a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck
I completely agree about truck drivers. I learned a long time ago to stay out of the way of the "working man." Give them plenty of room, don't
tailgate, and give them all of the courtesy and respect that you can. When we're on the road driving our little cars and trucks, we're just trying
to get from place to place. On the other hand, when they're driving, they are making their living and doing us the service of delivering virtually
every product that we need to live. Not to mention the fact that they are at the controls of a vehicle the size of a house carrying 40,000 pounds of
cargo. I do have a great deal of respect for them and their profession. And not listening to their inane chatter helps me to maintain that respect.
Actually the brother that I mentioned in my previous post became an over-the-road long-haul truck driver as a second career after he retired from his
first job. He used a 10 meter ham radio rig that was modified for 11 meter cb. I think it had about 250 watts out. That's actually pretty typical
for professional drivers these days. I guess when your daily bread depends on efficient communications, you can push the limits a little bit.
That same brother also got me into Amateur Radio when I was a kid. And that's where I think some of the Ham Radio techniques would come in handy for
what you proposed in your initial post.
Hams have scheds and nets. At pre-arranged times a group of operators will get together on a pre-arranged frequency, or radio repeater, and relay
traffic. There's a protocol for relaying messages from a sender to a recipient. A message can originate at one location and the radio operators
relay the message from station to station until someone near the recipient writes it down and delivers it to them. I can imagine a situation where
hams could take care of long distance message transfer, and then local cb operators could be instrumental in doing local delivery.
For the "leave a message" scenario, a series of net operators could take turns manning their stations and act as receptionists. So when a message
needs to be left for someone, the operator could record the message. When the recipient came online, they can call the operator for a message check
and get the recorded message. That would take some cooperation, but in an SHTF situation the only way we could survive is by cooperating.
CB's are still quite ubiquitous, even if they are not widely used. I have at least 2 functional mobile rigs and a couple of walkie-talkies. Not to
mention a whole box full of mobile rigs that are in need of a "little repair." I was in my neighbor's basement last week when he stumbled across
his rig from many years ago. It was neatly packed in a box, ready to fire up if he needed it.
CB's are nice because they are simple to operate, consume little power, and are relatively easy to repair. They also work quite well for local
communication. I had actually been thinking along the same lines as you with respect to their usage in an SHTF type situation. That's what caught
my eye when I saw your thread title.
I'll have to go back to get the URL for your website and see what you have posted. But it seems completely reasonable to have a an already defined
protocol for use in a real SHTF situation. I think in this case, a protocol that is tailored to a long-term societal breakdown might be somewhat
different than one that is defined for a short-term emergency. For instance, part of the initialization phase might be to collect spare and unused
radios and distribute them to strategic points to enable better network coverage. People with more knowledge and experience could assist in getting
those stations set up and train the new operators. Then you can define operating methodologies that borrow from existing emergency radio service
protocols, while taking into account that the establishment of this network would be much longer term.
Very cool thread and a great idea. I'm surprised that it hadn't been discussed before. Thanks!