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Would CB radio be the only way to communicate at long distance in a disaster?

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posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by CASH69
 


Sorry, I don't know how they do it as I am not a Ham radio operator. I am pretty sure there are websites dedication to Ham radio use. There are licensing requirements and that can take awhile (or at least it used to). There may also be requirements that you broadcast a certain amount of time a month. I am thinking back to things I was told about 40 years ago and have no idea what the current requirements are.




posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by kroms33
reply to post by squizzy
 


I googled CB radios and water and didn't come up with a thing.... do you have any links to verify this works?


Here's why. The water is electrically bonded to the earth as an ideal groundplane. With a properly grounded antenna over water, range of a transmitter is dramatically increased.

This idea goes back to James Clerk Maxwell, Tesla and Marconi. See KGO 810 AM Antenna in San Francisco Bay for an example. Because of the ideal water groundplane, you can hear KGO all over the Western US with a simple AM receiver.



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:47 PM
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reply to post by kroms33
 


That was a new one to me too.



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by CASH69
 


Shortwave radio for sure. While ham radio is not as big as it once was, it is still a great system and the units can be shielded from EMPs because many were designed in case of a nuclear attack.


The ham radio licensee base has been growing over the last several years.

And NO, the radios are not “designed” to survive an EMP. Most of the modern units are the same class of electronics as every other piece of commercial electronics you will find. If you look at the front end of the receiver section that would take the brunt of the EMP, you will find that it doesn’t look any different than any other “high end” commercial class radio RF preamp.

Business band two way, and police radios, and other equipment is most likely better designed than what we hams use.

The only place you find worse design is consumer grade “throwaway” stuff. And even the higher end of that market will easily match what a lot of ham equipment in design quality.

Cell phones for example, are pretty well engineered. They operate in an RF dense environment without interference, multiple modulation and encoding systems, and have very strict emissions limits. There is very few ham radios that can match that level of operation. They just operate in a different frequency range, and with different modulation modes.

The only thing that would make a ham radio more EMP resistant than a consumer item is the fact that most ham radio equipment has a metal case. That provides direct shielding. Everything else is totally location, and operator dependent. What type of antenna he has it hooked to. What type of lighting/surge arrestors he has it hooked to. On and on….

If you have a CB with a metal case. A high speed surge arrestor on the antenna. And one on the power cable, then it should be able to handle any EMP just as easily as any ham radio. If you have the mike and antenna disconnected, then it will definitely be fine.



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:48 PM
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I let my ham radio license lapse years ago I was on 2 and 6 meters and had to learn morse code and take 2 tests to receive my Novice and Technicians license. I was talking to my son and said now is the time to go back and get my license again because if everything goes to hell and a hand basket this will be the only long distance communications for civilians in the future. ^Y^



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:50 PM
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reply to post by Chakotay
 


Wow,that blows my mind. I might just have to try that sometime. I guess the more water the better ground plane? I have heard of grounding to a water pipe,and using a homes ground plane wiring.



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by Mr Tranny
 





If you have a CB with a metal case. A high speed surge arrestor on the antenna. And one on the power cable, then it should be able to handle any EMP just as easily as any ham radio. If you have the mike and antenna disconnected, then it will definitely be fine.


Thanks for the advice,i will do that. Oh and how much am i looking at for a power arrestor?
edit on 17-1-2011 by CASH69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Tranny

And in reply to another poster, NO a CB radio will not be fried by a solar flare.


I am not trying to argue this at all, as I stated this stuff is not my forte, but I am always interested in learning. Could you please explain why CB's are not going to be affected? Is it because they operate on early form transistors or vacuum tubes?
edit on 17-1-2011 by OatDelphi because: formatting???



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 11:01 PM
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Yes absolutely a CB would still work, or at least have the best chance to work. That is, vintage tube driven CB gear would for certain.

The only problem is power draw for a base station.

On another note CBs are fairly well sheilded when disconnected and stored properly. And rather than a base station your best bet would be to have a good mobile (cobra / radio shack / superstar) and a couple different connectors. One for hooking up to your car and another with a couple alligator clips (booster cable sort of ends) for hooking up to any power source that provides 12volts @ 5 amps for transmit and/or just 12 volts and 1 amp for receive only.

As noted previously, in the event of solar flares you have a dilemma. Depending on the type that is.
Longer ranges are possible during this time, thousands of miles but it's relatively point to point. If you were in new england you might be able to receive brazil but nothing in the states and countries between. Other times the "skip" / "scatter" /"DX" might be more regional. That seems to be the case early mornings from time to time.

So yes. An extremely valuable asset to have. As for channels, well channel 1/19 are generally trucker / transport channels and channel 9 has always been the emergency channel.

