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Local Communications and Information

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posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:07 AM
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I hope this hasnt been posted previously, as search results have come up nil on the subject. I've read alot about SHTF communications on this site, all with excellent points and ideas. However I feel like there is a very important aspect being over looked here. Handheld scanners. You can program them to recieve almost any frequency you want. Local Nat. Guard, local power company and phone company communications, local fire dept, rescue services, local, county, and state police frequencies etc. The scanners are usually lightweight, inexpensive and can be picked up nearly anywhere. I'm not 100% sure about this, (correct me if i'm wrong) but to the best of my knowledge the emergency crank radios are going to be relatively useless in the capacity of recieving communications from previously listed agencies. So how will you know whats going on in YOUR back yard? Whats the power company and phone company saying about how long its gonna take to get the power and phone lines back up? Do you have a listing of your important local frequencies? Have you printed a hard copy, or is it just saved on your hard drive? Wont do ya much good on hard drive if the power is out. Maybe a zip or thumb drive back up to upload to a laptop? The web is full of useful sites with a wealth of information on this subject. Just wondering if anyone else has considered this.




posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:33 AM
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My father (an ex-plod and ex-ham-radio enthusiast) once told me that once upon a time it was not illegal to monitor police frequencies, however it was illegal to act on the information monitored.

A popular urban myth tells of one constabulary sending out a fake report of a UFO landing and then waiting at the location to knick anyone who showed up to have a butchers.

Not sure where the law currently stands in U.K. I do know that a few radios available have short wave frequencies and a decent ham "rig" will cover AM/FM/LW/SW and even the mysterious Upper and Lower Side Bands.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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I went through a phase a few years ago of buying various scanners from Maplin and checking out how decent there were and returning them within the month.
(they almost knew me by name in the various stores!)

I found that in the cities you could listen in on Mr Plod using his radios.
In the towns you have less communications traffic. In the urban areas hardly any at all. This was with a hand-held scanner. You'd be scanning through the frequencies but often there'd be not much going on cause the range was less than a mile (maybe a kilometer) for anything interesting going on.

The bigger systems and arials work wonders though I'd expect.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:49 AM
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I would also advise Ham, Citizen Band & GMRS Radios in the US as well as Scanners...

The Ham radios for international info & Scanners would be good for following local info...

I recommend a slightly more expensive Scanner as these are able to monitor some Fed Gov Freqs as well as local Freqs...

Linear Amplifiers for Citizen Band Radios might be good as well for reaching more distant communitys in yer area...

If/when we get a Power/Communication/MSM crisis this will be critical to keep abreast of developments...good & bad...

(Don't forget the batterys and a good aerial antenna as stated above)


[edit on 3/29/2009 by Hx3_1963]



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 08:49 AM
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It depends on where you are and what you want to listen to.

Many agencies are going to digital communications so if you want to listen to them you must get a digital capable scanner. If they use encryption then you are pretty much out of luck.

I am in NYC and some agencies still use plain old analog communications, some use digital trunking, some use all digital. You can get a single scanner to cover all of this as long as they aren't using encryption.

Most of the stuff you hear is normal day to day boring operations. Once in a while you get something interesting. Most sensitive information is not sent over the open channels. They use secure channels or the in car data terminals (which can be monitored, illegal so I won't get into it here....google is your friend). Cell phones and Nextel are also used quite a bit and are pretty much secure.

Some things to keep in mind if you are looking to get a scanner.

1. Do some research and find out what frequencies the different agencies use that you want to monitor. Not all scanners cover all frequencies.

2. Find out what type of signal it is. Analog, trunked, digital, encrypted, FM, AM, SSB, CW. Like I said, if it's encrypted you are out of luck...unless you have an unlimited budget. By unlimited I mean like a government. Of course you could...ahem...acquire... one of their radios if it's that important to you but I would advise against it.

3. Check the laws in your area. I can't comment on the law in other countries, but in the US it's normally legal to listen as long as you don't share or use the information you hear for personal use or gain. In many places it is illegal to have a scanner in a car without a permit... check local laws.

4. After you determine what you want, do your research and read reviews on different scanners that have the specs you need. Not all are created equal. Just because a scanner covers the frequencies you want, it doesn't necessarily receive them very well. Some manufacturers claim wideband coverage but they don't work very well at all frequencies.

5. Many agencies use codes and abbreviations to communicate. Learn then, otherwise you will be wondering what they are talking about.

6. It seems most federal agencies have gone digital and the good stuff is usually encrypted.

7. There are many.....interesting things you can do with a scanner and a PC. Again, google is your friend, though this information is getting harder to find. If you decide to try some of these things make sure you scanner is capable, or easily modified to be capable.


IMO, your best bet is to combine your scanner with some other forms of communication such as ham radio, CB, even GMRS. The agencies only communicate the info necessary. They aren't going to announce what they are doing every ten minutes. If you miss the initial call, you may not know anything at all. If you can talk to other people in your area you have a better chance of getting the whole picture.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by WatchRider
 


Once I didn't even bother buying a radio, I bought some crap speakers for my pc and they picked up the police band, it played havoc when I was on call of duty4.....



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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In the Uk most useful radio networks are now encrypted, A good world band radio is as good as most of us will need, gettting live feed from various news agencies is probably just as good as official bands.
NR



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by WatchRider
I went through a phase a few years ago of buying various scanners from Maplin and checking out how decent there were and returning them within the month.


I think I may just try that one meself
I'm curious to see what I could pick up with one of their wireless-CCTV camera scanners



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by citizen smith

Originally posted by WatchRider
I went through a phase a few years ago of buying various scanners from Maplin and checking out how decent there were and returning them within the month.


I think I may just try that one meself
I'm curious to see what I could pick up with one of their wireless-CCTV camera scanners



Probably a really fuzzy picture of someone looking into a wireless-CCTV scanner...



...from three different angles.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 11:49 AM
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To listen-in on the really good government stuff we've been kicked out of that party for some time now. I think there should be less emphasis here on doing that and more on just being able to gather informationj independent of television and the controlled media outlets. In a true SHTF scenario we all will need local and regional intelligence. Some will be able to be gleaned from non-encrypted public sevice frequencies (not all are digital/encrypted), some from out-of-the-area broadcasts (overseas radio and such) and some from people like us. There will be a limit on what we can and cannot say but having the ability to keep an ear out will be important.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 04:34 AM
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I think everybody preparing for survival should have at least a SW radio reciever. They are cheap as chips.

Should your local radio's stations get taken out, you can listen to those outside your region. From the south eastern Australia I can get many Asian, South American and North American stations.

Not that I can understand that strange english dialect that those Americans use!
Only joking guys I love the acsents you guys have especially the southern, northern states, and those from niew jerwsy. LOL



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