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When Cell Towers Cease Functioning

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posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 06:25 PM
Thanks very much for all the great info

posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 08:45 PM
I have a CB in my truck, the wife's van & our RV. I also talked the whole family into installing them
in their vehicles and we did so pretty cheaply. (thanks eBay)

Remember though. If something happens that the cell towers are out then the repeaters may be also. I wouldn't rely on them working.
edit on 24-3-2011 by mwood because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 09:07 PM
The op has a very good point here and some should take heed. I have talked very long ranges with just such a set-up as the op describes especially in ssb mode.

Now quality cb stuff is not cheap and linears generally go for about $1 a watt back when I was big timing in the biz I imagine it hasnt changed much.

You can operate a base station on 12 volts and batteries and maybe a 100 watt linear if you have a means of keeping the battery bank charged. There are ways to do this,a generator or a simple small gas engine a pully and a good 100amp alternator will work as long as you have gas,even a weed eater engine will power this.

The key to long distance talking is, as op mentioned the antenna,low swrs (standing wave reflections) and conditions,but with quality equipment on most days a 50 mile radius can be expected.

Good post op, I been thinking about setting up another base station and have been looking at some gear lately but I got expensive taste and my stuff wont be cheap. I'll probably do another galaxy base station with a 100 watt driver and a copper tube linear with a good set of beams, that seems to be the best setup for me. I do have quite a bit of gear stashed away from back in the day so my biggest cost will be the beams rotor and radio.

posted on Mar, 25 2011 @ 08:37 AM
Sure it might be smart to have a CB for backup, but HAM is the only real answer for long range coms. CB will get you maybe 4-5miles, sure you can get lucky if the sun is going wacky and get Paris, but it will only do this once in a while and never consistant. Plus it will only shoot you that far, you cant get 100miles, its 4 or 3000 on days like this.

HAM will go 20-40miles with just a mobile rig, add a repeater in there and there will be repeaters up and you can go hundreds of miles, consistently. Yes you need a license, but talking about cranking up your CB is highly illegal anyways and if it has hit the fan, it wont matter legal or not, its survival.

When all communications are down since the war, HAM is the thing that takes over, it still does. Katrina, HAMs, Egypt, HAMs. This is dependable and consistent and is the reason its the backup for TPTB and anyone that is serious about coms post catastrophic incidents. Again CB would be ok for adding to your plan, but CB will be filled with people that need help shouting a few miles looking for anyone to hear them. HAM will be the information provider to those in the know. Add in shortwave and your as good as you can get for getting info when the time comes.

posted on Mar, 25 2011 @ 09:01 AM
reply to post by Wiz4769

You're wrong about the range of a CB, unless you're talking about one of those cheap, tiny CB's that don't even have a signal meter in them. Or if the antenna being used is a real bad one. You take a decent CB with a good antenna on a hill, you can easily reach out a minimum of 20 miles, without any power amps. If a CB can't reach more than 5 miles, then the owner of that radio got ripped off with a bad model.

If you have a base station CB on a hill and use just a vertical base antenna, like the Solarcon A-99, without any power amps, you can easily reach out over 50 miles on any given day. A beam (directional antenna) will reach out even further.
edit on 3/25/2011 by MadDogtheHunter because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 25 2011 @ 09:20 AM
Examples of good and bad CB's:

Excellent CB with long range, around $200
Paired with a good antenna with 0 to 1.5 SWR, can attain 20-50+ miles
Can be widebanded easily to range from well below channel 1 up to 27.9950 Mhz (channel 99)

Galaxy DX 959

Cheap CB with minimum range (the 4-5 mile variety), under $100
Paired with even the best mobile antenna, can usually only attain 4-8 miles maximum
Cannot be widebanded

Cobra 19DX IV

You really get what you pay for with CB's.
edit on 3/25/2011 by MadDogtheHunter because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 25 2011 @ 09:27 AM
I'm getting a HAM license in a few weeks.

I've always been interested and the day of the Japan quake/tsunami I read an article from a local paper in Nevada about how a local radio club were the first people to make contact with the region while all other services were out.

That sealed the deal for me. Plus a radio club in town teaches you for free and the test is only like $15.

posted on Mar, 25 2011 @ 04:56 PM
I have used CB's for about 25 years, started when I was an over the road truck driver. I have had dozens of different makes & models. I have had cheap ones and high dollar ones.I have them in all my vehicles like I said before and have a base station at home.

"IF" your on a hill with a clear line of sight you might get 20 miles or more but I have found with the best set ups running LEGAL POWER your range is generally in the 10-15 mile range.

And yeah if the atmosphere is just right you can talk thousands of miles but it's hit and miss and you can count on skip in an emergency situation. I have talked to a guy in Australia while I was in Montana but it's pretty rare.

The only way to get long range reliable communications is get a license and get a HAM radio with a good antennae.