For international traffic, go to channel 38 (lower side band)/27.385 or more official international frequency 27.555 (upper side band). 27.555 requires modifications to a standard CB but found on most if not all 10/11 meter ham sets that also have (SSB/USB/LSB).

Any of the old Radio Shack sidebands or the Cobra 148GTL would be best and most affordable. There's some good Superstar (ss-3900) and Galaxy radios out there, sometimes fairly affordable.

If you get them cheap/used, get a few and store the best ones in a nice steel box / ammo case.

PS: If you ever want to hear how far you can go on a standard AM frequency, check out "the superbowl" aka Channel 6 any time there's a little strange activity in the atmosphere. Those crazy guys in the south sure love their power. Search for "super bowl channel 6 cb" on youtube for a several examples. Also youtube "27.555" / "triple nickel" and "CB 38 LSB skip" for more.
edit on 17-1-2011 by Atlantican because: added superbowl reference



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 11:02 PM
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reply to post by CASH69
 


For a base station, you REALLY need the arrestors, because EMP is a maybe but lightning is a reality


Water pipe grounding is practical and doable. The groundplane, and the antenna length/geometry for the frequency are critical parameters for DX. CB's have big antennas because they are 27 Mhz (low frequency, 11 meters wavelength), cellphones have tiny antennas because they are UHF. The ionosphere reflects best around 40 meters, I think.

And look at Honda RV generators for backup power. They have diesel ones too.
edit on 17-1-2011 by Chakotay because: for the Halibut...



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by OatDelphi

I am not trying to argue this at all, as I stated this stuff is not my forte, but I am always interested in learning. Could you please explain why CB's are not going to be affected? Is it because they operate on early form transistors or vacuum tubes?



A nuclear EMP has a very high frequency component that has a short enough wavelength to induce voltages on electronic components and normal sized antennas. The also have the lower frequency longer duration magnetic variations.

Solar flares on the other hand, will only generate very low frequency magnetic variations. Way to low in frequency to affect a cb’s internal circuitry or induce any current onto any normal sized antenna.

Solar flares will only bug stuff that is very long. Like power lines and phone line.



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 11:14 PM
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reply to post by Mr Tranny
 
Thank you for that info... It never hurts to learn and I assure you it did not fall upon deaf ears.




posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:41 AM
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I just want to reiterate what someone mentioned earlier. In most SHTF situations it will be much more important to know what is going on than to actually be able to transmit. In fact you may not want to risk transmitting at all in many situations. If budget is a concern then my advice is to concentrate on receiving first. Start with a good short wave receiver, a multi-band receiver, good antennas, and a reliable power supply such as a car battery charged by a solar panel. Look for a multi-band receiver or scanner that can receive as much as possible such as:

Local law enforcement and EMS
CB, including LSB, USB
AM
FM
TV audio
All of the Ham bands
FRS, GMRS

I own a couple of radios that cover all of these bands and more. Cost is just a few hundred dollars. Like others have said keep everything unplugged from everything else and it should be ok. For added protection wrap it in a few layers of cooking foil and keep it close to or in the ground.

If you are wondering about my information, for what its worth I design electronics, some for industrial and military applications.

Also, stars for Mr Tranny's posts for his accurate and practical information.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 01:31 AM
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reply to post by squizzy
 


I call bs. Not even possible. I run dual 5 ft whips on my jeep and can get 10 miles untuned. You would have to have high power amplifiers which I doubt you could do it. Besides its illegal to take part in transmissions over 150 miles. But to the op i believe they would be fine to use and im planning on using mine when the time comes.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 01:45 AM
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Originally posted by dainoyfb
I just want to reiterate what someone mentioned earlier. In most SHTF situations it will be much more important to know what is going on than to actually be able to transmit. In fact you may not want to risk transmitting at all in many situations. If budget is a concern then my advice is to concentrate on receiving first. Start with a good short wave receiver, a multi-band receiver, good antennas, and a reliable power supply such as a car battery charged by a solar panel. Look for a multi-band receiver or scanner that can receive as much as possible such as:

Local law enforcement and EMS
CB, including LSB, USB
AM
FM
TV audio
All of the Ham bands
FRS, GMRS

I own a couple of radios that cover all of these bands and more. Cost is just a few hundred dollars. Like others have said keep everything unplugged from everything else and it should be ok. For added protection wrap it in a few layers of cooking foil and keep it close to or in the ground.

If you are wondering about my information, for what its worth I design electronics, some for industrial and military applications.

Also, stars for Mr Tranny's posts for his accurate and practical information.


