Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Communications

radiogram for survival comms

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firetoad:
I didn't think you could transmit using "code" as a ham?

Tactical Badger:
Me either.  But they were.  I could barely understand what they were talking about.  The actual messages weren't in any sort of code.  Everything else was though.

Radjoman:
NTS Traffic is a neat system to listen to.

The NTS traffic system is able to move messages from point A to point B through the efforts of hams who practice the required skills. 99% of the activity you may hear on the bands is these people practicing. They encourage anyone to send birthday wishes, or any other kind of message in order to generate traffic, so they can get practice, and expose areas of the country that have a lack of operators.  Also the final point of the message chain may be a local ham in your area donating their dollars to make a landline phone call, possibly long distance, to the final addresee of the message.

I think the best thing for a ham/survivalist to do would be to get involved in a SSB voice net meeting on a daily 80 meter frequency (3.8 mhz)  and/or a weekend/saturday 40 meter net (7mhz) . On an  80 meter net you would be able to hear other hams maybe 200 miles from your location, and on a 40 meter net you might hear people 400 miles away. This all depends on you antenna and the electrical noise you have to put up with, and as always the sunspots.  But you'll get lots of good practice on how your radios work and the time of day that each band available to you works best.  80m for night/close in comms,  40m for evening/regional comms,  20m for daytime/long distance comms.

Of course you need to be a General class to be legal, and thats why the General license is so important. Generals can talk to others on the lowbands with a simple radio running 50 watts. A Tech class ham would have to depend on a string of complicated repeaters or the internet to get the signal out beyond their immediate city, and all these technologies are prone to fail in a disasters. My HF radio and a battery and antenna are in an old briefcase ready to go anywhere and I can talk across the country after 15 minutes of setup!     

Food for thought

bonnie:

--- Quote from: Tactical Badger on February 19, 2009, 02:36:08 PM ---Me either.  But they were.  I could barely understand what they were talking about.  The actual messages weren't in any sort of code.  Everything else was though.

--- End quote ---

There is a specific format for the header in an NTS message via amateur radio.  It includes things like message number, priority, originating station, originating location, word count, etc.  so it can be traced back to it's origin.  Each station passing a message should keep track of who they receive the message from and who they send it to.  The word count gives you a double-check that you received the message accurately.  So the "code" is actually the standardized header format.  If you find a good NTS training net and want to send a message, they will walk you through setting up the header.  Some areas have training nets on 2 meters so techs can get on them.  Then there are people on that net who will take the messages to the HF NTS nets to pass them on.

firetoad:
Thanks for all of the info everyone!  This is something that I was completely unaware of!

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