SURVIVE AND THRIVE PHILADELPHIA Message Board SURVIVE AND THRIVE -- Discussion Forum › Off Grid Communication

Off Grid Communication

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A former member
Post #: 44
I have been working with a few other members to put together, a good unit, basically a CB radio, and accessory package to allow members to stay is touch, during grid down. My background is in electronics, a long time ago. Navy EW(electronic warfare), I know how to make electrons do things that they didn't know they could do.

The result of my work on this project, will yield a source, model, accessories and procedures that will keep you ahead of 90% of the other goofballs with CB radios. This means you can be a complete tech klutz and still come out smelling like roses.

The budget for this project is 400.00 I am not involved in the sales. I am a consultant pointing folks to the units that will give you the most bang for buck.

Anyone is free to buy whatever, unit and configuration they want, however I doubt they will be as happy as the folks that follow my advise. IHMO.
Ken Fichtner
user 4237287
Bryn Mawr, PA
Post #: 16
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Please keep us up to date - I for one am very interested.
Marietta Trainer
MartiUSA
Vincentown, NJ
Post #: 39
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CaveCliff,

Your site is terrific, follow regularly, wish I could get to your meetings on Sunday evening, however, it just is a bad night to get over there.

Please add me to your list of people very interested. Have 3 older ones, just in case...people ask why would I want them, that's old techology. Hummmm.....think there eating to much bubblegum!!

Think, SurvivalBlog or site like it mentioned this very topic, however it was very techical and if you didn't have a background in electronics ..it was all Greek.

Thanks again for all the excellent posting.
A former member
Post #: 45
Ken, Marietta, others

I will be attempting to explain this stuff, so a 3rd grader could understand. Here is my first. When putting a signal into the air, you want happy screaming electrons, like kids on a sliding board on a playground. If Mom brought some towels to wipe the sliding board and some wax paper, the kids(electrons) will have more fun.

Same thing with the CB unit, it's power supply, the wire going to the antenna, the antenna, and the ground, each are important, to keep the electrons screaming and having fun. I will be describing each in more detail in the days ahead.

As for radios laying around. Unlabeled, rusty cans of food, would you depend on the contents in a grid down situation? Same goes for the radios. Any Comm tool that you don't use every day, has to be checked out. A little TLC to make sure, when you press the button to talk, people hear you, AND you can hear what they say in response. Each of the components named in the previous paragraph, if given TLC, your box will SCREAM.

Marietta and others, as this group grows, and believe me it is going to soon, we will be searching for larger venues and probably different days and times. I think there is a way to post a 'poll' of members that CAN'T attend Sunday's at 4 o'clock. Then we could attract different people.

The spread of survival info is LOVE!

cavecliff
maryanne
mimipoosh
Wayne, PA
Post #: 75
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Ken, Marietta, others

I will be attempting to explain this stuff, so a 3rd grader could understand. Here is my first. When putting a signal into the air, you want happy screaming electrons, like kids on a sliding board on a playground. If Mom brought some towels to wipe the sliding board and some wax paper, the kids(electrons) will have more fun.

Same thing with the CB unit, it's power supply, the wire going to the antenna, the antenna, and the ground, each are important, to keep the electrons screaming and having fun. I will be describing each in more detail in the days ahead.

As for radios laying around. Unlabeled, rusty cans of food, would you depend on the contents in a grid down situation? Same goes for the radios. Any Comm tool that you don't use every day, has to be checked out. A little TLC to make sure, when you press the button to talk, people hear you, AND you can hear what they say in response. Each of the components named in the previous paragraph, if given TLC, your box will SCREAM.

Marietta and others, as this group grows, and believe me it is going to soon, we will be searching for larger venues and probably different days and times. I think there is a way to post a 'poll' of members that CAN'T attend Sunday's at 4 o'clock. Then we could attract different people.

The spread of survival info is LOVE!

cavecliff

A former member
Post #: 51
OK here we go with a four part series to explain components of a good CB radio station

1) Tuned up CB/SSB unit

2) Power supply

3) Coax cable and ground

4) Antenna

Starting with 1) CB unit.

The cell phone is as common today, as an am/fm radio was back in the 70's, a lot of attention has has moved on from the days of 'breaker 19 good buddy' or 'Smokey and the Bandit'. There are still a die hard group of HAM operators and CB nuts, even now in the age of the internet. Back in the day there was a thing called packet radio for sending text over the airwaves, a mere whisper of the roar that in the internet of today.

The lines between CB (no license required) and a HAM operator(required a test and license), has blurred a bit. I start with a stock CB radio in this case a Galaxy DX-959 SSB unit, in the hands of a Guru level tech and the result is a unit that will BLOW THE DOORS OFF a cheaper unit. A tuned up DX-959 SSB is about 275bucks. The SSB suffix is very important but is a bit complex to go into now.

The stock units come from where else, China, quality control is 'ok', another reason to have a guru go over it and make sure it operation within spec. The analogy I started with in previous posts was a sliding board, you want happy screaming electrons, start your slide with a push off, that is a tuned up radio.

Stay tuned for more info on, off grid communications.

Cliff
A former member
Post #: 54
OK here we go with a four part series to explain components of a good CB radio station

1) Tuned up CB/SSB unit

2) Power supply

3) Coax cable and ground

4) Antenna

This section discusses 2) The Power Supply

No one pays much attention to the power that comes out of that socket in the wall. Plug it in, flip the switch and 'it' is on. Now for appliances in your home, aside from maybe the computer, 'who cares' I flip the switch it comes on, what more do I need to know?

