would need 12V power supply. Antenae would have to be outside is all. You could talk to friends if they are close enough. Otherwise strangers. But you could see how other people are coping.Check out boaterworld online. Then you would be able to see prices.
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Originally posted by SophiaZoe SophiaZoe wrote:

Could I ask you to post the information??? Pretty please!!!!

I got everything we needed at Ham Radio Outlet:

http://www.hamradio.com/ 

Spoon and I are 14 miles apart and we can talk loud and clear at 5 watts.   It can transmit up to 75 wattts. The radio has at least 3 national weather channels and also receives in the 150-159 range where most police and emergency services are, so it is also good to 'monitor the pulse' of the community.  2 meter radios also make alot of use of "repeaters", which though you need a license to transmit on, you can monitor easily.  That allows people from further away than your radios range to communicate with you and you with them.  Since it is mostly a "local" type radio, your reception and transmit without the reapeater appears, by all accounts, to be up to 75 miles. (!!!)  Besides being able to talk to Spoon, we want to be able to hear what's happening 5 - 10 miles away - I'm sure the News will tell us what's happening in the cities...or at least as much as we need to know.

  • ICOM V8000
  • Diamond F-22A Antenna (10 ft)
  • 100 Ft low Loss Coax ( you may need/want less)
  • 12 volt "clean" power supply (for 110v use - radio is 12v)

Order these:

  • IC-V8000        &nbs p;    209.95  ($20 mail rebate your end cost $189.95)
  • F-22A         & nbsp;         & nbsp; 99.95     
  • CXP1318FC100      98.95
  • SEC1223          ;        99.95   

You will need a 5 ft or 10 ft mast from Radio Shack, as well as a 4, 6 or 8 inch mounting bracket for the mast.  Assembly is very easy, as is mounting, Spoon and I each had ours up in about an hour.  His was a little harder because of the hieght of his chimney.  I needed a 10ft mast, but I could stand to mount mine.  He could probably upload more pictures of the radio, etc.  I'll attach one of my antenna.  
 
There is a book "Now You're Talkin!".  I got it via the arrl's website http://www.arrl.org/catalog/lm/ (sorry, Spoon - I had thought Amazon, but now that you made me look up all the other data - I found it here.)  Amazon has it and truthfully, you'll probably get it faster from them.  According to them it takes about 2 weeks to get listed by the FCC on their web page after you take the exam and that's when you're legal to transmit.  It'd be nice, prior to the SHTF to do so, and during also.
The book also talks a lot about 'simplex' communication (person to person) and 'duplex' (repeater) operation.   The ARRL home page off that link has a ton of radio info.
 

Spoon gave me a repeater link,
http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/, but we won't/can't really get on them until after being licensed...to do so both before or during SHTF would probably actually get those guys out and about to find us - (believe it our not, that's a ham thing anyway - contests to find transmitters dumped off someplace and whoever finds it wins).   So, I don't really want to be "on the radar" until legal, though I don't think talking simplex with Spoon would cause any problems if we stayed out of the way and didn't jam up any repeaters...so it will be good to know where the repeaters are in your area, so you don't step on them.

 
Also, check around for local "repeater" clubs as they are known....they will be the folks we'll be getting our news from and are emergency minded folks...chances are, if there is anybody in your community that might be liked minded it'd be them.
 
Of course.....I will still be sort of shuffling and very non-committal in my personal conversation.

I don't know how well these pictures will come out...ah...I see...cool..

          

            

Interestingly enough, we have needed to do a ton of work on the side of our house for several years and have been mucking about with contractors and architects...now we're glad we didn't....nothing of interest here folks....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mississipp Mama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2006 at 9:34pm
  Thanks for the infor Spoon. I am very intrested in this set up .  Please post it.  How do i go about getting a license?  Who should I contact?  What are the chances of a strong wind blowing this systen down.  I guess you just put it back up right.  Thanks guys.
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Originally posted by Mississipp Mama Mississipp Mama wrote:

  Thanks for the infor Spoon. I am very intrested in this set up .  Please post it.  How do i go about getting a license?  Who should I contact?  What are the chances of a strong wind blowing this systen down.  I guess you just put it back up right.  Thanks guys.

 

Just look one post up, Momma.  That's the setup that I scored for Spoon and I.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2006 at 8:41am
I wonder how people will know when it is safe to go out if there is no telephone service or electricity?  I live out in the country and I don't have any close neighbors. 
Angel
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