The test isn't hard and the radio's can be expensive but there are cheaper ones. You get what you pay for.

I personally stay away from the 2 meter since I won't rely on the repeaters being up. I have 2 meter radios but not for when TSHTF.

Take the advice for what it's worth but just don't be surprised when you buy a CB and can't talk 50 miles on it.

Another thing, using a linear (amp) will boost your transmitting range and you can talk a looooong ways but you still can only receive people within the before mentioned ranges.

posted on Mar, 25 2011 @ 07:23 PM
reply to post by MadDogtheHunter

Thanks for posting this thread up and the many informative answers by several members. I'm only on page 2 so far but I hope this thread goes on for a bit.

posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 09:16 AM
And who are you going to talk to and expect to be able to talk back? Here lies the issue with CB, any trucker will tell you a stock CB with normal truck antenna while driving down the highway, not always going to have the luxury of being on the highest hill, etc. Will just get a few miles you can count on. So just because your up on your hill with your base unit and special antenna getting 40 miles, nobody can talk back to you unless they happen to be 5 miles away. Again Im not saying CB might not be useful for certain circumstances, but for your main comm choice I just dont think its the best. I have a CB as well just so you know.

This is why HAM has been the choice for as long as radios have been used for extended range. Its consistent on range and receive and goes further than any other. Repeaters open this up substantially. So if your CB shack on the hill is up and running, you can bet some repeaters will be as well. This is the network that kicks on when things go bad. So you want to be on this to know whats going on. Look up your local ARES or RACES info, this will be a really good place to start on what HAM frequencies you want to listen to when things go down.

So HAM if you are only able or choosing one for your main and CB and GMRS for short range tactical type comms.

edit on 28-3-2011 by Wiz4769 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 03:05 PM
Found this relevant to the discussion since it is one of the many specific cases of Ham radio providing an only means of viable communication during a real life disaster.

[url=]Source[/u rl]

Red Deer County officials were tested on their ability to lead a disaster response after a deadly tornado touched down just east of Penhold and hacked its way across the countryside, wreaking havoc in the campsites, cottages and rural homes around Pine Lake. Twelve people died and another 140 were injured. One of the biggest holes affecting the response was the failure of communications systems, says Henderson. Cellphones were unable to pick up a signal, nor could a radio system set up for county firefighters.

Amateur radio operators provided vital links after the Pine Lake tornado, says Henderson. When all other communications systems failed, the local radio operators were able to provide communications between the emergency operations centre and the crews supporting its efforts until Telus was able to beef up its service into the area.

[url=]Source[/u rl]

Yes OP, I know you said you would ignore future replies from me after I called you out about providing false information but... I decided to ignore that reply.

edit on 28-3-2011 by dainoyfb because: I tried to repair the source link HTML but its a problem with the website.

posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 07:37 PM
reply to post by Wiz4769

I have to completely agree with you WIZ4769.

The OP’s argument is flawed. He first argues that CB is the better choice for most people because it is cheaper and easier to come by. He gives the example that they are even available at Wal-Mart.

Then, when asked for examples, he says that the inexpensive models available at Wal-Mart are not adequate for the application and that the units costing at least 3 times as much should be extensively (read expensively) modified in order to be adequate. You will have to track down someone (hopefully not to shady) capable and willing to do an illegal and quality job of modding the radio to squeak out a few more channels that almost nobody can be found communicating on anyway. This is not easier or cheaper than purchasing ready to go Ham equipment.

Also, you will still need to purchase a high performance antenna (according to the OP a low budget antenna is not adequate), proper cable, beefed up power leads for the amp, and mounting gear for the antenna.

What you will end up with is an illegal radio that transmits on a very narrow set of channels in a single band. It will only be able to communicate long distance with the few other radios that have also been modified for high power transmission.

Ham on the other hand, for the same price gives you better designed (read longer range for the power) equipment that is capable of working thousands of channels spread across many bands (some which are more suited to long range propagation than the CB band). Ham frequencies are listened to by millions of Ham operators and emergency services around the world. Any community larger than a village is likely to have several ham operators that meet on a regular basis to share technical information about equipment and to sell and swap used gear. There are thousands of components and accessories to choose from including many super high performance antenna designs and amplifiers that are just not available in any other radio class. You also get the option of extending range on certain bands through repeaters if they are still operational. Ham is also capable of communicating digital information such as GPS location information, and text packets. And as I stated earlier, even a modestly priced hand held Ham unit is capable of hearing the emergency services transmissions such as police, fire, ambulance, rescue, humanitarian aid, aircraft, weather, as well as FRS, GMRS CB, TV audio, AM Broadcast, FM Broadcast, World Band Short Wave, Military, etc, etc, etc.

There is a very good reason why Ham radio is so often accredited for filling the communication gap when disaster strikes a community.

Anyway, don’t take my word for it. Its best to read peer reviewed information such as this:

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