Also, Stars for your info! [color=gold] * * * * *

I'm NOT an electrical engineer but, they [EE's], as co-workers, have asked if I am degree'd. Nope, I'm not EE.
My background has included board level troubleshooting of the instruments that validate high speed EEPROMs; multiband telecommunications equipment repair (faraday cages of any size for EM protection); etc...

For emphasis:
Those items need to be OFF THE GRID!
Unplugged and separate power source(s) to survive. Multiple power sources available.
Those items will be WELL shielded in a faraday cage. Better safe than sorry.
Don't skimp on quality. Pay as much as you can afford for highest quality. Better safe than sorry.

edit on 1·18·11 by DrMattMaddix because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 06:19 AM
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With a EMP either Solar or man made the CB radio will not work.

A CB radio you buy over the counter has a 4 watt signal output. Which means with a "matched" antena you possible will be able to send/receive about 3 miles normally, ( on a clear channel). On the "Truckers" channel 19 expect half that.

First thing to know about CB radio is that you MUST "match" the antena. This means you "set the SWR's" of the antena. This is done by placing an external meter between the CB and antena, then with the reading you would raise of lower the antena's whip lenght. BEST to have this done by a professional CB tech.

You can add "Power" to the CB by adding an external "Liner" this can be as many watts as you care to push, most range from 250 watts to 1200 watts.

Ask a Trucker for help most know CB's and how they work they will also beable to tell you who is a good CB tech in your area.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 06:41 AM
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reply to post by CASH69
 


CB operates on a frequency which is a bit high for anything other than slightly more than "line of sight". OK sometimes, at night, one can skip a couple of hundred miles but don't count on it. Also the very low power mandated in this band makes matters even worse. Amateur radio can be far superior for several reasons. There is a much wider range of frequencies available and transmitting power allowed is sufficient for inter-continental connections. The business of interference from the sun can usually be countered. Not always though. If space weather is stopping you speaking with someone 2000 miles away it might be remedied by adjusting your transmitting power either up or down or by making a radical change in frequency. The average amateur radio equipment is far superior in quality to anything in the CB market.

The average CB set is very poorly designed. For instance if we are operating on one channel the next channel up or down should not hear our conversation at all. This "slop over" is the rule however, not the exception with CB. Folks, CB radios are pretty much junk but I suppose they are better than nothing. The only real advantage they have is due to their low power. They sometimes can be used effectively when only a couple of other stations are operating nearby.

Don't care to study for a license? Stick with CB.
edit on 18-1-2011 by trailertrash because: typo



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:54 AM
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During solar flae maximum the signal of most CB radios travels further and infact you can speak to someone around the otherside of the globe,so if the sun goes crazy for several days and fries all other electrics,satelites Etc you can rely on a CB radio and antenna.My reason for this is experience,remember the term SKIP...yep occurs only on solar flare maximums,rremember also that as long as the flares window of duration is how long you will get to talk to someone from say hawai .or further.If you have a artificial ionospheric amplifier like HAARP then your hitting the bigtime when it comes..



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by CASH69
 


Smoke signals work best, especially when you can color code them for data.....



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by brokedown
With a EMP either Solar or man made the CB radio will not work.

A CB radio you buy over the counter has a 4 watt signal output. Which means with a "matched" antena you possible will be able to send/receive about 3 miles normally, ( on a clear channel). On the "Truckers" channel 19 expect half that.

First thing to know about CB radio is that you MUST "match" the antena. This means you "set the SWR's" of the antena. This is done by placing an external meter between the CB and antena, then with the reading you would raise of lower the antena's whip lenght. BEST to have this done by a professional CB tech.


3 miles?...... If you are using a wet noodle for an antenna. In flat terrain expect about 10 to 15 miles. In rough terrain, I normally expect 6 to 8 miles.

The only people I have seen with 3 miles of range is people using those worthless base loaded antennas. Word of note, do not buy a base loaded antenna like the K40 or what ever. They are all junk. A flimsy $5 center loaded antenna will blow them away any day of the week. Top loaded or unloaded antennas are the best and that is a simple fact of life.

Easiest way to make a good cb antenna is take two 102 inch long pieces of wire. Hook one to the center conductor of the coax. Hook the other to the shield. Tie a string to the unused end of one of them, and pull it up into a tree. Hit the mic and start talking.



You can add "Power" to the CB by adding an external "Liner" this can be as many watts as you care to push, most range from 250 watts to 1200 watts.


To say that I take a dim view of that statement, would be an understatement. If you want to operate at those power levels get a ham license, get on the ham bands, and operate equipment that won’t pollute the RF bands with hash and spurs for megacycles in every direction.

Operating at those power levels in the cb band with normal junk grade CB amplifiers just destroyed the usability of the band for the legal operators.




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