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smoke signals or gunshots.
 

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how far do you want to communicate? If you are just looking for 2-4 mile range, FRS would work. CB's would too. Only problem is neither are private conversations. For long distances, a network of folks with HAM radios would be good.
 

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communications

I bought 2 pair of 15 mile walkie-talkies. They have the rechargable battery pack or can use AA batteries. Both my kids are within 5 miles so should be no problem.

Bob
 

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GMRS/FRS is ther way I went... very flexible system , handhelds , base stations, repeaters.. lots of options. Money aside, you could pretty much build a network over as large an area as necesary serving as few or as many other folks as the case may be.

Another option is using routers and bluetooth PDA's, notebook computers, ect as a system network that would still digitally link a goodly sized area with the right gear. I just bought some of the linksys max range upscale gear and the improvement is impressive. My stepson has a theory that hasn't been acted on ( no time he says) that he can build a system around this gear to digitally link all of us with reasonable expectation of privacy.

The first option requires a FCC license if you have to use the GMRS for range and definately if you start popping the watts on a hot base station or repeater. The second option needs no licsensing, but is more expensive, but is also more flexible, allowing document, video, files ect as well as voice.
 

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I gotta get my HAM lic... from what little experience I have with them, it's the way to go if the "grid" is out. Plus if you got some folks running repeaters on generators, you can really reach out and touch someone. Of course it does little to no good if nobody you know is on the HAM net...
 

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FRS are good if your looking for close distance squad type comms. If your wanting to talk farther you really need a good HF Ham Radio setup. 2m ham is fine when the repeaters are up, but if the SHTF then you can bet power is down and so will the repeaters. So HF gives you the best chance at point to point long distance comms...

My two cents.
 

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One other thought there...regardless of the types of batteries the best long term SHTF setup battery wise would be rechargable batteries and some kind of solar setup that you could use to recharge them...getting one of those small solar setups is high on my list of wants...
 

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How about tele-woman?:D
 

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I was watching Sniper69's avatar and trying not to get hypnotized and it occurred to me that with enough amply proportioned, bare-breasted women we could develop a sort of semaphore communications system. Logistics might be a problem since there's never enough amply proportioned, bare-breasted women to go around and if the spouses of you married guys objected then your survival would be in jeopardy.
I've seen newer GMRS radios advertised to have 15 to 20 mile range "under ideal conditions" so this looks like the best you're going to get that doesn't rely on satellites or repeaters. You can have as many as you want (of identical units) programed with privacy codes so that only members of your group can hear the conversations, which is something that you can't do on a CB as far as I know.
 

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You can have as many as you want (of identical units) programed with privacy codes so that only members of your group can hear the conversations, which is something that you can't do on a CB as far as I know.
the privacy codes actually work the opposite way. it's just an ad on to the squelch system to keep you from having to listen to other users. when you have it turned on your radio will not come off squelch unless it gets the tone from somebody in your group (or somebody else using that same tone). but your commo is in the clear and anyone using the radios with the privacy codes turned off gets to hear everything. so far i think if you want some scrambled commo your going to have to go with some high dollar ham gear. but i think with the current level of electronics a small radio with secure could be built cheaply, but i bet the FCC specifically prohibits scrambled commo on the gmrs/frs frequencys. you read some more on the privacy code/ squelch system at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CTCSS
 

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Maybe it was something other than privacy codes that I was remembering. Here's the back story. About five years ago the Civil Air Patrol unit that I used to take into the everglades for survival FTX's got a bunch of new Motorola GMRS radios that were sent back to the factory and were "modified" so that only those radios in group could communicate with each other. The CAP didn't want just anyone to be able to communicate with and possibly give conflicting information to underage cadets. I brought out my own Motorolas as well as a set of Bellsouth GMRS radios to test the modifications and could neither hear nor communicate with the unit radios. I just can't remember exactly what was done. Perhaps it was a frequency change or something. The CAP is, after all, a government agency that might be able to get modifications that the rest of us can't.
 

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BUMP!

I'm trying to prepare ASAP as I see things are getting much much worse than I predicted.

That said, I live about 6 miles away from my parents, who have a bunker that I'd go to. But I may need to communicate with them to tell them I'm coming (they've been told to and will shoot anything moving if SHTF) and am looking for something that I'd be able to use with no power (meaning that it needs to be able to work/charge off of solar/crank power *OR* can be AA/AAA batteries as long as I have a way to charge the batteries (again, solar/crank)).

I don't mind purchasing licenses (if needed) in this discussion. I do also need it to be portable, as I'm assuming that I'd be on foot or motorcycle.

Suggestions?
 

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The FRS/GMRS radios of today have a much longer standard range than even those that were out a couple of years ago. The problem is, to achieve that range they draw more power which means shorter battery life. I still like them for close range or line of sight comms.
 

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Interesting stuff. And fun watching. You guys are on the right tracks.

I was actually the Acting and Ass't District Emergency Coordinator for the Ham radio world in two counties.

Spread spectrum is legal for civilians. Now. The frequency-jumping pattern is the key...

Alden
 

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At present, I have two GMRS/FRS radios, as has my closest buddy - we are seven miles apart, and we are both on rises in the land, so no problems for 'line-of-sight' issues. But I think the CB would be our better bet. Of course, no security. But we could likely find a little-used channel.
My other buddy is some 20 miles away - I'd need to boost my CB to reach him. May be 'line-of'sight' issues there too.
My closer buddy has Ham gear, and has a 60' tower he still needs to erect - so I need to get into Ham myself. Yet another thing to sink some obamacredits into ...... :rolleyes:
 
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