Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Communications

Broadcast AM Portable Radio Mega-Shootout

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Alan Georges:

--- Quote from: The Professor on March 19, 2015, 01:45:54 PM ---I wish someone would do a similar articles on smaller radios that are more likely to be in your kit that run on AA or AAA batteries.  Radios I could stuff in my pocket and plug into my ear as I try to make my way home during a disaster.

--- End quote ---
Just published this weekend: http://swling.com/blog/2015/03/gary-debocks-2015-ultralight-radio-shootout-review/

Alan Georges:

--- Quote from: Carl on March 22, 2015, 08:18:37 AM ---Looks more geared toward AM DX work
where a prepared person would be better served by a pocked size low power consuming
AM/FM for more local news. What percentage of dirty fan incidents involve an area that a
tank of gas won't get you out of? Sure ,if you have the small dependable pocket radio
and want a bigger,slightly more capable radio...go for it.

--- End quote ---
Being able to get some news and information that's not some controlled message doled out by the local "authoratahs" is of huge importance in any major emergency.  Carl, you helped with Katrina, but you weren't down here in the middle of it.  The lack of any real outside news and the surplus of wild rumors for weeks on end was one of the worst parts of that storm's aftermath.  A $100 radio plus learning some DX skills fixes this.  In a real national emergency, I wouldn't want to just rely on local stations.


--- Quote ---Same goes for HAND CRANK...my 2 "D" Sony radio runs over 200 hours on a pair of"D" cells ,
why would I want to crank a handle every 20 minutes just to hear a radio?When for the same weight
I can have effective batteries.

--- End quote ---
I agree.  They're little more than gimmicks.  Most of the examples I've seen are easily broken as well.

Carl:

--- Quote from: Alan Georges on March 23, 2015, 06:33:24 AM ---Being able to get some news and information that's not some controlled message doled out by the local "authoratahs" is of huge importance in any major emergency.  Carl, you helped with Katrina, but you weren't down here in the middle of it.  The lack of any real outside news and the surplus of wild rumors for weeks on end was one of the worst parts of that storm's aftermath.  A $100 radio plus learning some DX skills fixes this.  In a real national emergency, I wouldn't want to just rely on local stations.
I agree.  They're little more than gimmicks.  Most of the examples I've seen are easily broken as well.

--- End quote ---

About that...two local New Orleans AM stations were on the air HOURS after the storm passed ,running on back-up generators and much of the news I got of Katrina was from them. They had the details of life lost and flooded areas that were important...while the Short Wave covered the storm a bit ...the shortwave stations HAD NO DETAIL that would be needed by locals that was not covered hours earlier by the local broadcasters doing their part as per FCC agreement.

While I enjoy news from a different viewpoint as do you,I also need TIMELY news with local detail that foreign broadcasters would not cover A different political slant can be important,but the weather is not yet political.Did you get any information that was of value due to political slant...perhaps I am in the dark still.

But my interest in Shortwave is much like yours,there are no wrong answers...I just don't tune Shortwave for the weather or traffic report or local news as those things are needed in detail and in a time that excludes the viability of shortwave ....

I was not physically in New Orleans,though our area had food and fuel shortages as 15% more people were in town and supply lines were not able to handle the direct load and re-supply and I got little sleep as 911 calls from much of the gulf region were mine to route to resources as best as I could to expedite rescue and support efforts.

I am glad that I wasn't there...here is where I did the most good as many of my friends did rush there to assist.

Was there any news of Katrina that was politically slanted ? I admit I was busy and did not listen to Short Wave at that time.

I started another radio thread that asked about the survival/prepper radios as this interests me(I actually started it before now)

Alan Georges:
Hey Carl, I think that I inadvertently tiptoed into tinfoily stuff here.  Let me back up...

After a couple of days, here on the coast we could get a couple of local FM stations.  One was a lash-up of whatever gear several stations in Biloxi & Gulfport could get to work, the other was a little low-power FM that a ham club in Hancock County runs.  But all they were saying was "get your water at the Walmart parking lot, MREs next door at the K-mart parking lot, and there's a temporary tent hospital in front of the flooded-out supermarket."  And of course there was WWL-AM in New Orleans, but they were concerned with the New Orleans situation.

What we couldn't get from this local stuff is what was going on in the rest of the country, useful info like "If I scavenge all the gasoline I can and try to drive out, can I get gas when I get close to empty somewhere in the middle of Alabama?  Or are pumps dry all over the southeast?"  Also, there were rumors going around about upcoming forced evacuations and gun confiscations.  Without outside sources, all we had were super-local get-me-through-today repeated announcements of "get your water at the Walmart parking lot, MREs next door at the K-mart parking lot, and there's a temporary tent hospital in front of the flooded-out supermarket."  Wash, rinse, repeat.  It got eerie after a while, and to be able to get some news, any news, from the rest of America would have been welcome.  That's where some decent nighttime AM DX would've come in, if I'd had a radio that was worth a hoot at the time.  That's why AM DX is so interesting, and why I think it is vital to any emergency comms plan.

Now about foreign SW, nah, not so important in such times.  Perhaps of some interest to dial around on after dark, but not nearly important as domestic AM DX.


Back to the New Orleans stations, I'm not even sure if WWL ever even went off the air.  I do remember listening to them that Monday evening and a little bit in the coming weeks, but they were wrapped up – understandably! – in their own situation.  Pretty remarkable the job they did.

And... once again, thanks for helping out in this whole mess.  Can't say that enough.

Carl:
No worries Alan...I wanted to see if I missed something...Katrina and Rita a week later created a situation that
covered an area larger than one would imagine ever happening. They called it a 100 year storm and though
New Orleans was the preoccupation of the Television News (what a joke they were re-running what little video
they had of a few bodies and a bunch of kids singing "please help us" while I talked to people who died ,waiting for rescue)

Where was I...oh yea ,the Mississippi gulf region took more storm damage, some entire towns were missing...not to
slight the flooding of New Orleans. I had been on call that night ,but breathed a sigh of relief and went to work as
I was not needed ....about 10 AM I got the call to go to the Communications Center...that was not planned either.

And YES,some police began to attempt to collect guns from people in their home(why not kindly ask the gangsters who were
armed and looting to hand over their guns? Most were not confronted if getting food/water...ln fact little was done with
those who needed huge flat screen TV's and BEER for survival...National Guard,Coast Guard ,and Navy were some of the real heros during the event...but then I was stressed from too much information and remember one call "Please find our two police offices who volunteered to help...the call ended with But don't call me with news after 9PM.....OMG ...I lost it and said ARE YOU SERIOUS? I HAVE BEEN HERE 6 DAYS WITH LITTLE SLEEP.......I HUNG UP.

Crap ,I wandered off again..

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