Remember we want happy screaming electrons(kids on the sliding board'). The AC(alternating current) that comes out of the wall IS DIRTY. There is 'noise' on the line. This noise comes from a variety of sources, but I assure you it's there. If you put NOISE into your CB radio, you will get UNWANTED NOISE out of your radio.

For this setup, a 14amp power supply is prudent, cost is about 60.00

Stay tuned

Cavecliff
A former member
Post #: 55
OK here we go with a four part series to explain components of a good CB radio station

1) Tuned up CB/SSB unit

2) Power supply

3) Coax cable and ground

4) Antenna

This section covers 3)Coax cable and GROUND

Coax cable connects the CB unit to the antenna. If you have cable TV, that is coax. One single wire in the center with woven metal jacket, covered with plastic. Your happy screaming electrons(kids on the sliding board) are almost ready to FLY. The longer the cable the more loss, or lost electrons. Keep your coax 50' or less. In other words, put you CB unit on the upper floors of your home, not the basement if you can avoid it. The FATTER the cable, the better. Also the fatter cables are more expensive.

Now about GROUND. This is the most overlooked, and therefore the most IMPORTANT. Ground is where any un-needed electrons must to go. Without ground they hang around, like the bad kids on the playground, YOU WANT THEM TO GO AWAY!!! Leave the good kids(electrons) alone.

Ground is that center post of a 3 prong outlet, everyone ASSUMES it is attached to a cold water pipe that goes into the ground SOMEWHERE! Well somewhere along the way the pipe could be PLASTIC pvc etc., electrons don't like plastic.

Best solution, drive your own 6ft copper plated spike into the ground, run an insulated wire up to your shack. ALL components of the shack, in the shack, use this ground NOT I repeat NOT the house ground. This can easily be done by clipping off the ground prong, of you AC power plugs, then use an adapter where you can attach your shack ground.

The woven wire jacket of the coax is connected to ground, just like a water pipe, LEAKS ARE BAD. We don't want our happy electrons, falling off the sliding board.

Until next time

Cavecliff

call sign - Creature
Station33
A former member
Post #: 56
OK here we go with a four part series to explain components of a good CB radio station

1) Tuned up CB/SSB unit

2) Power supply

3) Coax cable and ground

4) Antenna

Finally 4) Antenna

The Antenna, back in the day we called the 'tenny'. This is where our screaming electrons(kids) go forth into the great unknown. The tenny recommended in this configuration is a solarcon Antron 99 half wave CB Base Antenna, or an A-99 for short, is a half wave antenna. Antennas are sized for the general area of the frequency spectrum it is transmitting. CB radio operates in the 10meter band. 10 meters, produce waves 33feet high, if you could see the waves, as they come off the antenna.

A half wave tenny, is 16 & 1/2 feet high, half of 10 meters. Placed on a 10 foot or so pipe puts the antenna 26 1/2 feet above the highest point of your house.

This last and final component of your CB radio shack(wonder why that name sounds familiar) is a straight stick antenna. The base of the antenna is GROUNDED (See previous post), this is the absolutely the most important component to have a positive, separate, good solid, drove it in myself GROUND.

OK, how far will my signal reach? This is a very difficult question to give accurate answer. The most important things to ensure it goes a far as needed, is what is contained in all these posts. Living on top of a hill, is a big plus. Having tall building close by is a big negative. plain CB(40 channels), depend on 'line of sight' no tall buildings, mountain sides, etc. This is why you want your tenny 30ft or so above the highest point on your house. This is why radio station antennas are on 200ft towers, tough to have one on your property, L&I would have a field day.

In the next series, we will cover, side band, the SSB suffix seen on quality CB radios. This allows the signal to go beyond 'line of sight' and will allow you, with the above setup, to TALK AROUND THE GLOBE! Brush up on your language skills, first one being 'habla espanole' being able to talk directly to people around the earth, is a way of spreading LOVE to the PLANET. Not just what you hear on the news, but from people living through it.

Hope this has helped people wrap their heads around off grid communications.

Radio protocol / etiquette and closing thoughts are next.

Yours in service

Cliff

Callsign - Creature
Station 33
A former member
Post #: 57
In Conclusion;

Good radio protocol / etiquette and closing thoughts.

As I said from jump street, you can follow these guidelines, or find someone in your area, go off on your own, have at it. I and other members are blazing this trail, creating a blueprint, for others to follow. I have informed my CB Guru, generally, about SnT and I am in negotiation with him to put together a special package, a SnT special. Quality doesn't come cheap but right around 400bucks, maybe a bit more if you want extras, better quality coax, some folks go for GOLD plated wire, because gold is the best conductor(sliding board) of electrons, not what we are talking here.

This SnT package, will allow some consistency, which will then allow detailed instructions, a 3rd grader could follow to set the radio on a channel, tuning and connecting with other SnT members, and the WORLD!

Protocol / etiquette aka 'play nice with others', as I mentioned quality CB/SSB radios such as the SnT special, put you in the same class as ham radio operators. If you give respect you receive it, mostly, give or take the share of goofballs out there. In the next series, we will discuss, calling for someone, why you leave the unit on all the time and set to one channel, a meeting time and place, called a hailing channel, then we wander into the frequency spectrum to other channels, that are quiet-er to talk.

In the deadline driven corporate world, there always seems to be, time to do it over, but NEVER time to do it right the first time. There are dozens of ways to cut corners, cheaper this or cheaper that, NOT HERE. Before and after my time serving in the US NAVY, I was and to this day am, a computer geek, over 30 years in the biz. With this contribution to SnT, I am presenting Quality. I am responsible for the effort in presenting a QUALITY configuration, the rest is up to you and GOD, to take action.

Yours in Service.

Cliff

callsign Creature(from the black lagoon)
Station33
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