Radio (Again)

If one more Radio Amateur (Bacon Whoops Ham) tells me the only way to communicate in an emergency is by Ham radio, I’ll scream!
screamFor the 99th million time there are more people in the world with CB and PMR Radio’s than Radio Amateurs!

They may play with CB’s and PMR sets, some may not “know what they are doing”.
Most who own CB sets know how to set one up and how to put up an aerial.


Some CB’ers even know how to make an aerial from wire

Wire AerialsWire Aerials

Some even know how to tune it in i.e. SWR it.


Most PMR sets are even easier with a simple switch on and an inbuilt aerial.

CB’ers may not have pretty call signs and follow “the rules” i.e. the etiquette according to the Radio Amateur handbook.

They may or may not be licensed, but one thing they can all do is use a radio.

So why is it that a few Radio Amateur Bacon (Whoops) hams think they are a cut above the average CB’er, PMR user or freebander!?!

A freebander (if you are not familiar with the term) is just a CB’er with a radio that allows him to stray away from the 40 or 80 channels available in a country and talk on the 11 meter band (calling on 27.555 MHz USB) round the world. Mainly using off the shelf radios and aerials, and always having FUN!

Over the years I’ve scribbled a lot about CB radio and a bit about PMR radio. How it is for the CITIZENS of the world, for you, me, and the others NOT needing to take a special test, who just want to have some basic form of radio communications.

hhcbTry reading CB Set Basics, Radio For Help, Code Calls, Wire Aerials, Communications, Joining wires, Water and Electronics, and Tin Pest.

You need some form of communications in a crisis which (and don’t bite me head off for saying this) is idiot proof, off the shelf, works at 12 volts (car power) or commonly available batteries, is easy to set up and use, doesn’t cost the Earth, pretty “bomb” proof, and potentially has a wide audience.

babyhamAs for calling help? BE REALISTIC.
If you need someone to come and save you it’s no good talking to someone 100’s of miles away as you sit bleeding out.

I’m thinking that’s no more than 10 miles tops.
Why is that?
It’s realistic, doable, and a CB set should cover that distance (terrain and conditions permitting).

So if you only want to talk to other Bacon (Whoops) radio hams (the experts), go and get licensed BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER there are more CB and PMR sets in the world than:-


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4 Responses to Radio (Again)

  1. equippedcat says:

    Radio is radio. Anything you have, which you can use, and most importantly, you can find someone to talk to with, is just fine. The closer that someone is, the more important to be able to communicate.

    I would say FRS (Family Radio Service, no license, low power, fixed antenna) is the most common these days. Many of the radios sold for FRS have GMRS (license required, higher power, no antenna restrictions) capabilities which will likely be employed “illegally” during an emergency;

    There is a lot of CB equipment out there, but much of it seems not to be in use. It is likely some of this will be resurrected in an emergency. There are some business band radios out there, but those probably won’t see widespread use.

    “Short range” ham radios (UHF/VHF voice) are pretty useful at the moment due to the “repeaters” available. I was once driving in New Mexico talking to someone in California on a radio which barely would make it 20 miles under ideal conditions. However, how likely is it that the repeaters will remain on the air during a “disaster”? The only reason to become a ham is because you want to use it now. If you have ham equipment it may or may not be of use to you in SHTF situations.

    “Long range” ham radios (SW voice and Morse Code) are of limited use to you if the SHTF. It may be very helpful to find out about remote conditions, but you can do that with a low cost, no license receiver. It would be polite to let people far away know about conditions around you, but politeness is not one’s primary concern during an emergency. Again, if you want to be a ham and use the equipment now, it may be of use then, but it is not worth the cost or licensing just for “prepping” usage.

    Sorry hams, I am one and also a survivalist, and when things go south, a ham radio will not be my first (GMRS) or even second (CB) grab.

  2. shtfprepper says:

    Some of the hams are just gadget nerds. There is no reasoning with an uber-nerdy gadget geek.

  3. Reblogged this on betterdazefarm and commented:
    Of my many blogging topics, Prepping/Survival topics have been first and foremost on my mind. I stumbled across this post just now, and felt the need to reblog. I may be way off base here, but I think that radios and communication, in general, are one of the most overlooked Prep. I know nothing about Ham radios, other than the basics, certainly couldn’t use one. I can use a CB and would be very interested in learning more (much more) about freebanders.
    This is a great post and really does make you consider your options and seriously think about what you should be doing.

  4. gamegetterII says:

    Use what you’ve got. CB’s and the many family handhelds or walkie -talkie type handhelds will be used by a lot of people because that’s what they have and know how to use.
    In the U.S. almost all truck drivers still use CB’s-that’s a lot of people who will know what conditions are in various locations-which is a good reason to have a CB-or at least a handheld that can tx and rx on CB band.
    I’ll be buying one of the handhelds that can tx and rx on HAM frequencies-who cares about the license in a SHTF situation anyhow?
    Ham is useful because it can and will tx and rx in almost any conditions,here in the U.S. more and more people are getting HAM radios and the required licenses. You can get handheld radios capable of tx and rx on the HAM bands,you can even get ones that are not legal because they don’t comply with FCC rules/regs-the most useful of these would be the ones with removable antennas-as you could hook up to a tower antenna,or set up a military type wire antenna,and be able to set up comms effective for both short and long range.

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